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

August, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by James A. Heimer, TX, United States
Contributor   (15 reports)
Report Number 3508
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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

sunny, dry  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 70    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
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.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
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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All Hawaii Dive Reviews and Reports
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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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