Scuba Diving Hawaii
Including Maui, Kauai, Kona and Oahu
Diving Hawaii articles, reviews, and reports from Undercurrent
Diving Hawaii Overview
Hawaiian guides have developed great skill in finding the unique: On the big island of Hawaii, Spanish dancers, rare juveniles, and lionfish are regulars. Diving is mostly lava flow dives with little coral cover, but the tropical fish are colorful, unique, and generally plentiful. There's access to good shore diving. Kauai reef diving is passable, but the attraction is unique trips available only in the summer. Maui's diving is often to the backside of Molokini or Lanai and boats leave at 7 a.m. or earlier. Turtles are common, and occasional white tip shark adds to the fun, and the reef fish are colorful. Most reefs around Honolulu and Oahu have declined considerably, but there is some decent diving toward the north side. Hawaii has virtually no controls over divers who collect reef fish for aquariums. Nine months a year expect clear water, visibility that's usually better than the Caribbean -- around 100 feet -- and air temperatures in the low 80s. Water temperatures hit the low 70s in January and February when storms can last several days and cut visibility. There are plenty of condos for rent everywhere and you'll need a car since dive boats are not berthed at hotels.
Hawaii Seasonal Dive Planner
Temperatures in Hawaii vary little, remaining in the 80s most of the year. From November through March, occasional
cool spells drop temperatures down into the low 70s (rarely into the 60s). Winds become more variable, and storms
are more likely. Water temperatures vary from the low 70s to the mid 80s. The weather is warmest and driest from
May to October, with persistent winds. There is no set hurricane season as there is in the Caribbean. The tourist
off-season is from September to early December and again from mid-April to early June. Humpback season is from
November to May.
Diving Hawaii Feature Articles and Reader Reports
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Hawaii Dive Reviews
from our Instant Reader Reports
All Availble to Undercurrent Online
Members; Some Publicly Available as Indicated
Diving Hawaii Articles - Land Based
|Belize, British Virgin Islands, Hawaii, a KKK leader’s resort, a dive shop’s faulty rental gear, 4/15|
|Kona Diving Company, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, cool endemic critters and -- with luck -- a manta show, 3/15|
|Florida, Maui, Palau . . ., good and bad Bahamas dive shops; the best week to dive Bonaire, 10/14|
|Hawaii Snorkeler Dies in Rough Water, 9/14|
|Regulator-Removing Diver Charged with Terroristic Threatening, 8/14|
|Key Largo, Maui, New Zealand . . ., maiden voyage kinks in Thailand, a rude photo pro in Bonaire, 5/13|
|Bonaire, Maui, Phuket…, Francis Coppola’s five-star resort, a clueless Cozumel divemaster, 6/12|
Available to the Public
|Hawaii Shark Feeding Tour Controversy Leads to Dismissed Lawsuit and Arson, 2/11|
|Oman, Fiji, Hawaii, Bahamas…, need a change of pace? check out these dive sites and operators, 4/10|
|Hawaii Crushes a Reef with 50 Tons of Concrete, 2/10|
|Thumbs Down: Dive Ops Demanding a Profit on Every Dive, 9/09|
|Where Have Hawaii’s Fish Gone?, check home aquariums back on the mainland, 7/09|
|REEF Field Survey, Kona, Hawaii, tax-deductible “immersion training”, 1/08|
|Scuba Shack's No Peeing Rule, 4/07|
|Hawaii Takes a Bite Out of Shark Tours, 4/07|
|Hawaiian Tips, 2/05|
|Will Maui Stop Beach Diving?, 4/04|
|Thumbs Down: Short Fills from Lahaina Divers, 3/04|
|Dive Makai, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, pacific critter diving on the Kona coast, 10/03|
|Oahu’s North Shore, better than you’ve been led to expect, 10/02|
|Thumbs Down, 7/02|
|Niihau and Lehua, Offshore Kauai, big fish diving from a day boat, 1/02|
|TRAVEL TIP HAWAII: WHERE HAVE ALL THE MANTAS GONE?, 9/99|
|Kauai and Beyond, Aloha, vacationers! Diving? Sure, we got that, 2/97|
|Kauai Adventure, 7/95|
|Diving the Kona Coast, 11/94||
Diving Hawaii Articles - Liveaboards
|Maldives, Hawaii, Indonesia . . ., some dive operators who need to change their rules, 11/13|
|Bahamas, Hawaii, the Red Sea. . ., one Micronesia resort worth visiting, another that’s not, 7/13|
Available to the Public
|Diving From the Kona Aggressor II, Live-aboard Diving in Polynesia, USA, 3/00|
Hawaii Dive Reviews
from our Travelin' Divers' Chapbooks
Editor's Book Picks for Scuba Diving Hawaii
Including Maui, Kauai, Kona and Oahu
The books below are my favorites about diving in this part of the
world All books are available at a significant discount from Amazon.com;
just follow the links. -- BD
Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life
by Brandon Cole and Scott Michael
What? Another fish ID book when you thought Paul Humanns and Ned Deloachs were enough? Yes indeed, and while I rarely say this, Reef Life: A Guide to Tropical Marine Life is a must-have for the library of every traveling diver. And if you only want one ID book, this is it.
Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.
Reef Creature Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Paul Humann and Ned Deloach
Paul Humann and Ned Deloach have done it again, releasing a definitive identification guide to 1600 extraordinary reef creatures of the Tropical Pacific. with this 500+ page softbound guide, you get upwards of 2000 exceptional photos of shrimp and crabs and stars and worms and lobsters and nudibranchs and slugs and squid and bivalves . . . well, all those invertebrates that move along the reefs of this region without fining, so it seems. There are several photos of some creatures to help you identify them during different life stages, and about ten percent of the book is descriptive copy so you can tie down your identification. Even if you have no plans to go to the tropical Pacific, just to thumb through the pages, gawk at the complexity and uniqueness of these animals, and read a thumbnail sketch will give any serious diver vicarious thrills for endless hours.
Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and we'll get a cut of the proceeds to continue our reef-protection efforts.
Reef Fish Identification: Tropical Pacific
by Gerald Allen, Rodger Steene, Paul Humann, & Ned Deloach
At last, here's a comprehensive fish ID guide covering the reefs of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The generous 500-page text, displaying 2,500 underwater photographs of 2,000 species, identifies the myriad fishes that inhabit the warm tropical seas between Thailand and Tahiti. The concise text accompanying each species portrait includes the fish's common, scientific and family names, size, description, visually distinctive features, preferred habitat, typical behavior, depth range, and geographical distribution. This is an essential book for every diver traveling westward. 6x9 inches. Order through us, get Amazon.com's best price and a good hunk of the profit will be donated to preserve coral reefs.
Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef
by Neville Coleman.
2900 reefs in 220,000 square miles, the enormous Great Barrier Reef has incredible
dives -- and some very ordinary ones. If you're contemplating a trip, Neville
Coleman's Dive Sites of the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea will help you
ensure you pick the best. This 176 page book, with good maps and scores of colorful
photos, describes the significant sites, the topography and the critters, then
rates and ranks them so you can pick the best. Don't even consider a trip to Australia
without consulting this. $24.95
Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide
by Gerald R. Allen, Roger Steene.
I was trying to pack
light for a change. Surely the Solomon Sea would have good identification books
aboard. Not so; the only book on the boat belonged to a fellow passenger. It was
one that I had not seen before, the Indo-Pacific Coral Reef Field Guide,
by two of the best fish guys around, Gerry Allen and Roger Steene. The problem
was this fellow passenger kept it in a plastic baggie most of the trip and I had
to beg to see it. Great book, good traveling size, and it covers everything from
fish, shells, marine plants, mammals, corals, and invertebrates to sea birds and
more. Now I've got my own, and it won't do you any good to beg me to borrow it.
This is one of two books that I will not travel to the Pacific without. Good for
travel to the Red Sea, East Africa, Seychelles, Mauritius, Maldives, Andaman Sea,
Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Australia, Micronesia, Polynesia, and Hawaii,
it has 1,800 color illustrations in a 6x8 1/2 paperback format with 378 pages.
You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's
Book Picks section.