What's a typical day like?
Our typical day starts at 9:00 am at the Honokohau Harbor public boat launch. After gear set up, paperwork, boat briefing and such, we hit the water for a great day of diving.
We like to run a casual charter, no rush or hurry, so on a typical day we are likely to be coming back into the launch at some time between 1:00 and 3:00, depending on where we go, how many on board, etc. After finding out what our customers for the day wish to look for, we'll head off for the first dive site. We generally don't choose sites 'til we hit the water, we're looking at water conditions at that time so we can show you the best visibility and best conditions available on any given day.
Once we get to the first dive site of the day, we tie up to the mooring (Kona has a nice mooring system along much of the coast line) and then give the dive briefing describing the basic features of the area and some of the local inhabitants. When people are suited up and ready to dive, we'll have you go to the gunwale or the swim step and we'll bring your gear to you and help you into it - no need to walk around a boat carrying gear on your back. You have your choice of giant stride or back roll entries.
Once everyone's in the water and ready to go, we're diving!!! There will be a DM who's looking for critters to show divers at all times, we usually have a few interesting critters stashed at each dive site. We don't expect you to hold hands and follow us super tightly, but we like to keep everyone within a reasonable distance and heading the same direction as the DM. As divers run low on air, we will get them back to the boat to ascend and then continue on with the rest of the group - most sites have patterns we can run which allow us to show the majority of the site, drop off those at 500 psi, and then continue on to show something else to divers who have better air consumption.
Our diving is generally multi-level diving with generous, computer driven profiles. If you don't have a computer, one will be provided for the day. The vast majority of dive sites here have both deep and shallow water available on the same site, so we can see varying types of critters and reef structure on a single dive. Depending on depth, air consumption and such, dives can often run anywhere from 50 to 70 minutes or longer, with customers with exceptional air use occasionally seeing bottom times in the 80-90+ minute range (at some point the DM eventually runs low too) per dive.
After the first dive, we pass out towels, beverages and a sandwich lunch (there's a great little deli at the harbor which makes very nice sandwiches. You can generally pick between turkey, ham, roast beef, pastrami, tuna salad or veggie - just tell us ahead of time and we'll order it) and then make our way to the next dive site. We try to do an hour surface interval between dives to relax, talk story and get ready for the next dive.
We generally try to mix up the types of sites you'll see for the second dive. If the first dive was a reef dive, we might try something more topography oriented, or critter specific, depending on what the divers want to see. If everyone on the boat is comfortable diving, we often will do a one way "drift" for the second dive. This is a great way to cover a fair amount of ground and see a lot of the area... we put in at one spot, and the boat Captain will follow the divers' bubbles and pick them up down the reef a ways at the end of the dive. One of the benefits of a smaller boat is with the smaller number of divers we carry (2-6 usually we're not to max capacity), it's easy to manage this type of diving. One way dives also allow us to do spots you can't generally do from a mooring because there's no having to turn around - some of our more interesting dives are drift only.
After the second dive, it's back to the harbor. We pull the boat to the washdown area, you are welcome to join us and wash gear so you don't have to deal with washing gear at the hotel or condo.
If you are signing up for multiple days, we're going to do our best to not repeat sites unless you really want to do one over. There's enough sites here to explore for quite a while without repeating. Once we get to know you, we may be able to be even more adventuresome with our choice of dive sites, we like to keep it interesting for both our divers and our crew.