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Dive Review of Kona Diving Company/home exchange in
Hawaii/Kona, Big Island

Kona Diving Company/home exchange, Oct, 2013,

by Allison Randall, DC, US ( 2 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 7257.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Love the folks at Kona Diving Company (KDC). VIP service, nice boat, friendly staff, dive your own profile, great with both beginner and experienced divers (even combinations of the two.) You dive in small groups with a leader (all of whom are instructors) usually divided by experience/style. Groups ranged from 2-6 divers, 4 seemed average, which was a nice feature. Each group got its own briefing and entered the water in stages to reduce crowding. It worked well. I got 90ish minutes of bottom time almost every dive and allowed to do my own thing while the dive leader paid close attention to my beginner boyfriend and brought him to the boat whenever he ran low on air -- it was a perfect situation. Staff point out lots of critters and nudis. Nitrox is 32% on dive one and 36% on dive two, really a nice feature allowing lots of dive time. Long-range dives are great, with 3 dives and a lovely ride with dolphins and no other boats in site along the southern coast. They have their own berth at the harbor and a comfortable shop. Boat is roomy with lots of shade and options for sun. Best snacks of the Big Island boats I've been on, including an array of wraps (veggie and vegan on request), trailmix, goldfish, brownies, cold drinks, and hot water with instant soup, tea, and coco. Long range dives include fresh pineapple. They set up your gear for you and will rinse and store it for you -- including wetsuits. They had soft weights, even 1lbs, and set up my weights and trim pockets the way I liked them each time based on notes they had made. Rental BCDs had integrated weight pockets and rental regs had computers and compasses. Variety of rental wetsuits available. Hot shower on the boat (water warmed by boat engine) is awesome. The 5-day package is a great deal, and they'll make sure you don't dive the same site twice -- unless you want to. They try to take guest requests for dive sites into consideration along with conditions and current. I've done night reef dives and the night manta dives with KDC in the past and been very happy with both. You MUST do the manta dive while in Kona, and your non-divers can do it as a snorkel. As to diving in Hawaii generally, the Big Island is my favorite. It's not as good as places in the coral triangle, but it's great for what it is, I see unusual things there plus clouds of reef fish, and there is sooo much else to do on the island. You will actually want to take some non-dive days to explore the island. Shore diving can be great (Two Step, Puako, Mahukona, Crescent Beach, etc.) though entry may be tough or require a schlep over lava rocks. I prefer Big Island to Maui, though I fear the aquarium trade will begin to damage the population of reef fish. As of now, there are lots of fish and critters and I've seen dolphins, turtles, hammerheads, and white tip reef sharks on dives. In February I saw many humpback whales on surface intervals. For hotels, I like the Courtyard Marriott in Kona-Town. Locals call it the King Kam. It's a good price and a good location -- walk to everything in town. Short drive to the harbor.
Websites Kona Diving Company   home exchange

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Red Sea, Fiji, Solomon Islands, California, Florida, North Carolina, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Bonaire, Maui
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 78-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None -- perfect!
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table (small but dry), rinse bucket dedicated to cameras, helpful staff -- as good as it can be on a small boat. Dry half of the boat stays dry.
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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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