When you have a dive site such as Cathedrals—with eerie pinnacle formations and luminous caverns—it's no wonder that scuba-diving buffs consider exploring the waters off Lanai akin to a religious experience.
Cathedrals. Just outside Hulopoe Bay, Cathedrals is the best cavern dive site in Lanai. Shimmering light makes the many openings resemble stained-glass windows. A current generally keeps the water crystal clear, even if it's turbid outside. In these unearthly chambers, large ulua and small reef sharks add to the adventure. Tiger sharks may appear in certain seasons. Manele, Lanai City, Hawaii, 96763.
Sergeant Major Reef. Off Kamaiki Point, Sergeant Major Reef is named for big schools of yellow- and black-striped manini (sergeant major fish) that turn the rocks silvery as they feed. There are three parallel lava ridges separated by rippled sand valleys, a cave, and an archway. Depths range 15–50 feet. Depending on conditions, the water may be clear or cloudy. Lanai City, Hawaii, 96763.
Equipment, Lessons, and Tours
Lanai Ocean Sports . Explore the underwater lava formations and pristine coral Lanai is famous for with Lanai Ocean Sports, which offers a one-tank dive during its snorkel sail; the fee includes gear, lunch, and beverages. Serious certified divers can opt for a two-tank dive, which includes a private charter with dive masters, plus all the equipment you need; locations depend on the weather. Manele Small Boat Harbor, Manele Rd., Manele, Lanai City, Hawaii, 96763. 808/866--8256; www.lanaioceansports.com. From $209 for a one-tank dive; $1,800 for a private two-tank dive.