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Nautilus Reef Waikiki

Type of Dive Visibility Max Depth Average Depth Bottom Time Difficulty 1-10
reef 70-100ft. 50ft. 35ft. 50 Minutes 2.5

Oahu dive spot which just 5 minutes out from Kewalo Boat Basin Oahu to the east, this little diving point is a reef that will offer you lots of fun. Named after the glass bottom boat Nautilus( which was relocated to Guam) that used to take customers on a top view ride over the reef area. Nautilus Reef itself is a combination of 2 reefs that lay in about 25-50 feet of water. Very old lava rock is the foundation of this reef with beautiful hard corals attached. This reef dive is great for long bottom times and easy going buoyancy control that makes this dive a favorite for underwater photo enthusiast.

The currents in this area are not typically strong here and the reef is not strewn over a large area making this dive a simple easy-to-do dive. Once moored up you should use the line for your decent, free descending is fine since this area is no deeper than 40 feet. Having troubles with your ears you should use the line. Descending down you will notice immediately millet seed butterfly fish approaching you fast for what it seems to be a a luncheon with the divers. These fish love crackers and it is obvious they know all about it. The reef is shaped like a peanut with the area towards the north shallower than the area than the south. The top area of the reef is roughly 35-40 feet and gently becomes deep heading south southeast. This reef is very popular with photography so enjoy. The perimeter of the reef towards the southeast section has a layer or outcropping of old lava rock which formed a natural cave-like area. This is where the white tip reef sharks and the occasional Hawaiian green sea turtle likes to relax. Try getting a good shot of the shark, breath slow- white tip reef sharks hate the sound of exhaust bubbles. Plenty of reef fish like the tangs, triggerfish and damsels. Other types of fish seen here are the manta rays, sting rays( often) and other types of sharks like the tiger and the grey reef shark. Believe it or not even monk seals although not a fish have been seen here. Very interesting encounter.

The outer sections of the reef is where you make encounter sting rays. These majestic giants seem to fly in the water. Sting rays can sometimes be so photogenic and other days they seem to be like a grumpy old man only want to be left alone. This area of the reef is also the place to see other cool animals. Hint, if you hear dolphins, the ships and clicks, head to this location. Dolphins, the spinner dolphins love this area and routinely patrol this area.

Bottom times here at Nautilus Reef can go upwards to 50 minutes. So this dive should make up for that shorter deep dive you did at the Seatiger of the Yo-257. Please note that this area does get the occasional boat up above and not to mention the fact that the Kewalo Boat Basin boat channel is only a 12 minute swim to the west therefore one should be careful and only make your accent from the area at which the boat is located. Doing so way from the boat could have disastrous results. Being a good diver underwater and watching which street you take should keep you from popping up to the surface.

You should be pleased with Nautilus Reef. The shallower sections of this reef can also be fun to free dive, practicing holding your breath to 40 feet. Have fun, be safe and watch those gauges.