By Beth Hillyer
HANAUMA BAY (KHNL) -- Visitors to Hanauma Bay are greeted by an enchanting mural created by local artist Thomas Dier.
His vision for the artwork was ten years in the making and he went to great depths to get it right.
Visitors and locals alike admire the mural at the entrance to the visitor's center.
"It was a concept that I developed with the Friends of Hanauma Bay and Alan Hong, Park Director that tells the story of Hanauma, hand wrestling bay," said Deir.
In the middle of the mural, the hand wrestling is clear. The painted tiles mirror your experience underwater.
Artist Tom Deir starts with white floor tiles and paints colorful sea life like turtles.
"White will reflect the light when you looking at a ceramic mural like this what you are looking at is light passing through the glazes and reflecting off the white coming back off it that's why it looks so brilliant the color," said Deir.
There are some surprises in his artwork and a lesson to be learned including the importance of the state fish.
"The humuhumunukunukuapuaa is kissing Hanauma Bay where it is on the island of Oahu. The mural is meant to be an educational tool to help tell the story of Hanauma Bay."
Deir went to great lengths to get it right. He even learned how to scuba dive so he could accurately depict the ocean floor.
He brings his close encounters to life.
"When I was snorkeling one day in the bay, I saw two yellow tangs like this and this one was saying, 'Where do you want to eat?' And the other said 'where do you want to eat? Where do you want to eat?' That's how I got the idea."
A ten-year investment of his life pays off as Deir watches visitors enjoy his mural.
"It reminds me of my two daughters when they were just babies and we opened the park and we just came here this past week, my kids are nine and seven now."