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Dive Review of Tetamanu Village in
French Polynesia/Fakarava

September, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Michael Joest, BW, Germany
Sr. Contributor   (20 reports, with 3 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4561
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
all over the world, mostly south east asia, pacific (Micronesia, Melanesia,
PNG, Solomons, Irian Jaya, Vanuatu, New Caledonia etc.)
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
26   to 28    Celsius  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
depth limit and no solo dives  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  5 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars    
2 stars   
5 stars    
 A bit of French helps a lot, without it´s  deaf language.

Arrival at Fakarava on Air Tahiti around 4 p.m. Due to heavy seas and
strong wind the 2 hour transfer by small boat to Tetamanu is not possible
that afternoon, have to overnight in a little rather modest resort. Next
morning around 10 a.m. however it works and we reach T. right around 
lunchtime. Lose one day of diving through that. Tetamanu, it´s the
utmost and ideal dream of a south Pacific paradise. The setting of the
resort is stunning in its beauty  and awesome to see for the first time.
Only a few small wooden bungalows right at the beach. At the jetty several
black tip babies cruise around, the house reef looks beautiful lots of
colourful fish around.,  can´t  wait to drop in. On closer inspection
the whole resort however looks rather run down and rusty. Beware of  loose
planks going for lunch along the wooden jetty. The bungalow inside is more
than modest, a big bed underneath a mosquito net, one chair, one table,
thats about all there is. A small shower hides behind a curtain, a wash
basin right beside. Electricity is only  through solar, no 220/ 110 plugs
around (only at the dive shop), reading at nighttime in bed is just
possible. Don´t expect a cleaning service in your bungalow or made
beds and fresh towels. Most of the time it´s do it yourself. 
Mosquitos are a nuisance during sundown and at nighttime, bring your own
insect repellent.  Meals are nice when you are not too much into
gourmetfood. Breakfast a typical French job, toasted baguette with the
usual sides, lunch and dinner mostly  local fish dishes and sometimes
fingerfood coming with it. All meals are held in a kind of reception open
air area under the roof of kitchen and lounge built over the reef of the
lagoon. So doggy bag goes into the ocean for the sharks, which are used to
feed on the small crumps. Diving starts from the jetty, mostly only a 5 min
run to the outside of the lagoon. Marc waits for the tide current through
the channel to slow down before he goes in. We couldn´t  go too far
outside due to heavy swells after  days with strong winds. So it´s
just a drop down at the edge of a sloping down hard coral reef plateau and
slowly drift inside the lagoon. We went down to 30 m and kicked or drifted
into the channel. Sharklife was impressive all around you, mostly grey
reef, white and black tip.  Once I counted more than 60 animals around us,
all just lazily floating together in the current. I missed the interaction
we had at Raiatea, where sharks where cruising around you all the time
looking for prey. I rented equipment cause baggage allowance on A T is only
10 kg and these guys chare a packet for extra. Got a new Mares BC which I
was happy with. Nearly all regulators and attached gauges and valves
however leaked, which I complained about. This only got me the answer
" is your car always running without fault".  At times I was the
only customer diver, so we dropped in, swam our way and often surfaced at
the jetty after only 30 min  and still more than 1800 psi in my tank. Marc
wouldn´t allow for me to cruise around alone at the house reef. It
seems they do have rather strict rules in French Polynesia.
Bad luck on my way home. At the airport at Fakarava I checked all my values
and noticed, 150 EUR and 70 $ US were missing. There is no safe deposit at
Tetamanu, so I just kept my stuff in a locked suitcase. When I e- mailed
this to the owner,they told me this never happened in 15 years, they just
can´t  believe it. Later I learned from friends who went there two
month later, that they told everybody, that there never was a theft for 15
years until my problem. However this was solved later as I found my missing
money in my laptop. As I did  not bring such a thing with me and not even
own one,   I asked them to please transfer in the laptop of ??? found money
to me. So far I never got an answer. So maybe it´s a good idea to
keep an eye on your values at  Tetamanu and bring a good lock for your
luggage along with you.A bit of French helps a lot, without it´s 
deaf language all over F P.
The whole French Polynesian vacation had cost me more than 7 000 EUR, a
hell of a lot of money. For that you can get much more diving,  better
accommodation and a longer stay in South East Asia for sure. People in F P
should learn, we are not only coming to enjoy their lovely islands but want
to see unspoilt nature, healthy coral and good fish life. If they however
continue their way of getting rid of garbage and waste of electricity and
fuel it will surely effect  tourism one of these days.  
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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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