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Dive Review of Kohala Divers in
Hawaii/Big Island, Hawaii

Kohala Divers, Oct, 2010,

by Wayne Joseph, CA, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 5731.

No photos available at this time

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 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was our 4th trip to the big island & we wanted to stay in Kohala area & dive this coast. We had arranged 2 boat dives with Kohala Divers & the night manta dive with Dive Makai. The week before we left we received an email from Dive Makai that they were going out of business. So we had to change our dive reservations & went with Big Island Divers. We also arranged a day boat dive with Pacific Rim Divers. These last 2 dive boats leave from Honokohau Harbor in Kona.
Kohala Divers is located in Kaiwahae where their boat is docked across the street from their shop. The shop & boat are very nice & well equipped. The boat has all the necessary emergency & first aid gear that is needed. The crew is friendly & very helpful. They troll for fish when going to the dive sites and caught a large ono on one of the trips. The dive guide we had for both boat dives would do a 5 min. briefing then wanted us to stay with her during the dive. We would descend, she would try to find some critters with limited success (the vis was bad due to large swells that were present). We saw a few turtles, eels, wire coral gobies, a long nose hawkfish, & a very tiny bright yellow bubble shell(?) the size of a grain of sand. The only negative was that she moved around faster than any guide I've been with in quite some time. Not enough time to look for other critters. Saw many more yellow tangs than when diving the Kona area & some beautiful coral formations, even when snorkeling off our beach.

Big Island Divers also ran a good operation. They were very friendly, helpful, & safe. Their boat was smaller than Kohala Divers & a little cramped. The manta dive is quite an experience that every diver should do. It can be quite a zoo when there are about 20 mantas & 40-50 divers & snorkelers, but still enjoyable.

Pacific Rim Divers also has a smaller boat, but they only take 6 divers & there is plenty of space. They are very friendly, helpful, & safe. One of the divers was so seasick he couldn't even do the first dive. After we did the dive they returned to the harbor to drop him and his wife off, then went back out to do the 2nd dive. They run their dives like the old Dive Makai. Patrice has a detailed dive briefing and is good at finding small critters. She moves slow enough to allow all of the divers to look for things. We found octopus, nudibranchs, eels, flame wrasses. We were lucky to see a pod of dolphins swimming around while we were on the bottom. It was very educational as 2 of them showed us how they mate.
We found that the vis was better off the Kona coast than Kohala when there are these large swells coming in.
Websites Kohala Divers   

Reporter and Travel

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

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 76-°F / 24-°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 65-80 Ft/ 20-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions stay with the group
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments I prefer it not be left in the camera tank while the boat is moving as that is when I seem to get leaks. But, there was plenty of space for me to store it by the seats.
The dive guide moved too fast to find many subjects to shoot.
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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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