Scuba Diving near the Turtle Bay Resort on the north shore of Oahu can be great during the summer months
The Turtle Bay Resort is located on the north shore of Oahu. During the winter months it becomes the world capitol of surfing but during the summer time it becomes a scuba diver’s paradise. One place in particular attracts scuba divers and snorkelers from all over the world to the north shore of Oahu is the Pupukea marine conservation district. The Pupukea marine conservation district is a one mile long protected area with incredible dive sites right close to shore and it is located only about a ten minute drive from the Turtle Bay Resort. The conservation zone has four main dive sites: Shark’s Cove, Three Tables Cathedral, Turtle Carwash, and Waimea Wall. Since these dive sites are located within the conservation district, boat diving isn’t permitted. Fishing and underwater hunting is also not allowed making it a great place to observe marine life by scuba diving and snorkeling, therefore shore diving is the only way to dive here.
Located on the north shore of Oahu, these dive sites face strong winter swells that hit the coastline with large waves. The bright colorful corals that grow in this area are very resistant to strong currents and the marine life within the ecosystem are unique only to this location. The corals that are usually seen on this particular coastline are lobe corals, finger corals, cauliflower corals, antler corals, and a few other species of hard corals that can live and procreate in such rough waters. The great thing about this is that they are everywhere. The fish found in this area range from parrot fish, the butterfly fish, tangs, surgeon fish, unicorn fish, scorpion fish, wrasses, and barracudas; these are only some of many other types of family groups that can be observed on the North Shore. About 25% of the marine life found in Hawaii are endemic, meaning they are only found in Hawaii. This is because of the isolation of the Hawaiian Islands from the mainland. It is really common on the dives off the north shore of Oahu to see species of fish that only belong to Hawaii.
The winter swells eroding the volcanic coastline have created dive sites on the North Shore that have unique underwater topography. Places like Shark’s Cove and the Cathedrals are known for its lava tubes and sea caves that are easily accessible during all scuba diving tours. The underwater topography is actually one of the best features of these dive sites and accessible for all levels of divers, so you don’t need special cave diving certifications to participate. Although the caves and caverns are large enough for a group of divers to go through, they should only be attempted during the peak of the summer season and in great water conditions. If any surge or swells are present, we avoid diving at these locations as it becomes too risky and dangerous.
The dive sites on the North Shore are easily accessible by car. One can park right next to the dive site, assemble the gear, and enter the water within a few hundred feet of the parking lot. Showers and bathrooms are conveniently located at the parking lot for public use. Food trucks are right across the street from the conservation district offering some of the most unique, flavorful, and inexpensive cuisine options Hawaii has to offer. There’s also a great supermarket called Foodland and they claim to have the best Poke bowl on the island! Poke is a traditional Hawaiian lunch plate consisting of raw sushi grade seasoned Ahi tuna on top of freshly cooked warm rice. Truthfully there’s no better feeling for a diver to dive at a world class dive site and later grab a beer, a Poke bowl, sit under a coconut tree and eat lunch looking at the ocean where you just dove! By the way, we recommend the Wailua Wheat from the Kona Brewing Company named after the city of Wailua right here on the North Shore!
Don’t dive on the North Shore during the winter months, even if it looks good!! The North Shore is considered the world mecca of surfing with swells that come and go as the wind changes directions. You could be on the beach in the morning staring at a flat ocean and within hours you could see 30-foot waves breaking at the shore. The dive season starts in early June and extends into the end of September but it is in the peak of the summer where you are going to have the best diving conditions. It’s best to consult us to check on the ocean’s conditions before you go out scuba diving or snorkeling. Our experienced local scuba diving instructors are awesome guides and surfers as well. We will be able to tell you how to keep safe and have fun!
Hawaii Eco Divers is a scuba diving company located on the north shore of Oahu. We specialize in scuba diving tours, training, and certification courses on the best dive sites of Oahu. For more information please visit our website: www.hawaiiecodivers.com