Wrecked, Rayed, and Full Of Color

The beauty of Hawaii probably surpasses other places. I like the Big Island and the two mountains, Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea, where you can look out at the stars.” – Buzz Aldrin 

Since becoming the 50th state of America on August 21, 1959, Hawaii has been an object of fascination for those seeking refuge from the mainland. The United States’ only region comprised entirely of islands, and holding a culture almost foreign to what most Americans have experienced, it has become the source of subject material for many books, films, songs, and other types of media focusing on escapism to exotic lands and relaxation on pristine beaches.

…and with good reason… Hawaii is just that gorgeous.

Niihau, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe and Big Island all offer phenomenal spots to shack up for a long stay, and the waters surrounding them have a diverse array of wildlife for the diver. Rays, sea lions, corals and their colorful fish, and everything spanning up to the massive humpback whale are able to be sighted in a single trip.

But hey, why tell you when I can show you? Here are some places to check out. Click each dive spot name for its corresponding Planet Deepblu page to get tips and tricks from divers who have visited.

The Corsair Wreck – Oahu

The Corsair, as it sits, off of Oahu. Photo: Deepblu User Lancelot365

A real, yet guilt free dive to explore, the Corsair met a less-than-dramatic ending on its last flight and the pilot was rescued. An added bonus for divers is that the safe, albeit wet, landing made the plane one of the few completely intact authentic plane crashes sitting at the bottom of the sea. Now surrounded by colorful corals and the fish that call it home, high visibility lends beauty to one of the most magnificently preserved wreck dives in the world.

Kona – Big Island

Rays float through the night. Photo: Deepblu User YuWen Su

Into rays? Kona has plenty. While the sunrays are perfect during the day, night diving with rays is a popular activity in this region, which boasts some of the largest of the species that many divers have ever seen. They’re out in abundance, too, flocking through the dark waters like geese in the night. This is also a great place to go wall diving.

Like stained glass windows, light shines into the First Cathedral. Photo: Deepblu User Drew Wi

First Cathedral – Lanai 

Lanai is a small island full of big dives, but of all of them, First Cathedral is the most popular. While stand-alone it’s a great cave dive, the corals and other life that surrounds the area make for an overall once-in-a-lifetime experience. In this area one can spot eels, pipefish, sponge crabs, rays, and a wide array of nudibranchs. Humpbacks also pass through, so ask locals about when and where to see them.

Polo Beach – Maui

An eel and an urchin… mind your hands. Photo: Deepblu User Mauisungod

Polo Beach is one of the most popular Hawaiian dive sites on Deepblu, but you’re in luck, the beach is actually hardly ever crowded. Down a secluded path to a rocky shore, once you get beneath the waves you’ll encounter a number of eels that use the rocky alcoves for a hideout from occasionally strong currents. Don’t let the currents intimidate, though, this easy shore dive with small crowds is a great place for beginners to get going.

Koloa Landing – Kauai

If you’re ready for colors that pop, you’re ready for Koloa Landing. Photo: Deepblu User zakapela

The immediacy of this dive makes it a great one for divers of all levels of experience. Once you enter the landing, you’re surrounded on all sides by bright colors, dozens of species of marine life, and crystal clear visibility. Keep an eye out for an octopus in the rocks, relax with the occasional turtle passing through, and possibly even spot a hammerhead checking out the area with you. Many say that this is the most accessible shore dive in Hawaii, with parking nearby and an entrance, according to one diver, “like a swimming pool.”

Enjoy your time in Hawaii. Dive on.

  • Todd Allen Williams, Senior Editor

Planning a dive experience? Read reviews, get in touch, and book your trip on Planet Deepblu!