Time to mix it up yet again at “The Polar Zone!” The topic…..Diving locations on Oahu. Among my many duties as a divemaster, I additionally had to supervise other diver at various dive locations. Along with scheduling boat dives, I was also tasked with putting together information on the various dive spots on Oahu. Though it has been many years since I’ve been there, I am almost certain wrecks and reefs do not move…normally! 🙂
Here we have some locations and general information when you decide to visit Oahu. Aaron’s Dive Shop is my recommendation as one of the most known and longest run dive shops on the island; one of which I worked for.
CORSAIR: (Airplane Wreck) This is a 105 foot dive, not recommended for the beginner. Try to limit your bottom time to a maximum of 18 minutes. The World War II training plane, which was sunk in 1942, is out in open ocean which makes for an exciting and exhilarating dive. The visibility is generally very high, over 100 feet. On your initial decent you will see a number of large fish. The wreck has become an artificial reef and is frequented by manta rays, sting rays, garden eels, moray eels, tuna and an abundance of fish. There is generally a current on this dive.
EVA PINNACLES: (Reef Dive) The max depth is about 90 feet. Because not all your dive time is at this depth you may have a bottom time of about 25 minutes. This dive boasts beautiful lava formations and incredible overhangs. Abundance of fish and turtles often make their appearance. Lots of eels, often rays show up and the occasional white tip reef shark. Visibility here is often 100 feet or more.
FANTASEA REEF: (Reef Dive) Fantasea Reef located off of Hawaii Kai. It is a virtually untouched reef (at the time), as it is inaccessible to larger tourist boats. The Maximum depth is about 45 feet and visibility is great, often over 100 feet. While diving this unadulterated reef you will see a number of corals and fish. Also common are turtles, octopus and eels.
KEEAU: (Lava Formation) This dive site is just past Makaha. It is a max depth of 70 feet and is very close to the shore line. The lava here forms underwater mountain ridges with caves, archways, cutouts and valleys with holes. It is an underwater spectacular!
KOALA PIPE: (Artificial Reef) This large pipe submerged at about 50 feet creating an artificial reef. Coral has already begun its growth on the pipe and an abundance of fish frequent the area. Eels, octopus and frog fish can often be seen here as well.
LAND OF OZ: (Lava Formation) The unique underwater architecture of this dive is incredible. Land of Oz is also located past Makaha. The max depth is about 40 feet unless you go over one of the many ledges you may reach a depth of 60 feet. There are many holes with swim through and other interesting formations.
THE MAHI: (Ship Wreck) The Mahi is the sister ship to Jacques Cousteau’s Calypso. It was built in 1942 and used as a mine sweeper until the University of Hawaii took her over as a research vessel. In 1982 this 165 foot ship sunk in Keehi Harbor. Later that year Ken Taylor moved her to Waianae where it was sunk as an artificial reef. It is at a depth of about 95 feet with the top of the ship at about 60 feet. Bottom time limited to 20 minutes. The ship is in good condition and you can easily explore many of her portals. Spotted Eagle Rays frequent the area and are a sight to behold underwater. A multitude of fish, eels and turtles are also common at this dive. This dive is considered an advanced dive.
That’s it for this series of scuba diving locations and information on Oahu, Hawai’i. Stay tuned there is plenty more to come! Kat~