Frequently Asked Questions
What are we going to see?
During the boat ride we are frequented by turtles, spinner dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, and in the winter humpback whales. While diving, turtles, colorful reef fish, small octopus, hard corals, nudibranchs, moray eels, sharks, spotted eagle rays and plenty more. We do a full marine life briefing prior to each dive and specific to the exact dive site we’re diving. During the dive, your Divemaster dives with a magnadoodle style slate to ID wildlife throughout your whole dive. Afterwards, we de-brief on the marine life as well. We love sharing our knowledge and experience with the beautiful life Kauai offers!
Are we going to get wet on the boat ride?
Plan to get wet at some point! We provide dry bags for personal storage. We also recommend a towel and a light jacket/shirt, as the weather can change quickly at times on the ocean.
Do I have to be scuba certified?
Nope! If you are not certified, but you are over 10 years old, and can answer no to a brief medical questionnaire…you can do an introduction to scuba diving on a shallow part of the reef. The medical questionnaire can be found on our shore diving page.
What dive sites will we be diving?
Sites will be picked by the crew on the day of the tour based on conditions and experience of the group. Conditions vary daily. We do love requests and will try our best to fulfill those requests. Check out our list of dive sites and let us know if any of those interest you!
How long is the tour?
5 hours for local boat dives, Na Pali coast snorkeling tours, and private charters. Mana Crack/Na Pali coast and Ni’ihau are 8 hours!
What food and drinks are provided?
For Mana Crack and Ni’ihau tours we provide a light breakfast (muffins, fruit, juice, cold coffee) lunch (turkey sandwiches) and plenty of snacks! Our regular 2 tank shore and boat dives snacks include fresh fruit, string cheese, and assorted snacks (granola bars, cheese itz etc.)
What should I bring?
Certification cards, logbook, hat, sunglasses, towel, reef safe sunscreen, jacket for surface interval (especially during winter months).
How deep are we diving?
If you booked our Koloa Landing shore dive depth range is 20-50 ft. Non-certs (40 ft max). There is very little if no current at our shore dive location. If you booked our local boat dive expect to start with a deeper dive between 40-75ft and finish off with a shallower second dive. Our boat dive sites can be exposed to current.
I haven’t dove in a while, which tour should I book?
If its been a while since you dove and you are prone to diving anxiety its best not to push your limits! Our local shore dive has amazing marine life and we can ease you back into scuba diving. With Koloa Landings calm surface conditions, shallow entry, and little to no current this is the best place to get back into diving.
If you are comfortable in the ocean and have little to no anxiety when diving our local boat dive might not be a bad option! We give free refreshers if you just need to go over gear, hand signals, pressure changes and skills.
Which tour should i book as an advanced diver?
Our most advanced charter is Mana Crack. This 11 mile sunken barrier reef is 2 miles off shore and is exposed to strong currents. We are the only dive shop that leaves out of Kikiaola Small boat harbor and this is the closest harbor to Mana Crack. If you love drift dives, good visibility, and awesome topography this is the dive for you. Need small north swell and light wind to do this dive.
Niihau is also and advanced charter with strong currents and drifts. We only cross to Niihau with the perfect wind and small north swell. If Niihau is not crossable we will offer the Mana Crack as backup.
Should we dive Ni’ihau and Mana Crack with you?
We have the closest harbor to Ni’ihau and Mana Crack/Na Pali coast. We are also the only dive shop that leaves from our harbor. If the winds are light we can cross the channel in 1 hour and return in 60-90 minutes. We only do two dives so the day is pretty short! Other company’s can take up to 2 hours there and 2-4 hours back. They also do 3 tanks; it’s an amazing yet very long day. With heavy request, we started doing 2 tanks, having you back by 2 o’clock. This will give you time to spend the evening with your friends or family. We are a 6 pack operation so the groups are small and intimate.
When is the best time to see humpback whales in Hawaii?
The whales slowly start trickling in late October and are gone my May. The best months to see humpback whales are hands down January and February! There are so many here then that it can be hard to get to the dive sites! Most underwater whales sitings happen in these 2 months as well.
What can we do on Kauai if it is raining?
Kauai wouldn’t be nick named the Garden Isle if we didn’t get a little rain every now and then. If it hasn’t rained too much then scuba diving is the perfect activity! If the rivers have all dumped or there is too much wind for diving the best place to go to find sunshine is the west side of Kauai. It’s practically a desert! Polihale State Park and Salt Pond Beach are our favorite beaches on the west side of the island. Hiking the Alakai Swamp trail while it is raining can be fun too! Plan on getting muddy though! If you are looking for a not so muddy hike Mahaulepu Heritage Trail is a gorgeous hike on the south side of the island.
I can’t find resort style packages on your website, Why?
Sadly, Kauai is not really known as a diving destination. This is crazy because the diving here is amazing! There is a serious lack of requests for packages. There are a ton of outdoor activities to do here on Kauai which is why I think people don’t 100% focus on just scuba diving. My favorite activities include scuba diving, taking a boat to see the Na Pali Coast line, hiking in the gorgeous Waimea Canyon, ATV tours, and snorkeling off the beaches! We offer private Na Pali Coast Tours, which is a must do while on Kauai!
I want to dive a little bit of everything. Local sites, Mana Crack/Na Pali Coast line, Koloa Landing shore dive, and Ni’ihau! In what order should I book these?
The Na Pali Coast is absolutely gorgeous and Ni’ihau is our favorite place in the world for scuba diving. Both of these places are weather permitting. Hawaii can get gnarly winds and ground swell. What we recommend to customers is to book what you want to do. We will adjust the charters to where the best conditions are that day. For example, if there is a large north swell we could dive on the south side. If there is a large south well we can dive on the north side! Our harbor is perfectly located to go either direction with ease! We stay in touch with customers that want to dive Ni’ihau and Na Pali/mana crack and give them honest condition updates. If it is a safety issue we simply will not go across the channel or up the Na Pali. If it is going to be really rough but doable we paint a picture for you and let you decide if this is something you want to do.
What time of year offers the best scuba diving on Kauai?
The best time of year for scuba diving on Kaua’i is highly debatable. There are different perks for different times of the year. Think of Hawaii as having a winter (October-April) and a summer (May-September).
During winter months all the Hawaiian islands get large North swell. Not every day, but a lot of days. The swells are biggest November through March. This means Mana Crack and North Ni’ihau will get changed to a local or South Ni’ihau if the north swell is big. But, in the winter months there is rarely south swell so the visibility on the south side of Kaua’i is usually excellent. Also, HUGE plus, the humpback whales are here November- April! The best time to see the humpback whales is January 1st- April 1st. When you are on the way to and from the dive sites we usually get awesome whale shows! When you are scuba diving you can hear them endlessly singing underwater. The ocean temperature can get down to 70 degrees in the winter. So diving can feel chilly to some. March and Aril can get a lot of rain and sometimes flooding. Winter generally has lighter winds.
During summer there is rarely north swell so dive sites on north facing islands (Mana Crack/ North Ni’ihau) rarely get cancelled due to swell! Summer time gets bigger south swell (not huge) so the local diving can have lower visibility or get cancelled if its too big of south swell to dive. The water is much warmer in the summer. Up to 82 degrees. Which some people love. Hurricane season is during summer, although rare that such a little target gets hit! Summer is a little big windier than winter.
Do you offer pick ups?
At this time we do not offer pick ups for customers. In fact none of the dive shops do. You can ask the hotel you are staying at if this is something they may offer. In general it is best to get a rental car here as taxis and Ubers are not reliable on Kaua’i.
Do we all have to go up if one person is low on air?
Definitely not! We do require that people go up in buddy teams for the safety stop. What we generally do is pair people in buddy teams based on their air consumption and send them up to the boat together! You can dive your full tank down to 500 psi!