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Dive Review of Scuba Shack/Mana Kai Maui in
Hawaii/Maui

Scuba Shack/Mana Kai Maui, Feb, 2006,

by Paul and Donna Lima, TN, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 27 reports). Report 2320.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Belize, Caymans, Roatan, Florida Keys, Hawaii (Big Island)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 71 to 77 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Stay above dive leader, safety stop with 700psi, on boat with 500psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]Dedicated fresh water container for cameras

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We had rented tanks and weights from Scuba Shack but never gone on their boat before. Michelle at the store was very helpful and pleasant and arrangements were easy. Typical Maui start in the dark at 6am from Kihei boat ramp. They have a truck with equipment for those that need to rent, coffee, tea, hot chocolate, granola bars and cookies for consumption while forms are filled out and equipment distributed. Equipment is brand new and replaced each month. Great deals on purchasing last month's gear. Nice, spotless boat with 350hp twin diesels and jet drive which reduced worries about getting back on after drift dives. There are very handy rails on both sides of the dive platform which you hold while removing your fins, then move to the ladder. The only down side was that it was a little cramped when gearing up prior to dives. Captain Valerie was competent and enthusiastic about the operation, the boat and the large numbers of humpback whales that breed and calve offshore in the winter. We stopped several times and she killed the engines so we could watch and listen to the whales. Whale song was our constant companion under the water as well. Went out two days with one day being sunny and pleasant and one being cold and cloudy. Brought lots of expedition weight polypropylene and wore all of it on the second day! Hawaii can be cold (highs 70s, lows 60s)this time of year. Dove with Toby as our divemaster and Waldo as extra eyes on the boat enabling us to do drift dives (Coast Guard regulations). Nice dives with lots of fish, turtles and a few sharks. Toby was very aware of air consumption but was great at letting us use our air while others returned to the surface to be picked up as their air ran low. Both days we saw the best at the end of the dive when it was just Toby and the two of us. On the back wall of Molokini we watched a white tip reef shark and large ulua (jack) hunting together. The shallower dives were consistently well over an hour! Never experienced any time pressure either below or above the water. Nice surface interval food (bagels, cookies, croissants, pineapple, juices and water).
The Mana Kai is located close to the boat ramp (actually snorkeled over there one day) and right on the ocean. It has a long beach to the left but also has a nice reef to the right. Large lawn, perfect for watching whales during the day and for watching sunsets with Mai Tai's in hand. Saw the "green flash" one evening. Enjoyed sitting on the lanai (balcony) in the morning with coffee and binoculars watching whales breach and blow.
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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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