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Dive Review of Seasport Divers/Grand Hyatt in
Hawaii/Ni'hau

Seasport Divers/Grand Hyatt, May, 2008,

by Don Lipmanson, CA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 4113.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Papua New Guinea, Kona, Belize, Turks and Caicos, Monterey Bay
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 100' on Nitrox
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales 1 or 2
Corals 1 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 2 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]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Had the good fortune to go from Poipu to Ni'ihau on a day with variable light winds and very calm seas, making for a lovely trip out and back on a very decent boat. Crew set two fishing lines en route and caught a huge yellowfin tuna, which was killed and gutted on the dive deck; not a sight for the queasy. Nice pod of spinner dolphins showed up on the outward leg; a lone humpback breached a couple times in the passage between Ni'ihau and Lehua.

The diving left me somewhat cold, literally as well as figuratively, even with a 0.5 mm. tropical wetsuit under a 3mm. rental shortie. The first dive (on air) took us down to 100' on a lava wall, but days of strong winds had stirred up the bottom so much that visibility at Ni'ihau was mediocre; ditto for a second dive. Typical assortment of Pacific reef fish and HI endemics, nothing particularly large. Highlight of those dives was a group of about five white-tipped reef sharks plus a solitary gray shark.

Visibility was much better just of the tiny island of Lehua, where a fairly strong surface current made swimming to the forward descent line something of a challenge. The dive involved stunning swim-throughs beneath lava arches and tubes, where some nudibranchs and other macro objects shared the stage with the usual assortment of fish.

Overall, I can't really recommend the Ni'ihau trip, given the cost (about $330 for three dives) and the lack of corals that add so much beauty to most warm-water diving. Also, the divemasters seemed less focused than most operations on finding and calling attention to unusual objects, and one (Zack) rather rudely moved divers aside so he could stretch out on the return trip. On the plus side, Seasport's store staff is excellent, the dive briefing was good, and the boat was not overcrowded.

Concerning resorts, the Hyatt is sensational (albeit expensive) in terms of decor, restaurants and service, particularly after four nights backpacking on the Kalalau trail.




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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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