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Dive Review of Christmas Island Divers Assoc in
Kiribati (Christmas Island)

Christmas Island Divers Assoc, May, 2006,

by Rick Sekely, Ohio, U.S. . Report 2496.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Palau, Fiji, Tahiti, Bonaire, Cozemel, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utila, Honduras, Glovers Reef, Belize, Sea of Cortez & Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

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

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas Squadrons
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Christmas Island Divers Association is a new PADI certified diving operation. I believe they have been in operation for about a year. Robert Lower, owner, is very service oriented, enthusiastic and eager to please. Although there is no dive shop per se, they do have a garage with a compressor, dive tanks and basic equipment. Robert has two boats that he uses: a smaller faster boat to go to the furthest sites and a slower, longer more stable boat for closer dive sites or for rougher conditions. He did take us to the furthest and best dive sites as promised (The Korean Wreck and Bay of Wrecks).

We saw a total of 9 Manta Rays during our stay. Four of those were at the surface feeding and we watched them from the boat. We saw a squadron of 5 Eagle Rays on one dive and a couple others throughout the week. There were good size Napolean Wrasse on most dives. There were many different species of eels... Green Morays, Spotted, White Face, Snow Flake, Masked, Dragon and others. Lots of Lion Fish. Every dive had countless numbers of tropical fish; Fusilers, several types of Butterfly fish and Angel Fish including the Emporer, Flame and Blue Reticulated. We saw Octopus, a few White Tip, Black Tip and Nurse Sharks, Turtles and too many Dolphin to count(Spinners & Bottlenose). We saw schools Trevally on most dives, lots of 2-3' Milkfish, a few large Yellow Finned Tuna and a couple Long Nose Hawk Fish.

The coral was in good shape. Mostly hard coral and a large variety; Plate, Lettuce, Brain, Finger and more.

We stayed at the Shark Fin Hotel. The hotel accomadations were basic. Our room/Bungalow had no TV, hot water or air condition. We were told if we wanted air we could switch rooms, but being right on the beach we had enough breeze that we were comfortable at night with the room fans. The water was some where between slightly warm and cold. The food was cooked and served family style and was very good to excellent. Throughout the week we had Lobster, Tuna, Chicken and Pork all served with rice or potatoes and vegetables. The hotel owner Jim, brought coffee to our room every morning before breakfast. He also brought fresh Yellowfin Sashimi to our room every afternoon about an hour before dinner.

We did not venture into town at night to the other restaurants or hotels. I think there were only three. We usually had a beer or two at the hotel bar, went to our room to review the days underwater pics, and tried to watch a entire movie on the lap top without falling asleep.

Kiribati is definitely a third world country and there are no luxary accomodations on the island.

Overall, the diving was world class. I'd rate it one notch below Palau and two notches above anything I have dove in the Carribean.

Fishing is also world class, especially Bone Fishing. On our last day we hired a guide and fished for Bones with a Fly Rod. Two of us caught 15 Bone Fish and 5 Trevally in a few hours. I was great fun and a good way to get rid of some nitrogen the day before we left.

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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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