Dive Type: Shore Dive/Reef (West Shore)
Difficultly: Beginner (in good conditions)
Average Depth: 20 -30 Feet (By the pipe discharge)
Ideal Wave Conditions: 1-2 ft or lower (entry conditions get very rough in higher waves)
GPS Address: Kahe Point Beach Park, Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI (Google Maps)
Amenities: Small rinse shower, bathrooms, concrete gazebo.
Parking: There is usually enough (free) parking.
Family-Friendly: This beach is small, but usually family-friendly. The waves on the beach can be rough and unfriendly for small children or weak swimmers. Don't bring the family after dark.
This site can have rough waves and current, especially at the entry point. We advise that you watch the entry point from the parking lot for 10 minutes before getting in so you understand the wave patterns and conditions.
There are large rocks hidden in the wave break area by the entry. Stick to the north part of the beach for entry.
After heavy rainfall or high surf conditions visibility can drop significantly.
This site can be sketchy after dark, and is subject to the typical car theft problems, so keep valuables out of sight.
Be aware that the discharge from the pipes has an extremely strong current that will rapidly push you out and up; stay low when you're in front of the pipes.
Be aware that there are spear fishers and tour boats operating in the area. Be mindful of your surroundings.
Dive Site Maps:
(Base map courtesy of Google Maps)
Entry Type: Entry is on a beach, about 100 meters from the parking lot. You must step down a series of rocks to get to the beach, but it's not too difficult.
Summary: This is a popular dive site on the west shore, located directly in front of a power plant. Once you enter from the beach, its a 50 meter swim to get past the breakers and dive down. If you follow the reef west from shore, you'll find the pipe discharge point, where there is an abundance of wildlife that plays in the current. There are reefs to explore off to the left and right, usually filled with plenty of fish and sea turtles. Be aware that there are a lot of free divers, spear fishermen, snorkelers, and boats that hang out near the pipe discharge area; stay aware of your surroundings.
Pipe line: The pipe line is easy to follow out west. You won't really see the underlying pipe at first, since the coral has grown over top of it. Just follow the coral strip west and you'll start seeing the pipe. On the top side of the pipe, you'll find tons of wildlife (including a lot of crabs and lobsters at night). On the sides, there are starfish and schools of fish that hang out. In front of the pipe discharge, you can watch the fish playing in the current. There are usually a few turtles and puffer fish that hang out their too. Be mindful of the discharge; it is extremely strong, and it will push you out and up rapidly (not a great thing for SCUBA divers). Stay low along the small wall in front of the pipe, and you shouldn't have any issues.
North Reef: If you swim to the north, you can find the shark caves, reefs, and secret Buddha statues. The best way to navigate to this area is to drop down at the 2nd bubbler (the round pylon with a bunch of bubbles coming out of it) and take a heading of about 305 - 315 degrees. Stay around a 20 ft depth (deeper = too far west; shallower = too far east). You'll see an underwater buoy that boat tours will tie off to, which means you're in the right area. Make sure you stay low; there are a significant number of tour boats, private boats, and occasional jet skis that frequent that area. The white-tip reef sharks that hang out in the caves are generally good-natured, but don't get too close or corner them.
South Reef: The south reef is an easy route for beginners when the water is calm. After you clear the entry cove, drop down and turn south. Keep an eye on your distance from the rock cliff and make sure you stay at a depth of around 10 - 15 feet. If you go too far east, you'll end up in a very shallow, rocky, and surging area. If you go to far west, you'll end up in a very open, sandy, and boring area. There are a lot of small turtles that hang out in these shallow reefs, napping under rock outcroppings. Stay away when water conditions are rough, because you can easily end up against the rocks.
Be On the Lookout (BOLO): Sea turtles, spinner dolphins, underwater Buddha statue, white-tip reef shark (in a cave), spotted eagle ray, manta ray, monk seals, eels, lobsters, octopus, nudibranches, and large schools of fish. Whales breach near the shore during the winter (you can see them from the parking lot). We've ventured out about 250 meter beyond the pipe outlet (snorkeling) and spotted pods of dolphins, a massive stingray, and got crazy close to the breaching humpback whales.
Pro Tip: Get there early in the morning (right after sunrise) for the best chance of seeing monk seals, dolphins, rays, and other wildlife. The schools of fish will hang around, but the more exciting wildlife will move away once the packs of snorkelers arrive. This is also a great spot to do your first night dive (with the right training and buddies). The pipeline makes navigating in the dark easy, and the reef on top of the pipe has some brilliant colors.
Points of Interest: (These coordinates may not be exact, but they are close enough that we navigate with them)
2nd Bubbler: 21.353711, -158.132011
Pipe Discharge: 21.353417, -158.132569
Mushroom Coral: 21.355428, -158.133072
Shark Cave: 21.355208, -158.133561
Small Cave: 21.355444, -158.133667
Mooring Ball (Underwater): 21.355508, -158.134108
Mooring Ball (Underwater): 21.356133, -158.133931