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Dive Review of Scuba Shack/Mana Kai Maui in

February, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Paul and Donna Lima, TN, US
Sr. Contributor   (27 reports)
Report Number 2320
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Belize, Caymans, Roatan, Florida Keys, Hawaii (Big Island)
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, surge  
Water Temp
71   to 77    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay above dive leader, safety stop with 700psi, on boat with 500psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
[None]Dedicated fresh water container for cameras
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
We had rented tanks and weights from Scuba Shack but never gone on their
boat before. Michelle at the store was very helpful and pleasant and
arrangements were easy. Typical Maui start in the dark at 6am from Kihei
boat ramp. They have a truck with equipment for those that need to rent,
coffee, tea, hot chocolate, granola bars and cookies for consumption while
forms are filled out and equipment distributed. Equipment is brand new and
replaced each month. Great deals on purchasing last month's gear. Nice,
spotless boat with 350hp twin diesels and jet drive which reduced worries
about getting back on after drift dives. There are very handy rails on both
sides of the dive platform which you hold while removing your fins, then
move to the ladder. The only down side was that it was a little cramped
when gearing up prior to dives. Captain Valerie was competent and
enthusiastic about the operation, the boat and the large numbers of
humpback whales that breed and calve offshore in the winter. We stopped
several times and she killed the engines so we could watch and listen to
the whales. Whale song was our constant companion under the water as well.
Went out two days with one day being sunny and pleasant and one being cold
and cloudy. Brought lots of expedition weight polypropylene and wore all of
it on the second day! Hawaii can be cold (highs 70s, lows 60s)this time of
year. Dove with Toby as our divemaster and Waldo as extra eyes on the boat
enabling us to do drift dives (Coast Guard regulations). Nice dives with
lots of fish, turtles and a few sharks. Toby was very aware of air
consumption but was great at letting us use our air while others returned
to the surface to be picked up as their air ran low. Both days we saw the
best at the end of the dive when it was just Toby and the two of us. On the
back wall of Molokini we watched a white tip reef shark and large ulua
(jack) hunting together. The shallower dives were consistently well over an
hour! Never experienced any time pressure either below or above the water.
Nice surface interval food (bagels, cookies, croissants, pineapple, juices
and water). 
The Mana Kai is located close to the boat ramp (actually snorkeled over
there one day) and right on the ocean. It has a long beach to the left but
also has a nice reef to the right. Large lawn, perfect for watching whales
during the day and for watching sunsets with Mai Tai's in hand. Saw the
"green flash" one evening. Enjoyed sitting on the lanai (balcony)
in the morning with coffee and binoculars watching whales breach and blow.
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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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