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Dive Review of Dive Makai, /Torpedo tours in
Hawaii/Kona

Dive Makai, /Torpedo tours, Oct, 2009,

by Wayne Joseph, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 5214.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 100 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]Neither operators had anywhere special to store our cameras, but they did have rinse tanks only for cameras. Didn't want to store the cameras in it as that is usually when they get leaks.

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Good: Dive Makai. Did 3 morning dives with them. Their dive briefings were detailed as to what they hoped to find & the dive profile.(Although not as detailed as the original owners) They also told us how they wanted us to enter the water & get back on to the boat, where safety equipment was stored, etc. We saw leaf scorpion fish, a really large frog fish (at least a foot long) scooting along the bottom, pipe fish, turtles, nudibranchs, & other interesting critters & fish. If the ocean was a bit choppy with poor vis, they would move the boat to other spots to get us better vis. All around I would rate them highly. Good service.

Bad: I've read where others are stating that the fish population has decrease dramatically, but I was skeptical. Now I have to agree with them. This was our 3rd trip to Kona, & it is very noticeable.
I find it much worse than on Maui. Hawaii has got to get a handle on this aquarium trade as I've been told they are the culprits who have taken most of the fish. Most of these fish don't last very long. This is really a crime.

Ugly: Torpedo Tours We arranged a night manta dive with them. We arrived at the specified boat slip at the said time, but no boat. Turns out they were late from the afternoon dive. Then we had to jump down 3ft from the dock to put all our gear onto their boat as the owner sat on his ass with his feet propped up on a chair. (we were the only 2 divers who brought all our own gear) He didn't help us get our gear off the boat either. He barely spoke to any of us, except to give orders. His wife was very nice & led the dive. At the end of the trip he finally started speaking to us. I think he was glad it was the end of the day. I've been diving for 35yrs & this is probably the most unprofessional dive operator I've seen.

The manta dive is a GREAT experience. We settle down in about 25ft of water around lights that shine up to the surface & about 20 (yes, 20) of them showed up and started their dance to eat the krill. It can be a bit of a mad house as there were about 30-40 divers & snorkelers, but it is well worth it.

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Subscriber's Comments

By Frank G Postillion in AZ, US at Aug 30, 2012 17:41 EST  
I am sorry to hear you had a poor experience with Torpedo Tours. We had quite the opposite. After having a little trouble finding the boat, we settled in and had fun. Nikki led the first twilight dive and found a flat worm, huge eels, conch eating a crown of thorns and other. The Manta dive was led by Mike and he was one of the best guides we've had. He led us by large morays before settling in on the Manta Dive which was other worldly! Mike is quiet but when asked questions he had a wealth of marine knowledge. Dove two days later with them and had the same educational experience, and really liked their easy going nature and low key approach.If you like small groups and local knowledge go with Torpedo, but they are not a "cattle boat" or limo-style operation. I felt like I was diving with another diver with specialized local knowledge, and that is the way I like it! No catering, just the joy of diving!
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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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