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Dive Review of Kohala Divers in
Hawaii/Kona-Waikoloa

Kohala Divers, Sep, 2007,

by Michael Drumstas, Ma, USA . Report 3675.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving [Extensive Carribean, Northeastern US, Pacific
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max depth limits imposed. On board with 500psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Seperate camera bucket for UWP..Plenty of space on boat for personal space.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 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 4 stars
Comments Kohala Divers is located in Kaiwihae shopping center across from the harbor and boat dock. Kaiwihae is located about 45 mins.north of the airport and town of Kona. The operation,which is owned and run by Rebecca and Gregg, is convenient if staying in the Waikoloa area and in the hotel district which encompasses a 5 mile corridor around Waikoloa. We stayed in the Waikoloa beach resort in a 2 bdrm condo, found on VRBO.com, and were very pleased with price ,150 per night, and location, 5 min from A-Bay beach. Dive shop was 10-15 min ride from door to door. Diving was scheduled at 7:30 am and boat left pretty much at 7:45 each morning with dive sites determinined by weather, seas, and who on the boat was a return diver so as to not dive the same site. We (Wife >300 dives) dove 5 days with the dive crew and was pleasently surprised by their willingness to keep everyone quite content in relation to sites and service. One dive was start with a small current and the entailing swim back was tedious,BUT,according to Robin our divemaster this was done so that she could locate some palagics for us, which she most certainly did by finding three eagle rays swimming in formation! Well worth the return swim. We also dove south of Kohala at 6 caves, Puako point, Puako 38 and Turtle Dome . Puako 38 is a mooring ball and the site of the most incredible turtle cleaning station that I have seen. All sites north of Waikaloa have great fish life and an extrodinary array of lava tubes which contain fantastic marine life. OK.. some of the fish life seen through 11 dives besides the eagle rays were Turtles at cleaning stations and on most dives, white tip sharks,octopus, blue dragon nudibrach along with two or three others. helmet conch,white mouth eel,pyramid butterfly fish,rock movers in juvenile, adolescent and adult stages,flame angelfish, grouper, schools of black durgeons as well as schools of yellow tangs. I have missed many others and what Hawaii lacks in soft corals it sure as heck makes up for in abundent sea life. Water temp and Vis is the best in Sept and Oct and the tourism has dropped off significantly so the Island is very manageble when it comes to visiting topside attractions such as,Volcano National Park,Mauna Kea, Waipio valley ect. Probably the most disturbing aspect of the trip was when Rebecca and Gregg would point out the numerous boats at dive sites who were fish collectors literally collecting thousands of fish for export for salt water aquariums. It was said that upward of 30 thousand yellow tangs alone are removed monthly. We went to sites where a frog fish was seen for weeks on end then gone and other such instances where large groups of tangs would congregate but then only few remain. These people are making a great living for THEMSELVES but what brings Hawaii more income,divers who stay at resorts and condos contributing to the local economy for a week or two at a time or these self serving individuals who only take from a great resouce and contribute nothing in return? I only wish the dive operators on the island of Kona would band together and get legislators to enact some serious restrictions before the fish are decimated and divers go elsewhere.Now back to the dive operation Kohala Divers. They run a tight group of employees who make the diving enjoyable without that "stay in a tight formation and follow me" attitude. Once you establish that you are a competent diver they give you the option to wander and hang back doing your own thing. I am a NAUI instructor and can say that their pre-dive briefings were very concise along with the boat briefing and emergency action plan .Before I forget there were also large groups of Dolphin that would follow the dive boat almost daily.My advice.. go to Hawaii and dive with a great group of professionals.
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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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