A little while ago I wrote a post about becoming a PADI certified diver. The reason I decided to get certified was to explore the underwater world in Hawaii. Previously one of my biggest fears, scuba diving proved to be the complete opposite of scary and becoming a PADI certified diver led me to one of the most rewarding and awe-inspiring experiences of my life: scuba diving off the coast of Oahu.”
Logan and I went scuba diving with Living Ocean Scuba in Kewalo Basin, just a short drive from Waikiki. I really cannot say enough good things about this company. We explored a wide variety of options before we found Living Ocean Scuba, there really are endless options on Oahu, but we’re so glad we picked this scuba tour.
Living Ocean Scuba runs a variety of different scuba and snorkel tours including beginner dives, deeper dives, wreck dives, and dives around the popular Hanauma Bay. Their dive tours are very small and have a 1:4 instructor to student ratio.
Logan and I were originally unsure of which tour to choose, so we called and spoke directly to the guys at Living Ocean and they were incredibly helpful with helping us choose the right dive for us, and reassuring me because I was pretty nervous about my first dive!
When you get to the pier the Living Ocean Diving boat is easy to find and they provide you with very detailed instructions ahead of time as well. Depending on the dive site the boat ride out might be quick 5 minutes or a little longer for deeper dive sites, but it gives you time to chat with guys on board, and trust me you’ll want to take advantage of that opportunity. Everyone who works at Living Ocean Scuba loves their job and is more than willing to answer your questions and give you some insight on the area. They’re all very knowledgeable about the dive sites and the marine life you’ll get to see once you get in the water. The staff will also have all your gear set up for you on the boat, so all you have to do is show up and dive!
Upon recommendation by the lovely staff at Living Ocean Scuba, Logan and I booked the Two Tank Turtle Boat Dive. Our first dive was at Horseshoe Reef to a depth of about 45 feet, which was perfect for our first time out! Horseshoe Reef was an awesome first dive for us and I definitely recommend it to any beginners or new divers. The weather was perfect the day that we went out, so we didn’t have to worry about a nauseating boat ride or a current once we got in the water.
We were able to hangout underwater for about 40 minutes and saw all tons of incredible marine life including eels, an octopus, a baby white tip reef shark, and a lot of sea turtles!
After the first dive we had a surface interval on the boat where the crew provided us with snacks and refreshments and talked to us about our first dive as well as the different things we saw in the water. After that, it was time for our second dive!
For our second dive we stayed at Horseshoe Reef, but we went in a different direction, towards the Kewalo Pipe. This artificial reef is a gold mine for marine life; it was completely covered in coral and inhabited by the most colourful fish I’ve ever seen! On this dive we reached a maximum depth of 60 feet, which was at the time, our deepest dive to date!
The entire boat ride back to the harbor Logan and I could not stop talking about what an incredible time we just had. We chatted up the crew on board for so long afterwards about the scuba diving, the island, and our shared passion for ocean conservation and marine life.
After spending this amazing day with Living Ocean Scuba, we knew we needed more. We decided to change our skydiving plans and instead book another dive. The guys at Living Ocean Scuba were confident enough in us as divers that they suggested we do a deeper dive of a ship wreck, o we booked the Two Tank Wreck and Reef Dive. As Austin from the crew of Living Ocean says, “wrecks are why we dive”. Again, these wrecks are artificial reefs that welcome an insane variety of marine life.
The wreck we dove was the YO 257 wreck, which is especially unique because there is another small wreck right next to it known as the San Pedro. We got down to a maximum depth of 100 feet on this dive, which was a new maximum depth for both me and Logan. It was also our first wreck dive and we were absolutely blown away. It was truly a life changing experience to get to see an underwater wreck. I should also mention the visibility at this dive site was insane; we could see the wreck all the way from the surface! While we were exploring the wreck we also saw an abundance of unique and colourful fish, as well as eels, and plenty of green seas turtles.
After our surface interval we headed down for our second dive which was a shallower reef dive of a site known as Rojo Reef. We reached a maximum depth of 60 feet on this dive and ran into a couple of squid just as we were descending down!
After we finished all of our dives the staff on board helped us fill out our log books and answer any more questions we had about our dives. Throughout the dives the instructors were also taking photos of us that we were able to purchase.
Overall, I had an incredible experience with Living Ocean Scuba. It’s not very often I’m so blown away by a company that I up and change my travel plans just to hangout with them again! Diving with these guys felt just like diving with a bunch of friends. I think I speak for Logan and I when I say that without the help of the Living Ocean staff, our first (and second) scuba dives would not have been nearly as memorable as they are. I simply am lost for words when talking about them because they made us feel right at home, both in and out of the water, and provided us with an experience that few people get to have in their lifetime. It’s so hard to capture the experience they gave us in words. I will definitely be diving with them next time I’m in Oahu and I hope you do to!
Logan and I would like to extend a very special thank you to Dave, Austin, and Drew of the Living Ocean Scuba staff. They truly made our scuba diving experience one that will never be forgotten, and an added incentive to continue our pursuit in marine exploration and conservation.