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Dive Review of Dive Makai Charters in

May, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Michael J Sare, NM, USA
Report Number 2457
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Many Caribbean Islands, Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, Tobago, North Carolina,
Delaware, Key West, Hawaiian Islands, French Polynesia, Great Barrier Reef
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 76    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Computer no deco dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 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):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
5 stars    
the good":  Two 2-tank dives with Dive Makai Charters (DMC) ([ link] ownership late 2005, but the same standard of
excellence has been maintained.  Very competently run, thorough site and
naturalist pre-dive briefs.  All divers experienced, competent.  Many
repeat customers onboard (like me).  Morning two-tank routine: meet at 0730
at Honokohau Harbor (2 miles N of Kailua-Kona); in water by 0900, back at
harbor by 1300-1330.  Boat is 31 custom built Radon, Lio Kai III
(translates to Seahorse in Hawaiian); 12 divers max.  I brought minimal
personal gear and rented equipment from DMC.  Their rental gear was in very
good condition.  DMC uses LP steel 80s; boat crew accurately did math to
recompute weights.  I had requested a rental 3mm full wetsuit, but on first
day of diving, boat crew readily admitted they pulled the wrong size by
mistake.  Acknowledging thier error, crew divers Todd and Mark literally
gave me "the shirt (wetsuit) off their backs" by lending me their
personal wetsuits for two dives.  Can't beat THAT for service!  As the
wetsuits were 7mm and 5mm, and then the correct 3mm for the following day,
boat crew rigged the correct weights for me without adjustment, every time.
 All four dives averaged an hour or slightly more with max depth on deepest
dive 93.  Snacks, water, juice between and after dives.  Thorough
knowledge of dive sites by Jan, Todd, Mark, and Dave.  Very, very competent
at detecting underwater creatures, including: many different types of eels,
juvenile and mature rock movers, frog fish, banded shrimp, octopus
(including one free-swimming who gave us a color-change demo every time it
settled), lobster, nudibranches galore, barracuda, lions paw sea
cucumber (rare daytime find) . . . and a swim by by ~25 spinner dolphins
while we were at a safety stop.

"the bad": None.

"what you wish you had known before you left home": Within
minutes of sending DMC an email requesting updated information, Tom
Shockley called me on the phone, introduced himself, provided immediate
answers to my several questions, and within 2 hours had backed all that up
with a more comprehensive email, and then a "snail mail" package.
 Tom filled in all the blanks so that there were no surprises and nothing
"I wished I knew." 

Bottom line: Site and operator continue to be tops in my book.
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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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