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Dive Review of Deep Ecology/Hilton Hawaiian Village in

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Susan Fuhs, CA, USA
Report Number 1892
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Caribbean, Egypt, Baja, Mayan Riviera,
California, Florida, Fiji
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
80   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
although dive operation said you could dive safe limits of air and
computer, dive was ended at 52 minutes - probably because we had had to be
towed to the dive site by another dive boat - see below  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 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):
4 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
1 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
1 stars    
I have now learned a lesson - when checking out a dive operation, in
addition to normal questions about length of dive and amount of (hopefully
lack of) hand-holding, I will ask whether their boat has two engines.  Yes,
I ended up in a boat with only one engine, conked-out and stranded off the
shore of Oahu!

I chose Deep Ecology for my one precious day of diving on Oahu, while I was
attending a conference.  There weren't really any good recommendations for
Oahu dive operations in Undercurrent, Deep Ecology's website looked good,
and in e-mail discussions they also sounded good (dive to safe limit of air
and computer, conditions permitting, emphasis on ecology, etc.), so with
one day off from my conference to go dive, I booked with them.   I had been
firm that I wanted to go boat diving - they seemed to want to push shore
diving, but I will just do shore diving myself by renting a tank and
weights for maybe $10 rather than paying a dive shop $70 or $80 to take me
diving.  If I'm paying someone to take me diving, I want (not unreasonably,
I think) to go places I can't get to myself.  

Unfortunately, my one precious dive day didn't go so well.  On the way out
to our first dive site, the boat started having engine problems.  The
captain and crew tried to fix it, started it up again briefly, and then the
one and only engine conked out for good.  The captain called up the other
dive boat that was operating out of Haleiwa harbor, and they agreed to come
get us after their first dive, tow us to their second dive site, let us all
dive together, and then tow us into harbor.  This plan worked, and the
second dive site was a nice patch and finger reef, with some nice animals,
nothing spectacular.  Unfortunately, probably due to a desire not to
inconvenience the other boat, I still had 1400 psi left when our dive
master started making motions that we should ascend, only 52 minutes into a
very shallow dive. Perhaps understandable, but coming up after a short dive
with lots of air and bottom time left was not what I had been led to expect
from my e-mails with Deep Ecology prior to booking.

On the way back to the harbor, they offered to take us shore diving that
afternoon, but (1) as above, I don't want to pay boat dive prices for shore
diving and (2) my husband and son were coming back to pick me up, so I
couldn't anyway.  I settled up for the one dive with the shop, and was
amazed when the lady behind the counter proposed that I pay them
approximately 70% of the two tank price for my one SHORT dive and a couple
of hours sitting around stuck off the short of Oahu.  I countered that I
thought something LESS than 50% was appropriate - we eventually settled on
exactly half.  Although this is fair in one way since I did get one dive,
it is not the sort of haggling attitude that will ever bring me back to
dive with Deep Ecology again!

It's too bad that there don't seem to be any diver-oriented (as opposed to
tourist-oriented) dive operations on Oahu, when there are such nice ones
(like Bubbles Below, Mike Severns, Dive Makai) on the outer islands.  I had
hopes of Deep Ecology, but they weren't it!
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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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