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Review of Shaka Divers

Shaka Divers
Reviewed December 27, 2011

My husband and I have been diving for about 6 months with less than 20dives under our belt but we were VERY excited to get some dives in around Maui. I had heard how good the shore diving was in Maui but neither of us were comfortable NOT going on a guided dive so we asked our local dive shops for some suggestions. BOY we were happy Shaka Divers was on that list! greWe wanted to get some good dives in but didn't want to drop $1000 in a few short days just on diving...we did need to eat after all and Shaka Divers is more than affordable for guided dives! Some of the best diving in Maui is from the shore so don't think you will be cheated by beach entry. If you are a newbie at beach entry don't worry, this was easier than jumping in to a pool in most places.

Be prepared to run on Island time with Doug...if you are a get there, get in the water, get out, and go home type of diver...you may not be happy. We met Doug at 9ish and then headed over to Five Graves. We dive with all of our own gear, but Doug does have a nice set up and he get's everything prepared for you while you are filling out all of the paperwork. He does a quick dive plan and then a little tangent about Shaka...we were itching to get into the water and see some sharks but we still enjoyed a few minutes of banter. It was my husband and I, Doug, and one other diver who seemed to need a little time refreshing up on his dive skills, but once under water it was all good!

Doug has an Eagle Eye and we saw A LOT! The only thing we didn't see in 2 days of diving were Ray's but I will just have to get that checked off the list on another dive. Doug takes video and pictures so we got to go home with a nice memnory of our 4 dives! We finished the second dive at Ulua beach which was an even easier entry. We got back to Kihei about 3:30...so a full day to say the least.

Top tips and tricks

#1 JUST RELAX...Doug runs on Island time so if you are wound tight, be prepared for a long day. Also he will collect and clean up the ocean while on your dive...if you aren't into this, this may not be your cup of tea.

#2 Take a lunch, and some drinking water for in between dives

#3 Have your own transportation- we were sharing a car with my dad so they did a lot of hanging out by the beach...which was fine the first day but the 2nd was a little rough

#4 GET THE PICTURES if you aren't your own underwater photog

#5 You are supporting small business and the local economy...relax, enjoy, and blow some bubbles because Doug has an EAGLE EYE and sports the most crazy/random things!

2  Thank raeholmes8484
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed December 15, 2011

I did two dives with Doug, another woman had booked but backed out after viewing the conditions. It was her loss as just Doug and I did two AMAZING dives, one at five graves and one a Ulma (sp?) Doug pointed out many critters on our tours.

The "shaka" speech before we dove seemed kinda hokey but I had to give the dives a super shaka at the end.

1  Thank Monty D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 9, 2011

After a several days of boat diving on the Big Island, we were not planning to do any diving when we got to Maui. The kids were ready for more diving, so I called Doug at Shaka Divers. He has many good reviews on the Scubaboard and it sounded like what we were looking for.
Fortunately, he was available and even better, he does not start at O'darkthirty! He met us at our hotel, since it was right next door to where he meets people, The Shops at Wailea. We followed him over to 5 Graves, 5 Caves, or a Nahuna(?). We got a very good briefing about how we would get into the water and what we would do.
Doug also asked each of us what we wanted to see. We managed to see one while we were on shore- whales!
Doug prepped the gear, we filled out paperwork and then it was off to dive! If you dive here, I recommend lights, a couple of the caves go quite far back! We started off with several turtle sightings- check that off the list! Then we moseyed around the reef looking for critters and finding quite a few....eels, turtles, many kinds of fish. My son managed to spot a scorpion rock fish as we were ending the dive!
Dive two was at Ulua Beach. This dive was a bit easier on the entry, sand! We found a water toy rocket and played catch for a bit as we headed out by the reef. We also got to see an octopus up close and personal- check off number three. Many eels, fish, and also a cleaner shrimp, a giant crab, a shark or two and even two mature frog fish, sitting side by side on a rock!
We enjoyed our day of diving with Shaka Divers! We also enjoyed learning all the forms of shaka!!

1  Thank klp5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 3, 2011

I generally prefer to dive in small groups and I'm happy to miss the must-see dive sites if it means I can get a more intimate up-close experience with a smaller group. Shaka Doug provided me just such an experience during a recent trip to Maui. Things to know about Doug:
- He only does shore dives
- He prepares all your rig, seems to use only high quality gear and is truly full-service
- He's a naturalist at heart, moving very slowly to appreciate the nooks and crannies rather than trying to cover a lot of territory
- He's a gifted videographer and underwater photographer -- I left with a souvenir set of videos and photos that were really high quality
- He operates at island speed, so don't expect things to move quickly. He starts his dives at 9AM and those morning trips lasted until 2:30PM or so

I had a fabulous experience with Doug in Maui and wouldn't hesitate to dive with him again for shore dives there.

Mahalo Shaka Doug!

1  Thank jt1929
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed May 13, 2010

*This is my second review ever on Tripadvisor.com, I will try to write the kind of review I prefer to read.

(I'm a beginner diver with ~25 dives, got my open water certification April 2009. I bring my own mask, boots and fins, but rent the rest of the equipment when diving.)

We have dove with Shaka divers on two trips now- in Nov 2009, and May 2010. We are planning to return to Maui, and Shaka Doug will be our first phone call for diving!

Nov 2009
Our first day of diving with Shaka Doug was awesome! We went to 5 caves near Makena Landing- I high recommend getting a guided dive here- the caves are not always obvious, and if you don't know your way around, you can easily run out of air before getting to a cave, there is so much stuff underwater.
The very first cave we went to- Doug and Jake(my boyfriend) headed into the cave and saw a huge 8-9 ft eel chasing a giant puffer fish! Of course, I was putzing around the cave opening, excited about seeing a huge turtle and missed all of it! On that dive we also got to see our first 2 octopus and we got to touch them- they are so velvety soft!
Shaka Doug also collected tons of fishing weight and hooks and line, to throw away once we got out of the water. He cares about the ocean in South Maui more than anyone I know.
After this first dive, we weren't done. Shaka Doug took us down to Ulua Beach where we saw a sting ray, 2 large manta rays with a 6-7 ft wing span- I couldn't believe my eyes!
November diving was so sweet.

This last trip in May 2010- we went back to Shaka Doug and lined up 6 more dives with him. Spring is in full swing underwater and Doug his his finger on the ocean's pulse!
We had a great time, saw some keiki sized mantas (2-4 ft wingspan) and even saw a pod of dolphins- not up close, maybe next time!

*Doug is ALWAYS in a good mood.
*He ALWAYS surveys the ocean to make sure we are all safe when getting in the water
*He knows how to tailor his dives to your experience level- so you get the most of your air.
*He has an eagle eye- you don't miss a thing underwater- from octopus, to slipper lobster, to frog fish, and more!
*He encourages bathroom use before and after, so his wetsuits for use are not stinky and gross. (I have a sensitive nose)

Overall Shaka divers is 5 platinum/titanium stars, and 4 thumbs up!

I highly recommend all levels of diving with Shaka Doug- his knowledge of the dive sites will ensure you get max airtime underwater.

Back to bubble blowing!

1  Thank annienbud2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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