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Dive Review of See in Sea Scuba in

May, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Brian Russell, NJ, USA
Report Number 1223
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Hawaii, Jamaica, Cayman Islands, Mexico
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
I did three days of diving in Oahu with See in Sea Scuba, which was a
wonderful operation.  The diva master for all three days was Bill Keen, who
may well be the best DM I have encountered.  His enthusiasm about diving
and just meeting people who were diving was infectious and his attitude
toward diving made eveyrone feel comfortable regardless of level of
experience.  He told me that diving is different in Waikiki, and he was
right.  Every dive operation I've ever used always had their own boat.  Not
so in Waikiki.  Some dive operators have their own boats, other (presumably
newer) operators have some sort of contractual agreement with boat owners. 
See in Sea Scuba was one of the latter.  They rent space on a forty foot
catamaran along with other dive operators, which is ironic, given that they
charge different prices.

The choice of dive sites is left to the boat captain rather than the dive
operators, so I ended up going back to the same site three times on a
Monday, a Wednesday and a Friday.  This was not a disappointment, since
Oahu has the only wrecks I've seen in Hawaii.  The most frequently visited
wreck was the YO-257, a WWII-era oil tanker.  It was purchased by the
Atlantis Submarine company after it was decomissioned, cleaned up to meet
environmental standards and sunk in just over a hundred feet of water about
a mile from the Waikiki shore.  I was delighted to dive on a wreck,
although the first dive on a wreck this large (over 160 feet long) left me
with only scattered impressions.  I took my camera with me when we returned
to the same site on subsequent dives.

I took the giant stride off the front of the catamaran into fairly calm
seas.  The mooring line was nearby and easy to find.  I made my way to be
permanent mooring, a hollow steel ball five feet across floating about
twenty feet below the surface.  I noticed the Atlantis submarine about
fifty or sixty feet under me.  I started down, hoping to catch up with the

From my vantage point on the wreck, I was able to watch the sub cruise
slowly by at a depth slightly above mine.  The other divers still had not
descended, so I waited and watched the sub.  I waved to the passengers,
visible to me through the large portholes on the side.  None responded.  I
beckoned with one hand and waved with the other.  The passengers waved
back, some took pictures.  I figure I'm in some photo album in Tokyo right

I considered approaching the sub, but was wary of the thrusters.  I started
closer, but saw a sign on the sub, warning divers to stay away.  I rejected
the idea of going directly to a viewport, which would have thrilled the
passengers, as well as the idea of maybe causing some mischief by banging
on some metal part of the sub, which would have terrified them.  I would
not in good conscience have touched the hatches on the top of the sub.

The wreck was one of the best I've seen.  Upright and intact, it was
structurally sound and safe to penetrate.  A number of square holes had
been cut into the sides of the hull to make entry easy and to provide light
to the inside.  A large sea turtle had taken up residence in one of the
inner decks.  The combination of diver activity, camera flashes and bubble
noise must have annoyed it, because it swam off after a while.  I took a
few pictures, including a frogfish on part of the superstructure trying
really hard not to look like a fish at all.

When we returned to the site for a third time, Bill took us to a nearby
wreck, the San Pedro.  We descended on the mooring chain attached to the
YO-257, but abandoned it to cross fifty yards of largely empty space to the
San Pedro, which was also upright and parallel to the YO in eighty-odd feet
of water.  This wreck was sunk more recently than the YO, but we had been
warned that it was not as safe to penetrate.  The Atlantis sub was there,
cruising about some small distance above us and we saw it from both wrecks.
 The sub never got close enough to the divers to interfere with our travels
between the wrecks, but we could always see or hear it through most of the
dive.  From the San Pedro, I got a look at the entirety of the YO-257. 
Square holes had been cut into the sides of the YO from stem to stern, more
than sixteen just on the port side.  The visibility was wonderful, probably
more than a hundred feet.

My only disappointment was that I did not get to see the Corsair.  In 1946,
a pilot ran out of fuel and ditched his Corsair off the coast.  The pilot
survived and is living somewhere in Hawaii today, but his airplane sunk to
the bottom and sits upright in something over a hundred feet of water. 
It's been there for almost sixty years, but it's in very good condition. 
The cockpit is open, but divers have to be warned not to try to actually
sit in the airplane as a couple of rather territorial moray eels have taken
up residence there.  I would have really enjoyed seeing it.

In addition to repeated trips to the YO-257, I did three other dives.  One
was to Turtle Canyons, which had a number of sea turtles among, on top of
and sometimes under the coral ridges.  Another was to the Rainbow reef,
directly opposite the rainbow painted Hilton on Waikiki.  The third was to
the Kewalo Pipe.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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