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Dive Review of TOPdive/White Sands in
French Polynesia/Fakarava

July, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Gary, AB, US
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 6170
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Carribbean, Cocos Island, Micronesia, Sipidan, Thailand, Maldives,
Indonesia, Vancouver
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
76   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 130    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
120 ft  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
1 stars   
4 stars    
5 Dives in Fakarava, French Polynesia (aka Tahiti) from July 30th to August
1st, 2011.  There are really only two main dive areas on Fakarava - the
North Pass  and the Southern.  The Southern is always rated higher (North
is great though as you will see below.  Whether you stay at the Southern
Pass in somewhat questionable accomodations which are only accessible by
boat or stay in the North near the airport, you can dive the opposite pass.
 This is however highly dependant on weather conditions and the tide tables
(I heard the outgoing current from the Lagoon is not a great dive) and the
boat ride takes at least 90 minutes.  We never made it too the South (very
expensive for a 2 tank dive (appox $280 USD)) due to the incomming currrent
not arriving until mid-afternoon which made a 2nd dive not possible.
We stayed at The White Sands Hotel and found it very nice with
accomodations facing an incredibly large and colorful lagoon - pay the
marginal extra price for a premium beach front unit as the views are
gorgeous - especially at sunset.  There is also another little cozy looking
place about 1 mile North of White Sands.
We dove with Top Dives on Fakarava and had a very good experience with
them.  I have to say there were two dive masters that were the worst coral
touchers I have ever dove with.  They would tell us on the surface to grab
or hold onto dead coral when the current was strong and we were watching
the shark parade but someone really needs to teach them the difference
between live coral and dead coral.  I  was sharing air with one divemaster
(I've always been an air pig) and he was getting mad at me since I was not
holding onto the live coral like he was.
The Grey Reef and Black Tip action here is out of this world and we found
the sharks more abundant than Rangiroa.  Add in some very pretty corals
(hopefully some of the divemasters won't kill them off anytime soon), some
big Napoleons, and a few Morrays, and you get world class diving.Highly
Note there is very strong current here but the divemasters definitely know
the area and tide schedules.  However, if you are nervous in strong
current, then just do the slack tide dives.  We did one slack tide dive
where the current switched over (dead calm for a little while) and had the
best dive of our trip on Fakarava.					
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Diving Guide to French Polynesia
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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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