Smiling with our Eyes

Photo By Elijah AasandWe are learning to smile with our eyes in our new masked world.

Being blessed to have an earth that is 70% water and the “inner space” is the foundation of life on the planet. My passion for the ocean and it’s inhabitants is shared by all our Captains and Dive Masters here at Sea Riders.

Everyone has their own way of coping and making the most of a scary situation. I want to share what some of our Sea Riders Ohana has been up to:

Julie Gardner, Kelvin Moniz, Jo Evans– Julie has been documenting research and editing photos and videos with a patience that I find remarkable (Check out and subscribe to our new channel on YouTube ).  She and my longtime friend and photographer, Jo Evans of Da Kine Images, are also donating their time and skills to help feed our community through a project they call Foto4Food. You can learn more about it at

– Captain Adam has been kayak fishing and sharing his catch with neighbors and friends.

– Ed and Anthony have been using their local knowledge to perfect the art of spearfishing – also sharing their catch with the community.

– Elijah just completed his instructor course in free diving and is training for his next International free-diving competition.

For me personally, I have enjoyed slowing down and appreciating that the earth has had a chance to heal. I love hearing about how different habitats on the planet are healthier than they have been in a long time. Fish returning to the canals of Venice; Kelp forests thriving from the lack of coastal run-off; Air quality amazingly improved from decreased emissions from aircraft and cruise ships. For our ocean here on Kaua’i, we notice the water cleaner at our beach parks (with far less oxybenzone from sunscreen) and the whales stayed longer with their calves this spring. We were hearing them underwater through early May! There were no reported ship strikes of Humpback Whales that I know of. Wow! The list is endless and we would love to hear about your home environment and what you have noticed just from leaving nature alone for a couple months. Please email us at to share your observations.

Here on Kaua’i, fishermen are selling ahi in roadside stands, farmers markets are thriving, and in my 38 years of living here – we are seeing a “new normal” of sustainability that is unprecedented – yet probably very necessary. I have been educating myself about Coral Restoration and was excited to coordinate a mini research project with Julie Gardner and Anthony Kuntz to observe the spawning of Cauliflower coral (pocillopora meandrina). We spent days observing and marveling at the amount and variety of life in a single drop of seawater.

Water Sample Collection Process


We are also currently in dry-dock, cleaning and painting the vessels for re-opening when we are able to run charters again, hopefully July 1st. Sea Riders will faithfully follow CDC and State of Hawai’i guidelines which are currently changing almost daily.  We will continue to remain flexible, dedicate an added focus on sanitation and smaller groups, and create more affordable options for private charters. We have always been environmentally conscious, and incorporating now, a new level of sustainable, Eco-tourism.

With Gratitude to be living the dream, Captain Tara