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Thread: Kauai RB Facilities?

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    Kauai RB Facilities?

    Alright, heading to Kauai on Sunday for 12 nights and wondering if I should just go OC or take my first trip with my RB. Anyone know of sorb/tank availability on Kauai?

    I'm probably leaning more towards just doing a few OC dives while there since it's my honeymoon and all but if there are facilities that can save me some of the gear lugging I just might reconsider.

    Any help appreciated.

    --Paul

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by onetime
    Alright, heading to Kauai on Sunday for 12 nights and wondering if I should just go OC or take my first trip with my RB. Anyone know of sorb/tank availability on Kauai?

    I'm probably leaning more towards just doing a few OC dives while there since it's my honeymoon and all but if there are facilities that can save me some of the gear lugging I just might reconsider.

    Any help appreciated.

    --Paul
    Paul,

    I spent a week in Kauai last October. Technical diving is basically unavailable. Fathom Five was supposed to be getting into rebreathers, but these would be Dolphins if I remmber correctly.

    Asking about stages, sorb, etc. got a consistent negative response. I couldn't even get a set of doubles to do some extended dives. Helium? forget it.

    I ended up doing a handful of single 80 OC dives.

    Where are you staying?

    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by trob09
    Paul,

    I spent a week in Kauai last October. Technical diving is basically unavailable. Fathom Five was supposed to be getting into rebreathers, but these would be Dolphins if I remmber correctly.

    Asking about stages, sorb, etc. got a consistent negative response. I couldn't even get a set of doubles to do some extended dives. Helium? forget it.

    I ended up doing a handful of single 80 OC dives.

    Where are you staying?

    Tim
    Hey Tim,

    Yeah that's about the info I gathered on the web. I sent an email off to Fathom5 to see what they had to say. They advertise that they're doing the Draegers but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. We're staying on the east side right near the airport. Radisson Kaui Beach Resort.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by onetime
    Hey Tim,

    Yeah that's about the info I gathered on the web. I sent an email off to Fathom5 to see what they had to say. They advertise that they're doing the Draegers but I figured I'd give it a shot anyway. We're staying on the east side right near the airport. Radisson Kaui Beach Resort.
    Cool. If you find the time, make your way on up to the north side It has more rain than the south side but also feels more 'local'. There's a great little beach at the end of the road that's protected from the surf called Ke'e beach. There's some pretty decent snorkeling there too. The fish taco's in hanalei are worth the drive.

    Most of the major tourist stuff is on the south side / Poipu area. I didn't spend much time there, we rented a house just off of tunnels beach. It's also where that 14 year old surfer got her arm bit off by a tiger shark...

  5. #5
    Oh, the other thing, all of the diving is going to be off the south side/poipu area. The winter surf and currents are too rough on the north side or off of Ni'ihau. That will limit everything to what i call 'triple 80' diving: 80' of water, 80 degree water, 80cf of air.

    I was pulling 70 - 80 minute run times which annoyed the DM's a bit. Everyone else was sucking through their tank in 20 minutes max. by the 2nd dive, they sent me off first while everyone else got ready.

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    I know that Fathom Five has DiveSorb for sale, and can cascade fill your O2 bottles, though they don't yet have a booster.

    As far as technical dive tours, I am planning on such a thing when I move back to Kauai early next year. There are a lot of deep ledges and caverns around Kauai, and deep walls off of nearby Niihau and Lehua Rock, that are just waiting to be explored.

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    Re: Kauai RB Facilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by teksimple
    I know that Fathom Five has DiveSorb for sale, and can cascade fill your O2 bottles, though they don't yet have a booster.

    As far as technical dive tours, I am planning on such a thing when I move back to Kauai early next year. There are a lot of deep ledges and caverns around Kauai, and deep walls off of nearby Niihau and Lehua Rock, that are just waiting to be explored.
    Thanks tek. George from Fathom Five got back to me on the 14th too (but I didn't get a chance to check email or this board) and told me the same thing about O2 and sorb. He seems quite interested in becoming more tech friendly.

    I ended up doing a handful of dives with Bubbles Below. It was a little strange being my first purely OC dives in more than a year!

    Are you originally from Kauai? After a fabulous two weeks there the thought of buying a boat and running some trips certainly crossed my mind!

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    Re: Kauai RB Facilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by onetime
    He seems quite interested in becoming more tech friendly.

    I ended up doing a handful of dives with Bubbles Below.

    Are you originally from Kauai? After a fabulous two weeks there the thought of buying a boat and running some trips certainly crossed my mind!
    I moved to Kauai when I was 18, and after having lived on and off that island in between college and making a decent living, I have been trying to get back. I am going to make another attempt, but expect that I will have to seriously taper down my lifestyle in order to afford it with the work that is available on Kauai. But will see.

    Bubbles was a good choice. What kinds of sites did you go to?

    Yes, George is all about going more tech, but he may have a hard time justifying the cost to set up out a full tech facility. His typical customers are generally not that kind of diver. There is at least one other facility on Kauai that can do full tech classes and fills, etc, but I don't think they operate on a 9-5 basis.

    What I had in mind is working with the current operations on Kauai like Fathom Five or Bubbles to run tech-dedicated charters as demand will allow. I think before tech or rebreather divers would pay to go to Kauai as opposed to another destination, they will have to know what is out there. That will be one of my goals this winter.

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    Re: Kauai RB Facilities?

    There is a lot of interest with SERIOUS divers for technical facilities worldwide. Presently we are glutted with recreational stuff on air.

    Here in North Texas we are seeing more and more divers starting to move towards high end cameras, advanced nitrox classes and eventually rebreathers. I am hoping in the next two to five years the revolution will be in full swing towards rebreathers. A hopeful vision I might add.

    Part of this vision is finding vacation spots that we can employee our skills and take our high end toys. A lot of places do not cut the mustard or even allow the divers to dive to their certification/skill level. Don't get me started on Bleize.


    I know of a few crews of divers here that want to dive Hawaii but they are not interested in cattle barges at well worn local sites and high rises. They want small cozy locations, small groups and great diving.


    Dude, put out the word and they will come people are just biting at the bit for new sites and new vacation spots. Just don’t tell my girlfriend or she will start planning now. :p

    Later, Andrew

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    Re: Kauai RB Facilities?

    Quote Originally Posted by teksimple
    I moved to Kauai when I was 18, and after having lived on and off that island in between college and making a decent living, I have been trying to get back. I am going to make another attempt, but expect that I will have to seriously taper down my lifestyle in order to afford it with the work that is available on Kauai. But will see.

    Bubbles was a good choice. What kinds of sites did you go to?

    Yes, George is all about going more tech, but he may have a hard time justifying the cost to set up out a full tech facility. His typical customers are generally not that kind of diver. There is at least one other facility on Kauai that can do full tech classes and fills, etc, but I don't think they operate on a 9-5 basis.

    What I had in mind is working with the current operations on Kauai like Fathom Five or Bubbles to run tech-dedicated charters as demand will allow. I think before tech or rebreather divers would pay to go to Kauai as opposed to another destination, they will have to know what is out there. That will be one of my goals this winter.
    Sounds like a decent plan. One thing that you may want to consider is rather than Kauai being a tech destination in itself, there's the subset of tech divers that end up on Kauai for other reasons. If that in itself amounts to a few thousand visits a year in the coming years (especially as tech grows) it may be worth it without becoming a true tech destination.

    I suspect, as you do there's potential there based on the geography (sea caves, ledges, flooded craters, etc) for some decent sites.

    I didn't get to spend much time diving (only got 4 in) so the sites were limited but we went to Amber's Arches, Pennant's Playground, and then 2 dives on one with a Hawaiian name that I can't quite recall but it was where all the turtles were just around the peninsula near Port Allen.

    The first day of diving with Bubbles was better than the second as the DM we had was selective in the sites (she opted out of Amber's Arches due to vis) and we moved on to Pennant's Playground. The second day saw a little worse vis and I wasn't too happy with the boat captain's (and DM's) insistence that my wife needed less weight than I knew she needed. We caved (which we shouldn't have) and went with the 8 pounds they suggested and I spent the first dive keeping her from floating away and had to end the dive early enough that the aluminum 80's wouldn't get buoyant enough to be a problem on the ascent.

    She opted out of the second dive as she had some trouble equalizing but I'm not too fond of the fact that I was able to take only one picture on the first dive and we had to end it early. Additionally, the DM was a little too fast leading the dives in my opinion, not that it bothered me too much as I took my time exploring the nooks and crannies but I felt kind of bad for the other divers on the boat who were short changed without even knowing it. They were following him at his pace and missed a ton of stuff and their experience could have been so much better than it was.

    In all they were some pretty good rec dives, several lionfish, a frogfish, a reef shark off in the distance, turtles everywhere, various eels, etc.

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