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Dive Review of Dive Makai/Kona Coast Resort (timeshare) in
Hawaii/Big Island

Dive Makai/Kona Coast Resort (timeshare), Aug, 2007,

by James A. Heimer, TX, United States (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 3508.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Tahiti, Indonesia, Malaysia, N & S California, E & W Mexico, Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Aruba, St. Thomas, Australia (Barrier Reef and Coral Sea)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 78 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Generally followed dive master, but allowed to remain in water near boat at end of dive subject to air and bottom time restrictions.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 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 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Small rinse bucket and fresh water hose on boat for cameras; storage was under seats - no camera table. No shore facilities available, but could use boat wash down area for quick rinse after the dive.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments For the second year in a row we booked with Dive Makai for three days of diving during our one week on the Big Island of Hawaii, including an evening and night dive combination culminating in the Manta Ray dive. Dive Makai operates out of Honokohau Harbor. You meet them for the two tank morning dives at 7:30 am (trade winds make afternoon diving uncomfortable, so dive operators prefer to get an early start and to get back before the seas pick up). You drive up to their trailered 34 boat, load your gear on board, then walk to the boat launch to board the boat once it is in the water. Most of the dive sites are within a 20 minute boat ride, and the crew will tailor the selection to the interests of the divers (macro photography, for example). Most dives we did were in the 60 to 80 foot range, with most of the sea life of interest shallower. We saw frog fish, about four species of morays, and multitudes of the colorful wrasse and butterfly fish for which Hawaii is noted. The three crew give detailed dive briefings, and one or two will guide the group to see that all of the high points are hit, although you do have the opportunity of dive your own profile and stop to do photography.

The Manta Dive was the highlight, though some divers dont like it as it is definitely a staged event. Divers (and snorkelers) from several dive operations assemble in Garden Eel cove near the airport on their respective boats at dusk (Dive Makai does an afternoon dive as a prelude to the night Manta Dive), then enter the water and add their dive lights to a light array placed in the middle of a sand patch in about 35 feet of water. On our trip last year, two Mantas showed up this time, at least six put on a real performance as they looped and swooped through the soup of plankton attracted by the lights. We concluded this night dive by following several hungry morays hunting on the reef the yellow tang population took a hit.

As an indication of how good Dive Makai is, on the second day of diving we had five tourists on board, three locals, and one Dive Makai Dive Master on her day off diving from the boat. We'll be back.
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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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