When educator Nicole Kealoha set out to enrich her community, she harnessed the vibrant power of hip-hop and urban culture to captivate young people. Her nonprofit Diverse Art Center, launched in 2008, seeks to foster connections between youths and the community via enriching and engaging instruction from professional artists. The accomplished teachers and artists—including leading local art figure Shaun Castro and award-winning dancer Josh Skittle—strive to instill positive values and self-esteem in their pupils as they shepherd them through the many mediums that comprise hip-hop culture, including dance, music, and the visual arts. No fewer than five area schools participate in the center's fitness-focused Healthy Hip-Hop program, and daily urban art instruction includes tutorials in hip-hop lettering, break dancing, and beatboxing with inner-city kangaroos.
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.
Open seven days a week, Aloha Jet Ski Rentals leases top-of-the-line four-stroke Yamaha WaveRunners for ocean-grazing fun that would make many a sea cow jealous. After Aloha shuttles you to Waikiki and suits you up in a lifejacket, wake-makers get to zoom through the tropical waves off the Oahu shores and admire the natural beauty of the surrounding beaches, maybe even spotting underwater marine life such as the Pacific yeti. Single thrill-seekers ages 15 and up can brave the open seas solo on an individual WaveRunner, while tandem jet skis let you storm Poseidon's palace in the company of a rear gunner.
Horrors leap from every corner of Nightmares Live's lengthy labyrinth, where courageous scare-seekers walk darkened halls rife costumed ghouls and special effects. Live actors dressed in scream-inducing threads stalk and haunt terror hunters making their way through a dark and foggy atmosphere illuminated by strobe lights with the creepy brilliance of a jack-o-lantern valedictorian. Spooky props accompany audio effects designed to make eardrums shudder, and special effects abound at the indoor haunted house, which changes each year like the socks of a sloth.
Big Kahuna Tours offers landlubbers a safe seafaring view of Oahu during the whale watch encounter. Cruise the Honolulu coastline searching for marine mammals under the guidance of a handpicked crop of staffers aboard this 70-foot vessel. Sponge-like brains soak up knowledge about native wildlife while eyes and ears peel themselves, hoping for glimpses of singing humpback whales. The yacht’s large observation deck also provides the ideal perch to view and photograph whales as they emerge from their watery cocoons to frolic in frothy fields of wake-churned water.