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Dive Review of Fakarava Diving Center/Le Maitai Dream in
French Polynesia

May, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Tracey Bennett, NV, USA
Report Number 1992
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Indonesia, Micronesia, Fiji, Grand Cayman, Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica,
Hawaii, Mexico, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
choppy, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
No room on boat for rinse bucket, but can soak in your room between dives. 
You're pretty much on your own.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
Fakarava is a large atoll with two passages ( North and South) that create
strong tidal currents to and from the open ocean.  The mile wide N. passage
is about 20 minutes by boat from the resort and here you can dive outside
the passage or the passage itself. The smaller S. passage is about an hour
by boat from the resort and can only be accessed during flat seas. We were
unable to get there during our 7 day stay.

The outside dives had little current and there were healthy fields of hard
coral, schooling snapper, bannerfish and buttereflyfish. Several napolean
wrasse, eagle rays, white tip, blacktip, and grey reef sharks. There are
many beautiful tropicals thriving in this pristine environment and in some
areas I felt as though I was diving in one big cleaning station.

For the passage dives we backrolled, descended immediately, and rode the
ripping current, along with white tips and grey reef sharks, over hard
corals and canyons until we reached a valley where we could drop down out
of the main current.  Here we saw large schools of bright orange bigeyes,
snapper and bannerfish.  There were always 15 - 20 sharks circling around
us, coming in from the perimeters of the valley to inspect the new
arrivals.  Because of the strong currents, this is definately not a dive
for beginners.

Serge and Carine, owners of the Fakarava Diving Center were safety
conscious and attentive. I could dive my own profile on the outside dives,
but because of the current everybody ascends together on the passage dives.
They will not let you dive the passage until they know and have witnessed
your dive experience level. I was extremely pleased with their service.

The resorts' rooms are comfortable enough, and have large bathrooms with a
shower door leading outside. There is a full bar and the restaraunt serves
very good food. There's not much to do on Fakarava other than dive, but
definately go to Hinano Pearls where proprietor Gunter Hellberg will take
you on a tour and give you an opportunity to buy some of his pearls. 
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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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