We’ve come a long way since those first days of SCUBA diving when heavy gloves were worn to protect diver’s skin as they grabbed coral head after coral head to move themselves along, or when photographers lay across coral on the bottom to get that perfect shot. Now we know that not only is touching coral potentially painful to humans, but detrimental to the reef; we’ve all seen the damage caused by divers with poor buoyancy control or dangling gear! Kona Diving Company asks that all divers help support our Green Fins Policy by following these simple practices:
When you pause to inspect something closer or take a picture, keeping your fins up and behind you means you won’t kick the reef. If your fins naturally settle on the reef when you stop, ask us about re-positioning your weight so that horizontal trim is easier to achieve. Consider staying a couple of extra feet off the bottom when not swimming so you are not tempted to rest on the reef, or…
If you like to have a closer look at little objects or to take pictures of animals up close, consider using a reef stick to stabilize yourself rather than risk letting the surge knock you into the reef. Reef sticks are light and easy to travel with. When used responsibly (NOT as a poker!), reef sticks are a very useful tool.
Nothing is more aggravating than being behind a diver kicking up the sand right in front of you. Try frog kicking over sensitive substrates. Frog kicking has a much gentler effect on the water and generally causes less bottom disruption than traditional flutter kicks. Don’t know how to frog kick? Ask one of our helpful crew to show you, or better yet…
In just two dives (one charter) with a private instructor, you can earn a PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Specialty and improve not only your buoyancy but your air consumption (dive longer!), your level of exertion (don’t let diving exhaust you!), and your overall diving style (learn some new kick styles and look like a pro in the water!).
With so many options these days to capture your underwater adventures, cameras and GoPros are frequent underwater companions – even for new divers. Not every new diver is ready to take a camera underwater! If you don’t feel that you are in constant full control of your buoyancy and have good situational awareness underwater then you may not be ready to add a camera to your list of things to think about underwater.
Please bear in mind that when you use a camera underwater you still have an obligation to make responsible dive practices your first priority. If we see that your diving is suffering due to use of a camera, we may ask you to leave it behind on the next dive. Also, remember that other divers in your group will also want a look at that cool eel or to also take a picture of that octopus, so please share the wildlife!