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Dive Review of Wanna Dive in
Hawaii/Kona

Wanna Dive, Jun, 2012,

by neal pruchansky, MA, US ( 2 reports). Report 6617.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Bonaire, Belize, Bahamas, Curacao, Mexico, Maui, Honduras, Florida,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather Seas choppy
Water Temp to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions depth limit was 60 ft, first of two dives, second was the night Manta dive
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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 N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 1 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 1 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments My wife commented on our encounter with Wanna Dive , June 2012, in Hawaii. I would like to elaborate. I am an Advanced Diver and have experience dealing with a range of unanticipated and problematic aspects of diving and related gear. The BC used in Hawaii was my own, I have had it for 15 years, it was serviced regularly and used January 2012. The BC is a model with a heavy back pad. The regulators, gauges and weights(shot, not solid weight) and belt were rented from Wanna Dive. We were told just before gearing up that the gauges had been serviced and the crew had not reset gauges from metric measurements. As at least one diver reported that, as a result, the depth gauge was not useful. The water was somewhat rough.
The process of gearing up and entering the water seemed rushed, perhaps because of our late start and that this was the first of a two dive trip. When my turn to enter the water came, the boat captain came to assist and we found that my BC did not inflate, the hose had not been connected. He struggled but said he connected the inflator hose. It seemed ok , I thought air went into the BC and that the regulator was working so, as instructed, I back rolled into the water and started the short swim to the anchor line. I quickly noticed that I could not breathe and the BC seemed to have a buoyancy problem. I turned back to the boat called for assistance but got no response. The conditions were rough and the dive master had told my buddy to start down before I entered the water. The dive master was not present on the surface either. I yelled to the boat and was told to wait while the last two divers were helped. At this point I was having difficulty, couldnt breathe and was getting anxious. I yelled again that I was in trouble and said put down the ladder, which was in the up position and not accessible. After another shout the ladder was put down and I began an unassisted climb. As I climbed the difficulty breathing subsided. I told the captain I was not going to do the dive.
As I relaxed I realized that I should have manually inflated the BC and then checked out the regulator. However, the way the weight belt was set up with all the weight bunched in the back, the BC and tank forcing the weight belt against me and affecting my ability to breathe. The discomfort and inability to breathe caused my anxiety in the water and inability to help myself. I do not know if the inflator hose was not properly connected or if there was a problem with the BC. I am certain that had dive master been present the situation would not have been so traumatic, perhaps the problem could have been connected prior to getting back into the boat. I opted out of the second dive and did not dive again on the trip, so I do not know if the problems were the BC, inflator hose or both. Despite the fact that it was a boat dive and the dive master set up the weights and gear, I should have checked my equipment , hose connections, set up of weight belt etc , before putting it on, I will not make that mistake again.
When the boat returned to the dock, divers were dropped off and then walked to the boat which had been towed from the water and was on the trailer in a dark parking lot. Divers had to climb up the ladder onto the boat and retrieve their gear. One diver was injured when he fell. I was charged for both dives.
I definitely would not recommend Wanna Dive Hawaii and would not dive with them again.
[None]
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Subscriber's Comments

By Craig A Wood in PA, US at Jul 21, 2012 21:07 EST  
Hi Neal, I have dived off Maui and Oahu but never off Kona. I have no vested interest in Kona operators but notice that Wanna Dive has generally received good reviews on UC. As a diver, let alone an "experienced" diver, don't you think you should be responsible for the proper set up and function of your equipment, regardless of who did the initial set up? This would include distribution of weight on your belt and proper function of your BC and regulators. It sounds like your problems were entirely due to your failure to assume this responsibility. Reading your wife's review, it appears many of her complaints were related to the fact that you were not diving as her buddy. I am somewhat puzzled by the fact that you posted two separate reviews rather than one concerted report. Good diving, Craig
By neal pruchansky in MA, US at Jul 22, 2012 12:49 EST  
hi Craig your point about dive buddy is noteworthy the dive master left m wife alone throughout the divest,she had no dive buddy? ano the dive master "disappeared" atthe start of the second dive as well... I did note that I should have double checked the gear. but the lack of involvementofthe dive master is inexcusable,and the lackof support was notable and dangerous, both in and out of the water. the second review was to point out the reminder to always recheck gear and add my responsibility and perspective...we did not collaborate on the first review neal
By neal pruchansky in MA, US at Jul 22, 2012 12:49 EST  
hi Craig your point about dive buddy is noteworthy the dive master left m wife alone throughout the divest,she had no dive buddy? ano the dive master "disappeared" atthe start of the second dive as well... I did note that I should have double checked the gear. but the lack of involvementofthe dive master is inexcusable,and the lackof support was notable and dangerous, both in and out of the water. the second review was to point out the reminder to always recheck gear and add my responsibility and perspective...we did not collaborate on the first review neal
By Robert Halem in CA, US at Aug 27, 2012 19:25 EST  
I have been diving with WannaDive for many years and they are the best I have found in Kona. My experience has always been with my own equipment, but they have always set it up properly and done a through check out. Since it is a six person maximum boat, it is hard to see how any distraction by the divemaster could be long enough to be an issue. As a divemaster myself, I know how hard it can be to keep a group together, especially at night. That is why having a buddy can be so important. The basic rule of all diving is that you are basically responsible for yourself. No matter what the people on the boat said, your wife should not have left without you if she was your buddy.
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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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