The Sea Tiger has an untold story on its own. The Sea Tiger did not go down with pirate treasure, or in the storm of the century, or attacked by kamikazes, this intentional wreck peacefully slipped underneath the waves in 1999. The Sea Tiger is located about a quarter-mile south of Kewalo Basin. The max. depth is 130 feet but usually limited to about 100 -125 feet, with visibility between 15 to 30ft. In 1992, 93 undocumented Chinese immigrants were discovered aboard this 168-foot ship, which was known as Yun Fong Seong No. 303. All five crew members were sent to prison and the boat was seized. In 1994, it was sold to a Vietnamese fisherman who renamed it the Sea Tiger. After the coast guard repeatedly fined the fisherman, he abandoned it in Honolulu Harbor. Voyager Submarines bought the Sea Tiger for $1 and sank it in 1999. It is our deepest recreational wreck on Oahu. However, it is very close to shore and is usually in very calm water, making this a great dive year-round. This is divers’ favorite wreck!
Today, the Sea Tiger has a community of homeowners: Captain Giant Sea Turtle is often found lounging outside on the deck. The vessel is under regular surveillance by the Spotted Eagle Ray squadron, and guarded at night by the Lone Reef Sharks. Apparently someone hired a chimney sweep to scrub the smoke stacks, according to Aloha Joe’s.
This wreck has a depth of about 100 feet and is a crew favorite. Commissioned in 1944, it was a fueling ship for other Navy vessels at sea during World War II and the Korean War. Measuring in at 174 feet long, it carried 250,000 gallons of fuel. This ship also carries a large gun on its stern, with its mount clearly visible. At some point in the 1950s, the ship was decommissioned and mothballed in Guam. In 1989, Atlantis Submarines sank the ship as a marine life habitat. When currents and conditions allow and the air is plentiful, you can swim over to the shipwreck San Pedro about 40 yards away. There is so much to see here with two fantastic wrecks in just one dive!
The San Pedro lies beside the YO-257 at 85 feet. This 111-foot-long vessel was built in Japan and operated by a Korean fishing company. In 1975, the ship was carrying bait, food, and other cargo to a fishing fleet when she caught fire off South Point. Badly damaged, the ship was towed to Keehi Lagoon, where it remained anchored for nearly two decades before sinking in the harbor. Atlantis submarines again saved the day and sank the vessel for us to enjoy in 1996. This dive site is where we have our best chances of seeing white tip reef sharks. If we are running behind schedule, the Atlantis submarine will give us a buzz while we are under.
This is a large reef dive located right outside Kewalo Basin Harbor with a maximum depth of 40 feet. Nautilus Reef is enjoyable for beginners and experienced divers, as there are usually many octopuses and large eels to see here. This is also one of the only places where large schools of Mu can be found.
KEWALO PIPE | HORSESHOE REEF
Kewalo Pipe is a very large dive site. Depending on where we moor up, depths vary from 30 to 60 feet. This site is centered on an old storm drain that travels from shore to a huge coral bed in 60 feet of water. At the end of the pipe, large schools of barracuda often hang out, as well as the largest moray eels around. On the east side of the pipe is Horseshoe Reef, abundant with life. On the west side, you will find Bob’s Bunker.
Turtle Canyons is THE turtle spot off Waikiki, where we often see 10 to 20 turtles on a single dive! The max. depth at this site is 35 feet. Here, there are a series of reef fingers with an incredible amount of life, making it a great location for everyone, even snorkelers. This is a calm site, perfect for beginners, and on a clear day, even the most experienced divers will come up amazed. Due to its large span, we are unable to cover the entire dive site in two dives.
Fantasea Reef is Captain Chris’s and Capt Dan’s favorite dive on the island. They have been spearfishing there together since they were 18. Here you will be diving at a max. depth of about 60 feet. You will find the best coral formations with the largest fish on Oahu. We are talking pristine conditions below the surface. There is a reason why this site is so nice. This spot is for experienced divers as conditions are often choppy with currents. The Submariner only makes it here when the stars align and the wind is down.
LCU (Landing Craft Utility)
The LCU is an upside-down barge, creating an extremely unique dive site, as the orientation of the vessel causes the fish to swim upside down, too! This wreck was also sunk for the purpose of fish and coral growth. Under the wreck is a large open area with amazing natural lighting and residing reef sharks.
This wreck is a barge that was sunk for the purpose of fish and coral growth. What makes the barge so nice is it lies on a shelf at 85 feet, which is very abundant in marine life. White tip reef sharks call the mini barge home, and during whale season, you can hear the beautiful song of the humpback whales.
This is a Hawaii must-see when it comes to wrecks. On a training exercise from Pearl Harbor in 1948, the needle in the plane’s fuel gauge began to fall. Thinking the gauge was defective, which was common at this time, the pilot continued the flight. Soon after, however, the engine began sputtering, and down he went. He executed a perfect water landing and survived the crash. The plane is in great condition, resting at 107 feet. When you dive this wreck, take a look at the plane’s propeller that was bent on impact. This is hands down Captain Chris’s favorite wreck dive! He has seen monk seals, large sharks, and humpback whales scratching themselves on the mooring ball. Tons of garden eels live nearby, too!
Koko Craters, a series of underwater craters formed when Koko Head erupted, is a great place for novice divers! Its sandy bottom reaches a maximum of 40 feet with several craters. Koko Craters is a cleaning station for the Hawaiian green sea turtle. Some say it’s the turtle capital of the world! Captain Chris calls this shallow reef his favorite because all different kinds of species come by, from humpback whales to the endangered Hawaiian monk seals. He says, “There’s nothing like showing a first-time diver a dolphin, whale, or monk seal!” Hawaiian green sea turtles rest here while schools of soldierfish and large, friendly puffers swim around.
Anglers Reef is a heaven for octopuses and spotted eagle rays. Frogfish are often found here, too. This dive site has a max. depth of 40 feet. Angler is a straight ledge that runs as far as a tank lasts.
HAWAII LOA RIDGE
Hawaii Loa Ridge is a gem in good conditions, as this dive site often has low visibility. When waters are crystal clear, it’s absolutely amazing. This reef is a series of large craters a bit bigger than those at Koko Craters. Tons of fish live here, as well as the occasional white tip reef shark! This is an awesome dive, which can be visited by novice and experienced divers.
Novice to intermediate divers will enjoy this extremely unique dive, which ranges from 35 to 50 feet. This site features an underwater wall where lots of hard corals, moray eels, goatfish, and octopuses can be found. During humpback whale season, we can often hear them singing!
This dive site is for more intermediate to advanced divers, with a depth of 45 to 55 feet. The unusual Spitting Caves site is a wall dive with corals and several different types of vibrant butterflyfish.
The max. depth here is 40 feet. Pawa’a is one large crater with a ledge that heads toward Koko Craters, and they are actually similar sites in many ways. There is a large amount of fish and sea turtles in a small area. This is great for beginners because we do not have to travel far to see what this beautiful dive site has to offer!