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Dive Review of Fathom Five in
Hawaii/Kauai & Niihau

May, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Bob DeFeo, ca, USA
Contributor   (18 reports)
Report Number 4088
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Big Island, Roatan, Caymans, Philippines, Monterey, Puget Sound, Channel
Islands, Sonoma Coast, Texas lakes
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, surge, currents  
Water Temp
81   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
150   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Use of Safety Sausage on Niihau dives  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 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):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
Fathom Five & the shore-diving arm of the company are five stars all
the way. Did a two-tank boat dive one day on the south coast of Kauai and a
3-tank trip to Niihau with them on another.  Nitrox 32 used on all dives
and accurate fills to 3100-2900 psi with tanks in excellent condition.  The
boat dives took a maximum of eight on coastal runs and maximum of six on
Niihau runs.  On both coast dives saw more green turtles than I could count
and several grey reef sharks. DM Anthony was terrific.  Perfect safety and
dive spot briefs, great attitude and knowledge.  Helpful but not
overbearing...just right for all.  Fathom Five runs a top-shelf operation. 
From the second you walk into their shop in Koloa, Kauai until the time you
wave goodbye, these folks make you feel appreciated and most
welcome...unlike Seasport down the street in Popui who basically ignored me
and gave only the briefest answers to questions while returning to their
own bull session in the shop ignoring a customer.  Hence the reason I went
to Fathom Five plus the fact they are recommended in the Kauai Ultimate
Guide (blue books on all the Hawaiian Islands).  The trip to Niihau was
terrific and we lucked out with calm seas with a run time of 1 1/2hours
there and 1 3/4 hours back.  Niihau visibility 150 feet easily, saw over a
dozen grey and white-tip reef sharks, spotted rays, eels, butterfly fish of
varied types, trevally, several monk seals, pods of dolphins, baracuda,
damsel fish, parrotfish, the list is endless and their were large schools
of them.  A truly wonderful place to dive but no for the beginner.  Strong
currents are always a possibility and some spots were not diveable on our
trip due the fast currents.  The water is a beautiful dark indigo blue with
remarkable underwater topography.  Morning Kauai coastal dive spots were
great with turtle after turtle sometimes seeing as many as four to six in
one spot!  Large and healthy turtles at cleaning stations getting spruced
up and not very timid of divers.  They allowed us to approach and watch.  I
had two turtles on two separate occasions come up and check me out from two
feet away!  Wonderful.  Fathom five dive boats and the rental equipment I
saw were on top shape with happy and great crew.  These folks know how to
show you a good time.  Niihau trip show time was 615 am with return
scheduled for 6 pm...we arrived early due to the exceptionally calm seas
since the trades were not blowing and the swell was very low...Very lucky
since the ride back from Niihau can be a bone crusher--according to the
crew.  Take your seasickness meds for this trip!  Food provided on both
trips and great sandwiches and snacks on Niihau run with variety of drinks
available.  Cost was $366 for Niihau with 3 Nitrox tanks in that cost or it
would have been about $320.  Pricey but well worth it for the diving with a
great dive operation and people.  Shop will transport, rinse, and store
your equipment for you if doing repetitive diving during your stay.  Make a
point of going to Niihau---only available usually May to September due to
presence of large swell and rough seas at other times of the year.
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All Hawaii Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Hawaii
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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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