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Dive Review of Bathys Diving/Novotel in
French Polynesia/Bora Bora

Bathys Diving/Novotel, Jun, 2009,

by Elizabeth Crapo, ca, usa (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 9 reports). Report 5014.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 75 to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 3 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 2 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Good dive operation, good boats, helpful staff. Be advised that the regular air tanks have European-style valves, and although they can be fitted with adapters, some US regs (including mine) won't fit. But their Nitrox tanks fit, and it's free. They have a pre-paid ten-dive pass that you can use on their shops on other islands, which is a good deal if you plan to dive more than one island. The shop is on the other side of the island from most of the hotels (at the now-closed TopDive resort) but they'll pick you up. In a rare example of diver-friendliness in the airline industry, Air Tahiti, the inter-island airline, allows an extra 5 kg of baggage if you have dive gear and show your c-card (check their website for more details). As far as the diving, it's OK. The corals seemed rather drab -- much more so than I remember seeing on Moorea 3 years ago. There was a good number of interesting reef tropicals, including lionfish, flame angelfish and the endemic Tahitian butterflyfish. The highlight is the sharks, which are numerous. The only drawback is, it's obvious they are accustomed to being fed. They weren't aggressive toward us, but they did seem to approach more closely then normal. Like dogs begging for food, only better behaved. Unfortunately it's hard to find a dive operator or lagoon tour in French Polynesia that doesn't do shark feedings, although this operator at least only did it once in the 5 days I was there. Overall, I enjoyed my diving, but Bora Bora is not someplace I'd go just for the diving. You'll want to check out topside activities as well. I went on a sunset sail, a lagoon cruise with a picnic on one of the motus (small islands out in the lagoon), a half-day 4x4 tour. The highlight was parasailing -- expensive, but you get a spectacular view of the lagoon. I could see eagle rays and stingrays cruising the shallows. And of course, you have to eat at Bloody Mary's. It's touristy but fun, and the food is good. The Novotel was a great deal. It has a beach, an activities desk, restaurant and bar, kayaks, a pool, etc. The room was clean and comfortable, and had a small refrigerator. After converting to US dollars, my room (booked on their website) cost somewhere between $130-150/night, which is a steal for Bora Bora. Fare Manuia and La Bounty are two restaurants within walking distance that had good food, and there is a convenience store very close by. Buy munchies here if you dive with Bathys, since they pick you up before the hotel restaurant opens for breakfast.
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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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