5 Responses to “Hawaii”

  1. admin says:

    Trip Report: The Manta Ray Night Dive – Hawaii

    Original Post by WV Diver on ScubaToys (11/29/09)


    The Manta Ray Night Dive just off shore of Hawaii really is one of those must do dives. It should be experienced and enjoyed by all divers. This is also a great experience if you prefer to snorkel or just haven’t gotten around to getting scuba certified. We went out with Big Island Divers out of Kona, Hawaii and I can recommend them highly.

    This was a two tank package that included a dive in and near the same area that the Manta Ray Night Dive takes place with plenty of surface interval prior to nightfall.

    This first dive was dubbed the Garden Eels Reef for obvious reasons. The eels are in less than 80’ of water and there are many. It’s a great place to see them shallowish water, if memory serves they were around 60’-70’ which is unusual for me. I usually see them at depths of 100’+. We also saw a nice sized Whitetip Reef Shark, a Lionfish, a Crown of Thorns, eels and of course the currently unofficial Hawaiian state fish the Humuhumunukunukuapua’a. It is pronounced: hoomoo – hoomoo – nookoo – nookoo – ah – poo – ah – ah, quite a mouthful. It means fish with a pig’s nose.

    Date = 27 Oct 09, Max depth = 78’, Vis = 100’+, Water temp = 79*F. Dive time = 57 Minutes

    The second dive of course was The Manta Ray Night Dive. It was amazing just to see so many divers at one time shining their lights up through the water column and watching the exhaust bubbles straining to reach the surface. But when the rays showed up it was breathtaking. There were about 10 there this night and they ranged in size from about 7’ to 12’ wingspans. We were told that for every foot of wingspan the animal would weigh approximately 100 lbs. But for their size they were some of most graceful and majestic animals I have ever witnessed. So much power and yet so fluid in their movements these animals would come within literally an inch of your head to collect the plankton swarming around you light.

    Each diver has a light of course and groups of buddy teams sit on the bottom around a set of fixed lights that lay on the bottom, in the sand, shining up toward the surface. This set of fixed lights, called the “Camp Fire,” along with each diver’s light shining toward the surface helps attract and concentrate the plankton, which in turn draws the rays into the area. Since this has been going on for so long the rays are conditioned to come to the lights knowing that there is an easy meal awaiting them.

    The mantas have distinct markings on their underside in the “chest” area. Their undersides are white and the markings are black and as unique as fingerprints. These marks are used to identify individual animals and of course they have all been given colorful names.

    There is also a resident Undulated Eel that likes to ham it up for the cameras. They call him Frank and he made a brief appearance on this night. He is known to wrap himself around divers and go in and out of their BCs.

    This was a fantastic dive and if you are a diver, well worth the Hawaii trip all by itself. The newer you are to scuba diving the more spectacular this dive should be for you.

    There is a lady there that does professional video and she travels around to all the different buddy teams and gets good video of the mantas circling above and around your head. Afterward you can buy her work in the parking lot for a reasonable fee. She broadcasts the nights work from a TV monitor mounted on top of her car when you get back to the dock. We picked up a copy.

    Date = 27 Oct 09, Max depth = 35’, Vis = 100’ across the camp fire, Water temp = 74*F. Dive time = 50 Minutes.

  2. snagel says:

    Maui Diving -Trip Report – Aug 21- 28, 2010

    Original Post by Sus9nr on ScubaBoard


    Well we just got back from our trip to Maui and we had a wonderful time. The weather was beautiful in the mid to upper 80’s everyday which was great considering it was 105 in Austin. We were staying in Kahana which was very nice but it is north of Lahaina so there were limited Dive operations that did boat diving.

    We decided to go with Lahaina divers even though some of the comments on this board said that they tended to be cattle boats. Although they tended to put more people on the boat, the boat was large enough to handle it. In fact the most we had was 18, the boat can handle 24, and it got a little tight when trying to gear up but they separated everyone into groups of 5 or 6 for the dive so it was not bad at all. It also made the trip out to Lanai and the Molokini Crater less brutal. The Staff was great Captain Dan was fun and entertaining. Rebecca the photographer was very helpful to try and identify things we saw.

    Now for the Dives the first dives we did were at Mala Wharf. This could probably be done as a shore dive but you need to what out for boat traffic. We saw a white tip reef shark and it is amazing what a hurricane can do to a structure. It is a very shallow dive deepest points is 35 ft. It is a decent check out dive but was not that exciting.

    The next day we were supposed to do the Back Wall at Molokini Crater and it got postponed until the following day because of engine trouble on the boat. I really enjoyed these dives. These are more advanced sites so if you are new to diving stick to the inside of the crater. The visibility was close to 200 ft. It was beautiful. Some of the people we were diving with ended up hanging out with spinner dolphins during their safety stop. Unfortunately we heard them but did not see them.

    The last day of diving we went to Lanai. We dove Cathedrals I and Knob Hill. The visibility was again 200 ft or more. The structures at the Cathedrals is beautiful and when we enter there was another white tip reef shark in there he just swam a circle around us an left. The diving was great!

    A couple of non-diving items. If you want to do a zip-line you will want to make your reservations before you go we wanted to try it but could not get a reservation once we arrived. Also you need to plan to see the volcano before you start diving because of the elevation. Same for any helicopter tours. We went to a great Luau called Feast at LeLe which is not the normal buffet and the food was wonderful, it is not necessarily for kids although there were a few there.

    It was a wonderful trip and I was very happy with the service I got from Lahaina Divers.


  3. Snagel says:

    Maui trip report Sept 2010
    Maui dive trip late September 2010
    Original Post by Chocoholic on ScubaToys

    We were on Maui for 12 days and loved it. My hubby is a non-diver and he spent the vast majority of the time golfing, his favourite was Makena golf course. He golfed Wailea Old Blue, Wailea Gold, Wailea Emerald and Makena courses.

    We found all sorts of great restaurants by asking locals and looking on Yelp.com. Some of my favourite restaurants were; Cuatros (great fusion food and excellent waitstaff), Pita Paradise (Greek food), Izakaya Matsu (little hole in the wall with fantastic Japanese food) Café O Lei (my favourite) and for lunch the little green pulled pork shack on roadside close to Big Beach.

    We stayed at Ka’anapali Beach Club for two days and I enjoyed it.

    We stayed at the Grand Wailea for several days, it was posh and luxurious.

    We then stayed at the Maui Lea at Maui Hill condo in Kihea, this was my favourite place. The condo units were big with lots of room for your stuff. The grounds were beautiful; lots of flowering trees, shrubs and plants, with a tennis court, shuffle board and BBQs dotted around the area. The Maui Lea at Maui Hill has a staircase that leads down to the main road and it is across from the Kihea boat ramp (it takes about 5 minutes to walk) which is where I met the dive boat.

    The diving was way better than I had imagined. I did several days of shore diving; Ulua Beach had ok visibility and lots of stuff to see, 5 Caves/Turtle Town had terrible visibility but we still saw a lot of life. We saw lots of eels, nudis, turtles, rays, sharks in a cave and many tropicals, as well as several octopi and the water was warm. I also did several days of boat diving out to Molokini. The visibility at Molokini was stellar and I saw a huge manta three times. Molokini was like diving in a huge fish bowl, many varieties of fish, white tips, rays, eels galore and nudis. I knew in advance that there wouldn’t be much in the way of large coral formations but I didn’t expect the awesome vis or that many fish.

    I dove with Shaka Doug for the shore dives and the boat dives with Emi and John of Dive & Sea Maui. I was happy with both dive ops and really enjoyed all the little things both Shaka Doug and Emi were able to find as well as the big things – sharks in the cave and Mantas! I’m already trying to figure out when I can go back.

  4. Snagel says:

    Trip Report for Maui
    December 16, 2010
    Original post by Chilly Willy on ScubaToys

    Aloha folks!

    Here is a quick report of my last two weeks in Maui. I did a total of 25 dives while there 13 off the boat 12 on the beach. The dive op I used for the boat dives is Maui Dreams, the boat was the Maui Diamond ll. The price is $129 for the first day, $119 for the second day, and if you dive more than twice the remaning dives are billed to you at the local’s rate of $99. Maui Dreams rents tanks for $5 and weights for $3 a day. We did a variety of spots including all the spots at Molokini including the back wall twice, Red Hill, Puka Puka, Canyon Lands, Marty’s Reef, Wailea Point, and the Hell Diver wreck. The Beach dives I did were at Ulua Beach (6), Five Graves, Polo Beach, and Makena Beach.

    The water temps were around 76-77 degrees and vis on the shore and close in boat dives was in the 40-70 foot range with a couple of the last days between 20-30 feet due to the storm that rolled through. Molokini was the standard 100-150 foot range. Some of the critters we saw inculded a huge pod of Pilot Whales on SI at Molokini, a couple of large Hellers Barracudas, some huge Ulua, Frogfish, Leaf Scorpion, Hawaiian Lionfish, Spotted Eagle Rays, and all of the standard stuff you get in Hawaii.

    The Hell Diver wreck is pretty cool, it was just discovered in Feb. at about 60 ft. in between Maalea Harbor and Kihei.

  5. Snagel says:

    Oahu trip report 9/14/12-10/1/12
    Original Post by CooperGR on ScubaToys

    Wow what an amazing trip!! We arrived on 9/14 through Honolulu International Airport. From there we went to our first hotel which was the Hilton Waikiki Beach. The hotel was very nice. It has a bar and restaurant on the main floor and a gift shop as well. There were a lot of people staying at the hotel but you would have hardly noticed. It was very nice. Also the hotel is in a great location in downtown Waikiki. Everything is within walking distance and there is an endless amount of things to do. Halfway through the trip on the 20th we switched hotels and stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. There aren’t enough words to describe this place. They don’t call it the Hawaiian Village for nothing. There are tons of restaurants and shops right in the hotel compound. It is right on the beach and they have numerous pools and a big lagoon that you can kayak and paddle board on. There are several towers that are the hotels that seem to fit an endless amount of people. The resort is a little farther away from the hustle and bustle of downtown Waikiki but you could still walk to everything if you wanted to. The city of Waikiki is also very nice. There is so much to do and everything is within walking distance. There are a lot of nice restaurants and whatnot and there is something for everyone. I didn’t really go out to any clubs or late night bars but even the restaurant bars stay open late and have a good atmosphere for people of any age. But enough of that nonsense lets get on to what you all want to hear about…


    I did some research and called a number of shops. There are a good amount of dive ops in the Waikiki area. The ones that I called were very honest and said that if I was to do one of their packages that I would probably get out to the sames sights a few times and wouldn’t really get the diversity I was looking for. In the end I took what I read from a few reviews and called Kaimana Divers. Gabe and I corresponded back and forth via email a bit and he gave me lots of information of his operation. When I called him and spoke with him and person I knew right away that this was the shop that I was going to go with. He really worked with me and the schedule of things I had to do with my family and despite having a higher price than some of the other ops for the amount of dives I was looking to do I could tell that he was going to work with my schedule and also get me the biggest variety of diving I could get. And let me just say that I got the biggest variety of diving I could’ve ever imagined. I got to several of the wrecks, east side, west side, north shore with practically perfect conditions, the dark side night dive and to the corsair with unlimited viz and no current what-so-ever!!! (they say a free descent to the corsair is very rare and my luck on this trip was unbelievable) They don’t have your average shop as in they aren’t always open and don’t really sell any gear. They are all about the diving which is right up my alley. The staff is like their operation… The best!! Gabe and Drew were really cool and run a very smooth operation. Drew had some ear issues and only dove with me once but he is very good at what he does. Every time Gabe was on the boat with me he was with another group either doing intro dives or just leading the other group. He is a really fun person and has a great personality which makes the surface intervals awesome. I don’t think I can even use enough words to describe the two dive masters I had the most Christine and Liv. They are just plain awesome. They are both extremely good and attentive divers. They made safety and fun their top priorities. Almost anything I asked they had answers to and trust me I had a ton of them. I had the pleasure of being there while it was both of their birthdays and although I was unable to make it to the party they had at the shop it sounded like an amazing time and my kind of party. On two other times I had another DM who works from them named Blade. He was awesome too. Another really good diver and I got to dive with him and the dive club and got to do a dive that hardly anyone on the island has done. (including everyone else at the shop I believe) Another day I had another DM named Anna who fills in sometimes and she was yet again really cool and a great diver. I just feel like I cannot say enough about this group and loved every second of my trip.

    All in all I did 21 dives while I was there. Here’s the list of sites I got to see.

    Sea Tiger wreck
    Nautilus Reef
    KoKo Craters
    Anglers Reef
    Shark Cove Left Side
    Shark Cove Right Side
    Mahi Wreck
    Makaha Caverns
    Mahi Wreck
    Drift Dive to Makaha Cavers
    Corsair Wreck
    Sea Tiger Wreck
    Nautilus Reef
    Turtle Canyon
    Nautilus Reef
    YO-257 & San Pedro wrecks
    Drift dive from San Pedro to “Wine Racks”
    Dark Side Night dive
    Sea Tiger Wreck
    San Pedro Wreck

    Every single sight had tons of life. Everything from Hawaiian Green Sea turtles, tons of eels, nudibranchs, octopus, frog fish, scorpion fish, and even two hawaiian lion fish.

    All in all it was an amazing trip and the diving was awesome. I will be sure to return and use Kaimana Divers again for sure and if I have the chance to do my dive master out there it will be with Gabe and everyone else for sure.

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