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Dive Review of ORCA dive center/Manutara Hotel in
Chile/Easter Island

ORCA dive center/Manutara Hotel, Jan, 2007,

by Lamont Sage, CA, usa . Report 3192.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving have logged over 1000 dives worldwide, Palau, Red Sea, Phillipines, PNG, Solomons, multiple caribbean islands, 20+ liveaboards
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 74 to 75 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Treated like first time divers with no experience-meet at bottom, dive in a conga line with follow the leader, come up at 40 min regardless of air remaining
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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 [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 1 stars
Comments Have always wanted to dive Easter Island- we hauled our dive gear from the US knowing we would only be diving for 2 days. Boats were basic pangas. Orca dive shop is well equipped with brand new equipment and a clean operation. Warm showers provided after diving and rinse tanks also. $45.00 dive includes all your equipment, from BCD to wetsuit, regulator, etc. Free lockers provided for your valuables. All of the equipment was top of the line. It is a shame they use beat up old pangas instead of investing in a nice dive boat with tank racks. All of the gear is thrown into the center of the panga and the divemaster/boatsman help you gear up. This is not the easiest for those of us who have been diving for a long time and are no longer in our 20's!

The operator is set up for inexperienced divers wanting to do 1 or 2 dives. Their regimented operation and very limited selection of dive sites appears to be set up to accommodate the general low level of experienced diver that they encounter. I was using a cane, having recovered from leg surgery. I had just been diving in November 06 in Curacao and Dominica (since the surgery) and knew I had no problem once in the water. I overheard the divemaster tell the boatsman in Spanish that he did not think I would be able to swim or complete the dive.

Once in the water I found the air had been put into my BCD without my knowledge; this delayed my descent. While attempting to descend I had an ear-block and was at 20 feet trying to clear. The rest of the group was waiting for me at 60 feet on the bottom. Carlo, the divemaster, got in my face and started hassling me- are you immediately descending or what?? I signalled an ear problem and that I wanted to swim above the group at 25 ft and work my way down as my ears cleared- he would not allow this and I had to abort the dive and return to the surface. Needless to say this aggravated me. The water was calm, we were right off shore, viz was good, there were only 4 divers.

On the second dive I desended on the anchor line(after taking some sudafed) and had no problem clearing. We were kept in a very tight group.

My advice- don't go to Easter Island to dive. If you are there, dive by all means but expect to be treated like a beginner. I understand that there is no chamber on the island and nobody wants an accident. But considering the conditions around the island (pretty rough, no protected coves to speak of, 74 degree water in the summer) and the poor quality of the boats used you will not find a great dive experience here.
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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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