Sailing in Halawa Heights

Select Local Merchants

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 for certified divers 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.

424 Nahua St
Honolulu,
HI
US

South Pacific Watersports' expert captains send patrons on thrilling aquatic excursions, promoting both watery amusement and the conservation of Hawaii's delicate oceanic life. Adventurers cling to a rollicking bumper tube with up to three other guests as it skims the wake of Koko Marina tethered to a zooming motorboat or a benevolent plesiosaur's neck. Up to five folks can then clamber aboard a boat to Maunalua Bay, where knowledgeable instructors lead a 20-minute course imparting the basics of standup paddleboarding before turning pupils loose on the tide. Perched atop provided boards, students draw lengthy paddles through the surf while soaking in views of the ocean floor's inhabitants and mermaid sock hops through the bay's crystal-clear waters. The 90-minute outing also doubles as a full-body workout as paddlers buff up arms against rippling waters and clench abs and quads to stabilize their balance.

7192 Kalanianaole Hwy
Honolulu,
HI
US

Hawaiian Parasail has more than three decades of experience hoisting Honolulans and visitors to the heavens from a boat-drawn parachute. Flight-fanciers ages 5 and older can savor views of Diamond Head and Waikiki that are normally reserved for migratory birds and the liberated ghosts of cane toads. Once passengers step from the boarding dock onto the parasail boat, the staff will prep them for their 8–10 minutes of air time by elucidating proper floatation-jacket and harness attire, by briefing them on sailing safety, and by demonstrating hand signals that can be used for communication with the boat team or for making shadow puppets on the bellies of shore-bound sunbathers. When the boat has passed through the harbor channel into the open ocean, the parachute will be unfurled and passengers will be securely clipped into their air carriage.

1085 Ala Moana Blvd
Honolulu,
HI
US

Aloha Activities equips adventurers with the tools needed to cruise Oahu in style. Over the course of 24 hours, speed racers perch on a 50cc Daelim moped and scoot past swaying palms, crashing azure waves, and people crushed by the realization that they don't have a moped. The two-wheeler's 1-gallon tank should last for about 70 miles, and a complimentary lock and chain allow ample freedom to make pit stops and take advantage of photo ops at leisure. For an additional fee, customers can join a guided tour to visit volcanic formations, look at waterfalls, and get a rare glimpse of the world-famous ocean.

2413 Kuhio Ave
Honolulu,
HI
US

Hidden beneath the waters surrounding Oahu, swirling masses of green sea turtles, eels, eagle rays, octopuses, and fish weave in and out of the coral reef. Ocean Legends equips visitors with the scuba training and knowledge that they need to not only slip beneath the waves, but also responsibly explore these marine ecosystems. In addition to offering all levels of diver-certification courses and advanced rebreather training, the guides and instructors also lead regular outings for groups seeking recreational scuba experiences. These trips leave throughout the day to view the nearby reefs and lava tubes, follow the shoreline, or explore the wrecked ships, planes, or Atlantean submarines lying on the ocean floor.

By giving guests an up-close view Hawaii's intricate ecosystems, Ocean Legends also hopes to inspire a greater sense of environmental awareness and a passion for conservation. Featuring more than 7,000 species of aquatic life, the island's waters teem with the sort of biodiversity that Ocean Legends wishes to simultaneously witness, share, and protect. Guides teach groups how to minimize their impact upon various habitats while still exploring everything that those habitats have to offer.

111 Sand Island Access Rd. R-10
Honolulu,
HI
US

A custom-built 30-foot catamaran cuts through the waves toward GPS-pinpointed coordinates as it hauls six passengers, a guide, the crew, and a complement of scuba gear. It stops over a patch of water where the guides know dolphins, turtles, rays, and tropical reef fish tend to cluster and a certified guide/instructor helps the scuba participants get outfitted to explore the depths. The site is the final resting place of the wreck of the YO-257 95 feet below, a 190-foot vessel that retired early from Naval service to become an underwater apartment complex for abundant sea life?and a favorite spot of Rainbow Scuba's diving groups.

It's the sort of experience the owners of Rainbow Scuba Hawaii are uniquely positioned to offer. They own their own boat and gear, making it easy to outfit and train their aspiring divers. Not only does that allow them to conduct courses in exciting locales?as they do when helping divers get their PADI certifications?but they also lead plenty of scuba excursions to spots like this one. And since they don't share their boat with other companies or cursed pirates, there's never a rush to return to shore.

1125 Ala Moana Boulevard
Honolulu,
HI
US