Diving in the Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii has year round warm waters and has been a popular
scuba dive location for years offering some of the best dive sites in
the world. There are only 2 seasons: the summer months (called Kau in
Hawaiian) that extend from May to October and the winter months (Ho'oilo)
that run from November to April. The average day-time summer temperature
at sea level is 85 degrees F, while the average day-time winter temperature
is 78 degrees F. See the current weather here. The islands of Hawaii each have their own personalities
and characteristics and due to Hawaii's geographical isolation they
each offer unique and exciting dive sites, and an abundance of endemic
Oahu offers an excellent blend of dive
sites that range from offshore lava formations and grottoes to plane
and shipwrecks, many with large schools of colorful fish and green sea
Maui has a great diversity of dive sites
available and with Lanai and Molokai so close it is easy to dive these
pristine locations in a morning adventure. The majority of Maui's dive
sites are located off the west coast and offer excellent diving for
all levels of divers, including Molokini, Black Rock and Five Caves.
Molokini Crater located off the southwestern shore is a State Marine
Life Conservation District has a wide variety marine life and offers
great diving for beginner and advanced divers.
Most of the diving on the Big Island
is off the leeward coast, with some excellent locations stretched all
along the coast. As the coast is sheltered from the trade winds by the
large mountains conditions tend to glassy with visibility around 100ft
Kauai, the Garden Island, is known for
its rugged and pristine diving. During the winter months large swells
make the north shore generally inaccessible for diving, but during summer
months and on calm days the north shore has some excellent locations.
Ni’ihau, located 17-miles off
the southwestern coast of Kauai, is home gigantic sea arches, the endangered
monk seal, large pelagic fish and other rare species of fish. Ni'ihau
has some amazing dive locations but is generally recommended for intermediate
to advanced divers and is only open to divers in the summer months.
The dive sites in Lanai are best known
for their lava formations which not only house a large variety of marine
life but make for some amazing light effects. The lava formations range
from archways, ridges, tunnels and pinnacles. Dive trips depart Lahaina
Marina on Maui for day dive trips to Lanai.
Passport and/or Visa Requirements
Hawaii entry requirements are the same for all US States.
Hawaii has an extremely strict quarantine control forbidding the importation
of all plants and animals into the State from the Mainland or anywhere
else in the world.
There are no immunizations required to travel to Hawaii.
Culture and Customs
Hawaii is a tropical paradise which has more than its share
of pristine beaches, stunning sunsets, towering waterfalls and reefs teeming
with colorful fish. Hawaii is different: unique, special, unforgettable,
and the native Hawaiian culture is one of the things that sets it apart
from the rest of the world. It's a culture that is filled with fascinating
customs, music, legends, traditions and values. Some local customs include
the flower lei (which should be offered graciously with a kiss and removed
only in private), canoe building, the Hula, and the language (comprised
of only five vowels and eight consonants) which has the shortest alphabet
in the world. “Aloha” not only means hello, goodbye and love,
it also means sympathy, kindness, compassion, affection and fondness.
This word is more than a greeting or expression of love – it is
the basis of what Hawaiians consider to be one of the culture’s
Electricity, Telephone and Internet Access
Hawaii, like the U.S. mainland and Canada, uses 110-120
volts (60 cycles).
The area code for the entire state is 808. For long distance
calls between the islands, dial 1-808 and then the number. When placing
calls to the mainland from Hawaii, dial 1, the area code and the number.
All calls within an island are local.
Most of Hawaii’s larger hotels and condo resorts
have internet access, and high-speed DSL for an additional charge.
The water in Hawaii is drinkable.
Language & Currency
Unique in the nation, Hawaii has two official state languages:
English and Hawaiian. The melodious Hawaiian language is a polynesian
The US Dollar is the official currency.
Hawaii is 2 hours behind Pacific Standard Time and 5 hours
behind Eastern Standard Time. In other words, when it's noon in Hawaii,
its 2pm in California and 5pm in New York during standard time on the
mainland. Hawaii does not observe Daylight Savings Time, so during the
summer, Hawaii is 3 hours behind the West Coast and 6 hours behind the
East Coast. Hawaii is east of the International Date Line, putting it
on the same day as the U.S. mainland and Canada, and a day behind Australia,
New Zealand, and Asia.
History, Art, and Culture
It is generally believed Hawaii's first permanent inhabitants
sailed in voyaging canoes from the southern hemisphere islands of the
Marquesas, between 300 and 800 A.D. Later waves of settlers arrived from
Tahiti by the 12th century. In 1778, Capt. James Cook of the British Royal
Navy arrived on Kauai, renaming the island chain the “Sandwich Islands”
in honor of the Earl of Sandwich. He was subsequently killed by Hawaiians
on the Big Island in 1779. King Kamehameha eventually unified the Hawaiian
Islands and established the Hawaiian monarchy. Kamehameha engaged in lucrative
trade with American sea captains interested in Hawaii's sandalwood forests;
and later Hawaii became the center of the Pacific whaling industry. In
the mid-1800s, descendants of missionaries established Hawaii's sugar
industry. The declining native population forced plantation owners to
recruit foreign labor (from China, Japan, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Korea,
and the Philippines). As Hawaii's sugar industry grew, the USA became
more integral in the affairs of the Hawaiian Islands. As a means of eliminating
tariffs, the plantation owners announced a provisional government which
eventually led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishing of
Hawaii as a territory of the USA in 1900. On December 7, 1941, the Japanese
attacked Pearl Harbor on the island of Oahu, and the United States entered
World War II. In 1959 Hawaii became the 50th of the United States.
Location and Size
Hawaii is the most remote island chain in the world. It
is located in the Central Pacific Ocean, 2,390 miles from California and
3,850 miles from Japan. Formerly known as the Sandwich Islands, the Hawaiian
archipelago spans the distance of 1,523 miles from the Big Island of Hawaii
in the southeast to the Kure Atoll in the northwest. This makes Hawaii
the world’s longest island chain.
The Hawaiian Islands cover 10,932 square miles: 6,423 square
miles are land and 4,508 square are covered by water. The Aloha State
is the 43rd largest of the 50 states in the USA. The Big Island of Hawaii
covers 4,038 square miles, just about double the land mass of all the
other main islands combined. Maui: 729 square miles / Oahu: 607 square
miles / Kauai: 551 square miles.