ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Diving the Kona Coast, Hawaii - Part 2

Updated on April 28, 2010

Dive boats always welcome snorkelers, who sometimes even outnumber the divers. With its calm conditions and year-round accessibility, the Big Island makes a prime place to learn to scuba, and many dive shops offer certification courses and open-water checkout dives by referral.

Coral, Caves, and Canyons

Among the choice dive spots, Pu'uhonua O Honaunau (City of Refuge) is a protected historical park 20 miles south of Kailua-Kona. The sheltered Honaunau Bay adjacent to the park offers a shallow snorkeling spot close to shore; divers usually head farther out to a 100-foot drop-off. However you experience it, this spot is a beauty, perhaps the best on the island. There's also an ancient Hawaiian temple nearby to explore after diving. Parking can get tight on the weekends, so go early. Snorkelers here are likely to see Moorish idols, the ubiquitous yellow tang, and several species of surgeonfish sporting razor-sharp natural scalpels on their tails.

Snorkelers of any ability can explore Kealakekua Bay, part of a Marine Life Conservation District 12 miles south of Kona. Hordes of tropical fish swarm the shallows, and a large moray eel keeps a permanent residence just beyond the dock. You can hike down a steep mountain road and jump off the old concrete pier, hop on one of the big snorkel boats in town, or rent a kayak and paddle from Napo'opo'o Beach across the bay to the Captain Cook Monument (the spot where British explorer James Cook was killed in a scuffle with native Hawaiians in 1779). This shallow, clear lagoon is perfect for beginners but also offers splendid fish-watching for more experienced divers.
At Kahaluu Beach, only four miles south of Kailua-Kona, you can walk right into the shallow bay, which is protected from the surf by an ancient breakwater. Turtles and the coy Picasso triggerfish like this spot as much as snorkelers do. Schools of Achilles tang, with their velvety brownish black bodies, nibble on coral heads among articulated butterflyfish and scribbled filefish.
Turtle Pinnacle, one mile north of the Kona pier, deserves the name. Green sea turtles abound, and they aren't shy. If you look around, you may find a turtle cleaning station, with tangs and sergeant majors picking parasites off the turtles.
If you motor out on a dive charter a couple of hours south of Kailua-Kona, you'll be diving among the underwater lava formations for which the Kona Coast is famous. Along the way, you may spot a hammerhead shark finning lazily through the water or a school of dolphins hitching a ride on the boat's wake. Three Room Caves is a series of lava chambers with steep canyons cut by sand channels. Not for novices, Au Au Canyon, between two steep lava walls, is a deep dive that starts at 120 feet. Huge boulders, fields of coral, and black sand channels between lava canyons make a stunning backdrop. Plankton eaters, including pyramid and pennant butterflyfish, damselfish, and fairy basslets, hang out on the walls of these drop-off zones. Diving the Kona Coast can certainly be one of the most memorable diving adventures to be had anywhere on Earth!
Back to Start


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)