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Dive Review of Kona Honu Divers/Hali Kai in
Hawaii/Kona

Kona Honu Divers/Hali Kai, Sep, 2011,

by Bob Penhearow, ON, CA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports). Report 6223.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Florida (Lauderdale, Keys), Cuba, St. Lucia, Dominican Republic, Red Sea, Madagascar, Mauritius, Sipadan, Philippines (Boracay, Malapascua)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, surge
Water Temp 73 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions On boat at 500psi, depth usually established each dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Dedicated tank for cameras. Staff very helpful & conversant with camera SL 1200 - helped me out a couple of times.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 5 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments My daughter and I enjoyed 10 dives with Kona Hondu Divers: two Manta Night dives, one Black Water dive, one Advanced dive and six General dives.

Our experience with Kona Honu Divers (KHD) was very positive. KHD in our opinion is a solid 5* operation. They are well organized with a genuine love and enthusiasm for diving, which permeates all they do. I have lower back issues so was delighted when they carry everyones gear on and off the boat, even setting-up and washing down your equipment! In addition, helping hands to assist you in and out of the water.

The dive briefing is comprehensive with an emphasis on safety. Janine (DM) does her best to search out and point out interesting stuff below.

Boats
Honu One (46) & Honu Ike (36) are large, spacious and very comfortable. Refreshments are given in between dives usually pineapple and cookies!

Manta Dives 45 Min at 35.
The Manta Ray Night dive was fantastic and exceeded my expectations! It is rightly ranked as one of the top 10-dive experiences globally. You kneel at the bottom take extra weight - holding up your flashlight. The light attracts the plankton and the plankton attracts the mantas. My daughter and I did this particular dive twice and delighted in the 3-Mantas the first dive and then 5-Mantas the week after. The mantas put on a fabulous 45 minute, non-stop, spectacular night show not to be missed! My wife and other daughters snorkeled above and also enjoyed the mantas - Dad its amazing! Note: Wear a 5mm plus suit, it gets rather cold kneeling at the bottom.

The Black Water Night Dive 60 Min at 50
This was a challenging but wonderful, memorable experience. You are attached to a 50 weighted line by a tether that slides up and down. Suspended in black water with a flashlight the show begins. There are some strange and wonderful sights to behold. Again, an experience not to be missed! I was nervous at first holding on to the line but later trusted the tether. Janine (DM) hovered around ensuring the divers were okay. She untangled me a couple of times! Note: I wore my 3mm inside a 7mm rented suit otherwise it would have been very cold.

General
Kudos to Glenn (owner) for overseeing a smooth, efficient operation, to Colin (Captain) for such a helpful, thoughtful attitude and to Janine (DM) & Jason (DM) who exemplify a professional caring attitude in every way!

We enjoyed the diving experience in Hawaii, but with the exception of the Mantas and the Black Water dive were a little disappointed. Perhaps we expected too much from Hawaii? For general diving I personally prefer Sipadan or the Philippines. That said, would I return to Kona, Hawaii? Maybe, if so the Manta and Blackwater Dives would be the reason! Would I dive with KHD again? Absolutely!
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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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