I just got back from a vacation with my wife to Kona, Hawaii. I spent a few days doing some “fun diving” in a wetsuit (first time in two years) and a single AL80 tank (can’t remember the last time I did that).
Most people dive in Kona for the amazing critters and endemic species and the impressive mantas. I saw some of those and I’ll write a post about them in a few days. Ask pretty much any diver in Kona about “wreck diving” and they will look at you funny and ask if that is some new species of nudibranch and start madly leafing through some kind of sea creatures book.
However, I just can’t go diving and not find some rusted metal.
While in Kona, I actually got two wreck dives in amongst the total of 8 dives I did. The first wreck was an airplane that I will write about next and the second dive of that day was an old military landing craft nicknamed the Predator.
The wreck sits in about 90 feet of water in Kailua Bay. According to the Scuba Diving magazine article referenced below, it was a former military landing craft that was purchased and re-purposed as a shark cage-diving platform before it sank. It is about 60-70 feet long and the engines are still in the hull. There isn’t any real penetration. There is a mooring line & submersed buoy attached to the wreck but we just did a live drop and then sent up a SMB at the end of the dive.
The Atlantis submarine is often in the area and so they have tied a skeleton onto the wreck in hopes of spooking some of the passengers I guess.
There are also two large tanks that presumably held compressed air for surface supplied scuba while conducting the share cage dives. One is on the deck on the starboard side and the other is out in the sand in the debris field. You can also see the crane / boom that was probably used to lower and raise the cage.
Photos and Model
I only had my GoPro 10 and a single Big Blue light. Given the visibility and the fact that we were the only two divers on the wreck, I figured I would try to build a photogrammetry model using GoPro photos (not a video converted to frame grabs) and see how it came out. I am actually pretty impressed with the results.
The clear, blue water makes it a lot easier than what we usually have here in Southern California, but the GoPro takes a decent natural light photo for building models if you have good vis and are on a shallow dive.
Below are some stills I took along with a link to the model and some screenshots of the model as well.
Photogrammetry Model Screenshots