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Dive Review of Deep Ecology/Hilton Hawaiian Village in
Hawaii/Oahu

Deep Ecology/Hilton Hawaiian Village, Aug, 2005,

by Susan Fuhs, CA, USA . Report 1892.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
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
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments 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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