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World | USA | Diving Hawaii:

Hawaii overview



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Scuba Diving in Hawaii, USA


Water temperature:

22°C (72°F) in January and February to 27°C (81°F) in August and September

Suit:

5mm wetsuit

Visibility:

20 - 40 metres (65 - 130 feet)

Type of diving:

Reefs, walls, lava tubes

Marine life:

White tip sharks, eagle rays, turtle, snapper, trumpetfish, butterflyfish, puffer fish, octopus, eels, crabs, coral

When to go:

Any time of year, although summer months have the best conditions

How to get there:

From the UK - United Airlines fly from London Heathrow on Saturdays and Sundays via Los Angeles to Kona. The return journey flies via San Francisco, also on Saturdays and Sundays


The Hawaiian Islands were the last Pacific islands to be discovered by Captain Cook who died there in 1779. In 1989 they became the fiftieth and the southernmost state of the USA. There are eight large islands in the chain and 124 smaller ones, all of which are volcanic. Volcanic activity only occurs today on Hawaii, which is home to Mount Kilauea - the most active volcano in the world. As well as the most active volcano, the world's largest mountain is also found here: Mauna Kea is higher than Everest is the depth from the sea floor is taken into account.

The main island of Hawaii is Oahu and the other seven islands are Kauai, Nihau, Molokai, Lanai, Maui, and Hawaii. The climate is tropical with abundant rainfall and a fairly consistent temperature. Inland you will find tropical rainforest and lowland deserts. The beaches are wonderfully colourful as a result of the volcanic rock, forming green, pink and black sand. The reef walls drop away to phenomenal depths of over two thousand metres. Hawaii is an expensive place to visit, and very touristy but also well worth seeing. It is a good family destination or for parties with non-divers because of the number of things to see and do on land. It is also hugely popular with surfers.

Diving in Hawaii is a unique experience. The volcanic terrain is as beautiful underwater as it is above, forming caves, caverns, lava flows, basalt boulders and lava tubes. Lava tubes are perhaps the most interesting of these features. These long, hollow tubes are left behind after lava rivers drain away and solidify. Marine life is abundant and the walls are covered by hard corals. The diving between the islands varies greatly. Boat and shore diving are popular and the remoteness of the islands makes marine life spectacular. However, this also means the islands take the brunt of the weather, with the sea becoming very rough in winter. The west and southern coasts are generally the warmest and driest.


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