Diving & Snorkeling: Hawaii
Surrounded by warm, clear sub-tropicalwater, Hawaii attracts travelers from allparts of the globe who come to dive,snorkel and enjoy the shear beauty ofthis volcanic paradise. The Hawaiianislands offer great diversity above andbelow the clear Pacific Ocean and are aworld-favorite vacation destination dueto their extraordinary beauty and easeof travel. Hawaii is a melting pot of cultures wrapped up in a common themeof the Aloha spirit. Here you will find afriendly atmosphere and numerous activities. Whether it be climbing an activevolcano or seeking a deserted beach forthe day, or just about anything in-between, Hawaii has it all.
Divers and snorkelers will find thatdue to Hawaiis geographical isolation, geological youth and subtropicallocation, the bottom topography andmarine life are very unique and different from most other dive destinationsin the world. While you wont find thelush soft coral growth common in othertropical destinations such as Micronesia, Fiji, or the Red Sea, Hawaii offersdramatic lava formations, fantastic visibility, and a chance to encounter largermarine life such as manta rays, turtles,and sharks. Travelers who visit in thewinter months will also have a greatopportunity to see humpback whales,along with dolphins and other cetaceans. Divers who slow down, take thetime to learn about the marine life andlook beyond the obvious will be able toidentify an incredible abundance of endemic tropical fish species and colorfulinvertebrates that are found nowhereelse in the world. Combine all this with Hawaiis generally accommodatingdive conditions and easily accessibledive sites and savvy divers agree thatHawaiian diving is truly world class.Since the last edition of this guide therehave been changes in conservationefforts and the development of somenew artificial reefs such as purposelysunken ships.
Organizations such as Hawaiian Islands Recreational Scuba Association(HIRSA), Malama Kai, Big Island ReefFund, Maui Reef Fund and other industry groups have greatly improved theway Hawaii reefs are managed. In orderto preserve this unique marine environment, general guidelines for anchoring and the use of boat moorings havebeen set. These efforts along with public awareness will allow the coral reefs tocontinue to be healthy and thrive. Additionally, Midway Island and Kahoolawehave been closed to the public and areno longer accessible.
This book is designed to providedivers and snorkelers with an overviewof Hawaiis unique underwater world. Throughout this diverse island chain,youll find many conveniently locateddive sites that are easy enough fornewcomers to the sport, but still holdthe interest of experienced dive enthusiasts. Many dive sites are remote andpristine, while others are current-sweptand thrilling, often only suitable for advanced divers.
This guidebook covers four principaldive regions within the island chain:Oahu, Big Island (Hawaii), Maui County(including Maui, Molokini Crater, Lanaiand Molokai), Kauai and Niihau. Thedive sites described in this guide do notconstitute a comprehensive list of alldive sites in Hawaii, but were selectedas some of the best and most populardives in their regions, and representtypical diving conditions in each area.Dive site descriptions include information to help you select dives suitable foryour interests and abilities and to helpestablish a dive plan. Information onnight diving, safe diving practices andunderwater photography tips are interspersed throughout the text.
Reproduced with permission from D & S Bonaire 2, 2006, Lonely Planet Publications.
Note: This text contains standard British spelling.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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