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Dive Review of Multiple/Kona Bali Kai Condos in
Hawaii/Big Island, Kona

January, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Carol Cox, FL, USA
Contributor   (14 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 918
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Guam, Rota, Palau, Truk, Bahamas, Caymans, Cozumel, Florida, Turks &
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
75   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth, 700 PSI, 45 minute time limit on night dives  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Both Jack's Diving Locker and Kona Honu dive boats had camera buckets. 
Divemasters handed you the gear.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
We spent the month of January on the Big Island of Hawaii doing a
combination of shore diving, boat diving, and sight-seeing.  We worked with
Hawaiian Scuba Shack Too, Kona Honu Divers, and Jacks Diving Locker.

Scuba Shack is a smaller operation in an industrial building near Costco. 
Jay Smith was very accomodating for our shore diving needs.  He gave us a
deal on renting weights for the month, and sold us 4 used tanks which he
bought back for a small price at the end of the month.  But we were happy
with the convenience of having tanks with us whenever we wanted to dive. 
He also had good prices on air fills - $2.50 each when we bought an air
fill card for 25 fills.   Tank fills were very fast, he did a quick repair
on a regulator house, and the hours were great, open 7:30 to 5:00, seven
days a week.  He books with several boat operators and can get a discount
for you.  Nitrox is available.  Email, Ph 808-331-8708,
73-4820 Kanalani St #3, Kailua Kona, HI  96740.  I really enjoyed the shore
diving when the ocean swells cooperated - January is not the best month for
that and sometimes we had to check up to 3 sites before finding one safe
enough to enter.  And some days we just went sight-seeing.  We also went to
the Hilo side when it was calm where we saw a Spanish Dancer.  During all
our shore diving we saw lots of tangs, goatfish, peacock grouper, eels,
many turtles, octopuses, cone and conch shells, augers, moorish idols,
butterflies, surgeonfish, puffers, trumpetfish, nudibranchs, etc. 
Topography included lava shelves with tubes and overhangs, sandy patches,
arches, and coral as far as you could see.  I got a lot of shore diving
info from a couple of web sites before the trip that was very helpful.

We did a manta ray night dive with Kona Honu Divers.  The boat felt a bit
crowded with the number of divers and snorkelers.  There were some big
swells and we had to dive an alternate site with no mantas.  Lots of folks
on the boat got sick even though we anchored in a calm bay.  We enjoyed the
large number of eels in the area and could clearly hear humpback whales
singing.  That alone was worth the trip.

We also went diving with Jacks Dive Locker where we liked the advanced
diving with the smaller crowds.  You pay more, but you stay out longer,
look for whales and dolphins, they feed you, and they treat you like an
experienced diver.  We saw some great whale action from their boat.  They
have a beautiful facility, however, we had some problems.  I had trouble
getting them to honor my PADI Diving Society coupon as written; the
salespeople I talked to werent familiar with the discount but they did
honor it finally.  Then, when I got my credit card bill, I found out that I
was charged for 5 days of diving when we did 4.  I called the 800 number
and the young man on the phone took down some of my information and then
asked if I could call back the next day.  That didn't make me happy when it
was their mistake and so I mentioned a certain newsletter I was going to
write to.  (this thing has a lot of power.)  I got someone on the phone
that took all the necessary information and quickly took care of the
problem.  We did a 3 tank advanced dive, a 2 tank advanced, and two manta
ray dives.  We had five mantas on the first manta dive, but none the second
night.  Once again, the eels put on a great show, including two getting
into an argument over territory, and we saw an ornamental octopus and 3
kinds of lobsters.  On the advanced dives we saw some rarer fish such as
Tinker Butterflies and Bandit Butterflies.

For lodging, we got a good price on a court-yard view condo through
Property Network.  They gave us a great discount since we were staying a
month.  Our one-bedroom unit was plain, but was clean and everything
worked.  The garbage disposal was quickly replaced when it broke and the
Property Network staff was always polite and professional.  The condo was
very convenient to Kailua-Kona and all the diving along the Kona Coast. 
The facility had picnic tables and benches on the shoreline where we
enjoyed watching the show each evening - surfers, turtles dining in the
shallows, and the great sunsets.

We saw most of the Big Island during our trip, but didn't manage to do
everthing we wanted to.  A month just isn't long enough, but that gives us
a good excuse to go back again.  Aloha!
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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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