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Dive Review of Aloha Dive Company/Timeshare in Waikoloa Village in
Hawaii/Big Island/Kona

Aloha Dive Company/Timeshare in Waikoloa Village, Apr, 2004,

by Rich, CO, USA . Report 1401.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Dive your own profile
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Provided camera rinse-tank and took exceptional care of equipment.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments I contacted Mike Nakachi of Aloha Dive Company a couple months ahead of time to make arrangements for diving. He took my name and number and told me to give him a call when I got into town. After talking with Mike the day before our scheduled dive, he gave me directions to the marina where we would meet.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that it would be only me and one other diver going out for the day (in addition to Mike and Earl).
Mike and Earl are native Hawaiians and make you feel at home right away. They take care of all your gear after you hand it up. Full 3000 psi fills (or more) on the tanks. I was impressed to find out that most of the divers who go out with him are locals and repeat customers.
The diving with these guys is absolutely amazing! Mike and Earl have very laid-back personalities. I was expecting the usual, take you out, show you around, maybe see a few turtles or a shark here and there. I had heard about all the endemic species of Hawaii and how the Hawaiin dive boat guys are so good at finding small critters. So, I was settling into the idea of getting a bunch of macro shots in what I thought would be so-so diving. Boy was I ever wrong.
As soon as we got to the first site (maybe a half-hour to forty-five minute trip), we got a very thorough briefing and a somewhat longer list than usual of underwater hand signals (endemic species, fish that are sold for a lot of money, signs for sharks, etc.) But, when we got in the water things really got going!
The laid-back Mike suddenly turned into a kid in a candy store. He would signal to us to look here and there and every time there was something more exciting and interesting. Grey sharks, white tips, turtles, and rare Hawaiian species of every sort.
After the dive we went through the book. What was that fish or what was that crazy-looking thing you were pointing at? Mike has an incredible, almost photographic, memory. He can seemingly recall everything he has ever seen on every dive, ever!
The second dive is led by Earl, Mike's trusty first mate. Earl asked me what I wanted to see. "Oh, how about that long-nosed hawkfish we just looked at in the book? Also, frogfish, an octopus, and a spotted eagle ray?" Well, only moments later every wish was fulfilled.
The rest of the week went almost exactly the same way. Mike or Earl would ask, "What do you want to see?" I would respond: a pod of dolphins, more sharks, lionfish, black coral... the list was endless. We were thwarted in our attempts at a whale shark and hammerheads, but these guys made every effort to find them.
Mike and Earl didn't do the manta night dive, but referred me to Big Island Divers. These guys have a shop off the main highway. Nice folks and very professional. There must have been six to eight mantas that evening. They hire a photographer who makes you pose with the mantas swooping over you (even if you don't want to). The experience was great though. Note for photographers: bring at least one, if not two strobes for pictures. Also, it's very difficult to photograph the mantas because you have to hold your light in one hand, pointed up, maintain your balance in the heavy surge while sitting on your tank, and operate your camera with your one available hand. I had an LED headlamp I brought, hoping to avoid some of these problems, but with all the jostling I lost the headlamp. I told the DM at Big Island Divers and he actually found the headlamp a few days later and shipped it back to me on the mainland! Nice touch I thought.
Needless to say, Mike and Earl of Aloha Dive Company deserve every bit of praise they regularly receive in Undercurrent. I became accustomed to referring to each outing as "Mike and Earl's Wild Ride!" These guys are the pinnacle of service and professionalism. I have seen it written that the diving in Hawaii is "mediocre." I have dove all over the world and I can tell you, unequivocally, that this was the best time I have ever had. Diving we these guys is a "must-do" adventure. If you can get there, schedule a trip with these guys for your next vacation. I'm just a little worried that none of my future trips will quite measure up...
P.S. Buffy's cookies are every bit as good as what you hear!
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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