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Dive Review of Marlin Bay Dive Operation/Marlin Bay Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Beqa Island

June, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Fran Macintyre, NM, USA
Report Number 550
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Muscate Cove and Taveuni, Fiji; Red Sea; Fernando de Naranjo, Brazil;
Cocoview, Roatan; Thailand; Hawaii; Bonaire; Bahamas; Palau; Yap....and
other places.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
77   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
110 foot limit.  Two divemasters in water at all times allowed for diving
pretty much as we wanted.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
No dedicated area for cameras.  Very small plastic rinse tub which was not
adequate to hold all the cameras on board.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Marlin Bay Resort is absolutely beautiful with a variety of accomodations,
most of which face the ocean.  The grounds are meticulously maintained. 
The resort is a 20 minuted boat ride from the mainland. We did not have to
handle our luggage once we reached the dock on the mainland; the crew took
care of it all. 

There is no dock at the resort so the transport boat has to anchor out from
shore and the guests are shuttled to shore in small motor boats.  The only
way to shore at low tide is to climb out of the smaller boat and walk
through mud and sand.  This routine is repeated daily for diving....walk
through the water to the smaller boat which takes you to the larger boat,

The food is delicious and very well presented.  The desserts are absolutely
not to be missed.  The waitresses, however, could take a few lessons in
good customer service and promptness.  Breakfast begins at 7:00am at which
time we ordered breakfast, lunch and dinner off the menu presented to us. 
We were to be ready to head out diving at 7:45am.  This was not usually
much of a problem except on our last day of diving when one
less-than-friendly waitress did not have the table set up with the menu and
order slip until 7:20am, and was irritable when the problem was pointed out
to her.  

The diving was very, very good with the exception of the wreck (on John's
Tunnel dive) and the wall dive (I believe it was called Surf Zone); these
dives could have been skipped in favor of much prettier dives.  The
divemasters were all very good at pointing out critters to divers and
photographers alike, and were very patient when any of us lagged behind to
zone out on one critter or another.  

Shore diving left a great deal to be desired in my opinion.  At low tide,
it's a long walk out to the water through mud, tide pools, over rocks, etc.
 At night, it's a real challenge to get to deeper water without falling
over something.  A couple of us did a shore dive the day we arrived, and
yes, we did see a lot of fish, but that close to shore was pretty well
covered with silt.  Shore diving really wasn't worth the effort.

My two biggest complaints about the dive operation are the total lack of a
dive shop, and the way our equipment was mishandled by the crew.  The dive
operation did not appear to have much in the way of quality rental
equipment.  One fellow who joined us for a couple of days (a travel agent
on a fam tour!) needed to rent a wetsuit; all that was available was a
diveskin....for diving in 77 degree water.  And yes, he had contacted them
about his needs in advance.  One of our group had a high pressure hose
showing signs of deterioration but the only thing the dive operation could
provide was an obviously well-used hose from a rental BC.  There seemed to
be no replacement parts, not much rental equipment, and no way to obtain
these things other than to wait for someone to make a trip to the mainland.
 Because we were told that Marlin Bay had a full dive shop, our escort did
not bring tools or replacement parts the way he normally would have.  So
make sure you pack what you need because the resort most likely won't have
it. (The same with toiletries and medications, I might add.) There were no
rental computers so be sure to take your own.

The problem with how our equipment was handled is this.  We were issued
small black mesh gear bags in which we were to store our mask, snorkle,
fins and regulator.  Split fins definitely do not fit in these bags!  The
bags are numbered so the crew knows which bags to put on the boat in the
mornings before we arrive.  At least that's the theory.  The bags are
stuffed into large plastic tubs and transported to the water's edge on a
small John Deer tractor.  One morning I watched as one of the tubs tipped
over, spilling three mesh bags to the ground (several feet below).  That's
really good on the regulators!  On another occasion, a mask was missing
when we arrived on the boat a mask that had been secured in a regular dive
bag complete with a zipper and tied off at the top.  The mask was found at
low tide in the mud flats and returned to its owner.This was my third trip
to Fiji;  Muscat Cove on Malolo, and Garden Island Resort on Taveuni were
my first two trips. My overall reaction to Marlin Bay is that I would
rather not go back.  There are too many good dive operations and locations
to put up with this mediocre outfit.
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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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