By foot and by car, Oahu Ghost Tours explores the island's spookiest spots during three unique experiences infused with riveting bits of Hawaiian history. Despite measures to preserve sacred areas, Oahu's growth into a buzzing metropolis has sometimes come at the expense of its ancient past. Buildings stretch skyward atop burial grounds, and roadways weave through caves filled with the remains and cherished stamp collections of beloved ancestors. Through rich storytelling, eyewitness accounts, and expert knowledge in the supernatural, Oahu Ghost Tours' guides lead groups on investigations of those disturbed sites, including the scene of a chilling modern-day murder and the infamous Morgan's Corner.
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.
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.
Cool, onshore breezes swirl through the banyan trees and botanical gardens that frame Koko Crater Stables, a spacious facility nestled in the crater of a dormant volcano. Head trainer Piet Mathews, who has more than 30 years of experience tucked under his saddle, leads the center's staff, which draws on more than 20 years of equestrian know-how to conduct trail rides, lessons, and camps. In addition to helping riders to earn their spurs, Koko Crater Stables provides boarding services that include bedding, watering, and daily stall cleanings, ensuring four-legged lodgers remain comfortable and aren't tempted to tunnel out and begin new lives as bankers.
USHPA– and American Paragliding Association–certified paragliding instructor and pilot Joachim Hagemann has been recertified three times, logging more than 1,500 hours of air time to keep his gliding school, Fly Hawaii, accident free for 32 years. Boasting clearance for cliff and cross-country takeoffs as well as for flying in turbulence, Joachim helps both beginning and advanced students spread their wings in various paragliding lessons. His excursions take paragliders soaring over island locales such as Mauna Kea, Pu'u Loa Crater, and Big Sur, avoiding ground-bound obstacles such as traffic cops and jealous ostriches. Joachim also supplies flight seekers with new and gently used paragliding gear.