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Dive Review of Jewel Bubbles Divers/Matei Pointe in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Taveuni

Jewel Bubbles Divers/Matei Pointe, May, 2006,

by Mike Binnard, CA, USA . Report 2521.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 26-50 dives
Where else diving Bermuda, Maldives, Palau, Kona
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions max depth and time as a group, based on air consumption.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We saw no provisions for photography, although we didn't ask about it.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We had a fabulous time in Fiji.

Flying on Sun Air was somewhat of an adventure, with last minute changes to schedule. But they got us where we needed to be.

Matei Pointe was a perfect place to stay. The house was the right size, the grounds are beautiful, and the location is perfect. It was a wonderful place for our kids (ages 4 and 2.5) to play around. Snorkling from the beach was good once you got far enough out. The water was calm enough at the beach for our kids to play around in with no problems. Lo and her helpers were friendly, cheerful, and helpful. Our kids loved them.

Some things were funny, like the salt that would randomly appear and disappear from day to day. And the dog Marmalade who treated us like he was our pet. For our group of 5 adults and 2 kids, Matei Pointe really was exactly what we needed.

We did 3 days of diving with Jewel Bubble Divers. They are a locally run, small operation. Very laid-back and easy to deal with. Rental equipment is OK. Boat is new, single engine with no shade. No provisions for photographers. We (four) were the only divers. For groups of 5-8 they take 2 divemasters. For the first day, Qio took us to Matei Pointe reef for two easy dives. He wanted to check out our ability and comfort level before going to the Rainbow Reef. On the 2nd day it was too windy to go all the way to the best spots, but we had two good dives at Fish Factory and Annie's Bommy. On the third day we dove the Great White Wall and Jerry's Jellies. Qio was ill, so the divemaster was Mike. His intentions are good, but he needs more experience. The White Wall is awesome. In general, the hard coral was healthier than I expected; Qio said it's recovering well from the 99 El Nino. Soft corals were nice, but not "the soft coral capital of the world" other than at the White Wall. Lots of small colorful fish, but no big stuff.

One brief trip to Swiss Fiji Divers to send email corroborated what we heard from some sources: rigid rules, grumpy staff, and none of the relaxed, friendly service of local Fijians.

The Bouma waterfall hike and the Natural waterslide were both great fun. Beautiful scenery, fun hiking, and excellent swimming. Both are must-do activities on Taveuni. We also had many day trips to Prince Charles Beach: a beautiful beach with great snorkling, fun sand for the kids, and no other people. Our taxi driver, Nan, took great care of us for all the activities, shopping, and transportation.

We had one great dinner cooked for us by Chef Dan at Matei Pointe (arranged by Lo). His papaya soup is the best. We also had good food from Lal's Curry House and at Ronna's Coconut Grove. Coconut Grove has much better coffee than Audrey's. Also, Audrey doesn't like kids.
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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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