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soo we are coming to Hawaii

Discussion in 'Local Reference' started by Joshua Pritchard, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. Joshua Pritchard

    Joshua Pritchard Registered

    24
    5
    So as the title says the GF and I have two weeks in Hawaii in June 2018 and we are looking to do some diving.

    the only thing things that are on the list ATM are night dives with the majestic sea flap flaps (no I'm not insane... really I'm not) in Kona and the Molokini crater. and that will be in the second weak when we will hopefully have some friends fly in to shatter the romantic get away for us.

    sooo the questions here are what else is there to do. we plan to spend most of our time on Maui and then get over to big island mid to late 2nd week to see the flap flaps (still not insane)

    so im looking for recommendations for places to stay and dive operators in the areas that would service the above named areas and be able to put up with my particular breed of insanity (might be a little nuts)

    on the diving front im in Perth and I normally dive in a 5mm wetsuit with a vest but no hood (i have one but dont normally need it) in 16-20 degree c water ... so what do all you native Hawaiian type people dive in for thermal protection.
     
  2. diving4ever

    diving4ever ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco
    189
    146
    Not a native Hawaiian but I dive Hawaii in the fall and spring most years. But I don't get too cold, so I'll give the actual temps. For Hawaii: the coldest temps I experienced were March and April (usually 76-77 degrees or so) and I wore a 3mm shorty. In June I'd prepare for about 78 degrees. I just came back from a trip to Kona two weeks ago and the water was 80-81 and I wore a swimsuit and leggings the whole trip. That said, you will definitely want a bit of protection on night dives, especially the manta dive where you don't move around much. I'd suggest a 3mm full suit but your 5mm will probably be fine unless you run really warm.
     
    Joshua Pritchard likes this.
  3. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,281
    5,857
    I probably sound like a travel agent but for years we had inexpensive direct flights to Hawaii so I've been there a few times.

    For Molokini you might want to stay in Kihei or more expensive Wailea. Everything from affordable condos across the street from the beach to the Grand Wailea or Four Seasons resorts are options - priced accordingly.

    Almost all the boats going to Molokini leave from the Kihei boat ramp but there's nothing nearby.

    We rent condos in Wailea. Most have a beach/beachfront access and are mixed in with the larger resorts. Since they're on separate bays, you hardly notice. Several of the beaches, Wailea, Polo, Ulua are also known shore dive sitees. In Kihei Maui Dreams Dive Co. specializes in shore diving and can provide paid guides or info/tanks to DIY. It's legally required to tow a flag - we never have. You might also contact Shaka Doug - you two would get along fine. www.shakadivers.com
    Maui Dive Shops also have several locations on the island for rentals, they also sell a fill card and have a free shore dive pamphlet in the stores.

    Most of the boats leave the ramp early and do 1-2 dives off Molokini b4 heading back around noon. Some do a dive off south Maui also. Inside the crater is nice diving, the edges a little deeper and the Backwalll more sporty - often a live drop and drift dive. Big pelagics will share the dive with you and the bottom is about 3-400' down.

    Operators to consider (there's many - these are just some I have experience with)
    Mike Severns Diving - all naturalists so you learn something on the ride over.
    B&B Scuba - just nice people run it.
    Ed Robinsons Dive - Ed has been diving for years. They do more advanced dives certain days of the week. Once my buddy did their 3-tank and the 3rd dive at the flap-flap cleaning station off Umekahame Beach. Not as good as Kona but they saw 3 - in daylight.

    The other thing to do is drive to Lahaina (or stay there and drive down to Kihei) and go out to Lanai. It's 45mins. to an hour even at 6am.

    The Cathedrals are the other signature Maui dives, Lahaina Divers does a once a week Molokai (not Molokini) Hammerhead dive and I like the West Lanai drift diving. At one site in fairly shallow water we saw 4-5000 tangs and butterflyfish holding n the current while we flew past. And a dozen white tips circling the edge.

    It's really rocking out there sometimes - they'll want an advanced cert. or equivalent experience.

    Extended Horizons also does similar dives on a smaller boat and guides at Mala Pier off West Maui. Mala should be on your must do dive list.

    Other fun things on Maui. Daybreak at the observatory - watch the sun come up then get on a bike and ride down the volcano. There will be a lot of people doing it and they follow with chase cars if you have a problem.

    The helicopter rides are good. They go up the other coast where there's basically no roads - or to Hana which is one of the twistiest roads in the world to drive. Takes all morning and you can stop along the way and play in the waterfalls.

    We liked Blue Hawaiian helo's but there's a couple options. Not cheap.

    Kaanapali Beach is nice but crowded. Kapalua Beach is one of the nicest on Maui. Kaanapali has jetski rentals and parasailing off a boat. Even tandem kites. It's fun and you go high enough to get a great view of the area.

    There's about 4-5 malls for shopping. Whalers, Kahana Gateway, Wailea Gateway and one I don't remember the name of. Lahaina town is blocks of shps, galleries etc. Wailea is more upscale.

    If you golf, do the Ocean Course at Kapalua. Or either the Wailea Blue or Gold courses.

    One restaurant worth the drive is Mama's Fish House in Paia. It's on the NE side. Nicer than the name suggests and you can watch the kitesurfers while waiting for a table. There's also a couple nice places to eat along the boardwalk in Kaanapali - I dpn't remember the names.

    Kaanapali/Kahana are the big resort areas- - some big condo rentals as well as resorts. Makes the area a little congested. We've stayed in condos in Wailea - Wailea Ekahi and a property in West Maui in Napili Bay - kind of an older area with smaller complexes - many beachfront. Next bay over is Kapalua - nicer condos and expensive shops.About 10mins drive to Lahaina.

    Kona is kind of 3 distinct areas. One is Kona/Kailua which is near the airport and the dive boats which all leave from Honokahau harbor. Lots of resort/condo options south of Kona town for several miles - most waterfront but not beach front as the beach there is lava - and sharp. Seveal shore dives in that area.

    Most of the dive shops are in Kona. 3 in the same industrial mall on the east side. You go there, sign up then meet at the boat all week. We like Kona Diving Company but there's also Big Island Divers or Jack's Diving on Alii Drive south of town. Kerry at KDC would get your sense of humor - she's fun.

    All do the flap-flap dives, Jacks also does Pelagic Magic and all dive south which is where you'll likely run into spinner dolphins besides all the turtles. The extended range trips some do around the Red Hill area are supposed to be best.

    Obviously the big other draw on Kona is Volcanoes National Park - currently singeing a portion of the island. It's a long drive south so plan on all day. 45 minutes drive north of Kona is the Waikoloa resort area - the Hilton there is it;s own little world - including dolphins and a stand up paddleboarding lagoon. Two shops keep boats narrby - Kohala Coast and Waikoloa Divers.
    Supposed to be some good shore dives off Puako farther north - and a couple of private guide options in the area. From there you'd have to drive down for the flap-flap night dive.

    If you are in that area for dinner - Roys Waikoloa is recommended - and pricey. There's quite a few other restaurants along the coast and in Kona that are waterfront also. Big Island is accurate - you'll be doing a lot of driving between things. Don't go inland on dive days at the elevation on the road to Hilo peaks at about 6600' Mauna Kea observatory closer to 13000' They'll frown on your going up there in a car so rent an SUV. Pre-book a car on Kona - walkups at the airport are a lot more expensive.

    We've stayed inland in Waikaloa but it was too quiet and a drive to everywhere. Also rented a house on south Alii drive which put us a couple miles from most things. Hilo is more of a locals town with the cruise port there but don't make a special trip over. Only one shop there and one or two shore dives.

    Ok,I've written enough,,,
     
  4. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,281
    5,857
  5. Joshua Pritchard

    Joshua Pritchard Registered

    24
    5
    curse my ungrateful fingers ....
     
  6. Joshua Pritchard

    Joshua Pritchard Registered

    24
    5
    wow thanks for the novel this was almost exactly what i was looking for ....

    where do you normally dive and what do you think is adquate thermal protection ?
     
    JazzHook likes this.
  7. diving4ever

    diving4ever ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: San Francisco
    189
    146
    I want to second Diver Steve's recommendation of KDC (Kona Dive Company). Kerry runs a great shop and they are running a second small/fast boat now that I love...including twice-weekly night reef dives (not just the Manta).

    Also, an update Volcano National Park. For the first time in over a decade, the Volcano is not producing lava. The lake that existed inside Halema‘uma‘u crater disappeared and the big lava flows from Puʻu ʻŌʻō crater have ceased. So while you can't see lava or lava glow anymore, there is a plus side to that. The air quality on the Island is the best I have ever seen it. I was there a couple weeks ago and there was ZERO vog-- nothing but blue skies.

    And one touristy thing to mention is the Octopus Farm that opened a couple of years ago. There is a start-up there trying to figure out how they can farm octopus (to address the depletion of the species particularly in the Mediterranean). Part of how they fund it is through tours of the facility and one upside is the opportunity to engage with their subject octopus.
     
    Joshua Pritchard and KathyV like this.
  8. diversteve

    diversteve always tired Rest in Peace ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,281
    5,857
    actually lately more in the Carbbean and liveaboards now.We used to mostly go in the summer and fall and I dove in a t-shirt but didn't mind being cold at depth. Sometimes very cold but bearable. My skinny buddy dives a full 3mm most of the time - no hood.

    I liked south Maui shore diving and trips out to Molokini or Lanai. I particularly like the west Lanai drifts - thought the Cathedrals were sort ofover-rated. Shark Condos is a good deep Molokini dive - I actually just like shallow diving back towardsMaui from there - often see white tips resting in te sand and once or twice frogfish.

    Some Maui diving is farther out so operators do guided scooter dives. Maui Dresms,, Shaka Divers.Scuba Mike, Maui Scooter Divers all have them. We did OldAirport Beach once - there's some wreckage in one area from the sugar loading ships - octopus live in it. If you dive any lava tubes - shine a light on the ceiling as something will usually move.

    No recent Kona dive experience so I'll let others comment on that. My buddy dove with KDC a few years ago and at a couple sites south they were joined by hundreds of spnner dolphin. And he did the Manta night dive - it's on some top 50 dives in the world lists.The brightest light gets the most attention since it attracts the plankton - he's got a 4K lumen video light so made some new friends.
     
    Joshua Pritchard likes this.
  9. JamesBon92007

    JamesBon92007 Contributor

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Southern California...too far from the ocean
    3,209
    1,301
    I did the manta night dive (flap flaps?) in April and most ops were sold out so you might want to book it in advance. I ended up going with whichever one had room on the boat but they all go to the same place at the same time. Maui has some easy and interesting shore dives and if you stay in Kihei or Wailea like diversteve said you'll have easy access to the beaches plus the Molokini dive. I only have a couple dozen dives in Hawai'i but my 2.5mm full suit with no hood was just right.
     
    Joshua Pritchard likes this.
  10. Joshua Pritchard

    Joshua Pritchard Registered

    24
    5
    yes that's right Majestic Sea Flap Flaps ... and if i never get chased by another Sea Danger Noodle I will be happy.

    being as we are planning for June I'm hoping to have the important stuff like the night Sea flap flap dive booked by mid Jan at the latest.

    I assume that from your comment about your 2.5 mm wet suit being fine that this is your normal dive gear ? I'm trying to decide if mi going to buy a 3mm as well as the new 7mm I will likely need to get (I'm moving back to NZ and I don't think my 5mm will cut it in the colder water.. the 5 mm is only really working in Perth with the thermal vest but no hood) tho i guess getting a 3mm and wearing both would work

    ==================================================================================================================
    as some explanation for the Flap flap thing... well its quit the tale so hang on ...
    a few years ago there was a Marine biologist that was amused by the really silly common names that some animals can get so he decided to see how silly he could make them and he asked the inter-webs for help...

    In one of the grander traditions of the internet this has kinda gone viral in the younger Internet savvy population and while at 45, i'm likely not able to consider my self younger anymore I do work in IT (specifically Network management for an ISP) sooo I tend to be over exposed to the sillier parts of the internet.

    So this particular brand of crazy has given us Trash Pandas (Referenced in a Marvel movie), Danger Noodles and Nope Ropes (snakes and living in Western Australia I see a lot of these) and Sea Flap Flaps (Rays of any kind tho stingrays are often Sea Pancakes due to the round shape) adding the Majestic to the Sea Flap Flap you get Manta Rays... (oh and traditionally a normal Flap Flap is a Bat)
     

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