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Dive Review of Dive Tropex/Worldmark Fiji - Denarau Island in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Mamanuca Group

January, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Richard Rodriguez, Texas, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 3843
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
 Cozumel MX, Isla Mujeres MX, Grand Cenote Tulum MX, Pensacola, West Palm
Beach, Ginnie Springs, Jackson Blue Spring FL, Bahamas, Flower Gardens
Marine Sanctuary, St. Maarten, Saba, Maui HI, Lanai HI,Grand Cayman, Cabo
San Lucas MX, lots of Texas lakes 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

windy, rainy, cloudy  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
80   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
You were allowed to dive to the limits of your air and NDC time.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
A five gallon bucket was the only thing made available for cameras on the
boat.  The inside cabin did have a large table that made camera prep easy. 
Lines with brass boat clips were hung from the bottom of each ladder to
make getting cameras on and off the boat without damage.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Baggage handlers at LAX lost my luggage and it was not received for three
days, so I was required to use rental gear.  Dive Tropex had Apollo
equipment and I would recommend renting from them instead of hauling your
own gear, perhaps with the exception of your regulator.  Our resort was on
Denarau Island, an exclusive resort area twenty minutes from the airport
and home to about seven different resort hotels and a large
shopping/restaurant complex at the marina.  Dive Tropex had facilities at
the Worldmark, Sheraton and Hilton, but the main shop was at the Sheraton. 
We had planned to do four days of diving, but Cyclone Gene interrupted this
plan.  The staff worked with us on rescheduling some of the dives, but we
still only managed two days of diving during our stay.  Hardcore divers
should consider staying on one of the out islands dive resorts, as diving
from Denarau appears mainly an afterthought for most divers.  There are
many other sport, recreation, relaxation options to choose from on Denarau
Island and many of the better dive spots are too far away to access easily.
 With that said there is no bad diving in Fiji, just some better than
others.  The storms and excessive discharge from two nearby island rivers
limited the visibility to 30-40 feet on one day, with the best viz being
only about 60'.  Dive Tropex has several boats, but they took us out on
their largest vessel, the 50' plus Surface Interval.  This boat has a
large, enclosed cabin area with cushion seats, an upper deck, and a large
dive deck, easily accomodating 24 divers.  There are two heads and lunch,
snacks and water were provided on the trip.  On our first day of diving,
two dive guides were provided for the eight divers.  Only one dive guide
was provided on our second dive day, but we had only four divers.  The
guides did a great job finding and pointing out small critters and keeping
everyone together in the limited visibility.  After our first dive the
guides recognized my wife and my experience and allowed us more freedom to
explore and did not require us to stick with the group.  Our dives were
typically in the 60-80' range and were 45-60 minutes long.  On both days we
dove in a reef area just to the south of the most southerly island in the
Mamanuca Group, Malolo Lailai.  It was a 35 minute boat ride to the dive
sites, Plantation Pinnacle and Cabbage Patch.  The pinnacle site consisted
of two large coral pinnacles about 100' apart.  After we got into the water
and descended on the first pinnacle the boat moved to the second pinnacle
to await our ascent.  Sea cucumbers as big as your arm, large schools of
jacks, surgeon fish and a seahorse were some of the things we saw on the
dives.  The second pinnacle had a swim through at the base that was filled
with soft corals and sea fans.  Even had it been sunny with better viz I
highly recommend taking a light to enjoy all of the colors this environment
has to offer.  The tops of these pinnacles are a garden of anemone, anemone
fish, hugh schools of damselfish and wrasse, and on every dive we were
treated to a large lionfish.  Cabbage Patch is named because of the large
growths of cabbage coral.  Some of the coral in this area was dead and
covered in silt, coming from the rivers on the southwest side of the
largest island in Fiji, Viti Levu.  We saw other areas of prolific pillar
coral with all kinds of creatures swimming over, through and arond the
large stalks of coral.  We were told that the farther north you go along
the Mamanuca Groups, or even into the farther north Yasawa group of
islands, where the diving is much better.  If you interested in other
activities while in Fiji then Dive Tropex is probably for you, but if you
are planning an all dive vacation I would recommended staying on one of the
outer islands or a liveaboard.  The staff at Dive Tropex is very
professional, friendly and just otherwise top notch and will work hard to
accomodate any request.  
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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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