What could be better than heading out on a scuba diving excursion in Kauai? A chartered dive trip for you and 12 of your closest friends and colleagues!
My second trip to Hawaii occurred just 9 months after my first trip to the Big Island, when I headed to Lihue, Kauai for a small work conference – which of course, was more fun than work.
One of the attendees, an accomplished diver himself, arranged for most of the group to take an “Intro to Diving” course with SeaSport Divers out of Poipu early in the morning. The three certified divers in the group met them a couple hours later and we took over the boat for the day and headed towards the dive sites for the day. The boat followed a large pod of dolphins as we made our way there.
Diving Sheraton Caverns in Kauai
Sheraton Caverns is well known as one of the most popular dive sites in Kauai located several hundred yards off the beach in front of the Sheraton Kauai, although it is commonly accessed by boat, and several tour operations visit the area daily.
The dive site is suitable for beginners and enjoyable for advanced divers because of the abundance of Hawaiian green turtles living in the area, reaching various depths of 35-70 feet.
It boasts vibrant marine life community within the interesting lava formations and partial lava tubes blessed with wider channels and archways to swim through.
Still feeling like nervous and inexperienced diver myself, I was calmed by the fact that we were going to relatively tame dive sites and my experienced friend who had organized the trip was watching out for me. For the most part, I had an enjoyable set of dives that day.
As you can see in the video from our Sheraton Caverns outing, we were fortunate to spot several large eels and multiple octopuses (including a mating pair at 5:20).
The highlight of the dive (for me anyway) was my first swim with a very large male turtle, probably as long as 5’ (almost as tall as I am) – I stayed with him for quite awhile, beginning at 6:30 in the clip:
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Snorkeling in Kauai
On Kauai, we also spent a couple hours snorkeling at Tunnels Beach, which came highly recommended, and based on some YouTube videos from the spot, I can see why – lots to see, even the occasional reef shark, but I got skunked the day I went, and had some rough waves to contend with while snorkeling.
Another afternoon brought us to Poipu County Beach Park, where we happily hung out right by the edge of the private beach at the Koa Kea Hotel, in the shade of a palm, and in close view of a resting Hawaiian Monk Seal.
Overall, I was not impressed with the main ‘snorkeling’ area on this beach – you can’t go out very far, it was overcrowded, and worst of all, the bay was so shallow that you would often scrape along the rocky / reef bottom by the waves. It was, however, plentiful with silver and yellow trumpetfish.
About the Author: Elisabeth Ostrander is an experienced travel journalist, although a past life saw her writing mainly about snow based activities such as skiing and snowboarding, she has slowly started to succumb to the allure of surf, sand & scuba … in between ski seasons, that is.