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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
Dive Operation Resort Name Area Reporter Dive Date
Kona Aggressor II Review [same] Kona Coast Sue J Estey 2017/06
Pacific Rim Divers Review [same] Big Island Hawaii Jeanette Hartshorn 2017/03
Extended Horizons Review [same] Lanai Jeanette Hartshorn 2017/02
Fathom Five Divers and Ocean Quest Review Marriott's Kauai Beach Club Kauai Ms Lynda Durfee 2017/10
Blue Wilderness Review Hualai home Hawaii Puako area Frank G Postillion 2017/10
All Reader Reports on Scuba Diving Hawaii
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Diving Hawaii Articles - Land Based

Why So Many Maui Shark Attacks?, 7/16
Belize, British Virgin Islands, Hawaii, a KKK leaders resort, a dive shops 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

Available to the Public
Key Largo, Maui, New Zealand . . ., maiden voyage kinks in Thailand, a rude photo pro in Bonaire, 5/13
Bonaire, Maui, Phuket, Francis Coppolas five-star resort, a clueless Cozumel divemaster, 6/12
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 Hawaiis 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
Oahus North Shore, better than youve been led to expect, 10/02
Thumbs Down, 7/02
Niihau and Lehua, Offshore Kauai, big fish diving from a day boat, 1/02
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

Belize, Vieques, Indonesia, Molokai Belize, Vieques, Indonesia, Molokai -- Publicly Available, Christmas crowds, lousy food, white tips and mantas, 4/17

Available to the Public
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 thats not, 7/13
Diving From the Kona Aggressor II, Live-aboard Diving in Polynesia, USA, 3/00

Hawaii Dive Reviews

from our Travelin' Divers' Chapbooks

Land Based Dive Resorts in Hawaii

For Members 2017 2016 2015            
For Public 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997

Hawaii Liveaboards

For Members 2017 2016 2015            
For Public 2013 2012 2011 2010 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 1997 1996  
Contact Information for Dive Resorts and Liveaboards Worldwide
All Hawaii Diving Reviews -- Instant Reader Reports

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; just follow the links. -- BD

Diving In Indonesia Diving In Indonesia
by Sarah Ann Wormald

Indonesia covers a large area - an archipelago that consists of at least 17,500 islands. It's 3000 miles from Pulau Weh in the West to West Papua in the East, and nearly all of it has exceptionally good diving. A book that attempts to encompass such an area is very ambitious. Sarah Ann Wormald has concentrated on the areas that she knows, including Bali, North and South Sulawesi, Nusa Tengarra, Maluku and Raja Amat. The author writes with authority and the voice of someone who has actually experienced first-hand the places she writes about The maps are detailed, the photographs excellent. Whether you are interested in the macro-life of Lembeh, the mantas of Nusa Penida or the wobbegongs of Cape Kri, this is a useful volume in a format that can be carried with you.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Four Fish Diving Indonesia's Bird's Head Seascape
by Burt Jones and Maurine Shimlock

This dynamic duo's book describes 130 dive sites of Raja Ampat, Triton Bay and Cenderawasih Bay, while offering practical information about the area. The detailed descriptions of the sites, complete with GPS coordinates, explains the terrain, how to dive the site, and the kinds of animals, coral and critters you can expect. Excellent photographs will help you identify many of the critters you will encounter.

If you have been to Raja Ampat, or dream about going, this thoughtful and well-illustrated book is for you. The book, priced at $35, is only available at New World Publications.

Click here to order through Undercurrent -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Dive Palau (The Shipwrecks) Dive Palau (The Shipwrecks)
by Rod MacDonald

The author has followed a format similar to that of Dan E. Bailey's seminal work, World War II Wrecks of Truk Lagoon, although this 295-page hardcover book is significantly smaller. There's the history, the contemporary black & white photographs, both of the ships themselves and from aerial reconnaissance, the more recent surface photographs of wartime remnants of installations and detailed maps. In a second section, each vessel is covered in individual chapters, detailing how and where they were built, how they went down and what it's like to dive them now. There are sketches of the wrecks as they lie at the bottom of the lagoon today.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Nudibranchs Encyclopedia - Asia/Indo-Pacific Nudibranchs Encyclopedia - Asia/Indo-Pacific
by Cobb and Mullins

The second edition of the Nudibranchs Encyclopedia has been revised and updated by scientists Gary Cobb and David Mullins, but Neville Coleman is still very much in evidence. With more than 300 pages mostly bearing eight colored identification photographs per page, one could almost be forgiven for assuming that if a particular nudibranch isn't included in the more than 2000 photos, then it doesn't exist, but then, we all know that there will always still be more waiting to be discovered. In fact, it modestly claims only to include around 70 percent of the most commonly observed species of opisthobranchs as divers throughout the Asia/Indo-Pacific region discover more.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Nudibranch and Sea Slug Identification: Indo-Pacific Nudibranch and Sea Slug Identification: Indo-Pacific
by Terry Gosliner, Ángel Valdés and Dave Behrens

Indonesia has so much to offer the nudibranch enthusiast. For example, on Nudi Wall at Lembeh Strait, nudibranchs litter the seabed as if a great big sack of Gummy Bears has been carelessly tipped out. Nudibranchs are colorful slugs that wear their feathery gills on their backs. There are so many varieties, but how do you know which you've seen? New World Publications has come to the rescue with this weighty tome of 400 pages packed with color pictures, along with basic information to help the reader get the best chance of the right identification.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Reef Fish of the East Indies Reef Fish of the East Indies
by Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman

It's got a list price of $250 and a weight of 14 pounds, but the price and the poundage will be worth it to add this three-volume set to your library. Renowned marine biologists Gerald R. Allen and Mark V. Erdman have combined 60 years of surveys, fieldwork and research to create the most definitive guide of the Coral Triangle to date, perhaps forever. The 1,292 pages of text and 3,600 photographs (40 percent of which are of fish not seen before in print) gives comprehensive information on every known reef fish species from a region known as the global epicenter of marine biodiversity. An essential reference for any scuba diver.

Click here to order through Undercurrent and you’ll get Amazon’s best price -- and our profits will go to save coral reefs.

Reef Life: A Must Have Guide to Tropical Marine Life 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 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 ID 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's best price and a good hunk of the profit will be donated to preserve coral reefs.

You might find some other books of interest in our Editor's Book Picks section.

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