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Dive Review of Tahiti Aggressor in
French Polynesia

Tahiti Aggressor, Sep, 2004,

by Steven Y. Davidson, GA, USA (Contributor Contributor 14 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 1318.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Tahiti Aggressor Trip Report
Steven Y. Davidson
September 13, 2004

A group of 16 of us from Columbus Georgia just returned from the Tahiti Aggressor last weekend. We did pass and corner diving on Fakarava and Toau. Rangiroa was too rough for pass diving so we did two corner dives. Tahiti diving lives up to its reputation as we saw lots of sharks, several Mantas, a school of Dolphins and scores of colorful reef and reef fish. For my first time in the Pacific I was totally in awe.

The Tahiti Aggressor is a big wide live aboard with lots of room. The Aggressor web site has the details and is quite current so there is no reason to go into that here. The boat was reasonably well maintained with a few exceptions. The hot tub was out of order during our trip and the sundeck was a little sparsely furnished with four lounge chairs, three hammocks and one table with three chairs. A broken chair lay over the railing on the antenna deck. The main dining room and galley were well laid out and user friendly although the inadequate AC unit left it hot and stuffy much of the time. I am not sure whether we would have used the hot tub anyway and the lack of furniture on the top deck didnít cramp our style much.

Diving is from an outboard catamaran which is lifted up to the dive deck between dives. It works extremely well and makes diving in rough waters much easier. It has a good ladder system with ropes at the water line to hang on to when exiting the water. Tanks are filled on the boat and your gear stays on the dive boat for the entire trip. Itís an awesome way to dive. Several of the dives were baited shark dives. Although I have often said during my 20 years of diving that I would never go on a baited shark dive, I did it anyway and thoroughly enjoyed it. Gray reef sharks and Blacktips were everywhere and the bait was finally taken by a really big Silvertip. But itís not a place for beginners.

The food on our trip was a little below average with a few notable exceptions. Grilled Mahi Mahi a couple of nights was great and the home made soup was outstanding. Breakfast was the most consistent with toast and scrambled eggs with bacon and sometimes sausage. There was usually oatmeal and breakfast cereals and milk. The pancake mix had weevils in it so that was out. Grilled chicken was overcooked and tough. The fish and chicken were both over baked with corn flakes on them. Pasta and sauce was fair. The Cordon Bleu was the only thing that was really nasty. Snacks usually consisted of peanuts and crackers. Freshly baked bread and flavored olive oil one evening was a very notable exception to the low quality food and was a very welcome change as were the seared Mahi appetizers. Fresh baked cookies were out after most of the afternoon dives but in limited quantity. You wonít go hungry but donít expect too much. The cook talked about the expense of supplying the boat in Tahiti but my recollection of the fare was that the expense should have been covered.

The captain of the boat led many of the dives and I was surprised to discover during the week that his Air 2 was disconnected because it was inoperative and his second stage was missing the diaphragm cover so that the diaphragm itself was the purge button. He seemed proficient, although a little hyper and scatter brained at times, and was a 5 year veteran of the Aggressor fleet having been on the Cayman Aggressor with us in 2002. But leading a dive group under the conditions that we were diving in with defective safety equipment was irresponsible both of him and the Aggressor Fleet. I mentioned it to the second captain, who was also the cook, and he was flippant about it, explaining that his new Scubapro equipment that he received when he arrived on the boat was defective and had to be returned. That is no excuse for leading a dive with no backup second stage. The rest of the very young crew was outstanding in their behavior and professionalism. Simon, Tuomo (Findlander, not Tahitian) and Chris did an outstanding job leading a bunch of old people thru the passes and corners of French Polynesia. I was concerned about the youth and relative inexperience of the crew but they outperformed their superiors. A local lady named Grace was the dive boat operator and she did an outstanding job of handling the boat to the advantage of the divers in the water in some pretty rough seas, some as high as 8 to 10 feet of rolling waves. I canít say enough in praise of the young crew. Great job guys.

I donít like the airline Tahiti Nui. While the planes are fairly new, the seats are very narrow and closely spaced. I was amazed at how little room they gave you. They serve two meals during the trip and each seat has its own video screen which displays the route information including arrival and departure times along with the altitude, outside temperature and progress indicators. You had your choice of four movies in English or French. They were a nice touch. But I would have traded them for a few more inches of knee room any day.

Overall it was a great trip and I highly recommend it for experienced divers.

Diving for Beginners Donít go
Diving for Experienced 5
Conditions of Accommodations 5
Level of Service 5
Dive Operations 5
Food Quality 2.5

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Belize, Bahamas, Cocos Island, Cozumel, Bonaire, Tobago, St. Lucia, Saba, US Virgins, Mayaha
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75-150 Ft/ 23-46 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth and bottom time.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Outstanding
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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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