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

Marlin Bay Dive Operation/Marlin Bay Resort, Jun, 2003,

by Fran Macintyre, NM, USA . Report 550.

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

Weather cloudy Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 77 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 110 foot limit. Two divemasters in water at all times allowed for diving pretty much as we wanted.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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, etc.

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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