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Dive Review of Hawaiian Rafting Adventures in

October, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Ed Strange, CA, United States
Report Number 2131
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
0-25 dives
Where else diving
Jamaica, Maui, No. CA coast & lakes.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
79   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
35   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Setup at the shop consists of a few tables in the back for customer use. 
Limited gear and accessories are available.  Boat storage consists of a
filled marine cooler due to space limitations.  The crew will download and
burn a disc from your digital camera back at the shop.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
Having dove at the Cathedrals on Lanai, most decent beach entry points on
West Maui, and Molokini's back wall unaccessible due to strong surge and
currents, we decided to do a "manta dive" with Hawaiian Rafting
Adventures, based at Mala Wharf, Front St., Lahaina, Maui.  The dive site
is a location about 500 yards off the West Maui coast, 10 Mi. South of
Lahaina, better accessible by boat beacause of the strong surf in this
area.  The dive is over lava formations with moderate reef growth in
30'-50' where mantas regularly congregate in the late afternoon/early
evening to be "cleaned" of parasites by wrasses.  Visibility was
low (35'-50') due to recent rain and runoff from land, but the dive gave
what it promised, and within 3 minutes of entering the water, two mantas
were spotted 25' from us, lazily cruising the reef.  Both had wingspans of
12'-15'!  We spotted other pairs intermittently through the dive, but
finally found the "sweet spot" with about 5-min. of air left. 
18-20 mantas circling overhead at about 25', while we watched in awe from
50'.  Some good pictures from the photographer on the trip, even with the
low visibility.  Hawaiian Rafting Adventures uses RIB diveboats, taking 12
divers max. on their excursions (ours had 10).  You must drive to their
facility, check in, load your gear on the boat, and then walk to the dock
(300 yards) while they launch the boat.  Crew has excellent knowledge of
the area, pointing out the good and not-so-good beach dive areas that we
passed, with entry points and reef locations at each.  We saw quality
rental gear on other divers and NITROX is available.  As we all know, there
are not a lot of accomodations on a 25' RIB, but the trip to the dive sites
are fun, also, riding the afternoon swells in the Maui/Lanai channel. 
All-in-all a good trip and a quality dive operation.
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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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