Hawaii is the 50th state admitted to the United States in 1959, which is an archipelago of eight "main islands" that are (from the north west to south east) Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui and the island of Hawaiʻi. Liveaboard diving focuses around the western coast of the largest of the 8, the “big island” also aptly named the same as the state: Hawaii. Diving in Hawaii is defined by dramatic underwater landscapes of volcanic sculptures and topography, formed over the last half a million years. Fish life abounds and reefs are healthy and colourful throughout the area.
Most of the diving is done near the shore on lave ridges and walls which jut out from the coast sharply. These uniquely shaped rocky outcrops are perfect habitat for coral reefs to grow on and fish to find protection within. Many of the black rocks are still in the same condition they were formed ages ago, while others show dramatic signs of ware from the constant movement of water over them. Coral reefs full of black coral trees are endless, and sea turtles are often spotted lazily chewing on some sea grass or algae at sites like Stoney Mesas and Kalokos Arches.
Manta rays are always the highlight of many of the trips to Hawaii. The very best way to experience manta rays in Hawaii is to go on a night dive at sites like Keahole Point, otherwise known as Manta Theater. Lights are lowered into the water to bring in swarms of plankton and other tiny organisms to the bays. Hungry mantas can't help put become attracted by all this food in the water the, and often swim within inches of divers while always managing to avoid contact at the last second. Getting this close to these ethereal mantas is truly an experience of a lifetime. And Humpback Whales can sometimes bee seen as they migrate through Hawaii from November to February.
Trips to the west coast depart and return from Kailua-Kona pier on Hawaii island, just 20 minutes drive from Kona International Airport; and are 8 days / 7 nights long, usually always to and from Saturdays. If you are coming from the airport, then you may only hire a taxi, as per Hawaiian law pick-ups are not allowed.