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diving and sightseeing on the BI

Pleasant Hill...
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diving and sightseeing on the BI

I will arrive Monday at the Kona airport Jul 25 and will leave there at 2pm on Jul 28,thurs. I plan to stay at the Kona Islander for the 3 nights. I'm just by myself, so all I ask is a clean place; shower,a/c unit,tv, microwave and a gas grill outside to cook. I plan to buy local seafood at the marker and cook that rather than go out to eat.

I plan to go diving July 26, Tuesday and possibly a morning dive on Wednesday or a 2 tank morning dive Wed and out of the water by 2pm that day. Reason; 24hr. no-fly rule after diving.

if I dont dive Wed. then I would like to drive around the island and stop at some places and visit. I plan to get plenty of Kona coffee to mail back home.

Can you suggest any good and inexpensive Kona coffee? if there ar any. Also I know there are a few dive shops in the Kona area, but dont know who to pick from.

Any suggestions? thanx.

Philadelphia...
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1. Re: diving and sightseeing on the BI

Aloha. When I was researching our trip, a few people recommended Jack's Diving Locker in Kona. This company offers a manta ray night dive, which is supposed to be an awesome experience, from what I hear. Check them out online (http://www.jacksdivinglocker.com/welcome.htm).

For your drive on Wednesday, you'd have a number of options. Driving the whole island in one day would be very tough. It is a very BIG island! Since you're interested in getting some coffee, you might want to consider a drive south from Kona, where many of the coffee plantations are. Here's a description of the day we did such a sightseeing drive in April.

Day 4: Headed south on route 180 through Holualoa, a cute artists' enclave with galleries. Passed several coffee farms. Stopped briefly at Kona Joe's plantation. Wonderful views from there. No tour, but we didn't ask about one, either. Kona coffee was available to taste and buy. (On another day, we did do a short tour at Holualoa Coffee Company and bought their 100% Kona coffee. Not cheap, but good.) Back on Route 11, continued heading south. Stopped at the Coffee Shack near Captain Cook for picnic sandwiches. Awesome view from the deck of this restaurant, which you can eat at if you want. Drove to South Point (southernmost point in the USA) to enjoy the beautiful views. Continued south to Punalu'u Black Sand Beach, ate our late lunch, and walked along the shore, admiring the view and watching sea turtles resting on the beach and feeding and swimming in the surf. Headed back north and stopped for sunset at Pu'uhonua o Honaunau (aka the Place of Refuge). A serene and historical place--wonderful place to visit. Note: if you would keep driving after the black sand beach, you'd hit Volcanoes National Park in a half hour to 40 minutes. We visited VNP on a different day.

Hope this gives you a few ideas.

Fort Worth, Texas
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2. Re: diving and sightseeing on the BI

alohakid - - I don't know what kind of diving you're looking for - - but we were sent to Dive Makai.com

They're ecologically minded, dive slowly, and known in Rodales & Undercurrent. Their comment in the info sent to us was,

"You're on vacation , not us!!" they dive at two speeds, "slow and stop"

We're diving with them on July 10 - -

Good luck in your decision!

Gilbert
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3. Re: diving and sightseeing on the BI

We dove with Jack's Diving Locker last year and they were great. Our friends actually did their open water certification while we dove with an experienced group. Their dive master was great - very patient and helpful. Our divemaster was awesome both days. We swam through lava tubes, and he was great about finding critters (big & small). We saw Hawksbill turtles, octopus, eel, and a white tip reef shark (among the larger species). They were very funny on the boat (i.e. entertainment between dives).

They also offer the manta ray night dives, which are very popular on the Big Island.

P.S. you should have no problems with that dive schedule. If you go in the morning, you'll be done around the lunch hour. Back to back days are fine. I recommend the morning dives over the afternoon also because the winds & surf can pick up in the afternoon.

Pleasant Hill...
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4. Re: diving and sightseeing on the BI

I want to thank you for responding to my questions. Since I will be by myself, I will want to join a group with a dive guide. I just may do a morning boat dive the day before I leave, since my flight is supposed to leave at 2pm. so if I'm out of the water and back by 1pm, then I will have time to sightsee a little bit and still may have time to drive to some coffee plantations. I dont think I will have time for any tours and I really dont care for any. Mainly, I want to get my hands on the kona coffee which some brands I cant get back home. I'll want to sample some of course.

Pleasant Hill...
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5. Re: diving and sightseeing on the BI

any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated. thanx again.