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Small boat recs for Big Island next two weeks?

Discussion in 'Hawai'i' started by gaila, Oct 9, 2010.

  1. gaila

    gaila Angel Fish

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    We are two experienced divers but this is our first time diving Kona. So glad to leave our drysuits behind!!! We hope to dive 5 days and plan on one night dive (mantas). Would appreciate any input. Are there any small boats with shade run by reputable operators? Who are your favorable operators overall, and who do you recommend for the manta dive? Prefer boats to shore diving, will be staying in Kohala but will have rental. We arrive next Friday, will be there a week plus. Many thanks!
     
  2. slingshot

    slingshot Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern California
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    Give Steve at WannaDive a call, he posts here. If by experienced you are looking more for tech stuff, try Konaquatica. Those are the two six-packs I've tried, and had good diving with both ops. I've only heard good things about Big Island Divers which has one smaller boat, and Pacific Rim Divers, also with a smaller boat, though I haven't been on either. As for the manta dive, I'm going to reverse a previous thought that a single tank dive is fine as the day dives there are bland, there have been lots of mantas swinging by before dark so a two tank day should definitely be considered. Lots of ops go at night, find one you like. I've done manta diving with Kona Honu Divers because I like the setup of a large Newton boat for night dives. The past few weeks have been hopping, hope your luck is good.
     
  3. StuartT

    StuartT Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Abbotsford, B.C. Canada
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    Never been to the big Island but do bring a 3mm or 5mm full to stay comfortable. 3 of us just did a week of diving in maui and all had 5mm full wetsuits and stayed warm even on 90+ min dives.
     
  4. gaila

    gaila Angel Fish

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    Thank you for the feedback. Also looking for great fish tacos and sushi...fast, casual, the kind of place I can throw on a coverup and go right after diving.
     
  5. friscuba

    friscuba Dive Charter

    # of Dives:
    Location: A, A
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    "Bite Me" fishing charters has a fish market/restaurant/bar right next to the boat ramp at Honokohau with decent $2.50 fish tacos. That would count as a place to toss a coverup and go right after diving, otherwise the small boat harbor in Kona is a bit of a drive to anywhere, it's a couple miles north of town. There are a bunch of places in Kailua that'll fit the bill.
     
  6. gaila

    gaila Angel Fish

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    Thanks Steve! Do most of the dive boats go out of Honokohau or the small boat harbor in Kona? We are staying at the Mauna Lani and while we will drive to get to the best spots if necessary, it is good to know what is close by for those days we will have limited time. There will be at least one morning where I will need to be back at the hotel at noon the latest, so that might be a shore dive day if it will take me 45 minutes in traffic to get to or from the boat.
     
  7. friscuba

    friscuba Dive Charter

    # of Dives:
    Location: A, A
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    Honokohau is the small boat harbor between town and the airport. Pretty much all of the dive operators run out of there, I think Breeze still operates out of Kailua pier. There is another small harbor down at Keauhou that services local fishermen and a few snorkel/water activity businesses, some may offer diving, but there are no dedicated dive boats running out of there.

    Finding someone back by noon would be tough. These days about the earliest I see anyone go back in the harbor is closer to 12:45 - 1:00, with a few coming in between 2:00 and 3:00.
     
  8. slingshot

    slingshot Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Northern California
    549
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    Sansei (sp?) sushi is near the Mauna Lani at the Queens shops in Waikoloa, they have a Sunday and Monday night early bird special of sorts, half off most sushi IIRC for the first hour they are open. I recommend the miso butterfish and they had some good sushi rolls too.
     
  9. WVDiver

    WVDiver Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Podunk, WV
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  10. gaila

    gaila Angel Fish

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    Could not open the links for the manta or blackwater diving on my iPhone--it said page not found. Will try later. Thanks for all of the advice!
     

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