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Dive Review of Bora Dive Center/Sofitel Motu in
French Polynesia/Bora Bora

Bora Dive Center/Sofitel Motu, Oct, 2005,

by Ken Davis, NJ, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 2148.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Belize, Bahamas, Bermuda, Turks&Caicos, Florida, Caymans, Hawaii, Jamaica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dive in group with divemaster; Turn around at half tank, but could pretty much suck the tank dry before back on boat.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A 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 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Bora Bora is a truly beautiful island - lust, with photogenic mountain looking like Bali Hai. Nice people, but remember for most English is a 3rd language, so when you ask a question, the answer you get may have little to do with what you asked.
Sofitel Motu was gorgeous - small, very private and romantic, on its own little island with frequent boat service to Novotel on mainland. Decent snorkeling at resort. Food only OK and expensive, but good restaurants on Bora Bora. Food was actually better at the Novotel.
As for the diving - First, the bad news. Bora Bora's famous mantas were only seen in the distance on one dive. Apparently hotel construction has driven them from some popular sites. However, I never saw so many sharks - black tips on every dive but one, lemons several times. Also saw: school of eagle rays, morays, turtles (friendly), anemone clown fish, lion fish, amazing variety of reef fish.
Dive operation had its plusses and minuses. On the negative side, you have to wade out to the boat, which is small and has no head. Boat can accomodate up to 10 divers, but the one day we had 10 it was crowded. Back roll entry, easy ladder climb to get back on boat. They help you back on boat, set up your gear on second tank. I was able to keep my gear at the shop and had my BC and regulator set up boat for first dive of the day. Coconut pieces and drinks between dives. Usually about 6. The general approach to not touching stuff is much more casual than at most Caribbean operations - at one point a divemaster picked up a large sea cucumber for us to handle. Another broke off pieces of sponge on dead coral to feed turtles. On the second dive of my 8-dive week the divemaster had me too far from the boat and too low on air, and the boat had to come get me. After I complained, I got very personal service the rest of the week.
On the good side, divemasters Patrick and Luiqe were excellent at finding and pointing out critters and were very attentive. Luiqe saw that two of us used a little more air than the rest and shared air with us during the dives, not because we were that low, but to prolong our bottom time. He also had a plastic baby manta hidden in his wet suit - pretty good gag.
Overall the coral is not quite as good as the best in the Caribbean, but the incredible number and variety of fish is certainly among the best I've seen. Well worth the 12 hour flight from NY.
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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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