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The Seatiger shipwreck when SCUBA diving off of Oahu. Wreck diving adventures with Oahu Diving, your wreck dive specialist. The Sea Tiger shipwreck (also known as the Seatiger Hawaii) is located on the south shore of Oahu near Honolulu, making this shipwreck the closest wreck scuba dive from Waikiki. Taking only 10 minutes or less to get out to from the Kewalo Boat Basin Oahu, the Seatiger will offer you a great Hawaii wreck dive that will definitely bring you back again and again. One fact before we start, this is an advanced shipwreck dive- great those looking for exciting scuba diving in Oahu Hawaii.
A quick brief on the shipwreck Sea Tiger before diving. The Sea Tiger was a Chinese owned vessel which was engaged in illegal activities (imagine that?)thus causing the boat to be confiscated by the United States Coast Guard. The USCG auction the Sea Tiger off and the competing company to the Atlantis Submarine Hawaii Tours- Voyager Submarines, bought the boat for a $1.00 (That's when the U.S. dollar used to buy a lot more) and graciously sunk it for all to enjoy (which costs over a million dollars and plenty of paperwork). Soon after the Voyager Submarine company went out of business(great for us) leaving their "trash" for us shipwreck scuba divers to have fun in. Therefore diving on Oahu isn't complete without playing in this "trash."
The Seatiger is roughly 165 foot in length, 40 foot wide and sits in a upwards position making this wreck a great artificial reef. The water temp is 75 winter and 79 summer. I would recommend wearing a wet suit all the time, not just for the obvious cold protection (California divers stop laughing at that comment) but just in case you want to penetrate a few areas, the Sea Tiger is extremely sharp and pieces of jagged metal are all around. Factually speaking all wreck scuba diving in Hawaii is the same in this respect. Keep your eyes open and pay attention to the area at all times.
The Seatiger looks easy, fairly open, however you DON'T want to get stuck in this ship. Dive times can vary on the Sea Tiger. Some people like to just scuba dive down to the top of the shipwreck which is roughly 65 feet and ride out their dive. Others like to play in the sand and get "narked" at about 120 foot around the bow section. Staying at around 100 feet will make this dive a nice long deep dive, only go to 120 feet when there is something like a tiger shark, Hawaiian stingray or a cool photo opportunity. Plan for no deeper than 110 and you should get a nice 18-24 minute bottom time. Factoring a safety stop is a must so plan on a 15 foot stop for 3-4 minutes.
Once moored up and ready to go use the mooring line as your tool for the decent. Although not as bad as other dive spots such as the Corsair or yo-257 in terms of strong currents, sudden currents can and will kick up without any warning. I have made dives on the Seatiger a billion times and still use that line, nothing wrong with taking a nice controlled decent to the decks so please use the line.
As you get down on the Sea Tiger’s decks you will notice two very big cargo refrigeration holds. Go ahead and take a swim through. This is an easy penetrable area of the ship and great place to get "warmed up." Usually a friendly Hawaiian green sea turtle is sleeping in the darkened corner so try not to wake him; they like to sleep in to around 11:30 or noon. Heading towards the back of the sea tiger I personally think this is where the fun begins.
If you’re into wreck penetration this is the area for you. Nice long dark hallways are there for advanced scuba divers followed up with entering the mess hall and the darkened engine room- very cool. I would say this is an area where experience is the best policy for penetrating. This area is tight and narrow with obvious overhangs and beams. I also love to enter the bridge area where the captain used to hang out and instruct all his sailors on what illegal activities they were going to do. Very easy to enter and east to exit.( I always take newbies to this area for their Hawaii shipwreck diving- Sorry that was a mandatory keyword)Ok Ok , you wanna go deep ? 125 feet ok with you ? Well lets jump off the side of the Sea Tiger and head towards the huge rudder. The screw or prop is now gone but it makes for a cool swim through. I've had luck with Hawaiian stingrays, mantas and yes, tiger sharks in this area ! Don't stay too long, this area will eat your bottom time up quick. As a matter of fact if you just sat there for the whole dive your dive will only last roughly 14 minutes- YIKES ! Therefore make this a 2-3 minute exploration, the deck is where you can spend quality time without sacrificing bottom time; after all this is why you are diving this location.
CAUTION- Always watch your gauges on this shipwreck scuba dive, time goes quickly here so be on top of your game.
Don’t forget, have amazing encounters with marine life on dives is like rolling dice. You never know what number you will get. Chances are you will find something cool down on the Sea Tiger. I usually do. Usually a wave of spotted eagle rays will be flying in formation around the perimeter of the shipwreck patrolling the area as if keeping the Sea Tiger in complete protective status. Try not to scare them off, they will come fairly close to you. Picture junkies approach the eagle rays from above and the back for the best sneak-up-and-snap a picture experience. The upper deck area of the Sea Tiger also has plenty to see. If your good at spotting camouflage fish be on the lookout for the frogfish. One of my favorites, this intriguing creature sucks unlucky fish in using its “fishing pole” at a shocking 1/6000 of a second. Don’t blink! The fastest in the animal kingdom ! Wrapping your dive up, make sure to return to the right mooring line. Two mooring lines are connected- one to the bow ,one to the stern of the Seatiger. Ascending on the wrong line could be embarrassing if not downright dangerous. Safety stop is a must ! 15 feet for how long ??? 3 minutes ! In conclusion, the Sea Tiger is an excellent shipwreck dive for both intermediate and novice wreck divers of the advanced certification, open water certification is fine so as long as a qualified instructor like ourselves are with you. Being a great air manager will ensure a safe fun dive so watch those gauges. I’m very surprised at the amount of people who disregard watching their gauges while scuba diving. 750-1000 P.S.I is the number for the ascent back up. Enjoy.
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