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.
Spash! Hawaii has been outfitting swimmers in suits and accessories for more than 30 years. Amid the din of fine shops and restaurants at the outdoor Ala Moana Center mall, the brightly lit store teems with racks of sport and recreational swimsuits from top lines such as Roxy, Volcom, and Billabong, as well as from local designers such as Honey Girl Water Wear. Its mannequins display lacy beach cover-ups and casual apparel, and a rainbow of Havaianas flip-flops sweeps down its display stands.
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.
Blue Hawaii LifeStyle Café supplies visiting snackers with a variety of healthy, vigor-inducing fuels. The clean, sunny store serves up its signature açaí bowl, which uses a delicious organic açaí-soymilk blend as the soapbox upon which granola, fruit, and honey preach the word of good health. Açaí is a South American drupe considered to be the most super of the super fruits, so high in antioxidants that in its wake lays only free radicals dejectedly crying to their mommies.
On his webpage, iDcard CEO Shawn Dohmen explains that his title stands for "Cheap Executive Officer"?a joke that references his fondness for finding deals on everything from restaurant tabs to golf games. Shawn's knack for saving money spawned the idea for his company, which provides discounts on goods and services from hundreds of businesses in Hawaii and elsewhere. It was his desire to save trees, however, which led to the iDcard. Instead of carting around a cumbersome coupon book in a baby stroller, customers redeem their deals by handing their iDcards to the many merchants that accept them.
Participating businesses in the iDcard network include restaurants, hotels, gyms, nightclubs, and pet groomers. Customers can show their card to sponsors over multiple visits, and receive the same discounted massage or meal each time. A downloadable phone app even alerts them to valid sponsors nearby, allowing them to easily locate opportunities for savings.
Though they both prize the feeling of wind in their sails, there's no way that 15th-century mariners ever had as much fun as the crew of Maita'i Catamaran. Maita'i's leisurely voyages begin from Waikiki Beach, where passengers board the 44-foot, twin-hulled catamaran before breezes catch the specially designed wing mast and carry the boat out onto the water. As the vessel glides across the crystalline waves, the gregarious crew invites guests to relax with beer, champagne, or mai tais as they soak in the sun and sea breezes to a soundtrack of catchy island melodies. For slightly more immersive oceanic experiences, Maita'i Catamaran also leads snorkeling excursions where passengers can swim amid butterflyfish and parrotfish and challenge humuhumunukunukuapua'a fish to spelling contests.