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Dive Review of Fathom Five in
Hawaii/Kauai & Niihau

Fathom Five, May, 2008,

by Bob DeFeo, ca, USA (Contributor Contributor 18 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 4088.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Big Island, Roatan, Caymans, Philippines, Monterey, Puget Sound, Channel Islands, Sonoma Coast, Texas lakes
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge, currents
Water Temp 81 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 150 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Use of Safety Sausage on Niihau dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 5 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 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Fathom Five & the shore-diving arm of the company are five stars all the way. Did a two-tank boat dive one day on the south coast of Kauai and a 3-tank trip to Niihau with them on another. Nitrox 32 used on all dives and accurate fills to 3100-2900 psi with tanks in excellent condition. The boat dives took a maximum of eight on coastal runs and maximum of six on Niihau runs. On both coast dives saw more green turtles than I could count and several grey reef sharks. DM Anthony was terrific. Perfect safety and dive spot briefs, great attitude and knowledge. Helpful but not overbearing...just right for all. Fathom Five runs a top-shelf operation. From the second you walk into their shop in Koloa, Kauai until the time you wave goodbye, these folks make you feel appreciated and most welcome...unlike Seasport down the street in Popui who basically ignored me and gave only the briefest answers to questions while returning to their own bull session in the shop ignoring a customer. Hence the reason I went to Fathom Five plus the fact they are recommended in the Kauai Ultimate Guide (blue books on all the Hawaiian Islands). The trip to Niihau was terrific and we lucked out with calm seas with a run time of 1 1/2hours there and 1 3/4 hours back. Niihau visibility 150 feet easily, saw over a dozen grey and white-tip reef sharks, spotted rays, eels, butterfly fish of varied types, trevally, several monk seals, pods of dolphins, baracuda, damsel fish, parrotfish, the list is endless and their were large schools of them. A truly wonderful place to dive but no for the beginner. Strong currents are always a possibility and some spots were not diveable on our trip due the fast currents. The water is a beautiful dark indigo blue with remarkable underwater topography. Morning Kauai coastal dive spots were great with turtle after turtle sometimes seeing as many as four to six in one spot! Large and healthy turtles at cleaning stations getting spruced up and not very timid of divers. They allowed us to approach and watch. I had two turtles on two separate occasions come up and check me out from two feet away! Wonderful. Fathom five dive boats and the rental equipment I saw were on top shape with happy and great crew. These folks know how to show you a good time. Niihau trip show time was 615 am with return scheduled for 6 pm...we arrived early due to the exceptionally calm seas since the trades were not blowing and the swell was very low...Very lucky since the ride back from Niihau can be a bone crusher--according to the crew. Take your seasickness meds for this trip! Food provided on both trips and great sandwiches and snacks on Niihau run with variety of drinks available. Cost was $366 for Niihau with 3 Nitrox tanks in that cost or it would have been about $320. Pricey but well worth it for the diving with a great dive operation and people. Shop will transport, rinse, and store your equipment for you if doing repetitive diving during your stay. Make a point of going to Niihau---only available usually May to September due to presence of large swell and rough seas at other times of the year.
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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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