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Dive Review of Dive Makai, /Torpedo tours in

October, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Wayne Joseph, CA, US
Sr. Reviewer   (7 reports)
Report Number 5214
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
100   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
[None]Neither operators had anywhere special to store our cameras, but they
did have rinse tanks only for cameras. Didn't want to store the cameras in
it as that is usually when they get leaks.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
Good: Dive Makai. Did 3 morning dives with them. Their dive briefings were
detailed as to what they hoped to find & the dive profile.(Although not
as detailed as the original owners) They also told us how they wanted us to
enter the water & get back on to the boat, where safety equipment was
stored, etc. We saw leaf scorpion fish, a really large frog fish (at least
a foot long) scooting along the bottom, pipe fish, turtles, nudibranchs,
& other interesting critters & fish.  If the ocean was a bit choppy
with poor vis, they would move the boat to other spots to get us better
vis. All around I would rate them highly.  Good service.

Bad: I've read where others are stating that the fish population has
decrease dramatically, but I was skeptical.  Now I have to agree with them.
 This was our 3rd trip to Kona, & it is very noticeable. 
I find it much worse than on Maui.  Hawaii has got to get a handle on this
aquarium trade as I've been told they are the culprits who have taken most
of the fish.  Most of these fish don't last very long.  This is really a

Ugly: Torpedo Tours  We arranged a night manta dive with them. We arrived
at the specified boat slip at the said time, but no boat.  Turns out they
were late from the afternoon dive.  Then we had to jump down 3ft from the
dock to put all our gear onto their boat as the owner sat on his ass with
his feet propped up on a chair.  (we were the only 2 divers who brought all
our own gear) He didn't help us get our gear off the boat either.  He
barely spoke to any of us, except to give orders. His wife was very nice
& led the dive. At the end of the trip he finally started speaking to
us.  I think he was glad it was the end of the day.  I've been diving for
35yrs & this is probably the most unprofessional dive operator I've

The manta dive is a GREAT experience.  We settle down in about 25ft of
water around lights that shine up to the surface & about 20 (yes, 20)
of them showed up and started their dance to eat the krill.  It can be a
bit of a mad house as there were about 30-40 divers & snorkelers, but
it is well worth it.

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Subscriber's Comments

By Ciscotsl at Aug 30, 2012 17:41 EST  
I am sorry to hear you had a poor experience with Torpedo Tours. We had
quite the opposite. After having a little trouble finding the boat, we
settled in and had fun. Nikki led the first twilight dive and found a flat
worm, huge eels, conch eating a crown of thorns and other. The Manta dive
was led by Mike and he was one of the best guides we've had. He led us by
large morays before settling in on the Manta Dive which was other worldly!
Mike is quiet but when asked questions he had a wealth of marine knowledge.
Dove two days later with them and had the same educational experience, and
really liked their easy going nature and low key approach.If you like small
groups and local knowledge go with Torpedo, but they are not a "cattle
boat" or limo-style operation. I felt like I was diving with another
diver with specialized local knowledge, and that is the way I like it! No
catering, just the joy of diving!
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Diving Guide to Hawaii
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