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Dive Review of Atlantis Divers in
Brazil/Fernando de Noronha

February, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Anne Efron, MD, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 5782
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean and Central America
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
  to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
  to    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with group  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Lots of other divers had cameras and they seemed to have decent designated
areas, but I didn't look closely.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
2 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
1 stars   
3 stars    
Fernando de Noronha is considered the dive mecca in Brazil and is a
protected area.  Only a certain number of people are allowed on the island
at any given time.  All diving is tightly regulated and the government
actually chooses who dives where on any given day.  There are only 3 dive
companies that operate and from what I saw there didn't seem to be much
difference between them.  They all seemed to use big boats, and they were
all were packed tight - probably 50 people on a boat.  Most accommodations
on the islands are pousadas - rooms in private residences that are quite
basic, if not down right rustic.  There are also some beautiful eco-resorts
that cost over $500/night.

We had 3 days to dive in Fernando de Noronha and the day before we arrived
a huge surge had wiped out the dock where the dive boats operate, so we
lost a day while they jury-rigged a set up. They split us up into groups of
about 10 - 12 with 2 dive instructors - one leader and one bringing up the
rear.  Our group was all English speaking and the briefing was given in

Strong currents and all dives were drift dives, the boat picked up groups
as they surfaced.

Very interesting topography, warm water, mostly good vis.  There are pods
of spinning dolphins in the area and they gave us quite a show on our way
out to the dive sites.

Our issue was with the lead dive instructor.  We were briefed that the
first dive on day 2 was going to be 90 feet max, drift dive.  The current
was really strong and within a few minutes of entering, the dive instructor
took off after a spotted eagle ray, we had to kick like crazy to try and
keep up.  Needless to say, we didn't catch him, and it was a waste of air. 
About 6 people had to surface with the following instructor soon after. 
Then, next thing I knew we were at 110 feet.  I was reaching my no decomp
limit per my computer so raised above the group a bit along with my
husband.  She then swam us into stronger current and we had to kick like
crazy and go deep to get out of it and to try and stay with the group.  I
turned around to check on my husband and he was way above us and behind, so
I swam up to him while she banged on her tank trying to get my attention. 
I ignored her.  My husband hadn't been able to get out of the current and
used up most of his air trying to catch up and was doing his 3 minute stop.
 I had gone over my no decomp limit so he surfaced out of air and I
decomped below him, where the boat then picked us up.  I can't even tell
you what we saw as the dive was so stressful.  If we had just been able to
drift as we were briefed, it would have been fine, but she made poor
decisions and we were stuck following.

The island itself is beautiful with gorgeous beaches, big waves and
surfers.  It is really out of the way and I wish that we had had a better
experience as it could have been phenomenal.  

Bottom line - for experienced divers only due to depth, current and poor
leadership. Make a back out plan with your buddy and take a signal sausage.
 We were very glad that we had ours.
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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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