Oahu Diving FAQ
Hawaiian Diving Adventures
We receive all kinds of questions about our dive trips, dive training, and dive shop in Honolulu. The following are some of our more frequent inquiries, so we've answered them to help you in planning your dive excursion with us.
Q: How long do I need to wait before flying after diving?
A: The recommendation by Divers Alert Network is to wait at least 12 hours after a single no-decompression dive and at least 18 hours after multiple dives or multiple days of diving. You should also avoid hiking or driving to higher altitudes (over 1,000-feet / 330m) after diving. There are plenty of places on Oahu with a higher elevation such as Mount Ka'ala which is the highest mountain on the island of Oahu, at 4,025 feet / 1,227 meters.
Q: How big is your boat?
A: Our dive boat, Kilikina, is 33 feet (10m) long and 8 feet (2.4m) wide. She has ample deck space and holds a maximum of 12 divers plus crew.
Q: How big are the groups?
A: Nobody likes diving from "cattle boats" (really crowded dive boats). Our groups are typically 2 to 6 people per guide. Group sizes are determined by family sizes, class ratios, and experience levels of the divers.
Q: Where does your boat leave from?
A: Our boat is in Kewalo Basin at Pier A, Slip 3.
Q: How early do I need to get there?
A: Please don't arrive more than five minutes early! Our scheduled times are the meetup times, and the boat leaves when we all are ready. If you are taking our beginner diver course, please be sure to arrive on time, so you can participate in the on-shore training.
Q: How long does it take to get to the harbor?
A: This depends on where you are coming from. Kewalo Basin is only about 2 miles from Waikiki and about 20 miles from Ko Olina. Remember to check out the current traffic, weekdays can be heavy, especially during morning rush hour.
Q: Which shipwrecks do you dive?
A: We have 4 shipwrecks and 2 airplane wrecks within a 5-mile stretch of ocean. The Seatiger and YO-257 are our favorite and most frequest wrecks to dive. Wind, current, visibility, and availability determine our dive sites. All moorings in Hawaii are public, and other dive companies use them. We choose dive sites as we leave the harbor to find you the wrecks with the best conditions and have the best marine life.
Q: Is there parking?
A: There is pay-parking at the harbor. It costs $1 per hour, and accepts cash or cards. We recommend paying for $5 to ensure you do not receive a parking ticket. Please do not park at Ala Moana or the state park behind the harbor.
Q: What is your cancellation or rescheduling policy?
A: We need to schedule our captains and crew based on reservations. Any cancellation or change in reservation must be made at least 48 hours before the scheduled tour time. Changes made less than 48 hours will not be refunded and a $100 change fee may apply. There are rare occasions where we cancel a charter for safety reasons, due to inclement weather or poor dive conditions. In that case, we will offer to change your charter reservation at no charge, or provide you a full refund.
Q: Can I dive if I am on my period?
A: According to Divers Alert Network, menstruating women typically have no problem with scuba diving, however "it may be prudent for women taking oral contraceptives, particularly if they are menstruating, to reduce their dive exposure (depth, bottom time or number of dives per day)". Please consult your doctor for more information.
Q: Can I dive if I have asthma?
A: The short answer is maybe. Severity of your asthma and the effectiveness of medication both play a role. Divers Alert Network offers more information about diving with asthma. Please consult your doctor for a recommendation before you dive. Bring this medical questionnaire to your doctor to review and complete so they may provide their recommendation.
Q: How long does it take to get certified?
A: Please review our Open Water Diver Certificationpage for more information. Typically, the open water diver certification requires three half-day sessions to complete the course. The first session is held in confined water, either in a swimming pool or in the shallow water at Ala Moana beach. The next two days are open water dives which are held in the ocean at our regular dive sites. On each dive, you will be practicing the essential scuba diving skills, getting more comfortable, and gaining more confidence underwater. You will have plenty of opportunity to see beautiful coral reefs and thousands of reef fish. Open water diver is a lifetime certification.
Q: Do I need to need to be certified to go diving?
A: You do NOT need to be certified to go diving with an instructor in our Beginner Diver program. After a short lesson on land, we will get you diving in the ocean with an instructor. You will have the chance to see turtles, dolphins, and all kinds of colorful Hawaiian reef fish and corals.
Q: I got certified over 10 years ago and have not gone diving since. Am I still certified?
A: Technically, yes, scuba diver certifications never expire, however for your safety, you need to keep your skills current. If you need a refresher, we offer a Scuba Skills Update which covers all the skills you learned in your open water class. If you feel like you have forgotten everything and would like a more comprehensive review of scuba diving knowledge and skills, you can simply take the Open Water Diver Certification course again.
Q: I don't have my certification card with me. Can I still go diving?
A: We recommend either making a copy of your dive certification card info, or taking a picture of your card info to save on your phone. If you do not have a copy, a photo, or the actual card, you are still in luck. Most training agencies have been keeping digital certification records for scuba divers since the late 90's so you look up your certification online. Check our list of certification agencies that offer Online Diver Certification Verification, and then either print your record, keep an image on your phone, or bring your phone to look up your info and show us... If your scuba diver certification class was over 20 years ago and you cannot locate your information online, please give us a call and we can help you figure out the best way to get you diving.
Q: Can I dive on the shipwrecks if I am not certified?
A: In Oahu Hawaii, our wrecks are too deep for people who are not yet certified divers. We are required to limit our introductory dives to a maximum depth of 40 feet / 12 meters. You will get to see beautiful coral reefs and frequently see octopus, sea turtles, and thousands of colorful reef fish.
Q: I am certified but some people in my group are not, can we all dive together?
A: Yes you can! Introductory dives are an easy way to introduce family members and friends to scuba. Certified divers can join groups of introductory divers. These beginner dives are on beautiful coral reefs with lots of fish, and we often spot sea turtles, eels, and octopus on the dives. Diving is a great family activity.
Q: I am a certified diver and signed up to go diving on the Shallow Reef dives, will I have to dive with a bunch of newbies?
A: Not unless you want to dive with them. Sometimes families or groups of friends want to dive together, even if only some of the group are crtified divers. We match divers by experience and certification levels. There may be beginner divers on the boat, but unless you are part of their group or family, and have requested to dive with them, you will have your own dive guide, usually an instructor. We keep group sizes small so that you have the best dive possible.
Q: I have an advanced diver certification but haven't gone scuba diving in a few years... can I dive on the deep shipwrecks?
A: Our shipwrecks are not beginner dives. It is strongly advised that your skills are up to speed before diving on the wrecks. We suggest you come out on a shallow dive first, knock the rust off, and the dive the shipwrecks the following morning.
Q: Is there someone taking pictures on the boat or under the water?
A: Our dive guides and dive instructors are more concerned with your safety, so they will be focused on you during the dives. We often have divers with underwater photo or video cameras, so you could ask them to take a photo of you. Photography service is also available for an additional fee.
Q: Can I bring my camera? / Can I bring my GoPro?
A: Cameras are only allowed if you want memories of your dive experience, or if you plan on posting them to social media. But seriously, yes they are allowed on dives. We have a soak and rinse bucket for cameras on board, as well as a dry table. Although they are advertised as waterproof, GoPro cameras may not function properly without the "Super Suit" underwater dive housing. Without the housing, the GoPro button does not always work properly due to the water pressure. We recommend the Super Suit for diving with a GoPro.
Q: Do you offer private guides and private tours?
A: Absolutely, we would love to offer you personalized service. Give us a call to set it up. Keep in mind that our typical group size is very small, usually 2-6 divers per guide or instructor, however if you want a dive guide all to yourself, we can make that happen. The boat is also available for private charters.
Q: Can I dive nitrox?
A: If you are nitrox certified, simply let us know when you book and we can customize your nitrox mix up to 40% based on your planned dive depth. Typically, the EAN32 mix, with a Maximum Operating Depth of 111 feet (34m), is best suited for our SeaTiger wreck dive... If you are not yet nitrox certified, we offer the Nitrox Specialty Course , or you may try nitrox as one or two of your Advanced Adventurer dives.
Q: I think I may be feeling some symptoms of DCS, what should I do?
A: Call 911 -- Decompression Sickness (DCS) is a serious medical condition that can only be diagnosed by a doctor and treated in a hospital. The chances of getting DCS are slim, but it can happen. Call us too if you are not feeling well, we can provide dive info to your care providers.
Q: I am a certified diver. Do you have any multi-dive packages?
A: We love fun diving too, and we have several fun dive packages setup to help you save money on multiple dive trips. Please check out our Fun Diving page for rates and information.
These are just some of the more common questions we are asked about our Oahu dive trips, dive training, and our dive shop services.
Please contact Hawaiian Diving Adventures for more information.