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The Mahi
 
Island Name : Oahu
Dive Zone : West
Depth : 70-95 ft
Access : Boat
Location : West Shore
Visibility : 100 feet
Level : Intermediate
Sealife : Spotted Eagle Rays, White tip Reef Sharks ("George" and "Martha"), Large Yellow Head Moray ("Howser"
Water Temperature : 70/75 F, 21/24 C from November to April
75/80 F, 24/27 C from May to October
The Mahi is Oahu's most popular dive site and originally sunk in 1982 as an artificial reef project, it is located 1/2 mile offshore and a 15-minute boat ride from Waianae Boat Harbor. It is believed that the Mahi was originally built as a minesweeper, but the Navy instead used the 800-ton ship in the Bahamas for laying cable. The Dillingham Corporation purchased the vessel in March 1968, and leased it to the University of Hawaii as a research vessel. Although originally sunk facing shoreward, it now lies upright on a sand bottom, facing seaward. In 1982, Hurricane Iwa repositioned the ship 180 degrees to its present bearing. Conditions vary from 50 to 100 feet of visibility, with light to seasonally heavy surge.

There are moorings on the bow, amidships, and stern to protect it from anchor damage. It is immediately apparent how successful it has been in attracting marine life. Schools of 20 spiny puffer fish have been spotted in mid water, facing into the current beside the ship's mast. At 60 feet, the wheelhouse provides a great photographic set-up, with a large porthole ringed with snowflake coral, red and yellow encrusting sponge, and hydroids. On the Main Deck, the most insistent of the resident fish are the large school of milletseed Butterflyfish, and ta'ape waiting for handouts. If you don't feed them, they swarm you until either you relent, or another diver enters the scene. (Photo Tip: To keep them out of the setup, take a small mesh bag with fish food and tie it off on the main deck, then do your shoot somewhere else) A couple of Whitetips, named "George" and "Martha" are sometimes spotted here, as well as up to four eagle rays. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you might encounter a whale shark here. Check out the log to see if one has been spotted recently!


Diver Reviews:    (Write Review)
Reviewed By: Robert Magee, Oahu on January 03,2014 (rating 5/5)
This was my 1st time diving this site. Went with Tyler from Deep Ecology. Had a great experience. Saw a group of about 10-15 spotted eagle rays and a wide variety of other fish. Vis was amazing. Seas were a little rough for this time of year but once your down, the current was mellow.
Visibility: 75 Access: Boat Skill level: Advanced

Reviewed By: Tim, Oahu on March 27,2011 (rating 5/5)
The Mahi is a great dive if you are looking for lots of fish, eels, and spotted eagle rays. Great dive site and the viz is always around 75 plus. I have dove this site twice and loved it both times.
Visibility: 75 Access: Boat Skill level: Beginner/Intermediate

Reviewed By: Paul, Oahu on September 09,2010 (rating 5/5)
This is one of my favorite Oahu dives. Viz is typically 75' + and I've always ended up seeing numerous spotted eagle rays (up to 7 "flying in formation" on one dive). the wreck has continued to detioriate over the years, creating new nooks & crannies for sealife to settle into. Overall a great dive!
Visibility: 75' + Access: Boat Skill level: Intermediate