Kauai Diving

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Posted by NightDiver on October 07, 2002 at 15:03:45:

In Reply to: Going to Kauai posted by SocalJoe on October 06, 2002 at 16:48:20:

Joe -

I dove Kauai during my vacation there this August and used SeaSport Divers, whom I would highly recommend. I have also heard very good things about Bubbles Below, especially about how environmentally aware and well educated their DMs are. By the way, I am assuming you are staying down toward Poipu...

I was very pleased with the DMs/Instructors who lead the dives at SeaSport Divers. They were very flexible and let those of us who were more experienced or better on air have some freedom in our profiles. SeaSport does morning and afternoon dives along the Southern coast near Poipu (which include Sheraton Caverns). The morning dives are a little more advanced with greater depths, currents, etc. Afternoons are billed as refreshers or certification dives. However, I dove the afternoon for my first set of dives (my father was with me and is still beginning) and was very pleased to be allowed to spend an extra 15 - 20 minutes on the bottom with the instructor at the end of each dive. BTW, all of my South shore dives had great conditions...~100' visibility, 73 degree water temps, minimal surge. Lots of swim throughs, dramatic arches, sea turtles, moreys, etc.

My only knock on SeaSport Divers is that the instructors are a little too willing to handle the sealife (for example, a rare, endemic starfish)...I think this is a matter of personal preference, largely, but I still think local DMs/SIs should practice a "hands off" policy with marine life.

I would also highly, highly recommend diving Niihau if you have the time and $$ resources and if local conditions permit. It's about a 2 1/2 hour boat ride from Kauai and, coming back, the channel conditions get a bit wet and wild. However, Niihau is a private island and the reefs are absolutely pristine and teaming with fish. It's an all-day, 3-dive trip and I would highly recommend Nitrox. Deep wall diving, drift diving, the whole nine yards. We spent one whole dive with an endangered monk seal as our companion. We also watched an 8-9 foot grey reef shark cruise the boat about 2 minutes before we entered the water for our 2nd dive. Didn't see him for the rest of the dive, but did see several of his 3-4 foot younger brothers. Anyway, if you get the chance, I don't think you'll regret a trip out to Niihau. BTW, the load is limited to six divers which is a great sized group for this type of trip. All were fairly advanced, solid divers. The ones who dove on air did run up against their NDLs toward the ends of the 2nd and 3rd dives.

Hope this helps. Drop me an email if you have any other questions.

Lastly, make sure you catch at least one sunset at the Beach House. We have been to Kauai several times and I still can't get over the view from that restaurant. Also, I think the food is now right up there with the best on the island.

Enjoy your trip!


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