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Looking for Dive Shop Suggestions

Discussion in 'Hawai'i' started by Laurie S., Dec 29, 2015.

  1. Laurie S.

    Laurie S. Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tucson, Arizona and San Carlos, Mexico
    My husband and I are taking a cruise to Hawaii next year and will be in the islands the first week in December. He has been diving for almost 50 years and is an MSDT, I've been diving for more than 6 years and am an AI and an underwater photographer. He has dived there before, almost 20 years ago. I've been there once, but wasn't a diver at the time.

    For a couple of reasons, we would prefer not to do shore dives (camera equipment, cranky back). He's an excellent shore diver, I'm a newbie at it. If that's the only way to get the best dives, I'll make it work.

    Here is our schedule for the stops:

    Maui (Kahalui), December 1st, 10 am to 11 pm (we really want a night dive here)

    Honolulu, December 2nd, 9 am to 11 pm (night dive again)

    Kauai (Nawiliwili), December 3rd, 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

    Kona, December 4th, 10 am to 6 pm

    Hilo, December 5th, 8 am to 5 pm

    Any recommendations/advise would be greatly recommended, including transportation to the shops. We travel with all our own equipment. Thanks!
  2. tarponchik

    tarponchik Contributor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: USA
    Off topic, but early Dec can be a bit risky. You may not even do a boat dive if the surf is too high. So with your plan, with just 1 day per island, you are taking chances.
  3. akdeepdiver

    akdeepdiver Dive Shop

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Iowa Park, TX
    In Honolulu, contact Randall at Hawaiian Diving Adventures or Gabe at Kaimana Divers. Both run top notch outfits.
    stuartv likes this.
  4. Natasha

    Natasha Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Chicagoan living in Texas
    HI! I was wondering how this went for you.. did you get some dives in? I'm also planning on going to several of these islands and would like to dive. Update please! Thx!!
  5. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    There's a dive for that. It's this one. Twilight/Night Dive - Dive Turtle Reef with Lahaina Divers

    Conveniently they even run it on Thursday night. The first dive is usually a dusk dive at a generically named "Turtle Town" site and the 2nd at Mala Pier which is so close to Lahaina Harbor that you'll question it. Until you dive it. What's not so apparent is the legal shore entry is a dance around the coral heads - I would not want to try that with exposed ports etc. especally if there's any winter surge. Kahului is basically across the island from any diving. So there you'll want to rent a car. The night dive returns to the dock about 9:00 and it's about an hour drive back to Kahului.

    Since you've got the day, here's a couple of other suggestions. Extended Horizons does a "Turtle Town dive at 12:30PM. The farthest they typically go is Umekehame Beach/Point. So push for that. When you splash you're likely to be underimpressed - its' just a reef and not the best off Maui by far. Probably mutter something un-polite about me....:wink:

    Until the Manta's show up. Umekehame is the Manta cleaning station - my buddy dove with 3 there one afternoon.

    If you don't want to dive during the day, the Maui Ocean Center in Ma'alea Harbor is worth a look. You can even dive their tank - there's a Tiger in it. But it's only about 3-4' long. It's a pricey dive also.
    Can't help with Oahu. If you have some time there's the Waikiki Aquarium. It's pretty small and pleasant - two things of note: Inside they have live chambered Nautilus. Also one of the few aquariums I know of that have critically endangered Monk seals.
    On Kauai you're going to be limited by weather to Poipu about 20mins. south of the cruise port (with no traffic...) Fathom Five, SeaSport Divers might be options. Although I believe Seasport wanted us there at 7:30. Garden Isle also has a boat and I believe the shop at the Sheraton does also. The signature dive is probably Sheraton Caverns - bring whatever lens is used for really big turtles..Fast Lanes was another I liked. A shore option there is Koloa Landing also in Poipu. Arguably the 2nd best shore dive on Kauai. Easy entry since you park about 20' from an old boat ramp and walk right down it into the water.

    EDIT - added:

    Check with Bubbles Below also - at one time they mentioned they were scheduling Northwest dives based on closely monitoring the weather in winter. You still can't go to Ni'ihau because even if they did, you don't have the time. But they dive up the Napili Coast and Mana Crack. However the big waves are what made Mana Crack so conditions would likely have to be calm the day you're there. Also they're in Port Allen - a little farther west than Poipu.

    I believe Kona is a tender port. You're arriving too late for the morning boats since they leave earlier from Honokohau harbor about a 20min. or so drive north of Kona. Jack's Diving Locker is on Alii Dr. probably the only shop within walking distance south of the cruise pier but bring a wheeled gear bag if you have one. We like Kona Diving Co. also. I have read of Jack's offering a van ride to customers on occasion but I think that was for shore dives booked with them. Our go to shop is Kona Diving Company but I don't think they'd work within your cruise schedule either.

    Hilo is only shore diving afaik. I don't even think there's a boat operator on that side. Nautilus Dive has been there for decades or Hilo Ocean Adventures. IDK much about either.

    If shore diving is of interest anywhere - here's many of the sites with entry photos. The Maui beaches in Kihei/Wailea are all as easy entries as they look. Many of the Kona sites have sharp lava up to and into the waterline in some areas. Scuba Shore Diving Region: Hawaiian Islands
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2016
  6. lonebrave

    lonebrave DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Maryland
    ^^^ Myles is right. Two best shops I regularly dove with for the two years I lived there.
  7. Grey Goose

    Grey Goose DIR Practitioner

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Toronto
    How are you getting from one island to another. Ship or plane? If latter, will need to factor into dive schedule.

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  8. Laurie S.

    Laurie S. Assistant Instructor

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tucson, Arizona and San Carlos, Mexico
    We're not going until November, I'm just in the planning stage right now. :)

    ---------- Post added January 6th, 2016 at 12:47 PM ----------

    We will be on a cruise ship. But, we're not cruise ship divers. :wink:
    Natasha likes this.
  9. Shaka Doug

    Shaka Doug Contributor

    # of Dives:
    Location: Kihei, Maui, Hawaii 96753, middle of the 808!
    I was showing my friend how cool Scubaboard is and I came across this post. She said "Isn't it funny how so many people don't read the posts before they comment?)

    ... and that was from someone who never even heard of this site! (Oh yeah, she's an English teacher who just learned to dive so that could explain it...). Better watch out if she goes from "lurker" to "poster"! She's tough!

    stuartv, Laurie S. and grantwiscour like this.
  10. Montana Diver

    Montana Diver Contributor

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montana
    An issue that might be a problem on Maui is the afternoon wind. Most of the boat diving starts prior to 7 am due to the afternoon wind. I have never dived the Kahalui side, only the west side. If you rent a car, that side is great. Shaka Doug does a great job on that side of the island, he does only shore dives. I believe that Ed Robinson will do some shore dives in that area. A great and easy entry is Makena Landing. Fairly protected with little surf. Check out both of these. Ed runs a boat early, however Shaka does only shore dives. Either will show you lots of cool things, I have dived with both.

    I hope you have a great visit.

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