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Dive Review of Bubbles Below in
Hawaii

Bubbles Below, Feb, 2009,

by Craig Condron, WA, United States (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4744.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Australia. French Polynesia, Cook Is. Tonga, Fiji, Palau, Christmas Is. Hawaiian Islands, Western Mexico
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 73 to 74 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Follow computors and @ 700 lbs. ascend to safety stop.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 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]

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Jan 24 - Feb 12, 2009. Total dives 21.

Arrived in Kauai on Jan. 24 2009 and after landing, called a friend who had been on the island several weeks already. "Got you signed up for a 3 tank dive with Bubbles Below first thing in the morning" were the first words out of his mouth. Sorry Linda (wife), I must go, he signed me up without asking. Swales were down, so we headed for the Napalai Coast to dive an old reef system 1/2 mile off the coast. During the first dive the Humpback Whales were singing so loud you could feel the vibration on your temples.Pelagic Spotted Knife fish was the star of the dive along with Lacey Nudibranch and Yellow Frog fish. Between dives we spent touring the Napalai Coast while Joe (divemaster) gave us a history and geological lesson of this rugged coast. Dive #2 was highlighted by a Tritan Trumpet attacking the notorious Crown-of-thorn Starfiish. The Crown-of-thorn was trying to escape, but the Tritan was overpowering. Watched the action for 10 minutes, but could have used up my air right there.
During our 3 weeks in Kauai I did 21 dives with Bubbles Below, so I won't bore you with each dive. Bubbles Below is based out of Port Allen, so they visit the sites East of the sites normally visited by other dive shops. They do an occasional run West and visit the sites around Poipu, but their site selection is more diversified. They allow you to dive your own profile, but always getting all divers to the boat safely. The divemasters, Linda (owner), Joe, and Scott, are always eager to point out the little critters, pipefish nudibranchs, leaf fish, frog fish and all the endemnic fish of Hawaii. They have dive safety briefings, but are always including "what you will see on the next dive." During safety intervals they may talk about the reef, the island formations, history of the island or how this all interacts. Because of their enthusiasim, you will learn something, wow, even on vacation.
Captain Earl and Captain Pete are always a joy to be around. They are experts at dropping you right over a site and being right with the group during their drift dives and always willing to help you onto the boat. Most of Bubbles Below dives are drifts unlike other operator who do stationary drops. There can be currents so it is nice to know you don't need to swim into the current during half of your dive.
Twice during my stay we were able to go to the island of Niihau for a 3 tank day. The walls here are amazing. Hanging in the water column are all the Planktaphors (Butterflies, Surgeons, Bannerfish and Mackerals) by the 100's. Visibility was 125 feet to 150 feet on the walls. Other dives included arches and tubes. One dive our divemaster was a Monk Seal, who led us around most of our dive.
My dive partner lost his camera at the beginning of a dive near Poipu. Two days later Linda organized a search Party at the site. Using a rope, she spread out 3 divemasters and other fellow divers 20 feet apart along the rope to start a circle search. 10 minutes and the camera was found, under water high fives and now a pleasure dive to use up our air. My friend was very grateful for this extra effort by the staff of Bubbles Below.
The highlights during my stay included an Undulated Eel being cleaned by two Whitestripped Shrimp, 2 Harlequin Shrimp chopping up a Yellow Leaf fish (sushi) and 2 Anemone Crabs mating (I think).
I have written about Bubbles Below in past issues of the Chapbook and they continue to do it best in Kauai. Linda being the hands on owner, makes for an experience you can depend on year after year.
My final dive in Kauai (actually Niihua), we were escorted during our drifting safety stop by 7 Spotted Eagle Rays (3 adults and 4 juveniles). I don't know how Bubbles Below set that up, but nice touch.
Mahalo to Bubbles Below
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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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