Popular dive spots on Kauai include Sheraton Caverns in Poipu. The sea-life laden ledges start at some 30′ and drop to 60′ in some of the lava tubes. If the winds are calm, dive at Black Mountain, off Kipu Kai. Brennecke’s Ledge offers two big caves with rare black coral, and Aquariums, located near Nawiliwili has huge boulders that are home to octopus and lobsters. Don’t dive sites on the North Shore during the winter. Seasport Divers (seasportdivers.com) is a good resource for visiting divers. They offer dive tours and dive certification classes.
Snorkeling in Oahu
Home to Honolulu, much of Oahu has a cosmopolitan feel. Get out of the city, though, and it’s a whole other story. Much of the island is rural, and there are many places to explore the ocean. Kuilima Cove is the best place for beginner snorkelers, while Sharks Cove is a popular dive and snorkel beach. Another top snorkel spot is Hanauma Bay. This Nature Preserve on Oahu’s east side is known for its high fish population and calm waters. It can be crowded, though. Visitor numbers are limited to 3,000/day, and there is a $5 entrance fee. If you want to see sea turtles and a wide variety of fish, this is a good bet.
Would you rather see dolphins? Check out Wild Side Specialty Tours (sailhawaii.com). This local outfitter knows the best spots to find the graceful creatures.
Snorkeling in Maui
Maui has grown and changed over the years, but it continues to draw visitors for its diverse nature and well-developed visitor experience. Just three miles from the Maui coastline lies one of the Hawaii’s top snorkel and dive destinations—Molokini Crater. In the shape of a crescent, this partially submerged volcanic crater provides protected, clear waters and unique fish species found nowhere else on earth. A reef, rich with sea life, lies some 150 feet below the water, and you can often see to the bottom. Declared a State Marine Life Conservation District and Bird Sanctuary, Molokini is a must-see for anyone wanting to experience the best of Maui’s sea life. Pacific Whale Foundation is one of several respected outfitters that sail to Molokini.
For more informations on travel in Hawaii, see www.gohawaii.com