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Dive Review of Tahiti Aggressor in
French Polynesia

September, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Steven Y. Davidson, GA, USA
Reviewer (7 reports)

Report Number 1318
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Belize, Bahamas, Cocos Island, Cozumel, Bonaire, Tobago, St. Lucia, Saba,
US Virgins, Mayaha
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
windy  
Seas
choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 80    į Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
75   to 150    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth and bottom time.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
Outstanding 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
5 stars
Food
2 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
1 stars   
Advanced
5 stars    
Comments  
Tahiti Aggressor Trip Report
Steven Y. Davidson
September 13, 2004

A group of 16 of us from Columbus Georgia just returned from the Tahiti
Aggressor last weekend.  We did pass and corner diving on Fakarava and
Toau.  Rangiroa was too rough for pass diving so we did two corner dives. 
Tahiti diving lives up to its reputation as we saw lots of sharks, several
Mantas, a school of Dolphins and scores of colorful reef and reef fish. 
For my first time in the Pacific I was totally in awe.

The Tahiti Aggressor is a big wide live aboard with lots of room.  The
Aggressor web site has the details and is quite current so there is no
reason to go into that here.  The boat was reasonably well maintained with
a few exceptions.  The hot tub was out of order during our trip and the
sundeck was a little sparsely furnished with four lounge chairs, three
hammocks and one table with three chairs.  A broken chair lay over the
railing on the antenna deck.  The main dining room and galley were well
laid out and user friendly although the inadequate AC unit left it hot and
stuffy much of the time.  I am not sure whether we would have used the hot
tub anyway and the lack of furniture on the top deck didnít cramp our style
much.  

Diving is from an outboard catamaran which is lifted up to the dive deck
between dives.  It works extremely well and makes diving in rough waters
much easier.  It has a good ladder system with ropes at the water line to
hang on to when exiting the water.  Tanks are filled on the boat and your
gear stays on the dive boat for the entire trip.  Itís an awesome way to
dive.  Several of the dives were baited shark dives.  Although I have often
said during my 20 years of diving that I would never go on a baited shark
dive, I did it anyway and thoroughly enjoyed it.  Gray reef sharks and
Blacktips were everywhere and the bait was finally taken by a really big
Silvertip.  But itís not a place for beginners.

The food on our trip was a little below average with a few notable
exceptions.  Grilled Mahi Mahi a couple of nights was great and the home
made soup was outstanding.   Breakfast was the most consistent with toast
and scrambled eggs with bacon and sometimes sausage.  There was usually
oatmeal and breakfast cereals and milk.  The pancake mix had weevils in it
so that was out.  Grilled chicken was overcooked and tough.  The fish and
chicken were both over baked with corn flakes on them.  Pasta and sauce was
fair.  The Cordon Bleu was the only thing that was really nasty.  Snacks
usually consisted of peanuts and crackers.  Freshly baked bread and
flavored olive oil one evening was a very notable exception to the low
quality food and was a very welcome change as were the seared Mahi
appetizers.  Fresh baked cookies were out after most of the afternoon dives
but in limited quantity.  You wonít go hungry but donít expect too much. 
The cook talked about the expense of supplying the boat in Tahiti but my
recollection of the fare was that the expense should have been covered.

The captain of the boat led many of the dives and I was surprised to
discover during the week that his Air 2 was disconnected because it was
inoperative and his second stage was missing the diaphragm cover so that
the diaphragm itself was the purge button.  He seemed  proficient, although
a little hyper and scatter brained at times, and was a 5 year veteran of
the Aggressor fleet having been on the Cayman Aggressor with us in 2002. 
But leading a dive group under the conditions that we were diving in with
defective safety equipment was irresponsible both of him and the Aggressor
Fleet.  I mentioned it to the second captain, who was also the cook, and he
was flippant about it, explaining that his new Scubapro equipment that he
received when he arrived on the boat was defective and had to be returned. 
That is no excuse for leading a dive with no backup second stage.  The rest
of the very young crew was outstanding in their behavior and
professionalism.  Simon, Tuomo (Findlander, not Tahitian) and Chris did an
outstanding job leading a bunch of old people thru the passes and corners
of French Polynesia.  I was concerned about the youth and relative
inexperience of the crew but they outperformed their superiors.  A local
lady named Grace was the dive boat operator and she did an outstanding job
of handling the boat to the advantage of the divers in the water in some
pretty rough seas, some as high as 8 to 10 feet of rolling waves.  I canít
say enough in praise of the young crew.  Great job guys.

I donít like the airline Tahiti Nui.  While the planes are fairly new, the
seats are very narrow and closely spaced.  I was amazed at how little room
they gave you.  They serve two meals during the trip and each seat has its
own video screen which displays the route information including arrival and
departure times along with the altitude, outside temperature and progress
indicators.   You had your choice of four movies in English or French. 
They were a nice touch.  But I would have traded them for a few more inches
of knee room any day.

Overall it was a great trip and I highly recommend it for experienced
divers.

Diving for Beginners			Donít go
Diving for Experienced			5
Conditions of Accommodations		5
Level of Service				5
Dive Operations 				5
Food Quality					2.5



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Other dive reports on Aggressor Fleet

All French Polynesia Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to French Polynesia
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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