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Dive Review of Top Dive/Kia Ora, in
French Polynesia/Moorea, Rangiroa, Bora Bora

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Morgan Armstrong, FL, United States (1 report)
Report Number 4641
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Washington State, Florida, Cozumel, Bahamas, Galapagos, Curacao,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, rainy  
calm, choppy, surge  
Water Temp
78   to 81    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 150    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Stay with the group, 1 hr max dive time  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 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):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
1 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
5 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
1 stars   
5 stars    
Spent 14 days in French Polynesia.  First 5 days were spent in Moorea in
which 2 days of diving were done.  Moorea is simple and good for beginners.
 It is a 5  minute boat ride out to the dive sites just outside the reef. 
Surface conditions can get hairy due to the ocean currents coming straight
onto the reef.  Absolutely stunning visibility, no current just surge. 
Black Tip Reef Sharks and Lemon Sharks greet the divers.  And yes, they do
bait them in with a fish tail tucked into their bc's.  Coral is pristine
and small creatures everywhere.  Moorea is a beautiful island, very
relaxing with some fun hiking.

The next 6 days were spent in Rangiroa.  We dove for 4 days, 4 dives per
day for the first three days and then unfortunately only 3 on the last day
because of flight.   Ok first, I had never heard of this place before it
just so happened that I ended up going to F.P. for my honeymoon.  My wife
and I are avid divers and so we asked where the best diving was.  Rangiroa.
 WOW!! That is all I can say about the diving there.  Day 1, dolphins on
every dive, hundreds maybe thousands of Grey Reef Sharks, Napolean Wrasse,
Black Tip Reef, Barracuda the size of school buses, turtles, tuna.  Day 2,
Silvertip  Sharks, Great Hammerheads,  Grey Reef Sharks, Dolphins.  Day 3,
Everything you read above and now add Mantas every dive.  The same for Day
4.   It will blow you away, the coral wall is fantastic and the fish are
ridiculously abundant.    However, watch out, this is no nonsense diving. 
You dive the passes of this place.  Rangiroa is an island shaped like a
donut with a giant lagoon in the middle and all the water inside it gets
exchanged within two passes.  Tiputa and Avatoru.  The current and surface
conditions can be extreme.  Diving done out of zodiacs.   Therefore I would
say advanced divers only. Top Dive Rangiroa was a first rate dive outfit. 
They changed your tank for you between dives and were always cheerful and
helpful.  They used aluminum 100's with 33% Nitrox which gave you nice long
dive times.  Stayed at the Kia Ora next door to Top Dive.  Great place to
stay ,the over water bungalows are spectacular and the food was the best. 
Definitely recommend.

The one negative I have about French Polynesia is they are not exactly reef
conscious.  I saw more coral destroyed in 4 days than I have in 10 years of
diving due to all the tourist divers hitting and touching the reef.  I am
not exaggerating when I say it truly was an abomination.  They keep it up
you will have to put this place as another once was and I mean soon.  Other
than that this place is simply amazing, expensive but amazing.
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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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