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Dive Review of Atlantis Divers in
Brazil/Fernando de Noronha

Atlantis Divers, Feb, 2010,

by Anne Efron, MD, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 5782 has 1 Helpful vote.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Caribbean and Central America
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with group
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Lots of other divers had cameras and they seemed to have decent designated areas, but I didn't look closely.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Fernando de Noronha is considered the dive mecca in Brazil and is a protected area. Only a certain number of people are allowed on the island at any given time. All diving is tightly regulated and the government actually chooses who dives where on any given day. There are only 3 dive companies that operate and from what I saw there didn't seem to be much difference between them. They all seemed to use big boats, and they were all were packed tight - probably 50 people on a boat. Most accommodations on the islands are pousadas - rooms in private residences that are quite basic, if not down right rustic. There are also some beautiful eco-resorts that cost over $500/night.

We had 3 days to dive in Fernando de Noronha and the day before we arrived a huge surge had wiped out the dock where the dive boats operate, so we lost a day while they jury-rigged a set up. They split us up into groups of about 10 - 12 with 2 dive instructors - one leader and one bringing up the rear. Our group was all English speaking and the briefing was given in English.

Strong currents and all dives were drift dives, the boat picked up groups as they surfaced.

Very interesting topography, warm water, mostly good vis. There are pods of spinning dolphins in the area and they gave us quite a show on our way out to the dive sites.

Our issue was with the lead dive instructor. We were briefed that the first dive on day 2 was going to be 90 feet max, drift dive. The current was really strong and within a few minutes of entering, the dive instructor took off after a spotted eagle ray, we had to kick like crazy to try and keep up. Needless to say, we didn't catch him, and it was a waste of air. About 6 people had to surface with the following instructor soon after. Then, next thing I knew we were at 110 feet. I was reaching my no decomp limit per my computer so raised above the group a bit along with my husband. She then swam us into stronger current and we had to kick like crazy and go deep to get out of it and to try and stay with the group. I turned around to check on my husband and he was way above us and behind, so I swam up to him while she banged on her tank trying to get my attention. I ignored her. My husband hadn't been able to get out of the current and used up most of his air trying to catch up and was doing his 3 minute stop. I had gone over my no decomp limit so he surfaced out of air and I decomped below him, where the boat then picked us up. I can't even tell you what we saw as the dive was so stressful. If we had just been able to drift as we were briefed, it would have been fine, but she made poor decisions and we were stuck following.

The island itself is beautiful with gorgeous beaches, big waves and surfers. It is really out of the way and I wish that we had had a better experience as it could have been phenomenal.

Bottom line - for experienced divers only due to depth, current and poor leadership. Make a back out plan with your buddy and take a signal sausage. We were very glad that we had ours.
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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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