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View Full Version : Extended Horizon dive op in Maui



mr_tabasco
08-25-2014, 12:40
My wife and I are going to be in Maui the first week in December. Diving is not the main focus of the trip but we will definitely do a few dives while we are there. We will be staying in Ka'anapali‎i so I was not sure where to dive. I looked at Lahaina Divers but they looked like more of a cattle boat type operation. It seems the only other operator on that end of the island is Extended Horizon and the wife is not real excited about driving 45 minutes to the Kihei Boat ramp for a 6:30am check-in. I have seen a lot of endorsements for Ed Robinson but they seem to be very limited what they offer on a given day of the week. Does anyone have any recommendations or insight on an operator on that end of the island.

diversteve
08-26-2014, 03:31
You found both of them that own their own hard dive boats and leave from Lahaina. Afaik there currently isn't anyone else except the shop with the RIB pontoon boat - http://www.goscubadivemaui.com/

Another option is to book with Maui Diving Scuba Center http://www.mauidiving.com/boat.html but in reality the boat shown on their website is Maui Diamond II out of Ma'alea Harbor - where the aquarium is - so not much shorter of a drive than the Kihei ramp. You can also book direct with Maui Diamond. http://www.mauidiamond.com/ Maui Dreams Dive Co. in Kihei books them also.

I don't like MDSC because they mislead people on their website - notice the first boat featured is Extended Horizons with the name Photoshopped out, the 2nd is Maui Diamond II (again bad Photshop along the side) and the last is the the Whale Watch group powered cat out of Ma'alea. Yet they represent like they're all their boats - I won't do business with people like that. A few years ago one of their staff called me on a similar "negative" post I made on SB yet they didn't change it.
Our Sixteen passenger dive boat is designed for both divers and snorkelers.
Given any thought to shore diving? Black Rock is right near you at the Sheraton and Old Airport Beach is less than 1/2 mile from there. Lahaina also lists about 6-7 other shore dives: http://www.lahainadivers.com/content/maui-beach-diving Most Get tanks at Lahaina or at the Maui Dive Shops in Lahaina or Kahana Gateway malls. Maui Dive Shop also has a free real useful shore dive map/guide. If you shore dive you're supposed to bring a flag. They rent them. I've seen it enforced in Kihei. There can be Tigers at Olawalu Beach so if the viz is down, you might be cautious - and don't look like a turtle...Want to dive with one? There's usually a small one in the tank at Maui Ocean Center - $200 for that dive.

Maui Dive Shops boat leaves out of Ma'alea also. It's another big Newton dive boat IIRC. Worse than LD as far as being a cattle boat since they feed divers from all of their shops to it. Ma'alea is a 1/2 hr. drive from Ka'anapali.

Lahaina Divers is not particularly bad but you're going at the busiest time so expect it to be pretty full. They're still going to sort divers by experience level and provide a DM for every 8 divers (it's the law). I've dove with them a couple times. I don't particularly remember it being annoyingly crowded. If you've got the pre-requisites, since you're only doing a few dives, try their West Lanai drift. There likely won't be as many people on that boat. Thursdays only but a decent 9AM check in. http://www.lahainadivers.com/content/lanai-scuba-diving-with-lahaina-divers

One other advantage with the big Newton's is that they dive Molokini from Lahaina. Leaving at an almost civilized 7AM. I've also seen Extended Horizons leave with a completely full boat. Like this: http://www.extendedhorizons.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/about-us.png I haven't ever dove with them.

I'd rather be on Lahaina Divers 46' Newtons - although they're crowded, they've got the upper deck and bow area so people spread out a little.

Besides Robinsons - who I personally like, there's Mike Severn's or B&B Scuba in Kihei. Severn's has naturalist DM's so you learn more about what you're seeing - B&B is just a nice operation. But they both leave B4 Ed Robinsons, Severn's can go just after 6AM - check-in is 5:45AM. They like to be the first boat at Molokini. Every Kihei op leaves from the ramp. Not sure what limited diving you're seeing at Robinson's since they run one, often two trips per day. Their Advanced 3-tank goes places some others don't.

Some good shore dives down in Wailea also if you want to make the drive. Polo Beach, Ulua, Makena Landing etc.

have fun...you may catch the start of the Humpback arrival. Maybe see a few on the ride over. If they're there you'll hear the singing off Molokini. A friend actually had a small one approach her briefly there on the Backwall dive. If there's a lot of them, people may pull off along the road to Kihei to watch so that slows the drive down even more. There's a few areas along there where it's a little higher so it's a good vantage point.

mr_tabasco
08-26-2014, 12:16
Great information diversteve, thanks for the post. We have done a lot of shore diving in Bonaire but I wasn't sure about the quality of the dives and wasn't sure if we needed a guide or not. I am thinking the guide would be a good idea even, if it isn't a requirement, since we aren't familiar with the area.

PACKRMAN
08-26-2014, 12:40
I would recommend Lahaina Divers also.
I have used them on two separate occasions and they were consistent both times, over multiple days of diving, with different crews. I feel this speaks for the organization as a whole. Everything diversteve said is accurate with my experience. They sort the most experienced divers to the back of the boat and stage groups in about 10 min. apart. After the tour you can stay around the boat and dive your air, at least until the last group goes up. We did a shallow cleaning station on one dive and I was asked to go back after 1hr20min. They do have a schedule but they work their butts off to show you a good time. If they see something unsafe or illegal they are very firm, immediately. I kind of enjoy watching a 110 lb little girl let some 275 lb slob know he is a jackass and to leave critters alone.

diversteve
08-26-2014, 13:40
Extended Horizons has shore dive guides available. In West Maui there's also Tiny Bubbles - that's all they do. Tim's got a good reputation. There's also Kaanapali Dive at the Westin - all they do is shore dive in that area. IDK them but they're probably a good Black Rock guide.

Near Kihei there's Shaka Doug/Shaka Divers. He has a dive bus. Maui Dreams Dive Co. specializes in shore diving also. Both have scooters. They don't work West Maui due to distance/permits.

If you've never been to Maui, a guide will point out things you'll miss. More so than even in the Caribbean because of the lava substrate. I see all kinds of trip reports talking about how barren Maui is from people who didn't hire a guide. Slow down, look around things as you pass. We were out in the staghorn some distance off Molokini crater once. Lots of fish, played with the white-tips in the sand, good dive.

A couple years later I'm looking at my photos and I noticed a bright mint green scorpion fish standing on the white bottom in a gap in the staghorn. I never saw it...

The reality is that the Hawaiian Islands have one of the highest endemic species ratings of any diving in the world. They're just a little harder to find. If you get down to Wailea Bech, there's rare lagoon triggerfish there. They look like a brighter humuhumu...out at the south point (the dive is there) we found those vertical fish - not trumpetfish but the other ones - in a small school, all sizes from a pencil to a yardstick long. I like that dive but most people say it's "blah" and go to Makena 5mins farther south.

scubajane
08-27-2014, 17:39
yes lahaina divers is a large boat and i felt like I was on a cattle boat
they dive a square bottom profile so dive are 45 min or less
Extended horizens are a 'green' operation a little more expensive but a good crew
we went to cathedrals and when we got back to shore we signed up for a shore dive with a guide we dove the pier which was an awesome dive too
I will pick Extended Horizons when we get back to Maui

mr_tabasco
08-28-2014, 12:04
Great info folks. With the mixed reviews it sounds like I need to at least give Lahaina divers a call

mr_tabasco
11-12-2014, 07:56
Well looks like the decision was made for me. Extended Horizion is going to have their boat in dry dock the week we are going to be there. The bad part is that Lahaina divers is only running one boat that week so they are only doing the cathedrals on Wednesday and if we dive with them the whole time we would end up doing Molokini twice. We haven't dove in about 18 months so I didn't want to do that the first morning we are there. We did see an operation that does Lanai on Friday but the name of the operation is Hawaiian Rafting Adventures which doesn't sound like a dedicated dive operation so I was a little concerned. Does anyone have experience with them or have any other recommendations?

diversteve
11-12-2014, 13:53
Since this posting I found out about another operator with their own boat also in Lahaina. I think they operate out of their slip-space at the harbor.

http://www.mauipacificdivers.com/

They advertise it as a smaller boat with a limited load. There's pictures here - it doesn't look that small.

https://www.facebook.com/mauipacificdivers

navyhmc
11-12-2014, 16:40
From the photo, it looks like a 30' boat. Not 9' zodiac small, but not Oasis of the Seas large...

https://scontent-b-dfw.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/p526x296/1488235_267929726748900_6019004517798754884_n.jpg? oh=d8a13b851b0b3eec373fee9aa818d357&oe=54E94F21

scubajane
11-12-2014, 22:36
im so sorry you are going to miss out on Extended Horizons!! if you are comfortable with shore dives ask extended is they could take you to the Mala wharf . Mike the dive guide took us and we has a blast!!!!

diversteve
11-13-2014, 19:01
From the photo, it looks like a 30' boat. Not 9' zodiac small, but not Oasis of the Seas large...
Neither is Extended Horizon's but they do fine running over to Lana'i every day.

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Hawaaiian Rafting goes over there with this one also:

12423

All the Kihei boats (South Maui) go in off the boat ramp so they're trailered also.

mr_tabasco
12-12-2014, 09:55
Well we ended up doing two days with Lahaina divers and one with Hawaiian rafting. Lahaina divers might be OK if you were a newbie but it was definitely not for us. They were very short dives (nothing over 35 minutes even when the depth was only 30 ft max) and they didn't do a good job guiding you on the dive. we dove the Mala pier with them and they just said get in and if you can see concrete you are good, see you at 4:30. Hawaiian rafting on the other hand was great! they were very laid back and in no hurry at all. the boat was a little smaller and if you were a newbie you might not like the back roll entry and the surge on Lanai but we loved them. Brain even did a shore dive with us Saturday morning at Mala pier and it was an awesome dive! I would definitely recommend them if you are on this end of the island.Here are a couple of pics of the diving with Hawaiian rafting.
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