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Scuba Diving the Mini Barge and Baby Barge in Oahu

Dive Locations in Oahu

For the sake of simplicity, I will discuss the Oahu's diving locations the Baby Barge and the Mini Barge. Both are very similar however I will point out the distinct features of each dive. Oahu scuba diving has great artificial wrecks. Located 5 miles to the west of Hawaii kai boat marina (Hawaii kai-southeast side of Oahu) sits the Baby Barge and the Mini Barge, pretty much within 5 minutes of each other. The Baby Barge and Mini Barge lay in about 85 feet of beautiful Pacific water with average visibility in the 80 to 100 feet. Both of these Hawaii scuba dives is a must and most divers here on Hawaii request for this dive. The Mini Barge and Baby Barge lies upright with a nice mooring line, similar to the yo-257 shipwreck, connected to the bow ,making it very easy for those strong current days. The barges itself is flat on the top with the deck at around 50 feet with lots of coral growth, the bottom of the barges is roughly 75-80 feet. I am not sure how these barges got down there, we can not get s simple reason as to why and who put them down. Honestly I think it could have been planted there by aliens.

Use the mooring line when making these dives. The currents are very erratic and can unexpectedly pick up. Manalua Bay in Hawaii kai can sometimes get some gnarly currents. Some divers for some reason think that they can just drop down without holding any line, don't do it! Don't even break off mid way down the line, really no use in using precious air to get back to the line. As I mentioned earlier the tops of these barges have lots of encrusted coral growth. This is a perfect area for a few photos of small crabs hiding out in the corals and those cool colorful hawk fish. However you are there to explore the barges of Oahu! Get off the deck and PENETRATE ! Penetrating the barges is fairly easy. Note with currents ripping around be very careful when entering this barge. I have been personally slammed against the make shift "door jams" on this barge. Even had my mask moved a little from the flow of current water out of the opening to the barge. Once inside You should be ok, however next to some openings again you might feel some strong current water rushing in. The barges are pretty rough inside. Watch your scuba gear so as not to cut it on anything. Wearing gloves might be a good idea on this Oahu wreck dive due to the pieces of metal and steal strewn from every angle. I personally wouldn't dive this wreck without a wetsuit so wear one. Heading over to the port side of the Mini Barge runs a 20 foot ledge dropping down to roughly 85 feet -this is the deepest part of the Mini Barge dive. This ledge, which resembles something from the desert rocks of Sonora Arizona. Very beautiful, and even has a small like cave structure located on the bottom. A great time to snap a bunch of photos. Peek inside, there is usually a Hawaiian green sea turtle snoozing away. Don't try to go deep in these small caves, it really doesn't go back that far, not to mention you only t-off the turtles. They need all the rest they can get because tiger sharks like to eat em' for dinner. On the Mini Barge try starting off from the bow of the barge which is about 70 feet, you can head directly straight for about a nice 4-6 minute tour along a 5-8 foot coral ledge. Just swim along this wall until you start arriving at these cave like lava rock formations. There you will find a cool open cave, not to deep but just nice enough for white-tip reef sharks to hang out. Snap a few pictures check your air then make your return.

Remember, when your getting to that 1000 P.S.I. mark start making your return to the barge. Don't be foolish and burn your tanks down to 500 P.S.I. This area is not a good place to play dummy diver. In the end the Mini Barge and the Baby Barge are great Oahu wreck dives. It gives a feeling of a deep advanced dive with a touch of a intermediate reef dive experience. Inexperienced divers can do this dive under the right conditions. Again though, Oahu scuba diving wouldn't be complete without a cool Hawaii style visit to the Mini Barge or Baby Barge. Know your limits and do not fall into pressure from more experienced scuba diving friends. Check with us for latest conditions.