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Dive Review of Tuamotu Pongee, Y AKA Plongee, O2, Enata/see story in
French Polynesia/Tuamotu Archipelago

Tuamotu Pongee, Y AKA Plongee, O2, Enata/see story: "Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia", Jul, 2019,

by Marie L York, FL, US ( 1 report with 11 Helpful votes). Report 10993 has 11 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Raimiti, Fakarava South Fakarava Raimiti Cottages Tikehau Village Haivaki Lodge & Pearl Farm
Haivaki Lodge Fakarava North Raimiti bungalow Tuamotu Atoll Rangiora Fakarava
Ralais Josephine Rangiora Tuamotu Atoll

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia

Last night I dreamed of sharks. It was a river of sharks parading through a deep pass - the sole fissure through a circle of fossilized coral and sand. It was an interstate highway of sharks—different models in separate lanes traversing at various speeds. There were the white tips, the black tips, the larger black fins, and the occasional fearsome tiger for which the others would change lanes to avoid.

The dream continued with sharks coming to investigate our foursome, tucked under a ledge at 95 feet. I was conscious only of the display of silvery flashes and inquisitive eyes checking us out in our cavern. Time was irrelevant—that’s how dreams are. It might have been the red deco flashes on my computer that woke me—this was real.

I was diving the pass at the south end of Fakarava in the Tuamotu Archipelago of French Polynesia. Our unfazed French dive master brought us up to a reasonable depth for long safety stops where we gazed at multitudes of grouper, spaced about every two feet, waiting for the lunar cycle to trigger their instincts to spawn and perform their balletic dance of procreation. This was the best diving of my life. Since I’d planned this adventure based upon Undercurrent’s digital platform and mini chapbook, I figure I owe the magazine and all those writers before me, hence this story.

At first, all I knew was that I was going to Tahiti, for friends and I had booked a bareboat sailing charter for mid-June. There has to be good diving there as well, I think, so the research began. It took many months to figure out where to dive, how to get there, where to stay and with whom to dive. The destinations slowly began to take shape, but the classic, “You cannot get there from here.” came into play. Well, except on Thursdays.

I write this to share our experience, and primarily, how to do it. Our itinerary became: USA to Tahiti, which is part of the Society Island chain. Stay a couple of days to recover, fly to another chain of islands—the Tuamotu Archipelago. These atolls are quite different from the Society Islands, for the Tuamotus have no land center—their volcanic mountains having sunk and dissipated into a vast watery lagoon eons ago. All that remains is a narrow ring of coral and sand, with a major pass between the lagoon on the inside and the Pacific Ocean on the outside.

The Logistics

The sequence of planning your trip should be: (1) Document your dive certification credentials and experience along with passport info. I list this task first as we needed to prove our seriousness when making dive reservations. A rescue diver certification (or above) is golden. This is French territory and they follow the French rules—a rescue diver is allowed to dive to 130 feet, lesser beings to 90. All divers dive according to the lowest cert level in the group. All divers must stay with the dive master and ascend together.

Our group of four had enormous experience and although only one had rescue level, the rules relaxed as we proved ourselves, which is why we had booked with local smaller operators as they tend to be less rigid, their boats less crowded and their clients more experienced. For the few times someone was added to our group, we were reassured that the additional diver was rescue certified or beyond.

(2) ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]Papua New Guinea, Caymans, Galapagos, Caribbean, Micronesia, Mexico, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Truk, Venezuela, Honduras, Indonesia, Malaysia.
Closest Airport Papeete, Tahiti Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas surge, currents
Water Temp 81-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility -200 Ft/ -61 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available?

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments Evidently my article is too long. I'd like to submit it dir ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 11 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By pjbernst in , at Jul 25, 2019 07:38 EST  
great report- did not have FP in my sights BUT now will- can't wait to get the rest of your wonderful report peter bernstein
By dwhitesi in , at Jul 28, 2019 16:11 EST  
What a great report, can't wait to read it all. French Polynesia is now on my to do list.
By report author: Marie L York in FL, US at Jul 28, 2019 19:50 EST  
If you send me your email address, I will send the whole article.
By dwhitesi in , at Jul 28, 2019 21:54 EST
By pjbernst in , at Aug 02, 2019 15:07 EST my email for the whole report thank you
By castanin in , at Feb 18, 2020 11:05 EST  
This is a great report, thank you. I am in the final stages of planning a trip to the very same destinations and this will be quite helpful.
By castanin in , at Feb 18, 2020 11:06 EST  
Also... am I to understand from the comments above that you have a longer report with more info available? Would love to see it if possible!
By report author: Marie L York in FL, US at Feb 18, 2020 17:39 EST  
Nice to hear from you. No, the published report as seen above is the full one. I warn you, you might be really spoiled if you go. I feared that I'd just hang up my wetsuit forever...but....
By report author: Marie L York in FL, US at Feb 18, 2020 17:39 EST  
Nice to hear from you. No, the published report as seen above is the full one. I warn you, you might be really spoiled if you go. I feared that I'd just hang up my wetsuit forever...but....
By castanin in , at Feb 19, 2020 10:29 EST  
Great, thanks again! Really looking forward to it. All the best.
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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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