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Dive Review of Tetamanu Village in
French Polynesia/Fakarava

Tetamanu Village, Sep, 2008,

by Michael Joest, BW, Germany (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports with 8 Helpful votes). Report 4561.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving all over the world, mostly south east asia, pacific (Micronesia, Melanesia, PNG, Solomons, Irian Jaya, Vanuatu, New Caledonia etc.)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 26 to 28 Celsius Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 60 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions depth limit and no solo dives
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 1 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 2 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments A bit of French helps a lot, without it´s deaf language.

Arrival at Fakarava on Air Tahiti around 4 p.m. Due to heavy seas and strong wind the 2 hour transfer by small boat to Tetamanu is not possible that afternoon, have to overnight in a little rather modest resort. Next morning around 10 a.m. however it works and we reach T. right around lunchtime. Lose one day of diving through that. Tetamanu, it´s the utmost and ideal dream of a south Pacific paradise. The setting of the resort is stunning in its beauty and awesome to see for the first time. Only a few small wooden bungalows right at the beach. At the jetty several black tip babies cruise around, the house reef looks beautiful lots of colourful fish around., can´t wait to drop in. On closer inspection the whole resort however looks rather run down and rusty. Beware of loose planks going for lunch along the wooden jetty. The bungalow inside is more than modest, a big bed underneath a mosquito net, one chair, one table, thats about all there is. A small shower hides behind a curtain, a wash basin right beside. Electricity is only through solar, no 220/ 110 plugs around (only at the dive shop), reading at nighttime in bed is just possible. Don´t expect a cleaning service in your bungalow or made beds and fresh towels. Most of the time it´s do it yourself. Mosquitos are a nuisance during sundown and at nighttime, bring your own insect repellent. Meals are nice when you are not too much into gourmetfood. Breakfast a typical French job, toasted baguette with the usual sides, lunch and dinner mostly local fish dishes and sometimes fingerfood coming with it. All meals are held in a kind of reception open air area under the roof of kitchen and lounge built over the reef of the lagoon. So doggy bag goes into the ocean for the sharks, which are used to feed on the small crumps. Diving starts from the jetty, mostly only a 5 min run to the outside of the lagoon. Marc waits for the tide current through the channel to slow down before he goes in. We couldn´t go too far outside due to heavy swells after days with strong winds. So it´s just a drop down at the edge of a sloping down hard coral reef plateau and slowly drift inside the lagoon. We went down to 30 m and kicked or drifted into the channel. Sharklife was impressive all around you, mostly grey reef, white and black tip. Once I counted more than 60 animals around us, all just lazily floating together in the current. I missed the interaction we had at Raiatea, where sharks where cruising around you all the time looking for prey. I rented equipment cause baggage allowance on A T is only 10 kg and these guys chare a packet for extra. Got a new Mares BC which I was happy with. Nearly all regulators and attached gauges and valves however leaked, which I complained about. This only got me the answer " is your car always running without fault". At times I was the only customer diver, so we dropped in, swam our way and often surfaced at the jetty after only 30 min and still more than 1800 psi in my tank. Marc wouldn´t allow for me to cruise around alone at the house reef. It seems they do have rather strict rules in French Polynesia.
Bad luck on my way home. At the airport at Fakarava I checked all my values and noticed, 150 EUR and 70 $ US were missing. There is no safe deposit at Tetamanu, so I just kept my stuff in a locked suitcase. When I e- mailed this to the owner,they told me this never happened in 15 years, they just can´t believe it. Later I learned from friends who went there two month later, that they told everybody, that there never was a theft for 15 years until my problem. However this was solved later as I found my missing money in my laptop. As I did not bring such a thing with me and not even own one, I asked them to please transfer in the laptop of ??? found money to me. So far I never got an answer. So maybe it´s a good idea to keep an eye on your values at Tetamanu and bring a good lock for your luggage along with you.A bit of French helps a lot, without it´s deaf language all over F P.
The whole French Polynesian vacation had cost me more than 7 000 EUR, a hell of a lot of money. For that you can get much more diving, better accommodation and a longer stay in South East Asia for sure. People in F P should learn, we are not only coming to enjoy their lovely islands but want to see unspoilt nature, healthy coral and good fish life. If they however continue their way of getting rid of garbage and waste of electricity and fuel it will surely effect tourism one of these days.
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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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