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Aloha to our dive family,

We are not sure where to begin. As many of you are aware on August 8-9, 2023 a fire ravaged Lahaina. We are among the many who have been affected by this horrific event. We experienced total loss of our business, Dive with Harmony, and the first ever Avelo Dive Center.

This little business was born out of love for the ocean and truly wanting to provide the best experience to divers as they explore the underwater world around Maui. We started out of our home during COVID, teaching the Maui community how to dive. This is also when we started offering FREE monthly ocean cleanup for the community. Then we moved up to a Sprinter Van. As our little business continued to grow we decided to get official space and built our own dive shop, our pride and joy, in May 2022. We poured blood, sweat, tears, and, quite literally, everything we had into our shop. 

We want to be completely transparent with this request:

  1. Dive with Harmony, as it has been known, is gone. The devastation in Lahaina will take months if not years to recover, so near-future anything is not an option. We HAVE spoken with our landlord who assured us he plans to rebuild the building and that we can have our space back if/when the time comes.
  2. Funds we receive will be used to help with the remaining debt from building our shop. Because we rented our space, we were unable to insure the extensive work and materials that were put into it.
  3. Funds will also be used to help supplement our immediate loss of income. Our business was our livelihood. Any additional support will help us navigate this tough time as we determine what to do next.

We do not know what the future holds at the moment, but we hope to be able to dive with you all in some capacity in the future.

We are so grateful for the out pouring of love and support. For those of you who can and do donate, there are no depths to our gratitude. For those who cannot but wish they could, we understand and appreciate your continued support.


Harmony and Dillon

P.S. We chose this platform instead of gofundme because apparently they charge the donors 15%. 

Updates (2)

August 19, 2023
Harmony Colella & Dillon Jovee, Organizer

UPDATE: 08/18/23

My Avelo System Journey

Shortly after launching my company, Dive With Harmony in Maui, I met the inventor of the Avelo System. I saw him standing with an odd scuba cylinder and was curious to know what was going on. He explained the basic physics, which spoke directly to my geophysics training, and my only remaining question was “Why didn’t someone think of this sooner?”

As we parted ways, I handed him my card and said if he ever needed a test diver to let me know. I assumed I was one of many who had done the same thing and would never hear from him again, but that one day I would get to say I met the guy who developed the future of scuba.

Imagine my surprise, when he called me the next week and asked me if I wanted to try Avelo. This was at a time in research and development with the company, so what I got into the water with three years ago worked much like it does today but sure didn’t look like it. We found a time to meet a couple of weeks later when I was able to jump into the water with this new scuba system.

After I got out of the water from my first Avelo dive, my mind was blown. I was speechless. First, I felt infinitely safer in the water without a big air bubble on my back that I had to manage. Second, this was the future of scuba and not just a new scuba system.

The Avelo System is a lightweight scuba system with a built-in buoyancy compensation device. A flexible bladder that holds the air that you breathe is contained within a rigid shell. A diver enters the water slightly positively buoyant and uses a hydraulic pump to add water inside the Hydrotank and outside of the bladder from the surrounding environment as weight to obtain neutral buoyancy. 

Water weight can be added at any point when a diver begins to feel slightly positively buoyant. I say slightly because there is no dramatic buoyancy change, even when the diver breathes the gas. Then at the end of the dive, all the water can be released via a purge valve on the pump. 

Many people are drawn to the lightweightness of the system. Don’t get me wrong, it is absolutely a benefit, especially as I get older. Additionally, a lighter system will make scuba diving more accessible to more people. The more people who experience the wonders of the ocean, the more people will protect it. However, there are many other benefits to diving the Avelo System that while harder to understand, are possibly even more valuable.

As a guide and instructor the fact that an uncontrolled rapid buoyancy change is impossible, is so exciting. Imagine never having to worry about listening for the sound of a low-pressure inflator button again. No more guessing how much weight someone needs. Worrying about divers flying to the surface or sinking on descent will be a thing of the past. 

An unforeseen benefit presented itself once I started guiding standard scuba divers while diving Avelo regularly. My reaction time to incidents in the water is noticeably faster because my buoyancy with the Avelo System is always on point. When I need to respond to a diver in the water, I no longer have to think about my own safety, buoyancy-wise, before I respond.

As a diver, my personal favorite is the freedom Avelo allows me in the water. Without the drag of my BCD, I am able to fly through the water like never before. Currents are easier to navigate. Each kick sends me gliding even further than standard scuba. I feel like a freediver, but I can breathe! Sometimes I am convinced I am close to getting my gills. 

The Avelo System is the future of scuba diving. We have a community of incredibly supportive divers that helped us develop our physical dive shop. Knowing we would be among the first dive centers to share the Avelo System with the world gave us additional encouragement as we transformed a downtown Lahaina location into a boutique dive shop. Unfortunately, our business burned to the ground in the Lahaina fires. 

Even though our dive shop, Dive with Harmony, the first Avelo Dive Center is gone, this is not the end of our journey. We are more determined than ever to reimagine how we can continue to share our love of the ocean and Avelo with the world. Avelo is expanding to new locations around the world and we look forward to being a part of the team that brings the future of scuba to the world.

August 14, 2023
Harmony Colella & Dillon Jovee, Organizer

8/13/23 UPDATE: We are truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support we have received. Never in a million years did we think we would reach our "goal", much less so quickly. There are no words for the depth of our gratitude.

Because we have always believed in transparency, we want to explain why we raised our goal. Having to decide on an amount caused us a lot of angst. We are also very aware of the fact that so many people have lost so much more than us. After examining our situation, we now know what we need in the face of this disaster, but neither of us feel very comfortable asking for money. The reality is it will take us much more to recover from this truly devastating event.

This little business means everything to us. From our daily honu encounters and cooperative hunting behaviors to our oh so special dolphin encounters and the majestical sounds of the whales ever winter, we have shared so many incredible underwater experiences with so many of you. 

As the ashes begin to settle, it has become clear to us that we do not want to stop sharing our love of the ocean with all. We are still trying to determine how and what that will look like, but we will dive with you all again!

If you are in search of other organization to donate to, please consider:

Hawai'i Community Foundation Maui Strong http://www.memberplanet.com/campaign/cnhamembers/kakoomaui

Maui Humane Society - https://www.mauihumanesociety.org/donate/fire

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