Our Blackwater night dive is a true Kona original - we helped invent it! Thanks to the underwater topography of the Island of Hawai'i, deep water isn't far from shore. We take our boat 2-3 miles offshore at night, in deep water, where a diurnal vertical migration occurs (meaning wild animals from the deep dark sea come to the surface). You'll have a chance to see various ctenophores, siphonophores, salps, larval-stage critters, squid, octopus, hunting dolphins, sharks, and sometimes things we can't even identify. We tether guests to a 50' line below the boat, supply you with a dive light, and the fun begins... If you aren't afraid of the dark, join us for one of the most wild dives on Earth. Photographers, this charter is a dream - and a true challenge.
Open Water Diver certification, age 15+, ability to speak and understand English for safety reasons, a minimum of 25 logged dives, and a night dive with our crew within the past 12 months.
*Since our guide will be taking the group on an advanced drift dive in thousands of feet of dark water, the prerequisites are set for safety reasons and concessions are not made*
The open-water portion of the certification process takes 2-3 days. The PADI e-Learning can be done online and may take several days to a few weeks to complete. If you are planning on getting SCUBA certified with us, you must have the PADI e-learning and the 5 confined water dives completed prior to being on-island. Please call regarding continuing education classes, as these have different schedules.
If you've been certified with PADI, SSI, SDI, NAUI, or any other valid agency, we can take you diving. Please, bring your card!
You must be 10 years or older to get SCUBA certified.
PADI’s recommendation for flying or driving to altitude after diving within the No-Decompression Limits (regular recreational diving) are as follows:
Single dives - A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 12 hours is suggested.
Repetitive dives and/or multiple day dives - A minimum pre-flight surface interval of 18 hours is suggested.
Please note that staying further north than Waikoloa or further south than Captain Cook involves driving to elevation that is not safe after SCUBA diving. Returning to Hilo after a manta ray night dive is NOT possible the same night. Please plan your dives and lodging accordingly!
Diving on the Kona coast offers clear water, with 80 to 100 feet of visibility not uncommon. We have a variety of healthy hard corals, as well as many endemic fish that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The volcanic nature of the island results in unique underwater structures such as walls, pinnacles, archways, and steep ledges. Our Divemasters love to look for eels, nudibranchs, octopus, frogfish, and other varieties of marine life.
We have over 48 dive sites to choose from along the Kona Coast. The captain and boat crew will choose the dive site choices in the morning based on ocean conditions (current, swell, wind, visibility). The Manta Ray Night Charter and Twilight / Manta Ray Night Charter takes place at Garden Eel Cove (northern Airport site) unless ocean conditions or manta sightings dictate otherwise. If you are diving with us for multiple days, we try to rotate through different dive sites so you can see new things on each dive as long as the conditions of the water are desirable.
Proof of certification is required for all SCUBA dives - no exceptions. If you cannot find your dive card, we may be able to look up your certification in your dive agency's online database. Please call our shop directly to verify that we are able to locate your certification prior to your arrival. If you do not have your certification card, a photo ID will be required upon check-in or we are not able to allow you to dive.
We do not end the dive with the quickest breather, guests will be allowed to dive their tank until they reach 800psi or a dive time of 60 minutes, whichever comes first. The Manta Ray Night Dive and Black Water Night Dive spend 45 minutes underwater.
We group snorkelers and divers together on our manta ray charters, so your group can stick together even if some aren't certified to SCUBA dive.
We recommend against ride-along or snorkeler passengers on our morning dive charters, as guests tend to get seasick and bored waiting for SCUBA divers to complete their dives. We offer a morning snorkel charters and can set up a private charter for mixed SCUBA and snorkeler groups.
Rental gear is extra, and a full set of boat rental gear costs $60 per day, plus tax. Mask, snorkel, fins, and wetsuits are included for snorkel charters only. Dive tanks and weights are included for SCUBA activities.
We have no rule against bringing a dive knife. Knives are used for entanglement situations - we do not have kelp forests in Hawaii, but you may want a knife for fishing line. Knives cannot be used to touch marine life and are not a self-defense tool.
Yep! As long as they meet the dive prerequisites (e.g. 25 logged dives).
For the safety and enjoyment of all participants, we do not allow any NON-CERTIFIED guests to dive SCUBA for the manta ray night dive.
Professional snorkel & dive guides, dive lights (for night dives only), snacks, drinks, dry towels, tanks, soft weights, and the best customer service in Hawaii!
Please remember to bring dry clothes and a jacket or sweatshirt for night charters, as the ride home can be chilly.
All reservations cancelled with at least 48 hours notice will not be charged.
Reservations cancelled with less than 48 hours notice will be charged the full cost of the charter, unless Big Island Divers is able to fill the seat(s) on the boat.
Lastly, all Charters require a minimum of 3 participants to go. While charters are rarely cancelled due to a lack of participants, Big Island Divers will make every effort to reschedule customers to another day or with another company.
SCUBA Diving and snorkeling are physical activities that require you to be able to swim and be in good physical health.
If you consider yourself overweight, or have any medical conditions, please consult with your doctor and complete the PADI Medical Waiver. Your doctor can advise you on the safety of these activities given your health.
If you are not an avid snorkeler, we suggest you first work on those skills before snorkeling at night on our manta charter, or on our more advanced morning dolphin charter. You will be in the ocean, and divers will be in water up to 40ft of depth. Our dolphin charter is in the open ocean and requires swimming skills.
If you are incapable of completing the charter, or we determine that in your and our best interest you do not go or allowed on the charter, we have the right to refuse services and still make applicable charges for the booking, at our discretion.
We require that all participants be able to understand and communicate in English for the safety of our other guests and crew. Please be advised that should we feel that we are unable to effectively communicate with a guest, we may not permit the guest to continue on the charter.
Manta rays, dolphins, whales, and other marine life are wild creatures and their presence is affected by surf conditions, seasonal changes and the quantity of food in the water. They are wild animals and we cannot guarantee their presence.
Manta Rays (and all other marine life) are wild animals, and no guarantees can be made for their presence. If no Mantas are seen on a Manta Ray charter, Big Island Divers will offer EITHER a 50% discount to guests for a guaranteed seat on another manta charter, OR a 100% discount on standby availability seats for another one-tank manta charter. Standby availability is not guaranteed and is determined by management the day of the charter.
Divers that have not dove within the last 2 years may be required to take a refresher course before coming diving with us. Please call us for more details.
Regardless of dive history or experience, we have a 10 minute time limit on your first descent – if you are unable to comfortably descend, we’ll ask you to sit the dive out.
Our charters can be enjoyed by anyone age 10 and up who feels confident swimming in the open ocean without a flotation device. For snorkelers, anyone with previous experience using a mask and snorkel are welcome to join us.
Snorkeling and ride along participants that are under 18 years of age must be under the direct supervision of their parent or guardian on all charters, at all times.
Any scuba participant under 18 years of age, must be accompanied while on the vessel by their parent or guardian.
Our “minor divers” policy is that any diver 10-11 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian and have a private divemaster on the charter ($289 per charter). Divers age 10-11 are not permitted on Long Range, Advanced, or Black Water charters.
Divers 12-17 years of age must be accompanied on the charter by their parent or guardian at all times. Any minor under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian while on the vessel. If the minor has to leave the regular dive group for any reason, they must be accompanied by their parent or guardian while on the vessel.
For private charters, we can accommodate guests under the age of 10. Please contact us for more information.
All Big Island Divers’ crew are trained & practiced in Emergency First Response, AED, and emergency oxygen provision. Our captains are United States Coast Guard certified. All guides are lifeguard certified. All vessels are Coast Guard inspected & equipped with AEDs, emergency oxygen kits, EPIRBs, life jackets, throw rings & first aid kits.
We make every effort to run our fleet as efficiently as possible, and pay to offset our carbon emissions. When you book your charter you may contribute to our offset fund- help us protect our precious ocean ecosystem. Learn more about our carbon offset.
We do not allow touching or harassing wildlife on any of our charters. We do not use hull lights on our vessels to avoid harming manta rays. We adhere to community-established manta tour operator guidelines. We utilize the west Hawaii mooring system to avoid anchoring on the coral reef.
Sign your dive waivers online and make check-in quick and easy.Sign Now
Increase your no-decompression limits with enriched air.More Info
Add-on a GoPro and record photo and video of your dive.See Prices
Traveling light? Our rental locker has everything you'll need.See Prices
Tipping is common in the recreational dive industry. Gratuities in appreciation for excellent service are greatly appreciated. The general recommended amount is 20% of your charter fee.Sport Diver: What To Tip Your Dive Guide
Breathing Nitrox, or enriched air, allows you longer no-decompression limits.Get Certified
Nitrox is $15 per tank, available when booking your dive online.
Enjoy more control and stabilized footage with the new GoPro Hero 9. Divers can take this camera to 130'. 32GB SD card and float handle included. $59/dayMore Info
BCD - $15
Reg w/ Computer - $30
Wetsuit - $15
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