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Dive Review of Aqua-Trek/The Pearl Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Veti Levu - Pacific Harbour

June, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Mike Cavanaugh, TX, US
Contributor   (12 reports)
Report Number 5559
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Caribbean, Austrailasia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dive time  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
The boat was suited for no more than 18-20 divers and there were no
provisions for any photography equipment belonging to divers. The boat crew
was happy to assist divers with photo or video equipment on and off the
boat but there was no place to store the gear between dives
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
I will address the resort and the dive outfit separately as they are
independent of one another but on the same grounds.

Pearl Resort - The resort was moderately furnished but had all the
essentials of home. The A/C worked great. The grounds were very nice and
there were many different kinds of plants to see if you explored a little
bit. The SPA was easy to book and the services were about a 7 out of 10
ranking. The food was always good and the menu selection was pretty good.
There were theme nights so you have to pay attention to the restaurant
program. We were asked for bookings but never required one to be seated.
Continental breakfast was good with plenty of fruit and non-fruit
selections. Cost of food was high but there was little alternative for
finding places to eat without additional expense of travelling to another

The dive operation was basically a "shark feed" dive which ran 4
days a week. The dive operation ran soft coral dives but cancelled many
days because they didn't have the minimum required divers to make the dive
run. We were told that our 2 tank soft coral dive was cancelled on the
first day but they were willing to double up the next soft coral day and we
were offered 4 tank dives. We were only able to complete 3 of the 4 due to
fatigue (currents).

I won't go into the ethics of shark feeds but if you want to see lots of
sharks Aqua Trek is worth the trip. We dove 2 days (4 dives total) and saw
many Bulls, Nurse, Silky & reef sharks. We did not see any tigers. Aqua
Trek was very accommodating to me with the underwater video housing and
placed me in an optimum position 3 of the 4 dives for shooting video. I
have never gotten so close to such large bulls in any other previous shark
dives so this was a 10 out of 10 for me. The dive staff was very attentive
and helpful and did a fantastic job given the crowded conditions both on
the boat and at the dive site. The one day we went on the soft coral dive
we were the only two divers and Capt Billy and Joseph treated us like

Nitrox is not available as it has become a financial hassle for the dive
shop to maintain for spot request. The nitrox is partial pressure mixed and
maintaining the Oxy bottles is problematic for Aqua Trek. Personally I
would have preferred to dive with Nitrox as the dives were 80' & 60'
respectively and we were on a 3 week dive trip.

The only complaint I have about Aqua Trek is the crowded conditions on the
boat (19-20 divers) and the crowded conditions at the shark feed site (2nd
boat resulting in 30+ divers). The dives are run like a well oiled machine
but there is clearly opportunity for bad things to happen with that many
people in the water. There appeared to be some political turf battle
between the Aqua Trek and Bega dive boats as well as Aqua Trek and
Adventure Divers in Pacific Harbour. Normally I would not make mention of
the politics but they were obvious enough to be noticed by many.

The only complaint I have about Fiji is the excess baggage fees levied by
Pacific Air on the return trip. We carried all our own dive gear and had 2
bags each. Excess baggage fees were expected but Pacific Air wanted to
charge $1000.00 for the 2 excess bags from Nadi to Perth. I pitched a fit
to no avail and then demanded to only have my bags checked to Sydney. When
I got to Sydney Qantas waived the bag fees to Perth. I won't go back to
Fiji because of the excess baggage issues.

Overall I would give the diving experience an 8 out of 10 and would highly
recommend Fiji as a place to explore.
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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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