Made up of hundreds of islands stretching across the central Pacific Ocean, Hawaii is diver's paradise. Oahu, where Honolulu is located, features some of the well-known places such as Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Kaneʻohe Bay, Kailua Bay, and North Shore.
Hanauma Bay is one of the most beautiful and special places on the island of Oahu
The Hawaiian Monk Seal is a highly endangered marine mammal found only in Hawaii
During the winter months, the North Shore of Oahu is the Mecca of surfing in the world, as huge waves surge through the Pacific Ocean and break high on the reef. In the summer time, however, these waters become a beautiful diving paradise! One place in particular is the Pupukea Marine Sanctuary, which extends for about a mile, and the diving is great! Being a protected area, there are rules to dive here: no fishing, no hunting, no taking.
The North Shore
Many of the endemic species of fish and turtles are found here, and many species of nudibranch can be regularly seen here. The rock formation is absolutely unique, as it is a massive concentration of underwater caves, caverns, walls, overhangs, lava tubes and underwater canyons. Rare species of fish like the Titan Scorpion fish or the Hawaiian Turkey fish are often visible to see on night dives.
The Titan Scorpion fish
Oahu is a wonderful place to scuba dive, especially for those interested in wreck diving. For that reason, most divers coming to Hawaii like to head to the South Shore (Waikiki), home to one of the most beautiful dives of Hawaii, Yo-257. This old World War II Navy ship is surrounded by a very rich ecosystem and a lot of corals, aquatic plants, and marine life, making it one of the most popular dive sites on the island. Unlike other wrecks of the area, the YO-257 was actually sunk as an artificial reef in 1989, and if you have never done a wreck dive, this is a great place to start.
One of the local dive centers that can take you not only to the famous wreck dive but round the whole island, Hawaii Eco Divers, is located right at the Pupukea Marine Sanctuary. The staff is great bunch of people, who not only offer incredible boat and shore dives for all types of divers but help protect their amazing piece of paradise as well. Naturally, one would remark, but it's not a common think for everybody these days unfortunately. Working closely with the community like the Malama Pupukea – Waimea Marine Life Conservation District, diving with Eco Divers will reward you even more, after all it's a commitment of all of us to protect our oceans and using services such as Eco Diver's certainly help.
Apart from Oahu, the centre cooperate with other companies from other Islands such as Kauai, Maui, Big Island and Lanai, providing full dive packages for divers who'd like to dive at different Islands. More information about what Eco Divers have to offer can be found on their official website. Check it out.
Photos: © Ricardo Taveira / ECO Divers