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Dive Review of Kona Honu Divers/Hilton Waikaloa in

February, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Lori Brown, Chris Green, WA, USA
Sr. Contributor   (22 reports)
Report Number 2280
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Bonaire, Fiji, Jamaica, PNG, Indonesia, Irian Jaya
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Really restricted by the shallow depth of the site.  We were told to start
back after using half air.  Also for the Manta Dive, we were told it was a
40 minute maximum.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There was a rinse tank specifically for cameras and the crew was helpful
getting cameras on and off the boat. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
This was our first trip to Hawaii and we dive with Kona Honu Divers.  Due
to respiratory illness, presumably not avian influenza, I only went diving
with them once during our 10 day stay.   On the way out to the dive site,
we spotted 3 humpback whales, one a calf.  The calf repeatedly breached, as
if it was playing.  We could have watched this all afternoon but... on to
the dive. This was a twilight/night dive set that was in a bay within stone
throwing distance of the Kona Airport.  This was the areas signature manta
ray dive.  The first dive at twilight was on the coral.  It is not a reef
but just coral growing on volcanic rocks.  I found the colors to be pretty
ho-hum- mostly yellow and tan. We saw a few colorful flatworms, a few
butterfly fish, and a few colorful wrasses, but not exactly swarms of fish.
	As the time for the manta ray dive approached, a half dozen boats showed
up.  In preparation for the manta ray dive, boxes of lights were placed in
a sandy area about 30-35 ft deep.  The idea is to get the plankton hopping
to attract the manta rays (these rays feed on plankton).  We went down with
plans to wait about 10 minutes and if the mantas hadnt shown up,  then
tour the coral area and return to the sandy area to look for manta rays at
a later time.  After waiting, the group retreated to the coral.  As we were
leaving, we spotted a manta ray and headed back to the sandy area.  There
were about 50 divers and one solitary manta ray, about 8 ft wing-span.  The
lights had pumped up the plankton to a blurry frenzy and the manta twirled
and flipped through the dense plankton. The divers were practically dancing
about and it was a joyous site - the delight over a single feeding manta
ray.  While the manta ray was the center of attention, we also saw 2-3
free-swimming spotted viper morays.  They were hunting with the help of the
	Overall we were pleased with Kona Honu Divers.  Our dive master/guide,
Scott, was attentive but not intrusive.  There were 20 divers on the boat
which was a bit crowded. However, they worked to separate more experienced
divers from newer divers which enhances everyones experience.  Between
dives, they served soft drinks and sandwiches.  The briefings for each dive
were appropriate and there was a safety briefing before getting on the
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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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