Author Topic: Oahu  (Read 6001 times)

craigwood

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Oahu
« on: September 30, 2008, 23:41:29 UTC »
I'll be returning to Oahu early next year for a third time. I have previously had a very good experience with AAA diving (see Undercurrent reviews) but they appear to be undergoing a "change in management". I would be very interested in hearing about forum member's experience with other operators out of Waikiki. Thanks in advance for your contribution. Regards, Craig

sdavis12

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Re: Oahu
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2008, 14:51:59 UTC »
I just returned from a fantastic 8 day trip to Hawaii. The final island stop on
the trip was Oahu. I too tried to book diving with AAA Diving. However, after speaking with Alex, heard about the "change in management". Alex explained that he would no longer be taking out divers with AAA Diving.

Based on recommendations, I choose to dive with Diamond Head Divers while in Waikiki. Boy was that a bad decision. Everything from the moment I stepped foot on the dock had me completely underwhelmed with this dive operation.

Firstly, the crew seemed to be inconvenienced taking divers out. Upon arriving
at the boat, we were made to feel as if we were a burden to the crew. No
introductions were made and no instructions regarding the boat/gear/procedures
were given.

Secondly, when I inquired to the boat captain as to where we would be diving, I
received a half-hearted "Dunno" response. When I suggested making a wreck dive,
like the YO-257, the sarcastic, but completely serious, comment "You're gonna
make me go there?" took me by surprise. Needless to say, I felt that I was
putting out the crew by suggesting a dive site. (We ultimately did end up
diving there due to a lack of other suggestions.)

Finally, I was specifically bothered by the fact that the DM tried a few times
to have me take a 63 cu ft tank in lieu of a 80 cu ft for the first dive (our
deep dive!).  At first, I joked with the DM that they were passing off a 'pony
tank' charging me the same price as a 80 cu ft tank. But he tried two more
times to have me take this tank. Refusing to take the tank, the DM commented
that he'll have to take the tank. I personally took offense to the fact that
they thought because I'm a smaller female diver that they could try to pass
this tank off on me.

The dive site briefings were anything but informative. In fact, I had no idea
that there was another wreck about 50 yards away from the YO-257 until the DM
decided to guide us over there about 5 minutes before the end of the dive! Back
on the boat, I asked the DM and boat captain about marine life I had seen on
the dive. The DM was clueless and the boat captain seemed totally uninterested
almost bothered by my questions.

After the first dive, my dive buddy and I agreed we'd find another dive op for
our other diving days as soon as we hit dry land. We choose to dive with Aqua
Zone in lieu of Diamond Head Divers.

I'm not a dive novice nor am I a 1000+ seasoned dive professional but I've been
on my fair share of dive boats and dive trips. This, by far, was the most
underwhelming experience I've had on any of my dive excursions. They were
unhelpful, lacked knowledge about dive sites and marine life and generally
seemed disinterested in diving.

Needless to say, I would NOT recommend this dive op.


craigwood

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Re: Oahu
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2008, 16:38:44 UTC »
Hi sdavis12,

Thanks for the useful information regarding Diamond Head Divers, sounds like an operation to avoid. How did you do with Aqua Zone?

I'm sorry to hear that Alex Mason will not be running AAA, it was a very high quality operation. One can only hope the "new management" will live up to the previous reputation.

Appreciatively, Craig

sdavis12

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Re: Oahu
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2008, 16:51:37 UTC »
Diving with Aqua Zone was fine. We didn't a negative experience nor did we have an overwhelmingly thrilling experience. They are a solid dive operation with a smaller boat (so they don't take a "cattle boat" of divers out). The boat captain and DM were friendly and decently helpful.  Dives had pretty basic profiles and definitely geared toward the least experienced diver in the group. DM kept the dive group pretty tight while diving.

Would I dive with them again? Maybe. However, I'd be open to trying another dive operation if they came with really high recommendations (similar to the posts/recommendations that AAA Diving received).

craigwood

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Re: Oahu
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2008, 18:48:52 UTC »
Looks like we would both benefit from additional suggestions from forum members who have been diving off Oahu. In addition, I would appreciate the opportunity to dive the Sea Tiger and YO-257, from their website, it does not appear that Aqua Zone visits those sites.

SCUBADMS

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Re: Oahu
« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2011, 00:21:35 UTC »
Thank you for this posting. Based off your recommendations I found Alex and went with him through Alex's Aquatic Adventures. I did about 10 dives with him. Here's my assessment of Alex. If you want to dive, and you're not worried about being pampered or senseless extras, then go with Alex. If you want to spend cash and have all the perks, tell Alex and he'll make it happen. I found Alex to be very safe, knowledgable of the dive sites, funny, and the best price in the area (I did my homework). Finally, Alex ensured that I didn't go to the same dive site day after day. He was able to work in some dives on the west side of the island, a night dive, as well as a specialty course. I recommend him if you just want to dive and have fun! I look forward to diving with him in the future!

craigwood

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Re: Oahu
« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2011, 00:40:10 UTC »
After starting this thread at the end of 2008 I also discovered that Alex Mason has restarted as Alex's Aquatic Adventures. I returned to Oahu in early 2009 and did 12 great dives over 3 days with him. I wrote this up in Undercurrent if you'd like additional details. If I'm lucky enough to have the opportunity to return to Oahu, I'll be diving with AAA

 

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