The State of Hawaii is a scuba diving destination 2,000 miles SW from the mainland of the United States. The Hawaii archipelago consist of 137 islands and is 1,500 miles long. However, there are only 8 main islands. The largest population of Hawaiians are on the island of Oahu. Ironically, the second largest group of Hawaiians live in or near Las Vegas, Nevada. The islands were first populated by waves of Polynesians from 124AD to 1120AD. The Hawaiian language is similar to spoken Marquesan and Tahitian Polynesian. Captain Cook was the first European to land on the islands in 1778 and called them the Sandwich Islands. However, there is evidence that the Spanish passed by the islands in 1542 on their way from Mexico to the Philippines. They wrote down their own island names, but kept their route secret. Sea Turtles; The Godfathers of Scuba Dive Magazines?
Nevertheless, after making contact with the Europeans, half the Hawaiian population died from influenza, small pox, and measles. Immigrants from the Gwondong region of China, the Philippines, Korea, Japanese, Germans, and Portuguese were brought in to work the sugar and later pineapple plantations. In 1893 Queen Lili’uokalani was overthrown by a group of US citizens with the assistance of US military troops. In 1959 Hawaii entered statehood. So, 1993 Hawaii received an official apology for the abrupt takeover signed by Bill Clinton.
Diving Kauai, Molokai, & Maui
Scuba diving around the islands is all about the former volcanic activity. You can dive caves, lava tubes, and tunnels; also, canyons, fingers, and craters. The beaches of Hawaii are black sand or white sand depending on the island. The islands have had time to acquired their own species of fish, birds, and plants. On Kauai, the garden island, there are over a dozen dive sites. However, currents and undertows can make many beach dive entrances difficult. Some of the top sites include Three Fingers, Sheraton Caverns, and Brenneckes Ledge. You can also go by boat over to the privately own island in Hawaii called Niihau to dive seldom seen reefs. Over at Maui you can scuba diving around 15 sites including: Molokini Crater, 5 Caves, or Airport Beach.
You can also take a boat over to Molakai and dive Fish Rain or go over to Lanai and dive the Cathedrals and tunnels. Keep in mind it is like a bathtub between the islands and you have a good chance of hearing humpback whales while diving.
Diving Oahu & Hawaii Island
Oahu has another 15 scuba diving sites. However, the local fish population has been more impacted by multiple factors. However, the minesweeper Mahi sunk in 1983, is a major attraction. So, Three Tables and Shark’s Cove are also quite popular. Look for juvenile white tip sharks under the ledges, crevices, and rocks. On the big island of Hawaii there are over two dozen scuba diving sites to choose from. The top dives have to be Pelagic Magic where you go 3 miles offshore at night and dive in the middle of a bioluminescent show, and The Manta Ray Night Dive where you watch mantas feed. You can watch the turtles get cleaned at Turtle Pinnacle. Au Au Crater, Black Coral Forest, Catacombs Manuka Bay and Pohoe Bay are all great dive sites.
To see most of the best dive sites on the Hawaiian Islands, you need to take a liveaboard boat. Finally, plan on a diving a week to fully experience the great diving.
Accommodations Attractions, Activities
In the islands you have a choice of luxury resorts, hotels, & inns. Now, you may like to go hiking mountains, visiting falls, and exploring rivers. You can surf, snorkel or boogie board til your heart’s content. Furthermore, Hawaii is the only state to produce coffee. They also have Portuguese sausage and rice for breakfast. So, plate lunches feature spicy Korean beef ribs, sweet Japanese teriyaki chicken, or grilled spam. Finally, dinner menus can be a fusion of Asian delights. They also have American favorites and traditionally cooked Hawaiian treats or feasts.