Bottom Time: 25-35 minutes
Visibility: 50-100 feet
Sealife: Whitetip Reef Sharks, Eagle Rays, Turtles, Octopus, Moray Eels, Parrot Fish
There are three popular shore dives at the Pupukea Beach County Park in Waimea, where showers and rest room facilities are available right at the site. A walk down an embankment leads to the beach entry, and some of the nicest cavern formations in the islands. These are long lava tubes in a small area, and with efficient air consumption, a diver could scout all three sites on one tank. The substrata is mostly devoid of coral, as heavy winter surf has pounded the formations clean and smooth.
Three Tables is named for a trio of flat rocks running perpendicular to shore, which break the surface, then max out in 40 to 50 feet. Lava tubes ae on the right side of the tables and a nice wall to the left, with interesting boulders and some coral. Occasional sightings of sharks, rays and turtles spice up the dive, but tropicals, octopus, eels and parrot fish are the regular attraction.
Adjacent to Three Tables is a site that's okay during the day, but best experienced at night. Enter Snaggles from a small cove in back of the fire department. After a 20 yard snorkel along the wall, drop to 25 feet and follow the wall for about 300 yards. There are several lava tubes and arches which are good spots for lobster. Four to five foot long morays live here as well as several parrotfish. The site leaves off at the entrance to the second most popular shore dive on O'ahu, Shark's Cove, right off the Sunset Beach Fire Station. There are a couple of sources for its name: from te air, the rocks forming the cove look like a shark, or the cove looks like a shark took a bit out of it. Whichever name you choose doesn't really matter since sharks do not frequent this area !
The site ranges from 15-60 feet with lots of arches and open ended lava tubes, allowing much light penetration and easy access. The main caverns are all in 30 feet or less. Large boulders are interspersed with sand and lava formations in the shallows, and large schools of convict tangs and baby mullets.
The "Elevator" is a hole 10 feet in diameter, allowing a descent to 20 feet, then exits through one of three different tubes. One is a 40 feet long and four feet in diameter - 90 degrees to the left. The other two are almost interconnected, and exit straight into the sea. The top one is in 10 to 15 feet, and the bottom one is in 20. One tube allows divers to come up into an enclosed dry chamber large enough for three to four people. Caution: This dive is for experienced divers only, and requires a guide to safely lead you through the "Elevator". Contact our shop for details.