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Scuba Diving

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Amanda gives the OK sign on a dive in Tahiti.
Amanda gives the OK sign on a dive in Tahiti.

Playing underwater, either snorkeling or scuba diving, is one of our main recreations.  In the tropics, the water is usually deliciously warm, the corals are vibrant, and the fish are nothing short of fantastic.  The main exception to this that we've seen was the Galapagos, where the Humboldt Current comes up from Antarctica, so the waters are cold enough to require wet-suits (even for snorkeling) and there are few, if any, corals.

The dive sites we've highlighted here are those that we found either on our own (often with other cruisers) or through the aid of a dive guide or advice of a local dive shop.  This is certainly not a comprehensive list of all the fantastic dive sites available on these (and other) islands!  It's just where we went.

We also haven't included all of the places we've dived - who wants to hear about how we helped clean a ton of refuse off the bottom of Neiafu harbor in Tonga, or how Jon had to search for Sue's wallet on the yucky bottom of Suva harbor?  (Yes, he found it!  Thank goodness for the Search and Recovery training he got for his Advanced Diving certificate in Tonga).  But we have included the majority of our dives.

Folks reading this should also realize that we don't have a dive-compressor on board, so we're restricted to getting fills from other yachts (for all of our Tuamotus and Indonesia dives) or going back to 'civilization' to get our tanks filled at a dive shop.  Dive compressors are bulky, heavy, expensive, and take a fair amount of maintenance.  They also have voracious energy appetites.  While fills in Tahiti were relatively expensive (US$11) other places were much more reasonable ($2-5) and we've usually been able to get fills whenever we needed them.

Here are the dives that we've documented so far.  Questions or comments are encouraged:

Location Dive Name Depths Latitude Longitude Dates

2003
Bonaire Cha-Cha-Cha Pier 0-40' (0-12m)     Jan 15, 17, 18
Windsock 30-50' (9-15m)     Jan 18

 
Tahanea
(Tuamotus)
Anchorage 20-40' (6-12m) 16° 50.0'S 144° 42.5'W July 14
Middle Pass 25-50' (8-15m) 16° 50.0'S 144° 41.9'W July 14

 
Fakarava
(Tuamotus)
South Pass 40-90' (12-27m) 16° 31.1'S 145° 27.6'W July 26, 27

 
Toau
(Tuamotus)
Otugi Pass 40-75' (12-23m) 15° 55.5'S 145° 52.8'W August 3
Anse Amyot Wall 25-90' (8-27m) 15° 36.9'S 146° 08.9'W August 7

Location Dive Name Depths Latitude Longitude 2004

Tahiti Cessna Dive Bowl
(The Aquarium)
20-40' (6-12m) 17° 33.8'S 149° 37.7'W Feb 4
La Goelette &
Catalina Wrecks
40-70' (12-21m) 17° 32.7'S 149° 36.5'W Feb 6, 16
St. Etienne 20-45' (6-14m) 17° 36.9'S 149° 37.2'W Feb 7

 
Moorea Canyons 35-65' (11-20m) 17° 29.1'S 149° 51.1'W Feb 20, 26
Rose Garden
& Coral Wall
45-70' (13-21m) 17° 28.2'S 149° 51.1'W Feb 24
Stingray World 20-60' (6-18m) 17° 29.3'S 149° 53.6'W Feb 24
Taotoi 35-60' (11-18m) 17° 28.9'S 149° 53.4'W Feb 25, 27
Ray Corridor 10-65' (3-20m) 17° 29.3'S 149° 52.5'W Feb 25

 
Vava'u
(Tonga)
Tapana Bommie 20-70' (6-21m) 18° 43.4'S 174° 00.1'W June 20
Blue Lagoon 40' (12m) 18° 42.6'S 174° 08.1'W July 1
Boulder Bay 35-85' (10-26m) 18° 39.2'S 174° 03.4'W July 3, Sep 30
Kimmie's Reef 35-70' (10-20m) 18° 30.5'S 174° 04.1'W July 3, 18
Clan MacWilliam Wreck 60-120' (18-35m) 18° 40.3'S 173° 59.3'W July 11, Oct 1
Mushrooms 30-65' (9-20m) 18° 40.2'S 174° 03.3'W July 18, Sep 30
Ava Island 20-70' (6-21m) 18° 42.1'S 174° 02.8'W Aug 21
Split Rock 35-80' (10-25m) 18° 39.5'S 174° 04.0'W Sep 4
Seafans Grotto 20-65' (6-20m) 18° 39.6'S 174° 04.1'W Sep 4
Vaka'eitu Bommie 20-50' (6-15m) 18° 43.9'S 174° 05.0'W Sep 22
Swallow's Cave 15-60' (5-18m) 18° 40.8'S 174° 02.8'W Oct 1

Location Dive Name Depths Latitude Longitude 2005

Mamanucas
(Fiji)
Plantation Pinnacles 20-70' (6-21m) 17° 47.9'S 177° 11.8'E Jan 30
Sunflower Reef 10-55' (3-17m) 17° 47.9'S 177° 11.8'E Feb 12
B-26 Bomber 30-75' (9-23m) 17° 39.910'S 177° 14.946'E Feb 10, Mar 8
Salamanda Wreck 50-75' (15-23m) 17° 36.9'S 177° 13.7'E March 9

Location Dive Name Depths Latitude Longitude 2006

Indonesia

Komodo
National
Park

Sabolan Besar 20-70' (6-21m) 8° 24.0'S 119° 48.8'E August 23
Castle Rock 20-70' (6-21m) 8° 25.934'S 119° 33.784'E August 30
Crystal Rock 0-100' (0-30m) 8° 26.4'S 119° 34.0'E August 31
Japanese Garden 0-50' (0-15m) 8° 26.20'S 119° 27.16'E September 1
Pulau Banta 0-70' (0-21m) 8° 24.40'S 119° 19.24'E September 2
       
Gili Air Air Home Reef 0-60' (0-18m) 8° 21.5'S 116° 5.4'E September 16

Location Dive Name Depths Latitude Longitude 2007

Thailand

Andaman Sea
Near Phuket

Koh Racha Yai 10-100' (3-30m) 7° 36.7'N 98° 21.9'E January 12
Koh Doc Mai 40-60' (12-18m) 8° 26.4'N 119° 34.0'E January 24
King Cruiser Wreck 45-106' (14-32m) ~ 7° 48'N ~ 98° 38'E January 24
Shark Point 30-77' (9-23m) 7° 47.9'N 98° 37.6'E January 24
Kata Beach 10-40' (3-12m) 7°49.5'N 98° 17.3'E January 25
       
Similan N.P. Mooring Rocks 20-80' (6-24m) 7°49.5'N 98° 17.3'E January 20

 
Maldives

Addu Atoll

Wigg's Reef East 12-57' (4-18m) 0° 41.05'S 73° 08.7'E April 07
Wigg's Reef West 12-44' (4-14m) 0° 41.05'S 73° 08.7'E April 07
Bushy East 20-70' (6-21m) 0° 36.5'S 73° 08.9'E April 10
British Loyalty Wreck 45-100' (17-30m) 0° 38.44'S 73° 06.97'E April 11

Safe Diving: If you're trying to follow our bubbles, be sure you're certified, have good equipment and adequate surface support.  Conditions change rapidly with tide, moon phase, swell, rain, and other weather factors, so what we found at one site may not be at all the same for other divers at other times.  It never hurts to seek the advice of locals before diving, and always practice safe diving!

If you're interested in more information on diving in French Polynesia, you might want to check out the following websites:

polynesia-diving.com

Lists all the dive centers and sites.  Provides information
for organizing a dive trip to French Polynesia. Much is in French.

diving-tahiti.com

Official site of the GIE Diving of Tahiti.
Presents different aspects of diving in French Polynesia

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