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Review Date       AVG       ShoreDiving Site
06/08/2016        2.78      Manta Ray Dive The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands
I had heard from other divers that it was worth the money to just do this from a boat, but I am cheap, er....frugal. We scoped it out on a night before we went to be sure we weren't doing something insane. I ran into some free divers and snorkelers out to save some dough too. So, I know people do it. We found the entry site noted here to be a bit scary so we entered and exited at the exit point which offered us a place to get out of crashing waves for both purposes. It is easy to get turned around on the dive with all of the excitement, so take a good compass heading. Someone kicked mine, so my return was all goofed up. However, when we surfaced, we were able to swim toward the three lights grouped together and that helped us get to near the right spot where we could get out. I recommend scrapping this dive if conditions are rough. It is easy to get knocked around during entry/exit, there are many urchins here to impale yourself on. Also, when you are out under the mantas be cautious of the rocks in front of the Sheraton. There is some decent surge out there trying to push you toward the rocks. I would not suggest this for the faint of heart or those who are newly certified and nervous. The swim is nothing to sneeze at and the entry is pretty rough compared to sand walk in entries other places. Bring 2 lights each, one always seems to malfunction. Also, watch your dive buoy. Ours seemed to get stuck on a boat as we swam out and it took some retracing steps to disentangle it. There are a lot of boats and snorkelers out there. Just use prudence and caution. Get some cheap glow sticks at Target or Walmart. Put them on all divers, snorkelers, and even your dive buoy for safety.
06/08/2016        3.83      Place of Refuge The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands
We did this site last week as a good intro site. Lots going on here with coral and animal populations which was fun to see. Went during the day and had a hard time finding parking. Ended up pulling up in front of the toilets and dumping gear, then parking up the road. By the end of the day there was a spot to pull into when we needed to load up. Returned the next night for a night dive. I wouldn't recommend this site for a beginner night dive. There are no shore lights to help with navigation as you return and it can be disorienting. If you have someone to keep a light on for you at the shore, it would work better. The local (homeless) gentleman was annoyed by our lights as we scanned the shore for our exit point and came out to shine a light for us. That was very kind, but he kept muttering something about us doing the wrong thing. I was puzzled, we were trying to be as courteous as possible and had our dive buoy just as required. I think he was annoyed that we were shining lights at 8:30 pm. Our night dive was more interesting. The fish were sleeping. My daughter watched a butterfly fish swimming sort of aimlessly and slowly. It tipped over and started swimming on it's side, so she gently righted it and it just kept going as though it happens all of the time. The parrotfish were tucked into the rocks, so it was impossible to appreciate their sleeping bubbles. There were tons of segmented tube worms out working the reef at night though! Wow! We saw a slipper lobster and a sea hare too, those were real treats. My daughter said she saw a nudibranch, but I missed it. There are probably better places for a night dive where there is some shore light for orientation, but it is quite lovely and the entry/exit was easy.
06/08/2016        3.25      Ke'ei The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands
We had done some other diving around the island and landed here one day, thinking it was a good place to access the beauty of the bay. Unfortunately, it wasn't clear to me that the reef is about 6 ft deep for about 1/3 of a mile. We swam and swam and swam, finally dropped down to see if we could do something other than float on our backs and kick. We finally got out to a drop off of 30 ft after burning through quite a bit of air with the swimming. By the time we reached the second drop off to 60 ft it was time to turn around. Next time I would kick out farther and head in a direction toward the Cook monument. The snorkeling was amazing, I'd highly recommend this place for a beach lunch and snorkel day. you'll pretty much have it to yourself except for the neighborhood roaming dog. Watch out for the a**hole who owns the dog. The dog was super sweet and then he showed up to take her home, he grabbed her roughly and kicked her several times. It was heartbreaking to hear the poor thing yelping all of the way back. We left somewhat traumatized.
06/08/2016        3.70      Mahukona The Big Island, Hawaiian Islands
Landed here on a Sunday, forgot the bit about avoiding it on the weekends. The locals were friendly and kind. My daughter made a friend and had a lovely time snorkeling with her while we were diving. We had a leisurely swim out and followed the chain for a while. There are some encrusted boat parts, but nothing too exciting. The reef was lovely and we had a great time until the daughter towing the buoy decided to go deep and snap the line. By the time I realized and surfaced, the buoy was drifting off in the wind rapidly. I ended up swimming about 1/2 mile to get the stupid thing. I almost gave up, but I had put my dry bag on it with our phones and keys. So much for that great idea! The entry is lovely, you could do a stride off the end of the pier or you could ease in at the steps depending on your comfort level. Exit was easy, just like getting up a boat ladder. I can see why this site would be dangerous in surf and lovely for a night dive. The shower was such an incredible amenity!

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