Ed Kenney's Dive Log
Richardson Beach Park on 8/22/2005
The high numerical rating of this site leads one astray. Even the local Hilo dive shop, Nautilus, does not recommend it. Sure, the entrance is cool but you're going to bang up your equipment soon after that on the shallow rocks, except at high tide. Even then it's two football fields or more to get to diving depths and not much to see until the steep slope at about 50 feet deep. Save this for the beginning snorkelers. Let them have the cold freshwater lens with murky viz while you go out to dive Puhi or Leleiwi close by. Then come back with your wet gear to use the nice showers.
Leleiwi Beach Park on 8/22/2005
Easily the best overall site of the four I dove near Hilo, though Puhi is a close second. Leleiwi sustains interest for multiple dives and is a great place to take snorkeling friends to see turtles big and small. The entry is easy at low or mid tide IF you use the concrete steps and lava bench just down the bulkhead from the shower and kiosk. Ask Nautilus dive for a map since it's worth it to get a map, especially if the waves come up while you're under. I liked diving all three directions from the entry, but heading right after 50 kicks to see the arch and the turtle pinnacles just beyond it is probably the most interesting direction. Lots of mushroom top coral formations to visit and a great collection of butterfly fish species, especially ornates. Mornings here have very few cars in the parking lot and even in the afternoon there is a far better chance of securing a space than at Richardson Beach Park a quarter mile away.