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imacro

Good dive sites for UW photography in Hawaii?

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I’m going to Oahu, Kauai and Maui. Which dive sites would you recommend for a beginner getting into macro and some WA photography?

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I did some research on Hawaii in prep for a trip there next week (Oahu and Kona). 

I was in contact with a company called "Maui Dreams Dive Co" before making my final plans, which unfortunately, do not include Maui this time.  They have experience with macro and recommended the backwall of  a sunken crater just off shore called Molokini.  The macro target of interest would be the Blue Dragon.  Some of their staff are macro-knowledgeable.  I snorkeled the inside of the crater years ago, and it was stunning. 

I've set up a shallow reef dive and a night dive with the company "Dive Oahu", recommended by friends.  They're in the middle of Waikiki and offer pickups from the big hotels.  Very responsive to emails and calls.  They were not very encouraging about macro, but suggested looking carefully around the wrecks they specialize in.  What drew me to their shallow reef dive was that it starts at a respectable 10:30 am; and it seemed like an easy way to get back into the water (requalified) after a year off.

My impression was that most of the Oahu companies specialize in wrecks, to be expected from a major WWII site, so I wouldn't necessarily expect the guides to be adept at finding macro; and the several I spoke with didn't seem interested in my offer to hire a private guide for that purpose.

Some companies on Oahu offer blackwater dives, but my schedule didn't match with the availability.

Edited by davec13o2

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I dived with both of the shops. Highly recommend Maui Dream. You will actually dive with Maui Diamond the boat company. They are owned by husband and wife. Ask for Laurel as your DM, she can points out tiny little Nudis. They are the best shop in Maui hands down.

Molokini is not bad for macro. I saw a bunch of nudis including blue dragons, some lobster, cleaner shimps. Occasionally you see large creatures like ray or shark or even Whale shark from what I heard. However, I’d recommend Lanai Cathedral site more. The lava cave was stunning with abundant marine life.

For Oahu, lower your expectations. Water visibility is not as clear as maui. Wreck dives are better than drift dives which can be very murky. Dive Oahu offers nice boat, modern gears but they have mixed discovery and licensed group. They kinda rush the group back to the line so good luck with macro.

I’d recommend Reef Pirate on the east side, they go to Corsair often and can take you to better 2nd site like Sea Cave. Their boat is smaller but they take 6 max, often more advanced divers.

Hope that helps. Had fun.


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Lmao. I just realized I replied to my own post. Oh well its a report back trip then.


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4 hours ago, imacro said:

Lmao. I just realized I replied to my own post. Oh well its a report back trip then.


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:yahoo: LOL, brilliant! Good one. Hey, we've all been there!

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Here are a few Hawaii sites I recommend.

Big Island: Night dive with the Manta's is awesome. We did it two nights in a row and loved it. There is a site right by the Honokohau Small Boat Harbor where a Tiger likes to hang out. That was fun.

Lanai: The Cathedrals (more than one) is a lot of fun. You can get both wide and macro shots there.

Maui: The Mala Pier is awesome. We did this one once as a shore dive and once as a boat dive. I prefer from the boat, but that is because I'm not a fan of dragging my camera gear over the rocks. There is something for everyone here, LOTs of turtles and quite a few Nudis. Five caves is another good one from the shore.

We head to Oahu and Kaui in 2 days, so I will update I get back.

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