Hawaii – Spot Big Pelagic Species In The Pacific Ocean

  • Known For Shark, dolphin and manta ray encounters

Overview of Hawaii diving

Hawaii is a diving paradise where encounters with big pelagic species are common. Hawaii consists more than 15 islands, all of which have spectacular diving. From encounters with tiger sharks and dolphins, to shipwreck diving, Hawaii has a lot to offer.

Our dive trip to Hawaii

Mhairi visited Hawaii in 2017 for 10 days, staying on Oahu and Big Island (Hawaii). On Big Island Mhairi managed to complete her first freediving course, as well as do the famous Manta Night dive in Kona.

On Hawaii she dived the Corsair plane wreck, as well as a couple of reef dives. See below for more information about the dive sites.

How to get to Hawaii

Hawaii has several international airports with links to the American mainland. International airports include Kona International Airport (KOA) in Kona, Hilo International Airport (ITO) and Honolulu International Airport (HNL).

Domestic flights are needed to travel between the the main islands.

  • Nearest Airport Kona International Airport (KOA) in Kona, Hilo International Airport (ITO) and Honolulu International Airport (HNL)

How to dive Hawaii

Hawaii has dive centers on all the main islands, so finding one where you are staying shouldn’t be a problem. It is also possible to do a liveaboard in Hawaii, with many operators departing from Kailua-Kona Harbor on Kona.

Best time to dive Hawaii

Peak tourist season on Hawaii runs between December through to March. More frequent storms pass through Hawaii during this time, meaning some dive sites may become unavailable, however it is also the best time for spotting whales.

The spring and fall are the best time for scuba diving in Hawaii. At this time of year the water is calmer and the visibility is at its best.

Water temperature in Hawaii can vary between 24°C in March and 27°C in September. Visiblity can range from 10m to 40m+.

  • Water Temperature 24° to 27°C

  • Visibility 10m to 40m+

Hawaii Dive Sites

Hawaii’s islands have so many incredible dive sites and we only managed to scratch the surface. Below are details of the sites we managed to dive.

  • Omni Reef Favourite Dive Site Manta night dive

Manta Night Dive (Big Island)

  • Depth 10m

  • Dive Site Type Reef / night dive

  • Current Weak to mild

  • Entry Boat

  • Marine Life Manta rays

A truly mesmerizing dive and a must do on the Big Island of Hawaii. As part of a 2 tank dive, first explore the stunning reef and set up your ‘camp site’, before returning to the surface for a Hawaiian sunset. For the second dive return to find your camp site, sit back relax and enjoy the show.

A manata ray feeding during a night dive off the coast of big island in Hawaii

Over 20 mantas can be seen during the dive

As the night falls on Kona, manta rays visit the ‘Feeding station’ to feed on plankton around the lights of the camp fires. Watch on as these beautiful animals gracefully swim, glide and turn while they feed.

The Corsair (Oahu)

  • Ship Type Airplane wreck (Corsair)

  • Year Sunk 1948

  • Length Around 15m

  • Depth 32m

  • Current Moderate

  • Entry Boat

  • Marine Life Frogfish, octopus, garden eels

This famous airplane wreck lies off of the coast of Oahu, sitting at a maximum depth of 30 metres. Giving a bottom time of 15 minutes making this a short but oh so sweet dive. 15 minutes is more than enough time to explore the wreck, which has been there since 1946. The sandy bottom around the Corsair you can find garden eels and even the odd string ray, octopus and stone fish.

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