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Dive Review of Mai Dive in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Ono Island

April, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by MICHAEL ZAGACHIN, MA, US
Reviewer   (4 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 6010
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Thailand, Bali, Little Cayman, Grand Cayman, Grand Turk, Saba, St. Vincent,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy  
calm, no currents  
Water Temp
81   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
no deco  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Crew helps with equipment.  This is a small operation so if you need
special conditions for your UWP equipment, just ask.  I did, and the water
bucket appeared on the boat at once.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
It was our first trip to Fiji.  Ono Island is far from the East Coast of
US, it is a long trip, but all the trouble of getting there was well worth
it.  All arrangements and domestic travel in Fiji were very easy to make
with Danielle and all diving-specific questions were promptly answered by

After our Twin Otter landed at Kadavu airport and we got on 1.5 hour boat
ride to Ono the real Fiji has begun.  The scenery that surrounded us for
two weeks was absolutely breathtaking.  Being the only guests at Mai Dive
for the most of our stay and diving in absolutely pristine waters of
Astrolabe Reef without seeing another dive boat in two weeks (except a
live-aboard once with three people on board) was the best dive vacation we
had in 23 years of diving.

The resort itself is remote, quiet, small but comfortable with total
capacity of 8 guests. It is facing east and I made a point of getting up
every day before sunrise to observe absolutely incredible sky colors. 
There are no luxuries, but everything we needed was there.  Every morning
by the time we finished breakfast our bure was made up with fresh flowers
on the bedspread and in the bathroom adding a very nice touch.  Mai Dive is
barefoot resort, in two weeks we did not wear shoes even once. 

Two of us were pretty lucky to be the only guests and that allowed us to
experience undivided friendliness of the resort staff to the fullest. 
Resort managers Claudia and Hank, who were our only company, were
incredible helpful and simply do not have the word no in their
vocabulary.  Food was as fresh as it could be with daily catch for lunch
and /or dinner, vegetables from their garden and presentation of the five
star restaurants.

Mai Dive has three boats with one more allegedly coming soon.  Two of them
are rather small and simple, good for two-three divers, and the third is
bigger, adequate for 6-8 divers.  We were diving from the bigger boat most
of the time.  Back roll is the way to get in the water, but the exit ladder
is the only complaint I have.  Who in his right mind would design the dive
ladder with round rungs is beyond me.  Climbing that ladder with bare feet
and full weight of dive gear was so painful that we immediately opted for
taking everything off in the water.  That made the ladder more tolerable.

As for the diving, this was absolutely the best we ever had.  Granted, it
was our first real dive time in the Pacific and the area around Ono is
absolutely pristine.  The area is mostly unexplored since Mai Dive is the
only operation that dives there.  Visibility was variable between great and
not so great.  Sharks were present on most dives, mostly white tips and
black tips; huge eagle rays once; tuna, turtles were less frequent.  The
underwater environment is unbelievable; everything is covered in multicolor
corals, walls, swim-throughs, bomies.  No dive site looks like another. 
Surface intervals were on wonderful beaches and were long enough to allow
for enough rest and long second dive.  Sewa  was our dive master whose
local knowledge of the surroundings above and below the surface was simply

We went snorkeling with mantas twice.  First time was absolutely unreal:
one manta of a small airplane size and another a bit smaller were just as
curios about us as we were about them.  This is their cleaning station in
very shallow water and they hang around for quite some time.  The second
time we did not see any.  We did not do any other activities offered by Mai
Dive opting for an after-lunch hammock, book and a nap (when there was no
lawn mowing).

These two fabulous weeks of staying and diving with Mai Dive have created
one question in our minds: how will we ever get back to Caribbean diving
after this?
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Diving Guide to Fiji and Tuvalu
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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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