The six main islands are part of a 128-island archipelago stretching 1523 miles (2452 km) from Kure Atoll in the northwest to the Big Island in the southwest. The main islands include Oahu, and the Neighbor Islands of Maui, Kauai, the Big Island (Hawaii), Molokai and Lanai. A crack in the earths crust which has been spewing lava for 25 nillion years created these islands, which are actually the tips of huge mountains rising out of the sea. The Big Island, Hawaii's southernmost, is still igrowing. Its most active volcano, Kilauea, has pumped out more than two billion cubic yards of lava in the past 12 years. The islands are mostly covered in lush vegitation due to an abundance of precipitation as warm moist air moves over the mountainous terrain and rain falls as the air rises and cools.
DIVES NOT TO MISS:
Hawaii is full of unique diving with everything from volcanic caverns to rare marine life. Lehua Rock may give you the opportunity to see an endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal as well as several pinnacles and a sheer wall with a keyhole passageway. Au Au Canyon is a volcanic crater that lies entirely under water. Holes in the steep walls provide shelter for many forms of critters. Hanauma Bay is a protected marine park where one side of a volcanic crater collapsed into the sea forming a lagoon. It provides sheltered water for coral and a dense population of fish including colorful parrotfish to flourish. Molokini Crater's backside is an incredible wall dive rising 200 ft above the sea and plumeting 200 ft below it. There is also a reef to dive on the inside of the crater.
"Turtle Towns" can be found at many dive sites on almost every island in the Hawaiian chain. The turtles flock to these areas to be "cleaned" by the Yellow Tang and Stripped and Gold Ring Sturgeonfish that gather to feed on the algae covering the turtles shell.
Hawaii also has several lava tubes that form coverns for divers to explore. The Crack, on the big island opens up on shore 40 yards for the waterline and divers can swim out to the open ocean through the formation illuminated by skylights. The Cave (Oahu), Three Caves (Big Island), Five Caves (Maui), The Caverns (Kauai) and The Cathedral (Lanai) all offer volcanic cavern diving and the chance of a turtle or reef while tip shark encounter. If you visit the islands in the Winter months (Jan-Mar) you may hear the songs of Humpback Whales on your dives.