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Dive Review of TOPdive/Motu Aito in
French Polynesia/Fakarava

TOPdive/Motu Aito: "Fakarava South Pass", Jan, 2018,

by Alexander Armintor, AL, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 10098.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments [19-25th July 2017. Itís been about 6 months, but I can see and hear it well. We arrived in a storm, waves, rain and sheets of water coming over the wooden top, that half covered the 30 ft boat speeding south across the lagoon, water dripping through every un-caulked seam in the roof until we were as wet as if weíd swam. I hadnít seen any lights in any direction for some time when we ran out of gas. The crew had jerryís in the locker though and refilled the main tank, 5 gallons at a time. Moving again through the dark and rain, I had been marveling at the deep vís ability to cut through the waves at this speed when things got crazy and we just about flipped. We were quickly putting on lifejackets as the old man made the kid get out of the pilots chair and continued the journey at greatly reduced speed. After what seemed forever, the engines cut back and the boat slowed to a bucking crawl. I could make out a dim light through the pouring rain, which turned out to be the only running light on the Motu Aito flagship - a miners light strapped to the head of Manihi, who motioned us to jump onto his open wooden boat tossing in the waves next to us. I timed the jump with the waves and landed safely as our luggage was being tossed in by the kid. The next morning in brilliant coral atoll sunshine, a gentle breeze wafted across the flat lagoon. Youíd never know I thought, as I surveyed the minefield of coral heads weíd come through the night before. We were at the end of the world.
People will either love or hate the Pension Motu Aito Paradise. We liked it. Rustic? Yes, but you have to consider where youíre at man. If you donít like eating fish Ė a lot of fish, donít go. If you donít like camping, donít go. If you like to watch TV, donít go. If youíre after the night life, donít go.
But, if you like sashimi, youíll get plenty of it, if you like camping Ė this is glamping, pretty nice actually, if you like to read, this is the place, at least during daylight hours. As for night life, they do have coconut crabs, you have to see one to believe it, very cool
As for the diving, I saw what the sea used to be. How many years, until are no places like this left, I wonder. Sharks? You betcha, so many, you donít even notice the fish and thereís lots of fish. The current eventually sweeps you at close to 5 knots through a spot thatís only about 12 ft deep, hard coral bottom and both sides Ė itís also the only place where the boats can go, so the window is pretty small. Itís a long way to the hospital from here. I wouldn't recommend it for beginners because of that reason.
A couple of days later watching the help squeegee the fake beach in front of the endless pool in a $500/nt resort in Tahiti, the phrase ďplastic fantasticĒ kept running around in my mind. The South Pass of Fakarava is the real deal.
Websites TOPdive   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Florida, Alabama, Texas, Bahamas, Roatan, Turks and Caico's, Cozumel, Indonesia, Costa Rica
Closest Airport Fakarava North Pass Getting There Getting there: LAX 8.5 hours to Papeete, Twin engine 1.5 hr hop to Rangiroa 30 min hop to Fakarava. Speedboat to South Pass. About 19 hrs total.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, currents
Water Temp 84-86°F / 29-30°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-200 Ft/ 15-61 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Surface with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 5 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The marine life under the pier at the Pension Tetamanu dining room was extremely colorful and dense. The best single spot I've seen by far. You could easily make a movie without travelling 20 feet.
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Subscriber's Comments

By Barbara sabatelli and Bruce wills in FL, US at Feb 25, 2018 15:59 EST  
Loved the boat ride story!
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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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