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Dive Review of Nautilus Dive Center in
Hawaii/Hilo

Nautilus Dive Center, Sep, 2012,

by Skip Lynch, MA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 6700.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Fiji, Zanzibar, Kenya, Egypt, Borneo, Costa Rica, both coasts of Mexico, Little Cayman, Grand Cayman, Middle Cayman, Jamaica (ugh), Honduras, Indonesia, Bonaire, Florida
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 79 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50 to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 1 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments Owner/dive guide weighted himself heavily, wore gloves, and crawled along the bottom, pawing the live coral mercilessly.
I was led to believe I was being taken on a boat dive, but was charged $85 to make two shore dives a few miles down the road. I had all my own equipment, by the way. Another operator charged me $10 for a tank plus one refill, and so I could make the same shore dive myself for a fraction of the price, and without being herded like a sheep. Adding insult to injury, the second shore dive, about 10 minutes after the first, was AT THE SAME SITE!
We proceeded at a snail's pace along the bottom (roughing up the coral) and I would receive frantic signals if I swam a short distance away, though in plain sight. Though I didn't participate in the coral-mauling, I was chastised repeatedly for having "stressed" a razorfish, which I admit I approached too closely, causing it to dive into the sand (very cool, though).
My advise is to rent a tank and inquire where to dive from shore on your own. Diving on Kona side was better than in Hilo, from what I could tell based on just this site. Kohala Divers was very friendly; they rented me tanks and told me where I could shore dive myself.
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Subscriber's Comments

By George Lynch in MA, US at Sep 18, 2012 09:51 EST  
sorry for spelling error: "advice"
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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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