Huge Caverns Create Underwater Temples of Marine Life
Imagine yourself in a huge stone cathedral underwater with sunlight shining down from above through large holes in the ceiling and the golden rays creating a stained glass window effect through the crystal blue waters. This is exactly what you will experience at the Lanai Cathedrals.
Located off Lanai’s southern coast, the Cathedrals are spectacular Hawaiian diving sites suitable for intermediate and advanced divers. The site is reached by a 45- minute boat ride from Lahaina Harbor on Maui. The First Cathedral scuba diving site has water depths of 45 to 60 feet and includes a 100-foot-long lava tube nearly two stories in height. The site features a wide array of fascinating sea life from octopi to sea turtles and Moorish Idol fish. The Second Cathedral site ranges in depth 15 to 65 feet in depth and with a visibility of up to 100 feet. This is a great place to see lots of marine life from blue-stripe snappers, trumpet fish, and pyramid butterfly fish to cowry shells, and eels.
The huge cavern of Second Cathedral, which is bigger than First Cathedral, has a large main chamber with a break in the middle and two beautiful archways. Black coral trees grow from the ceiling and many shrimp can be seen by shining a flashlight into holes in the reef. Divers explore the site’s many rooms and passageways as they look for crabs and lobsters. Some things to watch out at the Cathedrals are rough ocean conditions and shallow areas with ceiling holes, as this sometimes causes surging water. If the surf is strong your dive instructor may designate some areas off limits. The Cathedral sites are accessible by boat on guided tours. Water temperatures are typically around 21-24 C (70-75 F) from November to April and 24-27 C (75-80 F) from May to October.