Kona Best Manta Dives ? Best Night Dives?

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Tesibria

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Hi all,

Jeff and I are going to Hawaii for our annual "honeymoon" this year -- end of Oct-early Nov.

We'll be spending most of the time on the big island, likely based around Kona, and hope to have three days of diving (with a couple days left over to see the volcanos and climb Mauna Kea).

Have browsed through this thread and obtained lots of great info regarding dive operations generally, but have a couple specific questions for the locals and/or those who've been there lots.

1). Which operator has, in your view, the best manta dives?

2). Which operator has the best night open water dives?


Thanks in advance for any insights you can provide!

Tes~

(Of course, any "DO NOT MISS" this guidance you might have would be great as well :).
 

fisheater

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The operators all go to the same place and set up the manta dive together.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

DivemasterDennis

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Agree that the manta night dive is like a local dive shop get together. We did the dive with Kona Honu and were very happy with their treatment on this and several other boat dives. I won't say they are the best, because I cannot compare to other on island concessions, but we have been on scores of dive boats in many different locales, and I liked them just fine.
DivemasterDennis
 

ChrisM

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Did the manta dive off the Aggressor, which was cool. Showed up after everyone got the mantas to come in, then just stayed til low on air and the mantas followed us back to the boat. Would be expensive just for that dive though :)

Find someone to take you on Pelagic Magic. drifting in 3,000 feet of water at night. One of the most amazing dives I've done.

Chris
 

UW_canuck

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I recommend Big island divers, my wife and I did the manta dive with them on several occasion. We were just there earlier in September, the staff is friendly and professional. Nice boats too, they have three.

They offer weekly manta+ black water dives combo or disk dive+manta. The black water is cool, unique feeling to be floating in the dark in 5000 feet of water.
 

Token

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I did the Kona manta dive with Jack's Diving Locker. It's a big, professional operation with some excellent people running the dives [in my experience anyway]. I've been told that the Hawaiian dive market is so competitive that there are no bad operations, so basically you shop on the basis of price and options offered. Jack's has big boats rather than six-packs or pangas, if you're more comfortable with that. The head divemaster on my dive was also an UW videographer that did a DVD recording of the night's dive. It cost $100...seemed pricey at the time, but it's my favorite dive souvenir so far.

I recall reading/hearing that the Kona area dive ops have an agreed-upon schedule of who runs dives on what nights, to prevent overcrowding at the manta site. There were dozens of divers and snorklers in the water the night I was there, IIRC. Three manta showed up...I've heard tales of many more than that, but it was still an amazing night. The manta viewing went on for about 20 minutes, then we took off over the reef for a night dive. Considering the number of divers and lights in the water, it didn't seem dark at all. Recommended without reservation.

The volcano park is quite interesting, although not as spectacular as you might expect. Lots of tourists there. We drove to the park via the southern route, then decided to drive all the way around the island via Hilo and the northern highway home. It was a pretty long day, but doable. Have fun!
 

mer

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With one vote for Kona Honu, one for KDC, one for BID and one for Jack's, that didn't clear up anything.
Let me see if I can break the tie: KDC.
Yes, all of the shops go to the same place for the Manta dive (one of two places depending on swell and recent manta history), but the service and culture with each operator will be different.

KDC re-lit my fire for Kona night diving and they run a great night dive. My fav spot is Lone Tree Arch (or nearby). On either night reef or Manta dives, KDCs service is great. No rushing you into the water before it's actually dark, great briefings, great guides, and good people too!

Favorite KDC day time dives would be long range charters (3 tank).
Hope this helps.
 

smellzlikefish

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I'd put in another vote for the daytime 3 tank long-range dives with KDC. They'll never promise you this, but I've seen two whale sharks with them so far.
 
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