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Dive Review of Lahaina Divers/Aston Kaanapali Shores] in

June, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Timothy A Kolakowski, PA, US
Contributor   (12 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5809
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caymans, Fla Keys, Grand Bahama, Saba, Curacao, Bonaire, St Vincent, Provo,
Grand Turk, Salt Cay, Montserrat, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Big Island  
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
78   to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
5 stars  
bucket on boat
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
     We chose the Kaanapali area for its proximity to Lahaina, then started
looking at the many choices of places to stay. We like a condo for the 3 of
us when we travel, and found Aston Kaanapali Shores, an all-condo resort.
It was perfect for us - comfortable but not overly luxurious, a great
value. We chose it also because it has an excellent Kids' Club (Camp
Kaanapali) and they offer free, supervised scuba diving in the pool &
intro dives off their beach. This sounded perfect for our son James to
build on his 2009 Bonaire Scuba Rangers experience and Cozumel intro dive.
     An internet search turned up, which got us
the condo for less than half the price of the Aston website. Then, with no
real airfare bargains on Kayak, Sidestep, Orbitz, etc I did a search for
travel agents in Honolulu and found that got us a lower
airfare from our hometown than the bigger city airports that are a 2 hour
drive away.
     We set up this trip before we went to Bonaire for Easter 2010, where
son James repeated the Scuba Ranger class. The instructor felt he was ready
to go for the next big step, to get certified. But with all the homework
& school activites we didn't have time to fit in the 6 to 8 week
classes. Fortunately, we ran across the PADI e-learning course. We started
studying the material as school ended for summer and the homework load
subsided just squeezed it in before we left for Maui, using the long flight
& layovers to continue to study.
     Mike Drazkowski runs the diving for Aston Kaanapali Shores. He owns
& operates Scorpion Scuba Safaris. In fact, he is 100% of Scorpion
Scuba Safaris...he does it all by himself! Our son James did the pool
sessions before and after Mike introduced resort guests to scuba in the
pool, and his 4 check out dives were done on full length shore dives as
Mike led certified divers on shore dives off the beach behind the resort.
They swam through the 1-2 foot rollers, then went under. Mom and Dad
watched the floating dive flag as they went out farther and
farther....several hundred yards! The operator at the resort next door
stayed much closer. We wondered what we got our child involved with but it
paid off..he saw octopus, turtles, eels on his first dive! Parents reading
this report can relate to how proud (and relieved) we were when the end of
that 4th open water dive produced big smiles, high fives and one newly
certified diver! A big thank you again to you, Mike Drazkowski, for your
effort (and patience!).
    Oh yeah...I dove too. I did some nice dives with Lahaina Divers in the
Lanai Cathedrals and the backside of Molokini. They do a nice job with
service and handled a scheduling snafu exceptionally well. I would dive
with them again. Buying a multiple dive package reduces the high cost that
is characteristic of Hawaii diving. Bring a gear bag for them to transport
your gear and a safety sausage for Backside or they'll insist that you buy
both from them. The Mala Pier is an excellent shore dive, especially at
night. Lots of critters among the pilings, including a 5 foot reef shark.
     Leave lots of time for land adventures on Maui. We drove to Hana - go
about an hour past Hana to see the 7 Pools, then just a little farther to
see Lindbergh's grave - saw the sunrise on Haleakala, the Io Needle, and
the 18th hole at Kapalua. We pretty much drove everywhere we could drive,
putting about 900 miles on our car. Maui is spectacular!
     Lahaina has cool shops & galleries and probably has some great
restaurants. We wouldn't know because we couldn't drive past the Aloha
Mixed Plate, an outdoor restaurant on the north side of Lahaina. AWESOME
food in a gorgeous setting. We ate there over and over again.
     This was an unforgettable's where we became a diving
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