Founded with the goal of curating unique island adventures that promote up-close encounters with local wildlife, Island Water Sports Hawaii facilitates humans’ return to nature with intimate tours and activities. Working out of the Hawaii Kai Marina, Island Water Sports’ passionate staff of boat captains ferries guests out into Maunalua Bay to partake in aquatic adventures including snorkeling. The company’s signature eco-friendly submarine scooters secure riders' heads in clear, bubble-like helmets that draw on the principles of diving bells to safely seal air inside and keep faces dry, comfortable, and breathing easily throughout underwater tours. On boat tours, the balmy sea air tussles the manes of Island Watersports’ skippers as they point out awe-inspiring vistas and wildlife such as humpback whales that migrate to Hawaii from Alaska to nurse, mate, and take their sundresses out of storage.
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.
Since its founding in 1901, The Hawaii Yacht Club has been considered one of Hawaii's best-kept secrets. That's because its grounds, nestled in the Ala Wait Boat Harbor against the Pacific, provides a wide spectrum of sailing, fishing, class, family, and social activities for its members. The group's territory encompasses a clubhouse, a well-stocked bar, and The Galley—an onsite seafood restaurant that offers spectacular views of boats cruising amongst a sunset backdrop. In addition to affordable libations, live music, and late-night dancing being available up to three evenings per week, the weekly Friday Night Racing Series allows members to closely witness the finish of boat competitions as they pull into the harbor. Patrons may also solicit the space for private parties of up to 200 people.
Going on an excursion with the guides of Hawaii Tour Sites can get you anywhere from ascending the summit of Diamond Head, the Leahi volcanic crater, to snorkeling the depths of Hanauma Bay with turtles and tropical fish. Locally owned since 1997, Hawaii Tour Sites also organizes luaus and dinner cruises on a large catamaran with live music and an island-inspired buffet.
Up to 19 passengers sit comfortably on North Shore Catamaran Charters' 40-foot sailing vessel, the Ho?O Nanea, which Captain Don Germain steers along Oahu?s scenic shores. The catamaran?s name means ?to pass the time in ease and comfort,? an apt phrase, as guests will find the day quickly and serenely passes when they?re onboard. North Shore can charter the boat for snorkeling adventures in Waimea Bay or for romantic BYOB sunset sails.
North Shore Shark Adventures gets divers up close with sharks and other wildlife during oceanic and underwater tours. For those who prefer to see the sharks from afar, two-hour tours take in the landscape and other oceanic animals including dolphins, Hawaiian green sea turtles, and humpback whales. Those who want a closer look can dive in a secure metal cage, plunging beneath the waves to swim alongside the sharks.