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Dive Review of TOPdive/Hitlon - Overwater Bungalows in
French Polynesia/Moorea

TOPdive/Hitlon - Overwater Bungalows, Aug, 2011,

by Gary, AB, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 6171.

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

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 77 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments "My wife and I dove 2 days (Aug 5 and 6, 2011) with Top Dives-Bathsys in Moorea. The dive operation was ok (some of the dive masters were great) but the we found the lead one rather indifferent and by day two, we didn't feel all that welcome. We checked out Moorea Fun Dives from the land and after talking to other divers, we definitely want to go with them next time instead of Top Dives in Moorea. With Top Dives-Bathsys there is often a shark feeding. It's something I don't usually go for but after 10 minutes of sitting and watching the Black Tips and Greys (too many to count) it turned into a regular dive but the sharks still hung around us. My wife went bananas with her video (it's actually Sealife Digital Camera (DC 1200) with video capability) because this type of action is unreal when recorded as a continuous stream. Sharks will come very close to you (completely unthreatening) and I couldn't resist breaking the rules once and did a quick petting of a Black Tip. Also, I usually question beginner dives because of the general lack of Pelagics. But not here. The diving is easy (little drift) and maximum depth is 60 - 70 feet but it is some of the best diving my wife and I have ever experienced.
Next day was not a feeding but both dive masters had a feeding tube around there neck and I think the residual smell was enough to get the sharks interested. This time we were joined by Lemon sharks (one was around 9 feet long) and was incredibly thrilling to see Black Tips, Greys, and Lemons all mixed up. We also saw a fairly large school of Baracuda and some pretty large Titan Trigger fish.
A few things to note about Moorea: They have only 9 or 10 dive sites and a Crown-of-Thorns invasion a few years back wiped out most of the coral. We would like to stay at the Inter-Continental next time (this time it was the Hilton) as that hotel is very close to the dive sites and StingRay World - took us 15 minutes in a rented Kayak to get to the Sand Bar where the rays and sharks are. StingRay World is quite similar to StingRay City in the Grand Caymans but much better in my opinion as the encounters feel much more natural. They do get fed but if you go early enough in the morning or later in the afternoon, you will avoid some of bigger tour boats and the 30 - 40 people they pack in them.
All in all, we loved Moorea but I think 3 days diving is plenty (allowing for one morning or afternoon at StingRay World) as you will see boatloads of sharks even without the shark feedings."
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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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