The North Shore of Oahu has some of the best surfing in the world during the winter, but in the summer it becomes a scuba diving paradise!
Diving in Oahu can be amazing if you know where to dive. Honolulu has great shipwrecks and coral reef dives. A short boat ride will take you to incredible dive sites such as the Sea Tiger Wreck, the YO-257 & San Pedro Wrecks, and several other coral reef dive locations all near the city. On the West coast of Oahu, diving is pristine, with many wrecks and reef diving. All boat dives departure from Waianae Boat Harbor. There are great shore dives as well on the West side, one of them is Electric beach or Kahe Point. This is a great dive site, very close from shore. It has a beautiful coral reef for all levels of divers to explore. But nowhere compares to diving on the North Shore, when conditions are great and if you have the right Divemaster sharing local knowledge.
Scuba Diving on the North Shore.
The Pupukea marine conservation district is the only protected area on the North Shore of Oahu and the dives there are phenomenal! Dive sites such as Shark’s Cove, Three Tables, Cathedrals, Northern Waimea Wall, Turtle Car Wash, and the Arch are all located within 1 mile long of protected area. And by protected, we mean no fishing, no poaching, no hunting, and no boating, making it a true marine conservation zone. It’s the perfect place for scuba diving, snorkeling, swimming, and free diving (during the summer only). All dives within the Pupukea conservation district must be done from shore, since boats are not allowed to approach within 500 feet of the fringing reef.
Scuba divers, free divers and snorkelers will see many types of marine life!
There is a lot of marine life living in the reef. Every day we see something different and every dive site has its own residents. After diving the same sites for a while, you start to get very familiar with the local ecosystem and its residents. Lots of different types of family groups, species of fish, and other marine life can be found by their own interactions with one another. For example, when we see a Trevally, a Blue Spotted Grouper and a Goat fish swimming together and circling a reef or coral head, it is guaranteed to find an eel or an octopus. They use this technique to hunt together. When the eels enter the holes in the coral or reef to find shelter, they scare the little fish away, which becomes a prey for those carnivorous fish swimming on top. This type of marine life interaction helps us identify them. Eagle rays and Sting rays are attracted to crustaceans. Turtles are cleaned by Surgeon fish. Cleansing shrimp clean the mouth of large Moray eels.
Caution! Dive on the North Shore of Oahu only in the summer, NOT in the winter.
The North Shore of Oahu is the “Mecca” of surfing in the world during the winter. Extra large swells will bring wave action non-stop from October through May. There is no diving there atthis time of year. Swells come and go very quickly! In a few hours, the ocean can quickly move from very flat to high surf advisory, which is very dangerous, especially for inexperienced surfers. These same type of large waves helped erode and create an amazing underwater topography with numerous caves, caverns, lava tubes, walls, and awesome underwater canyons on the entire North Shore. But it is dives sites such as Shark’s Cove and Cathedrals where you will find the best topography. Our experienced dive guides here at Hawaii Eco Divers know these dive sites extremely well and will give you the guidance and information you need for a safe and unforgettable experience! Give us a call or send us an email and we will take care of you!
Before diving on the North Shore, we recommend checking the swell forecast here https://www.surfnewsnetwork.com/