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Dive Review of Aqua-Trek/The Pearl in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Pacific Harbor

Aqua-Trek/The Pearl: "What an experience! #1", Sep, 2016,

by David E Reubush, VA, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 66 reports with 32 Helpful votes). Report 9225.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Before our live-aboard trip on the Nai'a (led by Burt Jones and Hergen Spalink) we spent 3 days in Pacific Harbor shark diving with Aqua-Trek (2 days-this report) and Beqa Adventure Divers (1 day-following report). Both of the operators do a great job, but the dives are structured a bit differently and I would recommend that, if you have time, to try both. Both do 2-tank dives in the morning, which we participated in. Aqua-Trek conducts their dives in a natural bowl in the range of 60 to 70 feet deep. For the 4 dives I did the dives ranged from a minimum of 33 minutes to a maximum of 39 minutes. They have a "wall" built of coral rubble which you kneel behind while the sharks are fed tuna heads in front of you. When you first arrive you will find a literal cloud of sergeant-majors and other small fish awaiting the scraps left by the big boys as well as a variety of other big and small fish and miscellaneous shark species swimming around. When the tuna heads come out the stars of the show, the big bull sharks, arrive and everyone else defers to them. The actors are all accustomed to what is going to happen and there is nothing like a feeding frenzy which occurs. The big bulls all circle around gracefully and at random intervals one will approach the feeder and take the offered tuna head. There are safety divers which are stationed behind the kneeling photographers with long aluminum poles which can be used to fend off any feeding shark that might get too excited, but they were never needed in the 4 dives we did. For those of us with big cameras (which could be used for protection if a shark decided to come too close) a few at a time were invited into the arena adjacent to the feeder so that we could get even closer to the action for even better shots. (Go-Pros didn't qualify.) When the food is exhausted everyone calmly disperses and you can get shots of some of the smaller sharks (white-tips, nurse, etc.) which have been hanging around in the background while the bulls took center stage. There are also a couple of wrecks in the immediate vicinity that you can explore if you have air and no-deco time remaining. Between dives there is about an hour surface interval with drinks and small snacks on the boat. The boats are small, with no head, so if the need arises you have to jump in to resolve the issue. We stayed in the year-old section of the Pearl in Pacific Harbor. The hotel was clean, the beds were comfortable, the grounds were beautiful, and I had no issue drinking the water. The only problem that I became aware of was that they were having trouble with the phone system and the phones did not work in some rooms or only worked as speaker phones. The phone in my room worked fine. The WiFi was not free, but not terribly expensive and not especially fast. The hotel had 3 restaurants (breakfast was included in the room rate); a lobby restaurant, a deli, and a high-end restaurant (which I did not try). All of the food that I had was good, but not outstanding. There was a small shopping area within walking distance that had several restaurants with good food that we also tried.
Websites Aqua-Trek   The Pearl

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Caymans, Curacao, Fiji, Galapagos, Indonesia (Wakatobi, Raja Ampat, Komodo, Lembeh, Bali, Banda Sea), Philippines, Red Sea, Solomon Islands, Southern Bahamas, St. Thomas, Turks & Caicos
Closest Airport Nadi, Fiji Getting There Fly to LAX, transfer to Fiji Air and fly to Nadi, about 2.5 hours overland from Nadi to Pacific Harbor

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 79-79°F / 26-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 70-80 Ft/ 21-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Follow the guide's directions.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments The boat crews handle your cameras carefully, but this is not a live-aboard situation set up for photographers. I rinsed everything in the shower once I got back to the hotel, which is very close to the Aqua-Trek location.
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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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