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Dive Review of ORCA dive center/Manutara Hotel in
Chile/Easter Island

January, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Lamont Sage, CA, usa
Report Number 3192
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
have logged over 1000 dives worldwide, Palau, Red Sea, Phillipines, PNG,
Solomons, multiple caribbean islands, 20+ liveaboards
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
74   to 75    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
5
Water Visibility
40   to 50    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Treated like first time divers with no experience-meet at bottom, dive in a
conga line with follow the leader, come up at 40 min regardless of air
remaining  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
3 stars   
Advanced
1 stars    
Comments  
Have always wanted to dive Easter Island- we hauled our dive gear from the
US knowing we would only be diving for 2 days.  Boats were basic pangas. 
Orca dive shop is well equipped with brand new equipment and a clean
operation.  Warm showers provided after diving and rinse tanks also. 
$45.00 dive includes all your equipment, from BCD to wetsuit, regulator,
etc.  Free lockers provided for your valuables. All of the equipment was
top of the line.  It is a shame they use beat up old pangas instead of
investing in a nice dive boat with tank racks.  All of the gear is thrown
into the center of the panga and the divemaster/boatsman help you gear up. 
This is not the easiest for those of us who have been diving for a long
time and are no longer in our 20's!

The operator is set up for inexperienced divers wanting to do 1 or 2 dives.
Their regimented operation and very limited selection of dive sites appears
to be set up to accommodate the general low level of experienced diver that
they encounter. I was using a cane, having recovered from leg surgery.  I
had just been diving in November 06 in Curacao and Dominica (since the
surgery) and knew I had no problem once in the water. I overheard the
divemaster tell the boatsman in Spanish that he did not think I would be
able to swim or complete the dive.

Once in the water I found the air had been put into my BCD without my
knowledge;  this delayed my descent. While attempting to descend I had an
ear-block and was at 20 feet trying to clear.  The rest of the group was
waiting for me at 60 feet on the bottom. Carlo, the divemaster, got in my
face and started hassling me- are you immediately descending or what??  I
signalled an ear problem and that I wanted to swim above the group at 25 ft
and work my way down as my ears cleared- he would not allow this and I had
to abort the dive and return to the surface.  Needless to say this
aggravated me.  The water was calm, we were right off shore, viz was good,
there were only 4 divers.

On the second dive I desended on the anchor line(after taking some sudafed)
and had no problem clearing.  We were kept in a very tight group.  

My advice-  don't go to Easter Island to dive.  If you are there, dive by
all means but expect to be treated like a beginner.  I understand that
there is no chamber on the island and nobody wants an accident. But
considering the conditions around the island (pretty rough, no protected
coves to speak of, 74 degree water in the summer) and the poor quality of
the boats used you will not find a great dive experience here.
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Other dive reports on ORCA dive center

All Chile Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Chile
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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