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Dive Review of Tiliva Resort in
Fiji and Tuvalu/Kadavu

Tiliva Resort, Dec, 2004,

by Cres Van Keulen, CA, USA . Report 1524.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Costa Rica, Thailand, Hawaii, Catalina, Belize, Honduras
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Surfaced after 45 minutes because of consistent short-tanking.
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 2 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 1 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 1 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Nothing provided for cameras.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 2 stars
Comments We greatly looked forward to diving the Great Astrolabe Reef but our excitement quickly dissipated into disappointment after a few dives. The sun was shining, the water was warm, but where were the fish? And where was the coral? Everything was gray and lifeless. After several days of diving - it got to the point where we'd get excited at seeing a big sea cucumber - Felipe the dive master finally admitted that a big cyclone knocked the socks off the area about two years ago. Finally - an explanation for all the dead coral and silt! To be fair, we did see a couple of green turtles when we were told we were unlikely to see any because they are a local food source; 2 small white tip sharks; good-sized Napolean wrasse; a lionfish that gave us an extended hover display; and a Giant green moray eel - just huge! But the bum must have eaten all the fish because there were so few of the usual trumpetfish, triggerfish, spotted drum, etc... Although I had researched diving in Fiji, I then realized the Lonely Planet book "Diving & Snorkeling Fiji" is seriously out-of-date. Lesson #1, check recent weather history. Lesson #2, are the resort owners themselves divers? Kemu & Barbara Yabaki are not. Pleasant as Barbara was to deal with via email (we only met briefly as they were on their way to England for Christmas on the same plane we came in on) - and I am sure they are honest people - no way should Tiliva Resort be promoted as a dive resort. The diving just isn't there! I suspect they have been relying on Felipe, who reputedly has over 6,000 dives, mostly with Dive Kadavu. After 8 dives with Felipe, our feeling was that he is burnt out and just going through the motions. Several times we were shocked when he carelessly kicked live coral or otherwise violated what we thought to be common dive protocols. The first dive he changed the dive departure time but failed to tell us, leaving us waiting for him on the beach. After about 45 minutes we tracked him down for a lame excuse. He short-tanked us the first three days until we complained. The excuse was the compressor gauge did not work properly but somehow the tanks were full the last day. Even then he tried to surface after 45 minutes but I pointed to my gauge reading of 1000 PSI or more, and continued on. Believe it or not, the new "dive" boat has no tank holders and such a tiny platform I often chose to backroll. Tanks are just laid flat on the floor to roll around so we had to take extra care of our computers. There are no camera facilities - nor much to shoot anyway. The bures are pretty new, and very nice. The "girls," as they call the cook and staff, could not be nicer and did everything they could to make your stay pleasant. The village visit with kava ceremony was a great experience, not at all commercial as they get very few visitors. Our gifts for the children - yo-yo's, pens & candy canes - were very well-received. We attended church on Sunday morning and it was a wonderful experience, highly recommended. It is interesting to see how people live such a simple life without electricity or TV. One man I spoke with had never heard of 9-11. Tiliva breakfast was great, lunch was very good, but dinner reflected Kemu's 40 years in the British Army - very meal & potates. But the great thing about food in Fiji is the availability of fresh fruit & vegetables everywhere; unlike my experience in Roatan, in Fiji hardly anything came from a can. On our way back to the airport - about 90 minutes by boat - we stopped at Dive Kadavu Resort and spoke with the owner. Dive Kadavu is very near the airport. They dive the Northeast side of the island, and have a boat on the Southeast side as well, where they only dive the very southern tip of Astrolabe. He claimed much better diving conditions on his end of the island with plenty of coral and critters, so maybe this was just a case of Right Island, Wrong Side but in any case we will not be returning to Tiliva Resort.
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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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