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Dive Review of Cook Island Divers/Local Lodge in
Cook Islands/Rarotonga

Cook Island Divers/Local Lodge, Sep, 2001,

by Tim McKenzie, ACT, Australia . Report 83.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Maldives, Tahiti, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 23 to 24 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 10 to 40 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restriction once ability demonstrated
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 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
UW Photo 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 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments We Had High hopes for this trip with our Australian Dive club. The viz was suposed to be spectacular and the diving great. Well....Viz was good :(
Water touted at 26-27 C but was significantly colder and several of us borrowed/hired additional protection as our 3mm suits were simply not enough. Bring a 5mm.
The Dive shop was pretty good; Picked us up in the morning (7:45am) and took us down to the Shop. They have 3 purpose built RIBs that seem more than adequate for your needs. We had 10 in the group and the RIBs weren't too crowded. Good Tank racks. Initial equipment set up at the shop (new compressors are great) then into our suits and down to the dock in their Van. We must have been a little unlucky because there seemed to be a wind blowing most days but as the island is small it was always possible to find the lee side.
Our dive guide MEL was great and helpful but One "guide" to 10 divers meant we all had to load up the boats and help ourselves. Not really an issue as we were all experienced.
Initial dive was obviously a check out for Mel to see what we were like. Only dive we were asked to stay at or above a certain depth (25 meters) to see what we were like. After that essentially free for all, with Mel leading the group if they wanted to go with him.
The dissapointing thing was the "bio-diversity" - or lack of it....The corals (almost all hard - few soft) where dull and lifeless looking. They appeared 'healthy' not bleached, but far from spectactular. The fish life was also pretty sparse...yes the viz was great - but it emphasized the lack of critters! On a few occasions we saw small reef sharks - Mel very excited....Also found a few Helgardia Nudibranchs and one spanish dancer. There are also a few small wrecks which we dived for variety but in honesty this is the closest I have come to being bored diving!!
There were 2 dives a day and supposedly the option for a night dive but we didn't bother...
Another island (Aotangi?) in the Cooks may have a better reputation - but for our money and time, we would not bother returning to Rarotonga to dive.
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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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