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Dive Review of Bubbles Below, in

Bubbles Below,: "November Kauai Diving with Bubble Below", Nov, 2018,

by Zygmunt Dembek, CT, US (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 10776 has 4 Helpful votes.

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 N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I spent 3 days diving with Bubbles Below in November 2018, and have been diving with this operation for about 20 years during many trips to Kauai. The new owners, Clay (boat captain) and Blondy (store manager) conduct a first-rate dive operation on the west end of Kauai, from Port Allen. Divemasters Anthony and Jordan both have many thousands of dives in Hawaiian waters, and are intimately knowledgeable about all of the dive sites in Kauai and Niihau waters.

While this past year has admittedly been especially difficult in diving Hawaiian waters during greater-than-normal storms, this did not affect the November dives taken with Bubble Below. And it was great to dive at southern island dive sites Iíd not visited in some time, including Camp 1 and Tortugas. Safety and concern for the environment were important with all dives taken.

Both Anthony and Jordan made a special effort to locate and point out small critters most divers might otherwise miss, including many species of nudibranchs, pipefish, Harlequin and ghost shrimp, and juvenile Spanish dancers. Some of the larger critters that might have otherwise been missed were pointed out by the divemasters, including well-hidden octopi, Hawaiian and slipper lobsters, and unusual moray eels, such as the viper moray. Divers were also made aware of which species were endemic to the Hawaiian Islands, some of which are found in greater abundance in Kauaiís waters than at dive sites at the other islands.

The larger Hawaiian reef creatures were also present, including green sea turtles at their cleaning stations and resting ledges at the dive site Hale O Honu, and white-tipped reef sharks hiding under ledges during the daytime at many dive sites. While compared to the Caribbean and South Pacific locales such as Fiji, there are sparse corals here. But the continued health of the reef was attested to by sights such as live cowries found on many dive sites, a mating pair of very large Tritonís trumpets, and a large live tun shell. Unfortunately, many of these live shells have disappeared from dive sites throughout the world, but not here in northern Hawaiian waters. Large schools of fish were seen at many sites, including a school of Hellerís barracuda at Hale O Honu.

Our boat trip to and from the dayís diving was often made exciting by a large pod of resident Hawaiian spinner dolphins swimming in and out of the boatís wake. A school of bottlenose dolphins greeted the dive boat on one morningís ride to the dive site, and the afternoonís return trip was accompanied by leaping spinner dolphins! A surface interval at one of the dive sites provided a first for this diver, spouting humpback whales seen in the distance upon their early arrival on their annual winter return to Hawaiian waters.

Although a Nihau dive trip was planned, the rough crossing on the channel from Kauai to Niihau during November prohibited this trip, which is often not doable during winter months. A 3-dive day off of Kauai taken in lieu of this trip was an acceptable substitute. I especially enjoyed getting in the water at our first dive site at 8:00 am, and would welcome an even earlier dive entry time. The ability to see nocturnal reef critters heading for their bedtime, and the daytime ones waking up, is a lot of fun (not to mention that itís also a photographerís paradise!), and an experience mostly enjoyed by liveaboard divers. While those divers partaking heavily of nighttime activities might not agree, Iíd set my alarm for 5:00 am any day to see the Hawaiian reef wake up in the morning!

While no advanced dives were taken on this trip, my 3 diving days with Bubbles Below were well spent with a highly professional team, guaranteeing memorable dives. Iím looking forward to my return trip to Kauai to again dive with this very well-run dive operation.
Websites Bubbles Below,   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Throughout the Caribbean, Cocos, Fiji, Galapagos, and the Hawaiian Islands.
Closest Airport LIH Getting There Lengthy air travel from East Coast.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 78-79°F / 26-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-90 Ft/ 15-27 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Group dives with divemaster.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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