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Dive Review of Octopus Divers/La Reserve in
Seychelles/Praslin Is.

January, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Dee, Ca, usa
Report Number 1052
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Tahiti,Palau,Fiji,Coral Sea, Lembeh Straits,Belize,Roatan,Caymans
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
80   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We were in a small group led by a dive master, so there wasn't much leeway.
They weren't manic about  it though, as they did let us lag behind at times  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
No real accomodations for photographers, as we were in an open boat, with
no rinse tank. It was your basic "put the cameras on the aft deck,
dive guide will hand them to you after you enter the water, and reverse
procedure on exit".  Nothing fancy, but competent.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
There's a reason why the "Inner Islands" of the Seychelles are
not noted as a world class dive destination.  It's because they're not!
However, that's not to say that the farther out ones like Aldabra are the
same at all- I've never been there, but they sound pretty spectacular. 
Getting back to the point however, we did three dives with Octopus Divers
on the island of Praslin.  They have an open boat, approx. 30 ft, partial
shade cover, and no head. Boat rides weren't far though, no more than 15-20
minutes.  Everyone spoke passable English, and the briefings were adequate.
Dives were led by a guide,but they weren't manic if you fell behind to look
at something.  When our guide realised we were experienced divers, he
seemed to stop worrying about us.  Still, I got the impression that he was
very careful with some newer divers. We were not allowed to dive our own
time and depth, obviosly, it was all back on board as a group. We did rent
BC's that were in great shape, but we brought the rest of our gear with us.
Complimentary pick up from the hotel was included. You set up your own gear
and then haul it to the boat yourself, which is about 50 yds offshore in
shallow water. This is certainly a little demanding, but when I asked for
assistance cuz my back is not good, they had no problem taking my rig out
for me. There was water provided onboard the boat for after dives. They do
one dive in the morning, and one in the afternoon. I don't recall any
offerings of nite dives, but I'm not sure about that. It was about $70 to
do 2 dives in one day.

Underwater, you see the same incredible granite boulders that the islands
are famous for topsides, except underwater, they just look like big rocks.
Not that it wasn't interesting, but it's not a be-all to end-all dive
destination.  There were the usual suspects for tropical fish, although not
incredible swarms of them... but Moorish Idols, lots of butterflies,
damsels, a semi-circle angel or two, a large bat-ray holed up under an
overhang. Not as much hard coral as I expected- I'd say it's on a par with
Hawaii, and very little soft coral. I'm definately glad we dove there, the
dives were not ever boring by any means. Oh, we did spot whale shark on the
surface, which certainly would have upped the thrill factor, and I
understand they're not uncommon in the beginning months of the year
{according to our dive guide}, but he dove before our boat got close enough
to snorkel. Darn!

This being said, let me just say that I would go back to the 
Seychelles in a heartbeat.  They are the most beautiful islands I have ever
seen, and I'm happy to say I get around. Never have I seen such drop dead
beauty. The beaches are stunning,and I say this though I am not the type of
person to lay around in the sand and idle away a vacation day. You can't
help but be awestruck when you see the pitch black granite boulders
tumbling down to the most perfect white sand beaches.  The granite is
sculpted by years of wind and sea so you end up with these other-worldly
shaped rocks that make you feel liked you've wandered onto another planet.
Unbelievable!  Don't miss the beach on the island of La Digue called Anse
D'Source Argent.  It's the best of the best, and voted the most beautiful
beach in the world.  

The resort we stayed in was La Reserve,and it was just beautiful. We had
our own beachfront cottage, with it's own veranda, very large bedroom
decorated very tastefully,and large spotless bath. Small mini-bar that you
could manage to fit your own stuff in {like fruit juice to mix your own
cocktails}.  Definately grab some alcohol at the duty-free shop at the
international airport on Mahe, cuz liquor, like virtually everything else
on the island, has to be imported and is unbelievably expensive.  This is
first and formost a tourist destination and the $20 dollar rule applies -
everything you want is going to be a minimum of $20. Want tropical drinks
for two? fork over $20. Cab ride a short distance? $20......


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