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Dive Review of Lahaina Divers/Aston Kaanapali Shores] in
Hawaii/Maui

Lahaina Divers/Aston Kaanapali Shores], Jun, 2010,

by Timothy A Kolakowski, PA, US (Contributor Contributor 12 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5809.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Fla Keys, Grand Bahama, Saba, Curacao, Bonaire, St Vincent, Provo, Grand Turk, Salt Cay, Montserrat, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Big Island
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy, no currents
Water Temp 78 to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with group
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments bucket on boat

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 5 stars
Snorkeling 3 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We chose the Kaanapali area for its proximity to Lahaina, then started looking at the many choices of places to stay. We like a condo for the 3 of us when we travel, and found Aston Kaanapali Shores, an all-condo resort. It was perfect for us - comfortable but not overly luxurious, a great value. We chose it also because it has an excellent Kids' Club (Camp Kaanapali) and they offer free, supervised scuba diving in the pool & intro dives off their beach. This sounded perfect for our son James to build on his 2009 Bonaire Scuba Rangers experience and Cozumel intro dive.
An internet search turned up www.hawaiiconnection.com, which got us the condo for less than half the price of the Aston website. Then, with no real airfare bargains on Kayak, Sidestep, Orbitz, etc I did a search for travel agents in Honolulu and found www.pandaonline.com that got us a lower airfare from our hometown than the bigger city airports that are a 2 hour drive away.
We set up this trip before we went to Bonaire for Easter 2010, where son James repeated the Scuba Ranger class. The instructor felt he was ready to go for the next big step, to get certified. But with all the homework & school activites we didn't have time to fit in the 6 to 8 week classes. Fortunately, we ran across the PADI e-learning course. We started studying the material as school ended for summer and the homework load subsided just squeezed it in before we left for Maui, using the long flight & layovers to continue to study.
Mike Drazkowski runs the diving for Aston Kaanapali Shores. He owns & operates Scorpion Scuba Safaris. In fact, he is 100% of Scorpion Scuba Safaris...he does it all by himself! Our son James did the pool sessions before and after Mike introduced resort guests to scuba in the pool, and his 4 check out dives were done on full length shore dives as Mike led certified divers on shore dives off the beach behind the resort. They swam through the 1-2 foot rollers, then went under. Mom and Dad watched the floating dive flag as they went out farther and farther....several hundred yards! The operator at the resort next door stayed much closer. We wondered what we got our child involved with but it paid off..he saw octopus, turtles, eels on his first dive! Parents reading this report can relate to how proud (and relieved) we were when the end of that 4th open water dive produced big smiles, high fives and one newly certified diver! A big thank you again to you, Mike Drazkowski, for your effort (and patience!).
Oh yeah...I dove too. I did some nice dives with Lahaina Divers in the Lanai Cathedrals and the backside of Molokini. They do a nice job with service and handled a scheduling snafu exceptionally well. I would dive with them again. Buying a multiple dive package reduces the high cost that is characteristic of Hawaii diving. Bring a gear bag for them to transport your gear and a safety sausage for Backside or they'll insist that you buy both from them. The Mala Pier is an excellent shore dive, especially at night. Lots of critters among the pilings, including a 5 foot reef shark.
Leave lots of time for land adventures on Maui. We drove to Hana - go about an hour past Hana to see the 7 Pools, then just a little farther to see Lindbergh's grave - saw the sunrise on Haleakala, the Io Needle, and the 18th hole at Kapalua. We pretty much drove everywhere we could drive, putting about 900 miles on our car. Maui is spectacular!
Lahaina has cool shops & galleries and probably has some great restaurants. We wouldn't know because we couldn't drive past the Aloha Mixed Plate, an outdoor restaurant on the north side of Lahaina. AWESOME food in a gorgeous setting. We ate there over and over again.
This was an unforgettable trip.....it's where we became a diving family!
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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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