Current Kona recommendations, no cattle boats

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Seaweed Doc

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Heading to Hawaii this summer (early August) and wanted a recommendation for a boat diving operation in the Kona area.

About me, because, well, it's all about me isn't it:

1. I really, really, really hate cattle boats. I respect the DM's and such at Lahaina Divers, but I'll never dive with them again. Too much "all the ducklings follow momma duck around in a nice line at just the same speed." Last summer I dove with Prodiver Maui and loved it. They gave me credit as an instructor with a camera in hand as being a tolerable diver and gave me a lot of latitude to do my thing. In other words, 6-packs are preferred to massive boats.
2. I will have a camera in hand. Not huge (Olympus TG-6, twin video lights, Go-Pro on the cold shoe).
3. I'll have an insta-buddy, since nobody in my group dives but me.
4. I'd love to do the manta night dive, and would tolerate a cattle boat for this. If I have to. I guess. (Bonus points if you can recommend a good night snorkel boat for the non-divers in my group. Is this a Jack's Diving Locker thing primarily?)

Mahalo in advance!
 

grantwiscour

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Give them a call at Kona Honu Divers and see what they say about number of divers on the trip, etc. They are more likely to not be a follow the leader, cattle boat.

We just did a Manta snorkel trip with relatives that were visiting. We went out with My Kona Adventures from Keauhou Harbor. Best value and easy to book and do with them. Our visitors were first time snorkelers and were comfortable and happy with their experience.
 

RVBldr

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Jack's Diving Locker runs their "Adventure Day" dives which are normally smaller, faster boats, and head much further north or south depending on conditions. I normally use my CCR and a carry a decent camera as well.
 

NorCalDM

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Blue Wilderness uses a RIB out of the Puako boat ramp, they also do a manta dive. Kona area I use Kona Honu and Pacific Rim Divers. Kohala Divers is one of my favorite but they are farther north and leave from the Kawaihae harbor but they are usually the only dive boat in the area. All of these ops are laid back and let you dive, personally I can't say that about Jack's. Also look for the dive ops that do advanced trips they cost a little more but usually less divers onboard. The advanced trips don't go out everyday so have to check the schedules. There is lots of shore diving as well and Blue Wilderness can help with this, they have tank rental cards that don't expire ends up costing about $5 a cylinder. I was just diving there last week doing a mixture of shore and boat diving.
 

Murphy in NC

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Blue Wilderness uses a RIB out of the Puako boat ramp, they also do a manta dive. Kona area I use Kona Honu and Pacific Rim Divers. Kohala Divers is one of my favorite but they are farther north and leave from the Kawaihae harbor but they are usually the only dive boat in the area. All of these ops are laid back and let you dive, personally I can't say that about Jack's. Also look for the dive ops that do advanced trips they cost a little more but usually less divers onboard. The advanced trips don't go out everyday so have to check the schedules. There is lots of shore diving as well and Blue Wilderness can help with this, they have tank rental cards that don't expire ends up costing about $5 a cylinder. I was just diving there last week doing a mixture of shore and boat diving.

What is RIB ?
Looking for big island dive ops, not familiar with the acronym.
 

OrcasC205

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Hey @Seaweed Doc, if it’s not too late, check out Honu Konu Divers calendar online to see if they have any of their advance long range trips available at the time you are visiting. It is a small, fast boat with 6 divers max and they take you much farther north or south than the bigger boats so you have more secluded dive sites. My wife and I did that last time we were on the big island and it was an awesome trip.

-Doug
 
https://www.shearwater.com/products/perdix-ai/

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