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Dive Review of Y aka. / Top Dive/Kia Ora in
French Polynesia/Rangiroa

Y aka. / Top Dive/Kia Ora, Oct, 2014,

by Anthony Bracco, CT, US ( 2 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 7764 has 3 Helpful votes.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Let me review the diving first. My report I feel is incomplete for the reason the the island has basically two dive site, both are drift dives. Due to some back luck and Mother Nature the currents we're not favorable to dive the drift any of the four days I was there. This is the major attraction. From what I have researched this brings in tons of large schools and sharks. That being said on my first dive I encountered white tip, black tip, silver tip and reef sharks. Also we were greeted by a school of dolphins and they like to interact with the divers, many divers were able to make contact with the dolphins a amazing experience. The dive runs from 40' to 120'+. Tons of fish I also saw manta and eagle rays. I could only imagine when this site is at its best, it could easily be in many divers top dives. I would love another chance at this one.

As for the dive shops I dove with two operations, Top Dive and Y aka. I stayed at the Kia Ora but had scheduled to dive with Y aka due to reviews I had read. When I got to the resort Top Dive was right on site and had dives going out within a hour of me checking in. They also offer nitrox which Y aka does not, so I suited up and went. I did not care for the Top Dive experience, a number of factors weigh in here, the guides were mainly friendly but only one of many I dove with I would consider excellent, boats were over crowded and really no consideration to dive experience. They mix new divers with veterans on would could be a difficult dive( inflatable boats, rough seas, sharks, depth and current) it was treated as a 30' reef dive jump in and have at it. It's super expensive and they will charge you for everything. Maybe they know their clientele very well, newly weds and new divers that most likely will never return because frankly even with all the convenience and nitrox I picked up my gear and went back to my original choice.

Y aka was closer than I thought, they picked me up I the lobby. I walked back it was that close. I dove air the rest of the trip they do not offer nitrox currently. I found the y aka team to be friendly and over all a much better experience. The diving was the same but with that special enthusiasm that I have come to expect from your better dive operators. Thumbs up.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Roatan, Saba, Palau, Chuuk
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Due to currents group diving is mandatory.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Dive from inflatables, so no rinse tanks or tables.
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Report currently has 3 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By gailmorrisin , at Jan 15, 2015 21:35 EST  
I'm planning to spend 8 nights there by myself in order to dive. Is that too long to spend on this one island? Going there June 1 if I go.
By Richard Lambertin CA, US at Jul 02, 2015 20:44 EST  
Your Top Dive review was right on. I had the same experience with them and would never recommend to any one. Dive Spirit was better, but a little too idiosyncratic for my wife
By gailmorrisin , at Jul 02, 2015 21:24 EST  
I spent 7 nights in Rangiroa by myself in June. I dove 13 dives with TopDive. I would recommend trying a different company. I should have, but I bought a package. Some of the dive masters were fine, but one man was very arrogant. He let divers touch the coral and even a sea turtle and never said anything to them. I had to keep asking to be put with "good divers" as there was no effort put into assigning us groups. The boats were horribly crowded- like sardines in a zodiac- on my first 6 dives, then the tour group left and it was better. A lady I met on island dove with "6 Passengers" and seemed to have had a better experience in regards to attitude and safety.
By mike collingin tring, US at Aug 26, 2015 16:51 EST  
We dived with y aka summer of 2014. 5 days, ten dives. We shot the pass when conditions were right. Great dive masters, small groups, very safe. Amazing large pelagic encounters. Highly recommend
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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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