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Dive Review of Blue Wilderness/Mauna Lani in
Hawaii/Big Island

Blue Wilderness/Mauna Lani: "Good Dive Op on Kohala Coast", Sep, 2014,

by Cindy Edgerton, WA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 7788.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments We have been diving in Hawaii (Maui, Kauai and the Big Island) several times. We are "dive every day you can" divers. We prefer the Big Island due to more coral than the other Hawaiian islands, which should mean more fish. Unfortunately the prolific spear fishing in Hawaii has removed a lot of their larger fish from the reef, and aquarium collectors have taken a lot of the unusual smaller fish. It seemed even worse this year.

In the past we stayed in Kona and went diving out of Honokohau Harbor, where the operators generally go to dive sites near the harbor or south toward Kona. We wanted to do/see something different so stayed up in the Kohala area and dove with Kohala Divers. After three days diving with Kohala Divers, we decided to change to Blue Wilderness (BW) - and we liked them better. Blue Wilderness uses a purpose-built boat that looks like a RIB but has a hard bottom and pontoon sides, and two good ladders. It was much faster than the Kohala Divers boat so we were able to meet a half hour later at 8. There was a bucket for cameras and you could store things under your seat. The one complaint with the boat was that there was not a lot of shade available, but we made it work.

Their preferred method of entry was that they would put your BC over the side of the boat, hooked to a cable. Divers would get into the water and gear up there. For the return, you would take off your BC and climb one of their two ladders. If divers preferred, they could do a back roll into the water. During the surface interval, Blue Wilderness provided home-made cookies (macadamia chocolate chip or passionfruit bars), which were a step up from the Costco snacks that Kohala Divers offered.

There were more caves, caverns and swim-throughs from Puako south than we found while diving with Kohala Divers (who generally only go as far south as Puako), so the topography was more interesting. There was also more coral in this area than up north and we saw more larger fish. This could have been because we also went a little deeper, though no dives exceeded 100 feet.

Blue Wilderness maintained a maximum of 4 divers per dive master and sometimes it worked out that it was just the two of us with our DM Sam. Sometimes we joined the other dive masters, and sometimes took an opposite route. Sam had excellent eyes and was great at finding things - and also noticing what fish we were interested in. And even though we had been to Hawaii several times, Sam managed to show us some new nudibranches and other interesting critters. We were lucky enough to have Sam as our dive-master for the remainder of our trip.

Diving in Hawaii is disappointing as a result of spear fishing and aquarium collection, but if you are in Hawaii and want to dive on the Kohala coast, we recommend Blue Wilderness.
Websites Blue Wilderness   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Bonaire, Palau, Hawaii
Closest Airport Kona Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera bucket on boat
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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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