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Dive Review of Jack's Diving Locker/Royal Kona in

Jack's Diving Locker/Royal Kona: "Manta diving", Oct, 2014,

by Joe Hamernick, MN, US (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 8056 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This trip was planned with Manta dives in mind. Unfortunately, we got to the island the day before hurricane Ana hit. Lucky for us it passed 85 miles to the south but we did lose a few days of diving because of the storm. When we finally got in the water the seas were about 3 to 4 feet with a strong surge beneath the waves. This is highly unusual for the Kona coast. We did our Manta dive on our first dive day. The boat was packed with 18 divers and seven snorkelers and a half dozen dive guides. The Manta dive was incredible! A few people didn't make it because they got sick. The Manta's were all over the place. The dive masters said there were 12 to 15. The next day we decided to do a shore dive to let the seas calm down. The shore dive we did was great. The visibility was great and the coral and fish life was fantastic. I was very surprised that it was so good. We spent the next three days on the boat and got in some very nice dives. Once the hurricane passed, the sea for the rest of our trip was mostly smooth with no surge. However, the highlight of the trip was the Manta dive. Jack's does a very nice job. I do think they put to many people on their boats though. They were always very crowded. They also put beginners, snorkelers, and advanced divers all together. You could go on an advanced boat, but they charged 40 dollars more for that. All the dive staff were great. However, because Jack's is so well known, they do get a lot of beginners which does limit where you go. Once the dive masters saw our skill level, they pretty much let us do our own thing. They let us stay down as long as we wanted. They never rushed us back to the boat. Our last dive master "Matt" was fantastic. He ran a guided dive perfectly. He went very slow so we could see things and take pictures, never pushed us, and let us venture out on our own. One thing that was neat was they had hot shower hoses on the back of the boat. And, I mean the water was hot. It was a great way to warm up a bit if you got chilly on your dive. The Royal Kona hotel is an older hotel but they are redoing the rooms. We paid for an ocean view room, but they upgraded us to an ocean front room. The location is great. It's right in the middle of Kona. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops within walking distance. We went to the Sheraton one day to check it out. It's a beautiful hotel but there is nothing near it. Some people may say that diving in Hawaii isn't that great or it's only for beginners. I disagree. Although it's not as great as a lot of places, the fish life is wonderful (about 40% of the fish in Hawaii are endemic to Hawaiian waters). That means you'll see a lot of cool fish you'll never see anywhere else in the world. I was pleasantly surprised at how healthy a lot of the coral was. And, of course the Manta's, absolutely incredible. It truly was a blast to have the Manta's buzzing all around you.
Websites Jack's Diving Locker   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Palau, Truk, Australia, all the main Hawaiian islands, all three Cayman islands, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Bonaire, Roatan, Florida Keys.....
Closest Airport Kona Getting There Most airlines fly direct to Kona from the US mainland.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 82-°F / 28-°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Even though in the dive briefing they did talk about being back on the boat with 500 psi, that was about it. They basically let you stay in the water as long as you wanted. No one ever forced you out. We had some very long dives with the shallow water. Our average dive depth was 40 to 50 feet.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boat we were on had a nice large table for cameras. The dive staff did a good job of telling the divers the table was for camera gear. They also had a dedicated rinse bucket on the boat.
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Report currently has 1 Helpful vote

Subscriber's Comments

By Lee Little Haponski in TX, US at Mar 06, 2015 23:31 EST  
Any details on the location or name of the sites? Did you rent tanks from Jacks for the shore diving or get them somewhere else?
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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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