And with the help of coupons, can be more affordable.

My daughter and new husband got their scuba certification so they could pe on their honeymoon in the Caribbean. They planned a second honeymoon in Hawaii for their anniversary and wanted to do it again. Months ago a coupon for half off a Hawaiian scuba pe caught my eye and I bought it for them. (BIG TIP: Groupon, Social Living and the like are extremely active here on Oahu for deals, so if planning a trip here you can save big by buying these ahead of time.) She called the place right away and put in a reservation. There are regulations about ping and flying days. They have to be spaced apart, so keep that in mind also. Then all we had to do before their pe date was to watch the weather.

My daughter plus critters Note: water temp is 80 degrees!

The location of their pe shop was out by the piers on Sand Island and I had to take them because they were not eligible for hotel pickup because they used the coupon. But they could have ridden The Bus from the Hilton otherwise. They had to be there at 10am to check in and get outfitted. Everything they needed was included, but they brought their own masks and snorkels anyway. My daughter did choose to get into a wetsuit even though it was August, and she was glad she did but then, she’s sort of a softy. And they ate a good breakfast as they were going to be out long enough to do two pes. The boat they went out on did provide water and light snacks and packing food to bring with them was another option.

When the pe shop got everyone loaded up in a van, they headed to the marina to the boat. Turns out this boat is used by several different pe shops who combine their groups (4 – 5 people) and they all go out together to the pe sites. My daughter says they stayed with their pe shop and leaders the entire time and acted as an independent unit from the other groups. But all groups went to the same pe spots. The spots are determined the day they go out by conditions, weather, tides, etc and that day the turtle spot’ was not on the list.

Even if you are not a certified per (bring your certification and pe book if you are), you can still do scuba. I was surprised by this as I’m old school (& did not really want to dig out my dusty, dingy circa 80’s one I got for MY honeymoon: • to go with them) My daughter said that most of the pers were non- certified. They were given some concise in-shop instruction prior to the pe, and again on the boat and in the water, and then watched carefully by their leader. They can only go on the 30 foot pes, where certified pers can go deeper. The leaders said that most of the new pers did well, but there was always someone that just decides to stay in the boat for whatever reason (including getting sea sick).

My daughter said that their experience was good because they could pe right in with their leader and start the pe while the others were still receiving training. Their underwater time was significantly longer, and while they did go deeper, she would have been just as happy at 30 feet. She said she could feel the current against her at the lower level, so staying shallow was more relaxing for her. I asked her later to compare it to their Caribbean pe. She said the water was not quite so clear here, and there was no live coral (at least where they went) and the water was cooler. But not significantly so in all respects and they would do it again if they could. The pe leaders know their sites like the back of their hands and do their best to show them off. They saw a shark sleeping under a coral head, and the leader told them that’s where it always hangs out. And they knew where to find this one particular fish who loved people and got right in their faces. Now that’s some Aloha I wouldn’t have expected to find but I’m not surprised!

Video: short but sweet underwater scenes


  1. Thanks for the great pics Katherine!  All the islands offer great diving, but I prefer Maui and the Lanai cathedrals overall.  I've been certified since I was 15 and my favorite spot has to be the back side of Molokini off Maui!

  2. Wow!!!  It is so beautiful.  I wish I am can do it.  However, I will tell everyone to try it if they are not afraid from the ocean.  

  3. Yes, I agree about Maui water. I’d dive there, I believe, rusty or not.
    My daughter said that there was at least one person on the boat that backed out.. they just didn’t want to go in the water.

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