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Dive Review of Mike Severns Diving/Hyatt Regency Maui in

Mike Severns Diving/Hyatt Regency Maui, Feb, 2003,

by John & Nancy Nakamura, CO, USA . Report 775.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments First found out about Mike Severns Diving through the Chapbook. To us, Undercurrent is an outstanding investment for those that dive. Like having a trusted friend give an honest personal report on a dive experience, the must-do’s, and the gotcha’s, PRIOR to you going yourself.

Mike Severns Diving (MSD). For those going to Maui, this is a top-notch operation, and (in our humble opinion) should be your first consideration. Like when you come to Denver, and want great beef, I’ll send you to Brooks Steak House. Others might argue for Morton’s or Del Frisco’s. If you want the “USDA Prime” of diving in Maui, you may have other options, but you can’t go wrong with MSD.

Ownership/staff. When the owner leads the dive, you can be assured that the one with the primary vested interest in your customer satisfaction, will do everything within reason (and safety) to assure that you feel that your money has been well spent. Pauline Fiene (marine biologist with thousands of Maui dives under her belt) is now the primary owner (bought out her partner/ex-husband, Mike). She maintains a superb staff, from boat captain, Vici, to the various divemasters (been out with Andy and Tara). Totally professional attitude, but still fun, and treat you like you’re part of the family. They’ve been leading dives for 20-some-plus years, and it shows with their knowledge of the area. No Gilligan here.

To read more, check out their website for info on dive areas, crew, news, etc. (

The setup. We’ve been using them for several years. The boat meets early at the Kihei boat ramp (about 50 mins from Kaanapali), but the seas are usually nice and calm at that time of day. They set up and verify all your equipment for you. Once on the boat, they greet you with Kona coffee/juice/water, fresh fruit, and great pastries from a local bakery. They ask if there is something specific you want to see, and do their best to accommodate you. On this trip, once we were out at the outer wall of Molokini, Vici carefully surveyed the water currents (we asked about it and she said she wanted to make sure we would be fine underwater…don’t want a current/surge pushing us into or away from the wall; and that she would be fine above water…don’t want the boat banging into the wall). It was obvious safety was a top concern. Pauline provides a thorough, patient dive briefing (along with pictures from her book) on EXACTLY the things to keep an eye out for during your time under water. She establishes specific hand-signals for things she will point out to you during the dive.

The dives. Our first dive was on the outer wall (great viz, 100+). With various rock ledges and steep drop-offs, there are plenty of places to explore for critters, and you should also be monitoring the deep blue for large pelagics. We heard (but didn’t see) humpbacks throughout the dive. Pauline led the dive, and made sure we saw her specialty, nudibranchs (she has discovered new species and has one named after her). We also held a crown-of-thorns. The highlight was at the end of the dive. We were ~30ft, and a juvenile manta ray (~6ft wing-to-wing) showed up, feeding at the surface. Throughout our 3-minute safety stop, the manta was going back and forth right above us. Once Nancy completed her safety stop, she slowly ascended to the surface, keeping her eye out for the manta, and it gave her a “front-row” experience, as it headed straight at her, mouth wide open, and only veered away at the last moment (literally 24 inches away from bumping into her mask). Our second dive was at the “AMTRAC” (Army vehicle). We descended to six green sea turtles down there. Lots of interesting close-up stuff. The humpback singing was amazing down there, and we kept looking around waiting to see a 40-footer fin by, but none were visible.

”Back-at-the-ranch” reading. Pauline sells (and signs) her books once you return back to the dock in Kihei. Her books are a great way to learn more about Molokini and Hawaii diving, and reflect on this great sport that we’ve decided to make part of our lives.

On the plus side. 1.) Safety – even though this time there were only eight of us on board, they still did a verbal roll call. 2.) Dive times – the exact opposite of diving in Grand Cayman. No more large boats with 22 other divers, hearing “our dive profile is 100 feet, 20 minutes”, and returning to the boat with 1900 PSI. On MSD, you and your partner basically dive your air. So, if you’re like us (i.e., similar air consumption, and very efficient), you’re in for a delightful surprise. We’ve had multiple 60+ minute dives, where you’re glad your air was running out because you’re starting to get cold!! 3.) Dive groups – they try and place similarly experienced divers together. In this case, four-and-four. 4.) The DM lights – each of the DM’s carry a monster 100-watt cavediving light. Great for seeing true color at 100 feet down, and in dark spaces. 5.) The relaxed atmosphere – unlike Cayman operators (where you set your watch on them getting you back before 12:30p), MSD feel relaxed and not at all rushed, which is why you’re in Hawaii in the first place, right?

On the minus side. Ascending on the second dive, realizing we were done for the day, and wouldn’t have a face-to-face meeting with a humpback calf and big mama.

E-mail me specific questions.

Hyatt Regency. Stayed there five times. Top level at Hyatt, so get “Platinum” treatment. Good Kaanapali location, five min drive to Lahaina.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Florida, Malaysia, Thailand
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 76-78°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-150 Ft/ 18-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth. Follow the DM, with "roaming" flexibility based on demonstrating underwater competency. The lesser of you/buddy's air.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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