Liveaboard Diving in Paradise Pinnacle
What to expect on a Paradise Pinnacle Liveaboard
Paradise Pinnacle is a well-known dive site and a favorite of Hawaiian liveaboard dive tours. Located off of the west coast of the Big Island and just south of Kona, it’s a great spot to explore the healthy reef and the two pinnacles, one mammoth and one smaller in size, that rise out of a black sand base from the ocean floor. Paradise Pinnacle is, for the most part, void of the local traffic of land-based dive operators. This is due to the fact that most day boat operators consider this spot a long range location and will seldom venture as far south. This gives liveaboard divers the advantage of experiencing a dive site that is extremely remote and extremely pristine.
Paradise Pinnacle is a nice recreational dive, with an average depth of 12 meters and a maximum depth of 27.5 meters. Typically, the visibility at this dive site is excellent, with an average sight range of beyond 30 meters. Average surface temperature is approximately 26˚C/78˚F while the average bottom temperature is 24˚C/75˚F. These temperatures are slightly cooler than average tropical water temperatures, so it is advisable to wear either a 3mm or a 5mm wetsuit if you are one to get a chill in the water. The current in this area is usually very low, making this fun and relaxing dive perfect for certified divers of any experience level.
What you can see
Paradise Pinnacle is a prime spot for sighting the creatures that like to blend in. A good technique for this dive site is to start at the top of the largest pinnacle and work your way all the way around and down in a spiral formation until you reach the bottom. Once you have covered the area of the larger of the two, move east to the second smaller bommie and explore there. Taking your time is key, as is bringing a torch so you can inspect all the crevices where elusive marine life may be living.
Keep an eye out for eels, eels, and more eels! Garden eels, moray eels, and crocodile eels are some of the species that can be found inside the crevices of or in the ground surrounding the pinnacle. You may also spot cleaner shrimp, banded shrimp, hairy hermit crabs, and lionfish. However, do not get so wrapped up in the macro scenery that you miss a shark passing by, as they are often seen swimming in the surrounding waters.
Getting to Paradise Pinnacle
The best way to visit Paradise Pinnacle dive site is from the deck of a liveaboard dive cruise. Paradise Pinnacle is located just south of Kailua-Kona. It is a great stopping point on the way to further south-lying dive site destinations.
The easiest travel option is to fly into Kona International Airport (KOA). KOA is conveniently located a short 20-minute drive from the port of departure, Kailua Pier. Airlines that operate out of KOA are Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American, Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, United, US Airways, and WestJet. Island Air and GO! Mokulele also operate out of KOA, offering interisland service and connecting international flights. Nonstop service is offered between Kona and the cities of Vancouver, Canada, Seattle WA, San Jose CA, Oakland CA, Portland OR, Los Angeles CA, San Francisco CA, Denver CO, Chicago IL, and Phoenix AZ.
Transfers to and from the airport are not included in the price of the liveaboard tour and are the sole responsibility of the consumer. There are several private and shared shuttle and taxi services available on the airport grounds. These can be booked ahead or flagged upon arrival, depending on the operator of choice.
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