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Dive Review of Big Island Divers/Country Club Villas in
Hawaii/Kona

Big Island Divers/Country Club Villas , Oct, 2014,

by Joyce Leftly, NJ, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 7757.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We recently returned from our first trip to the Big Island and were very impressed with the outstanding service provided by Big Island Divers.

We did 4 days of 2-tank morning boat dives and were thrilled to see mantas on several of the dives – such large creatures and so graceful, swimming very close and making return loops near us, over and over. We also saw white-tipped reef sharks, turtles, and many endemic Hawaiian fish, all new to us ! There were also lots of tiny critters in the nudibranch and flatworm families.

Our excellent Dive Guides (Zain, Corinne and Janine) were all enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about the various fish and creatures. Most of the dives were 60 minutes (or more). The surface intervals were conservative – no rushing us back in the water. We even snorkeled with dolphins (and saw mantas !) during one of the surface intervals.

Andrew was the Captain on most of our dives and he was outstanding – very safety conscious, friendly and always ready to assist divers in getting gear on and safely walking to the dive platform. I explained to Andrew that I have a hip problem and could not walk up the ladder with my equipment on at the end of the dives; he assured me this was no problem and he provided excellent assistance, lifting my weights and gear up for me after each dive. Andrew and all the Dive Guides provided a safe, fun and friendly atmosphere which encouraged relaxed diving.

The boat set up and crew services make for comfortable boat time. Fruit, small wrap sandwiches and a variety of snacks are provided, as well as a large assortment of drinks. There is a working head, a fresh water rinse, and a large shaded area. They also provide towels and each diver is given a dry storage bin. There is a separate rinse tub for cameras onboard. All of our equipment was set up for us by the BID staff and then switched over to the new tank for the second dive, so we could relax or review the fish id books between dives.

We usually go with dive ops that carry 6 – 8 people, but Big Island Divers is so well-organized, we were comfortable even with 12 divers on the boat. Divers are divided into small groups with their own guide, the boat is large, and they did a roll call after each dive.

The staff rinsed and stored our gear after each dive day, and had it ready on the boat each day. They even cleaned and stored our stuff after our last dive, and we picked it up the following day.

We also did the night-time manta snorkel with BID, with our Captain Mikey B and Guide Tara – this was a very special experience with about 20 mantas in the water that night ! We were very pleased with the service for this trip also, with safety info provided in a fun atmosphere.

The staff at the retail office was very organized, helpful and took care of all of our paperwork quickly and efficiently.

As a side note, we went to the Big Island because we had to go to LA for a family wedding, so we were halfway to Kona from Newark anyway. We found out we could do a ‘stopover’ fare on United, saving us a lot of money over booking separate flights from Newark/LA and LA/Kona. We are hoping to make a return trip in 2015 and will definitely use Big Island Divers again – and perhaps do the San Francisco stopover instead next time.
Websites Big Island Divers   Country Club Villas

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Curacao, Cozumel, St Vincent, US & British Virgin Islands, Dominica, St Lucia, Anguilla, other Caribbean locations
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 80-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Return to boat with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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