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Kauai Trip: Where to dive?

Discussion in 'Local Reference' started by Muncho, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Muncho

    Muncho Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Montreal

    I'll be going to Kauai in a few months with my non-diving wife. We'll be staying in a cottage on the North Shore for 2 weeks and I 'have permission' to go diving for 2 days.
    Can someone help me with:
    - What are the 'must-see' dive sites, if you had 2 days? (Forbidden Isle?)
    -Would it be interesting for my wife, a snorkeler, to come on a day trip on one of these sites (ie: too rough for snorkeling... not on a reef...)
    -With what outfitter?
    -any other pertinent info?


  2. Scubanoobi

    Scubanoobi Barracuda

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Ottawa
    If you have 2 full days, I would do Nihau, that would get you 3 dives each day. It would be a good 1.5 hour drive to the boat launch though (I'm not sure if anyone leaves from the north).

    Shore diving @ Tunnels would be a good option if you don't want to drive, wife could snorkel there, not sure about conditions in the north though at the time of year you are there.
  3. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Ni'ihau will likely be shutdown by the time you get there - at least with most of the dive operators. Big waves hit the north shore during the winter so Tunnels will likely be un-diveable most of the time also unless you catch a calm day. It's a very rough ride over to Ni'ihau in the summer so worse in the winter - IDK if that's a factor in your wife's decision to go with.

    You could drive down to Poipu Beach for the day. Both Seasport Divers and Fathom Five are in that area. If you wanted to shore dive at Koloa Landing, your wife could also snorkel there. Or drop her at Poipu Beach first, it's a 5min. ride to Koloa from there. It would work better for you to keep the car since there's no facilities at Koloa.

    Either operator offers an escorted shore dive there if you don't want to solo. Plus they'll know where the good stuff lives. The dive boats for both operators also leave from a nearby harbor if she wanted to keep the car and pick you up later.

    If they're still diving Tunnels when you're there, Fathom Five's other operation - Ocean Quest - does that as an escorted dive there. You really want to find someone that knows that area to maximize the diving.

    The other boat operator that leaves from Port Allen - can't recall the name - also does some combo dive/snorkel trips up the Napilii coast. It's possible they might run over to Ni'ihau also still at that time of year. But to be sure, I'd concentrate on south side diving, Kauai shelters that so it's done all year. Sheraton Caverns is one of the signature dives near the Poipu Beach area. I also liked Fast Lanes.
  4. Hawkwood

    Hawkwood MSDT

    # of Dives: None - Not Certified
    Location: NA
    Contact AquamanKauai. He posts frequently in the Hawaii Forums. He is an Instructor/Guide on Kaua'i and can give you some fantastic advice.

    diversteve has given you great advice.
    AquamanKauai likes this.
  5. Muncho

    Muncho Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Montreal
    Thank you for the great advice.
    Will check these suggestions.
  6. Rambo2

    Rambo2 Angel Fish

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: New York
  7. Byte Me

    Byte Me Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: @ Miller Time! in SE Wisconsin
    Was there a year ago August. I did Tunnels up on the north shore which was nice, guided with Fathom Five. The dive was nice, the guides, not so much, wouldn't use Fathom Five again but they were the only ones I could find at the time to do Tunnels with. Depending on time of year, good snorkeling there as well.

    I was EXTREMELY happy with Seasport. Their boat dives of the south shore were great. Did Koloa landing guided with Aquaman Kauai and had a blast (can do it unguided and it's a good snorkel spot too). Too bad you won't be able to do Ni'ihau - it was probably the best three dives I've done, but beyond that, the whole experience of getting over there, seeing it, etc. Stunning. When we go back I want to do it twice at least. We planned our trip time wise so I could dive it and I wasn't disappointed.
    AquamanKauai likes this.
  8. large_diver

    large_diver Loggerhead Turtle

    Curious to know what kind of problems you had with FF...?
  9. AquamanKauai

    AquamanKauai Instructor, Scuba

    Aloha gang,

    Thanks for the kind words regarding your experience at Koloa with me "Byte me" - it is such an awesome spot to dive. Though I am currently helping out at Fathom Five - I feel that both SeaSport Divers and Fathom have some very professional and knowledgeable staff/DM's.

    Respectfully, I always encourage people to utilize SB and other resources to track down DM's within a company and not just the company itself. I know that it certainly takes some time and effort but especially on SB where so many kind individuals are happy to help. I'm always bummed out when I hear someone has a bad experience with any company not just my own. The reality is that staff's turn over about as quickly as you can blink in some cases and there are always newly certified DM's/OWSI's etc. as well as old salty dogs filtering in and out. At the same time those individuals may appeal to some divers in certain regards. For example - while sometimes in their infancy in terms of ocean knowledge - new OWSI's will always be some of the most enthusiastic people you will ever dive with. Old salty captains at times aren't the most personable but sure can make your tides smoother and logistically make your life easy across the board. Anyway, I may be getting off point. Just shedding a light on the issue.

    As some of you know I am here on the board with more and more regularity. If I can every help with any suggestions regarding diving here with ANY company I am more than happy to do so. I'm in the water here every day as I have been for almost 15 years and hoping for 50 more. You can send me PM's or just post in the Hawaii forum. Even if you are headed to another island I am happy to help.

    Depending on the month you won't find any diving (at least to my knowledge) on the northern shores. Tunnels usually opens in April (the best time to dive it) and no boat operators go out of the northern side.

    As the previous posts states your closest trips will be down south with Fathom Five and/or Seasport Divers in Poipu/Koloa. The shore dive at "Koloa Landing" makes for a fantastic afternoon or morning that is critter intensive as well as relaxing and informative. It is actually snorkel friendly as well on most days and those snorkeling can often have up close and personal encounters with the Green Sea Turtles there.

    Happy dive planning
    Let me know if there is any way I can help with suggestions or further info

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