One hundred feet beneath the surface of Maunalua Bay, the Corsair⎯a World War II airplane—rests on a sandy floor. Its massive shell and magnetism for schools of soldier fish lures deep-sea explorers to the site every year. As divers propel themselves alongside the plane's wing and fuselage, they get an up-close look at the wreck's current residents, which range from colorful goatfish to reclusive moray eels.
With more than 30 years of experience, the scuba instructors at Waikiki Diving Center lead daily dives to submerged sites such as the Cosair wreck. Earning a five-star Instructor Development Center designation from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors, the center's team coordinates parties of 12–14 people and takes them out on one of two customized dive boats—The Submariner or Snoopy V—for adventures ranging from snuggling sea turtles to earning PADI open-water certifications. To enhance visitors' experiences, Waikiki Diving Center's crew arranges complimentary shuttle service to and from Waikiki hotels.
From surfing at secluded locations to hiking a private trail to a waterfall at the foothills of the Ko’olau Mountains, the team at Hawaii Water Sports Center designs excursions so visitors can experience thrills and explore Koko Marina’s pristine waters. USCG captains pilot a Ski Nautique that pulls along bumper tubes and six-person Banana Boats, and professional instructors help visitors master the skills of wakeboarding or water skiing through a six-ball course. Their snorkeling trips take place in Hanauma Bay’s reef-filled waters, and their Maunalua Bay scuba excursions are overseen by PADI-certified instructors and trained master divers. On these trips, they guide students along and point out colorful reef fish, sea turtles, and retired goldfish.
Though he earned a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the University of California San Diego, Matt Zimmerman decided to pursue his love of the ocean instead of science and move to Oahu. He founded Island Divers Hawaii there as a way to share his enthusiasm for scuba diving as well as the discoveries it can share, from intricate coral to schools of fish locked in a never-ending struggle for tenure. Zimmerman and his knowledgeable staff teach dive courses for curious students and lead boat charters that give divers the chance to test their new skills in pristine waters.
Seabreeze Water Sports' licensed adventure-seekers have been helping likeminded folks safely skim over the water's mirrored surface or dive deep below rolling waves since 1986. Their certified flight and scuba instructors dispense their knowledge as they prep guests for safe scuba diving and Jetlev jetpack flights, during which a jetpack propels guests up to 30 feet in the air using a high-powered pump that, like Poseidon's Harley, uses ocean water as fuel. They also outfit nautical voyagers with equipment and safety vests for jaunts on surfboards, parasails, jet skis, and high-speed tubes.
To further fulfill their mission of adventurous memory making, Seabreeze's staff also runs their own digital media shop, where they snap photos of each watery experience using the media chips that accompany each guest. Their direct taxi service makes pesky logistics a breeze as their drivers shuttle guests between Waikiki hotels and picturesque shores.
Jon Jepson draws on his experience navigating the seas for 20 years while captaining Makani Catamaran's crew in a 65-foot luxury vessel that he helped build. He strives to combine grand prix sailing with charter boat comfort while capably navigating waters from Seattle to the Panama Canal.
During morning, afternoon, and evening cruises, Captain Jon's staffers sling refreshments as the ship clips through the waves at speeds of up to 30 knots, zipping past paddling sea turtles or schools of dolphins. Inside the $1.8 million catamaran, an LCD television with a Bose surround-sound system immerses viewers in in-depth exposés of Davy Jones's locker. Below two billowing sails, tanners loll on special nets at the ship's stern, and bartenders pour soft drinks or stronger stuff to fortify them.
Friendly drivers steer AlohaBus's fleet of double-decker buses through Honolulu streets, chaperoning tourists and intrigued locals to scenic and historic locations and allowing riders to disembark or climb aboard at any point. Vehicles arrive every 30–45 minutes at each stop, and riders can enjoy fresh ocean breezes from the open-top vehicles. The buses make eight continuous loops from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., including the daytime historic loop that explores Diamondhead, Waikiki, the Pearl Harbor express loop, and the nighttime loop that meanders through shopping and dining destinations. Complimentary earbuds play music and a GPS-activated narrative whispers fun facts in five languages, including English, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, and GPS's native binary. Guests can hop off at stops to get an up-close look at areas of interest or to refill the bus's gas tank with coconut milk.