Review Date AVG ShoreDiving Site
11/06/2006 4.10 Port Marie Curacao, ABC Islands
A "Must Do" dive. My fourth time diving this site. Oct. '06. Extremely easy entry from white sandy beach with NO SURF whatsoever. Dive shop on site, 40 yards up from the beach. (I brought my own gear and tanks, weights rented from Atlantis Diving). Porto Marie has both an inner & outer reef separated by a sandy bottom at approx. 50 yards. Just walk out into the 86 degree clear water, put your fins on, and snorkel straight out (south) beyond the floating swim platform to the floating rope which marks the edge of the slope and the first (inner) reef. The drop to the sandy bottom beneath the rope is 15-20' feet and is where you should do your safety stop when you ascend. Follow the sandy slope down the sand channel to the backside of the inner reef. As you descend you should be able to see the inside of the outer reef about 110 feet away -the vis IS that good. If you're a beginner just stay with the inner reef as there's plenty of critters to explore and there won't be any current at all. It's just like swimming in a very large and deep swimming pool/aquarium. The sandy bottom between the inner & outer reefs is about 50' and slopes down. If you swim south towards the outer reef, you'll see the sand channel opening to the back side of the outer reef and open ocean. This channel is about 30' wide with the sloping bottom from 80' to over 100'. The top of the outer reef on both sides of the opening is 40'. The back side of the outer reef is where the real action is. You'll likely see some Barracudas cruising with a few other large fish. The base of the outer reef is in excess of 120' and slopes down from there so watch your depth & watch for current (swim into the current first then coast back). I dove the west outer at 85' on the backside with little current 150'+ vis and 85 F temp at that depth. Not too shabby! I slowly ascended as I headed west to the top of that reef at 40'. Heading back (east) along the top. Just beautiful. At the outer channel opening, I turned north and could easily see the sand channel in the inner reef. Swam to that inner reef channel at about 40' & slowly ascended to the top of the inner channel/inner reef at 20' and hung around on the bottom there for my safety stop. Surfaced just inside of the floating rope and snorkeled back the 40 or 50 yds to shore. There is a great small restaurant on site with very reasonably priced lunches Try the sate chicken with Nasi (rice) or Bami (noodles). Don't miss. Plan to spend at least half a day there. My wife said the snorkeling there was good but not great. Showers (now they're free!) and free clean bathrooms, and a pristine beach. Just doesn't get much better in paradise! JT
05/04/2005 2.70 Koloa Landing Kauai, Hawaiian Islands
I'm an advanced scuba diver. My wife is an avid snorkeler. We were in Kauai in April, 2005. At that time it appeared that wherever we went on the island the surf was up and wind blowing on shore. Weird, I know. Not heavy surf (3'-5') but not good conditions for snorkeling or shore diving. The surfers were loving it! North shore was undiveable for the first three days, so we went to the south side first. My wife went in and came right back out - too rough and poor vis for snorkeling. Koloa Landing is a great place for new divers. Shore entry is VERY easy. Just gear up at the car, walk down the old boat ramp into waist deep water w/ BC partially inflated, squat & put on your fins and go. The ramp has deep grooves about 3" wide and 2"-3" inches deep so walk carefully as footing may be slippery and unstable. Semi-hard or hard sole booties are a must for shore diving anyway. Due to the conditions in this Mid April, there was plenty of parking a few yards from the water. That might not be the case when conditions are good or in "high season". Even if you have to park up on the street, it's only about 50 yds down a slight grade thru the parking area to the water. The surf had churned up so much that the vis was poor by Hawaii standards (about 5'-12'). I went to the right (Southwest). The reef didn't have much plant life on it, mostly rock. Depth was 30' or less. A few fish here & there. I could hear whales off in the distance. A very easy dive even in poor conditions. Overall not a great dive that day. But any dive in Kauai is better than being at work! It's definitely worth checking out especially as a first dive or if you haven't been diving in a while. Old Koloa Town is just up the road & there are two dive shops for air, etc. Loved it!
05/04/2005 3.51 Tunnels Reef Kauai, Hawaiian Islands
I'm an advanced diver. I dove Tunnels solo twice. Both great dives! While not absolutely necessary, I'd too advise having a guide the first time as they'll take you through the swim-thru caverns/"tunnels" and show you where the wild life is. Park on the first PUBLIC road just past the little red "tunnels" sign, if possible. Parking only on the left side and NOT in front of anyone's drive/gate! Space for only about 5 or six cars so go early. If full, park at the second public road past sign- same # of spaces and about 250 yds beach walk to entry point. OR park at public beach further down the road-approx 1/3 mi beach walk to entry. First road /parking is about 50yds yd walk-best. You'll understand if you have to walk 1/3 mile carrying 40+lbs over beach sand Like I did! Hint: walk where moist sand meets dry, its the firmest footing. Look for sand channel leading out from shore. Wade out thru channel, don fins in waist deep water & swim out. Shallow reef (great for snorkeling) drops off to 30'. Go left/west. Stay close to rocks/ledge to left look for first tunnel entry. Always be sure that you can see the light/exit point: if its all dark that's not the way. I found navigation easy without a guide but these ARE enclosed, OVERHEAD environments with NO direct access to surface if you get skittish or something goes wrong! Again be REAL about your experience and ability. Do not try this dive on your own if you do not have proper training (dive/cavern) & equipment (spare air @ minimum). But this is an easy, safe, shallow dive even for beginners with proper guidance. Went very early morning at sunrise for my second dive. Beach deserted and perfect calm clear conditions. Having dove once before I knew about parking, entry point and where to go. Just a fantastic dive at that time. White tip reef sharks sleeping in caves and on ledges. Large sea turtle resting inside tunnel three feet away. Lobsters. I was gently frog kicking, going very slow, STAYING OFF BOTTOM-careful& accurate buoyancy control a must!. A nearly perfect dive and lasting memory!
05/04/2005 2.39 Ke'e Lagoon Kauai, Hawaiian Islands
Ke'e Lagoon is fine if you just want to get wet in 10'-15' of water. Parking is horrible if you get there after nine a.m. It's at the end of the road at the beginning of the Napali coast/north shore. Great beach and easy entry but best left for the backpackers/hikers. Inside lagoon is sand bottom, few fish, packed with tourists and little kids almost anytime. Stay inside lagoon unless your advanced. Very narrow, surgey,rocky channel leads to outside reef. I went to right/east which is the gently sloping rocky reef. Not much on it as the crashing surf & surge have kept it pretty barren. Did have a sea turtle swim up to me and saw a few fish but not much else. Surge, rocks can be treacherous outside and getting out- at least the day that I dove. Overall a fair dive at best. But way better than being at work!
05/04/2005 3.34 Ahukini Landing Kauai, Hawaiian Islands
Akuhini is a good dive for intermediate or advanced. Not so good for beginners as vis inside the breakwater/bay is nil and not a soft sand entry. I personally found entry very easy though: Always check out the general area, conditions, surf, swell, entry path, entry point before gearing up for any shore dive. At Akuhini there's a small clump of trees about 20' south of the break wall right at the edge of the parking lot and rocks. Just to the left of these bushes is the best way down over the rocks to the water. Look for the round post (for ship tie-up?). It sits on a flat concrete base. Just to the left of this base is a relatively flat black lava rock which is perfect for donning fins and giant stride entry into about 8' water. Be sure to have your BC inflated so that you don't hit bottom. Again go down and scope it out first, you'll see it. Surf was very high that Mid-April day, many times crashing over the break wall. But that wall made a very calm bay/entry point. I surface swam the 100 yds west past the end of the break wall to the swells entering the bay. After taking compass bearings (the wall/shore here runs nearly due east/west with shore to south) I submerged through nearly zero vis to the 30' bottom under the swells/waves. Perfect, no sweat! Swam directly north & vis greatly improved to 30'-50' in a few yards. The reef was just to the east/right with its edge running north/south. Swam north along the edge of the reef. Look for the large anchor chain and later a LARGE old fashioned double hooked anchor from some old ship. Fish life was good. I stopped and a sea turtle swam right up looked me over the went on about his business. Saw turtles on the surface inside the bay after I exited. Overall a very good intermediate level dive.