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Dive Review of Dive Kiribati/Captain Cook Hotel in
Kiribati (Christmas Island)

February, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Dorothy McDonald, Ohio, USA
Contributor   (17 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 390
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
80   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 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  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
5 stars    
The diving on Kiribati is so good that this was our second trip and we
encourage anyone who enjoys diving and who doesn't mind roughing it a bit
to head for this unique island.  There is one plane a week to/from Honolulu
- so you are there for the week.  This is a Third World Country where most
people don't have running water and electricity and most visitors are
fishermen.  The Captain Cook Hotel,the most modern place on the island, is
very basic but comfortable.  The main part of the "hotel" was
formerly British Officers barracks (some of the rooms are air-conditioned).
 Cottages have also been built along the beach - beautiful view - no
air-conditioning.  Pitchers of drinkable water and ice are put in your
room's mini-fridge daily - the tap water is not drinkable.  Meals at the
Captain Cook are served family style and there is always a variety to
choose from and in any evening could include tacos, baked chicken, and
tuna.  Food is good but not gourmet.  Since fishermen and divers leave
after breakfast and don't return until late afternoon, sandwich fixings and
fresh fruit are set out at breakfast and everyone makes their own sack
lunch.  Kim Andersen, an American, runs the only dive operation.  Diving is
done from one of two motorized outrigger/catamaran type boats.  Kim meets
you at the airport and you can expect to go diving the day you arrive. 
Both times we've been there we were the only divers, so basically could do
whatever we liked.   Shore dives can also be done - entry can be pretty
rough.  There is a large variety of tropical fish, everything from flame
angels to dragon eels to lion fish to gold-flake Angel fish (Kim told us
they are only found in this area)and many more. Trevally are seen on every
dive.  A huge scool of barracuda seemed to hang out at one location.  Other
places we'd see Napoleon Wrasse.  Sharks and turtles are seen on most
dives.  A small school of dolphin swam in front of us on one dive.  Lots of
mantas.  A juvenile manta became very curious in us and spent over half an
hour with us - coming within a foot to make eye contact and continually
circling us.  We'd often see mantas feeding on the surface, we'd get into
the water with snorkel gear on, Kim would move the boat away and we'd float
with the mantas feeding all around us.  There was a school of hundreds of
spinner dolphin - we'd don masks and snorkels, hang onto the outrigger's
pontoon while Kim drove the boat. The dolphins (some mother's with babies)
would be frolicking all around us.  Most of the time the water was calm
without any strong currents.  Kim and his staff did everything possible to
make our experience a great one.  The time to go is now - before
development and high-rises come to the island!  Trips can be arranged
through Frontiers International 1-800-245-1950 or contact Kim Andersen at
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Other dive reports on Dive Kiribati

All Kiribati (Christmas Island) Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Kiribati (Christmas Island)
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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