If there’s one thing thing that set the diving on the southern shores of Oahu apart from the norm, it was the availability of wrecks to dive on. The YO 275 and San Pedro, laying within a very short swim of each other, and the deeper and sea turtle occupied Sea Tiger were all great wrecks, with a good amount of life and growth, and plenty of chances for good pictures. Dive Oahu used submerged buoys to secure their boat at all times, which made the descent and ascent to and from the wrecks an easy operation with minimal issues.
The YO 275 and San Pedro as a set of wrecks sitting at 30m and 25.9m respectively in the bright blue Hawaiian waters. The YO 275 is an old yard oiler, while the San Pedro is a decommissioned hospital ship; both were intentionally sunk to become artificial reefs. In addition to divers, the San Pedro is also frequented by a tourist submarine, the people inside of which love to see divers out on the wrecks! Current was mild or non-existant on both wrecks, and they were well preserved, even with the growth of coral and algae that is slowly converting them into part of the local ecosystem. On one dive we got to try out some DPV’s, and raced around the YO 275. The DPV’s were cool, but they make a bit of noise and make taking pictures a lot harder.
The Sea Tiger is a deeper wreck, with her bottom resting with the stern at 35m and the bow at 36.5m, making it a deep dive by any standard. It is also the home to at least one barnacled sea turtle, and visited by others! The Sea tiger features several areas that constitute swim throughs (as opposed to wreck penetration), including the wheel house, and it’s creepy, glowing, radioactive dials that happily glow at 27m or so under the waves. Because of the depth, Sea Tiger tends to be a shorter dive, but well worth it for the swim through areas, frogfish and turtles!
A safety note here though, the wrecks we went to were all the homes of some fairly unpleasantly venomous creatures, and of course, they are wrecks as well. In the excitement of swimming through one of the rooms or trying to steady yourself for a good picture, you might forget some of the hazards around you. Whenever you’re on a wreck, even ones as open and friendly as the Sea Tiger or the even the USAT Liberty Glo back in Bali, keep your head and pay attention to your surroundings. Remember you’ll be in enclosed spaces, and that you have to pay attention to where your tank is so you don’t snag on something. The metal is rusting, and decaying as the ocean reclaims it, so it may not be as strong as you think. Don’t risk damaging the wreck for others, and be careful where you put your hands; as there could be stinging coral or hydroids for the ungloved hand to brush, or a concealed urchin. There were also Leaf Scorpionfish (Taenianotus triacanthus), who while small and innocuous looking, are toxic. Enough of the scary stuff though! Just practice good diving habits and I’ll get on writing the third part of the Oahu Diver series!