On the Hawaiian Island of Maui, the town of Kihei offers a wide range of rental condominiums, shops and restaurants. For visitors who enjoy shallow water snorkeling, Kihei provides access to many popular underwater sites. Daily, dive boats from the Mā‛alaea Harbor and the Kihei Small Boat Harbor make early morning offshore trips to the partially-sunken crater of Molokini. For shoreline dives, Ahihi Bay and Ahihi Cove in the Ahihi Kinau Area Natural reserve are sites noted for abundant fish, but rocks and pebbles make for a difficult water entry. For a pain-free entry from a sandy beach, the Ulua Beach diving site is extremely popular with both snorkelers and beginner-level scuba divers. This beach is in the Wailea Resort area, with a large public parking lot (best to arrive before 9 a.m., though) showers, and rest rooms. As with all Kihei-area dive sites, the morning hours provide the calmest and clearest water conditions —- in the afternoon, clouds tend to arrive from the Haleakula volcano area, and brisk Trade Winds create waves.
I shot the JPEGs and video clips in this YouTube video using a CANON PowerShot ELPH 100HS point-and-shoot digital camera in an inexpensive, waterproof DiCAPac WP-ONE “plastic pouch” (from Amazon.com).
This pouch uses a heavy-duty zip-lock seal, rolled up tightly and held in place with Velcro. The “porthole” is coated glass, and the soft vinyl body is flexible enough for operation of camera buttons. (I added a desiccant capsule from a bottle of over-the-counter pills). I also set the CANON camera for wide-angle operation (underwater, this setting is effectively “normal” angle), and used the Program mode set as “Underwater” —– this boosts red to counteract the overall blueness of underwater scenes (just remember to reset to a normal “auto” mode for dry-land pictures!).
Underwater, I found that viewing the camera’s LCD screen was a lot easier than squinting through a viewfinder. Having 8 GB of camera memory, of course, left me free to take lots of images, and even lots of 1280×720 HD movie clips. Overall, with clear seawater and bright sunshine, the camera/camera pouch combination produced amazingly realistic underwater digital images.
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