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Dive Review of Bubbles Below in

February, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Craig Condron, WA, United States
Reviewer   (6 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 4744
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Australia. French Polynesia, Cook Is. Tonga, Fiji, Palau,
Christmas Is. Hawaiian Islands, Western Mexico
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
73   to 74    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 125    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Follow computors and @ 700 lbs. ascend to safety stop.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
Jan 24 - Feb 12, 2009. Total dives 21.

Arrived in Kauai on Jan. 24 2009 and after landing, called a friend who had
been on the island several weeks already. "Got you signed up for a 3
tank dive with Bubbles Below first thing in the morning" were the
first words out of his mouth. Sorry Linda (wife), I must go, he signed me
up without asking. Swales were down, so we headed for the Napalai Coast to
dive an old reef system 1/2 mile off the coast. During the first dive the
Humpback Whales were singing so loud you could feel the vibration on your
temples.Pelagic Spotted Knife fish was the star of the dive along with
Lacey Nudibranch and Yellow Frog fish. Between dives we spent touring the
Napalai Coast while Joe (divemaster) gave us a history and geological
lesson of this rugged coast. Dive #2 was highlighted by a Tritan Trumpet
attacking the notorious Crown-of-thorn Starfiish. The Crown-of-thorn was
trying to escape, but the Tritan was overpowering. Watched the action for
10 minutes, but could have used up my air right there.
     During our 3 weeks in Kauai I did 21 dives with Bubbles Below, so I
won't bore you with each dive. Bubbles Below is based out of Port Allen, so
they visit the sites East of the sites normally visited by other dive
shops. They do an occasional run West and visit the sites around Poipu, but
their site selection is more diversified. They allow you to dive your own
profile, but always getting all divers to the boat safely. The divemasters,
Linda (owner), Joe, and Scott, are always eager to point out the little
critters, pipefish nudibranchs, leaf fish, frog fish and all the endemnic
fish of Hawaii. They have dive safety briefings, but are always including
"what you will see on the next dive." During safety intervals
they may talk about the reef, the island formations, history of the island
or how this all interacts. Because of their enthusiasim, you will learn
something, wow, even on vacation.
     Captain Earl and Captain Pete are always a joy to be around. They are
experts at dropping you right over a site and being right with the group
during their drift dives and always willing to help you onto the boat. Most
of Bubbles Below dives are drifts unlike other operator who do stationary
drops. There can be currents so it is nice to know you don't need to swim
into the current during half of your dive.
     Twice during my stay we were able to go to the island of Niihau for a
3 tank day. The walls here are amazing. Hanging in the water column are all
the Planktaphors (Butterflies, Surgeons, Bannerfish and Mackerals) by the
100's. Visibility was 125 feet to 150 feet on the walls. Other dives
included arches and tubes. One dive our divemaster was a Monk Seal, who led
us around most of our dive.
     My dive partner lost his camera at the beginning of a dive near Poipu.
Two days later Linda organized a search Party at the site. Using a rope,
she spread out 3 divemasters and other fellow divers 20 feet apart along
the rope to start a circle search. 10 minutes and the camera was found,
under water high fives and now a pleasure dive to use up our air. My friend
was very grateful for this extra effort by the staff of Bubbles Below.
     The highlights during my stay included an Undulated Eel being cleaned
by two Whitestripped Shrimp, 2 Harlequin Shrimp chopping up a Yellow Leaf
fish (sushi) and 2 Anemone Crabs mating (I think).
     I have written about Bubbles Below in past issues of the Chapbook and
they continue to do it best in Kauai. Linda being the hands on owner, makes
for an experience you can depend on year after year.
    My final dive in Kauai (actually Niihua), we were escorted during our
drifting safety stop by 7 Spotted Eagle Rays (3 adults and 4 juveniles). I
don't know how Bubbles Below set that up, but nice touch.
Mahalo to Bubbles Below  
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