Shore diving buddy in Kona area, Dec. 6-18

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Barry Saver

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I'm going to be in Kona in December (arriving 12/5, leaving 12/19) and my family does not dive, so it would be great if I could find a buddy/buddies for some shore dives when my schedule permits. I'll have my gear so just need to rent tank/weights. As background, I'm mid-60's, diving for the past 6 years with >180 dives, most of which are here in the Puget Sound region (so used to crappy vis., some current, and a lot more weight than needed for warm water diving). I'm AOW certified and took the PADI self-sufficient diver course (but COVID hit before I got in the last dive for that cert). I'm mostly interested in seeing undersea life and taking pictures, as opposed to "adventure diving." I dive regularly here so am not a rusty, vacation-only diver. So if you will be in the Kona area in that timeframe and might be interested in doing some shore dives, drop me a line! I'm also happy for any suggestions; I've just done boat dives in Kona before so don't know much about shore diving locations.
Mahalo!
Barry
 

OrcasC205

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You may want to check out the Kona Reefers Dive Club on Facebook. There are quite a few locals in the group that may be able to dive with you. Kona Reefers Dive Club
 

bmorescuba

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Shore diving on the Big Island ranks high among my favorite experiences in life. I've been lucky enough to visit 3 times and done almost exclusively shore diving each trip. I would recommend you visit at least a couple sites: Two-Step and Kona Old Airport.

Two-Step is about 30 minutes south of Kona proper and is a popular snorkeling site. Go early (true for all sites) and park in the church lot ($5, but worth it). The name refers to a natural formation in the rock that makes entry and exit easy (even with a camera). Even if you can't arrange a buddy beforehand, it's likely you'll find other people diving when you go. But it's an easy site to do solo. You can choose to go north or south, and you can choose your depth. There's usually little current and the bay is protected so things don't get too surge-y. But, go early anyway. If you stay shallow, it's easy to get 2 hours on a tank. Tons of typical hawaiian fish, possible spinner dolphins, turtles, eels, eagle rays. Lots of good photo ops. You can dive it wide angle or macro - good photo ops for both modes. This map marker shows the actual location of the entry: Google Maps

Kona Old Airport is just a super cool place to hang out. Also best done early, there is plenty of free parking. The entry/exit is a little trickier, especially at low tide. Try to go at high tide if possible. Lots of interesting formations. I like to head north until a dropoff, then swing back south and do a circular path to end the dive. This map shows the location of the entry: Google Maps
Same as above for photo ops.

Other sites I enjoy diving:

Pebbles (hour south of Kona)
Puako (hour north of Kona)
Mile Marker 4 (in Kona, parking hard and dive not as varied)

The local shops (Kona Honu, Jack's, etc. all have advice and equipment for shore diving).



Have fun. Be safe. Enjoy. WIsh I could meet you there....
 
OP
B

Barry Saver

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Seattle, WA
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Shore diving on the Big Island ranks high among my favorite experiences in life. I've been lucky enough to visit 3 times and done almost exclusively shore diving each trip. I would recommend you visit at least a couple sites: Two-Step and Kona Old Airport.

Two-Step is about 30 minutes south of Kona proper and is a popular snorkeling site. Go early (true for all sites) and park in the church lot ($5, but worth it). The name refers to a natural formation in the rock that makes entry and exit easy (even with a camera). Even if you can't arrange a buddy beforehand, it's likely you'll find other people diving when you go. But it's an easy site to do solo. You can choose to go north or south, and you can choose your depth. There's usually little current and the bay is protected so things don't get too surge-y. But, go early anyway. If you stay shallow, it's easy to get 2 hours on a tank. Tons of typical hawaiian fish, possible spinner dolphins, turtles, eels, eagle rays. Lots of good photo ops. You can dive it wide angle or macro - good photo ops for both modes. This map marker shows the actual location of the entry: Google Maps

Kona Old Airport is just a super cool place to hang out. Also best done early, there is plenty of free parking. The entry/exit is a little trickier, especially at low tide. Try to go at high tide if possible. Lots of interesting formations. I like to head north until a dropoff, then swing back south and do a circular path to end the dive. This map shows the location of the entry: Google Maps
Same as above for photo ops.

Other sites I enjoy diving:

Pebbles (hour south of Kona)
Puako (hour north of Kona)
Mile Marker 4 (in Kona, parking hard and dive not as varied)

The local shops (Kona Honu, Jack's, etc. all have advice and equipment for shore diving).



Have fun. Be safe. Enjoy. WIsh I could meet you there....
Many thanks to you and OrcasC205 for your responses! Two-step is my favorite snorkeling site and on my hoped-for list for diving. I should be comfortable diving solo there if I can't find a dive buddy, even if I am without my pony, but my wife would freak if she knew I went solo... And a buddy did post a video of a shark (tiger, I think?) coming straight at him after losing a tussle with another over a ray. It did depart after he bonked it on the nose with his camera, but I'd probably rather not be alone should such a thing happen... The other suggestions are also helpful; I have read about Old Kona Airport and it sounds like a cool dive site, too. I did post on the Kona Reefers Dive Club site and hopefully that will turn up some dive buddies. And sorry you won't be there then to buddy up!

Thanks again!
 
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