Why have I not thought to review Sandwich Isle divers before?
I go out with them every time I come to the Big Island. I dive with folks who are repeat customers too. I even meet up with divers I have met from past years. Steve & Lara, the owners, have so much experience, along with their dive masters make your trip safe and very pleasurable. I always learn something to improve my diving technique. Plus they have been great when I have brought some my friends who are certified but have not been diving in over a decade or two. I keep dusting off some of my dive buddies to get them back in the water and to the Big Island.
I was recommended to Steve/Sandwich Isle Divers by one of my friends who lived & learned to dive on the Big Island in the early 1990's. His dive instructors recommended Steve back then. I have dove with Steve, Mary the amazing, Bob (the octopus whisperer), Jamie (a diver from Puget Sound), Tim who likes vintage dive gear. Do you need a little help with your skills? Do you just have a little something you always wanted to ask? These are the people to ask. They all have lots of dive experience, unpretentious, practical and knowledgeable.
They have rental gear. I bring some of my own and rent some. This is also one of the few dive shops that has aluminum and/or steel tanks which I prefer to dive with. I am a short woman and like the shorter, heavier tank.
The boat is basic. There is some "under cover" area under the flybridge to get out of the sun. There is a dry area at the bow to keep your dry stuff dry. It is about 28 feet in length and has a nice "V" shaped hull. I don't get sea sick on Steve's boat but I have on some others. It has a big swim step off the back for that "giant stride" entry and a ladder that folds onto the swim step when under way. Steve keeps a cooler on board with drinks(pop & Hawaiin juice drinks) and water. Between dives he will put out some snacks...usually some type of orange citrus, something salty...chips, pretzels, popcorn, nuts. It is a snack not lunch. I try to bring some M&M's to add to the mix. They melt in your mouth not in your hands unless they are wet. It is a nice way to pass your surface interval time.
In the past 3 years I have been out with Sandwich Isle more than a dozen times. My husband came out once as a snorkeler when the boat did not have 6 divers. The dive shop is in Kona at the back end of one of the little malls. If you see Pancho & Lefty's upstairs restaurant turn up the alley and they are on your right. I am not recommending Pancho & Lefty's for anything other than a landmark! If you can not find the dive equipment you want to buy, look at or touch at Sandwich Isle then go to Jack's Dive Locker but come back to Sandwich Isle to dive.
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