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Polynesia Livaborad - June vs October

Discussion in 'The Pacific Islands' started by tamert, May 25, 2019.

  1. tamert

    tamert Angel Fish


    Thinking of doing a livaboard in French Polynesia (Master). When is the best time to go (currents and Pelagics)? Is it like the Maldives where current is subject to the season (West/East Monsoon), or are currents great all year round?

    My current options are June or October, but am willing to try out another time if the diving is considered better.

    It will be a long trip for me (over 24 hours of flying) and very expensive. Know its hard to time a perfect trip but would like to try. Someone must have some useful info?

    Experienced diver (Galapagos, Maldives, Red Sea, Komodo, Sipadan, etc.)

  2. FairyBasset

    FairyBasset Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Munich
    Hi, to be honest I would recommend you to do land based diving rather than a LOB. It works out as better value than the Master LOB, we did 16 days for not much more than 1 week on the LOB. I have also not heard any really great reviews from people I know who have been on the boat or from some of the guides we met on our trip. We looked at both options and in retrospect we were so happy we did land based diving, even tough we would usually prefer a LOB. Its easy to get around the different islands, the flights are set up so you can maximise diving.

    October would probably be a great time to go, as its humpback season. You may see them on dives, if not you will easily find them close to Tahiti and Moorea. I just wrote a trip report from my trip, in case that interests you. You will have a blast there, the diving is awesome and the place is stunning!
    Wingy and Tippytoes12 like this.
  3. Peter Seupel

    Peter Seupel Garibaldi

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Grenada
    Do land based, done that before and had much more fun. See my review below:
    I am a dive professional who has been diving for many years and all around the world. Of all Liveaboards I have been on, this was the worst. While French Polynesia offers some outstanding diving, the French Polynesia Master is not the way to go. The good:
    It's large vessel with spacious cabins and an international crew that really works hard to make up or the short comings.
    The bad: 1. serious safety concerns:
    a) because the vessel will take 25 paying divers, but the 2 tenders fit maximum 20. That means that they will leave the site to pick up or drop off divers. There have been 2 incidents on our trip due to that.
    b) no signal devices are required or handed out to the divers, very dangerous with the currents one can encounter in the Tuamotus
    c) The vessel had only one engine and one generator working and it was suggested moving. This is a grave violation of IMO regulations for passenger vessels. Technically, we should not have been allowed to board with the current state of the vessel.
    2. The mishaps:
    a) we have been constantly lied about the state of the vessel. As it came out over the period of 3 days, one engine was broken, the second main generator- broken, backup generator- broken, Rescue boat- broken, the only working generator leaking oil through the exhaust into the lagoon, one of the tenders had serious problems with the power steering.
    b) They always promised that we'll leave the "next day", while they where actually waiting for an engineer to arrive after 4 days who was able to fix the boat.
    c) New French diving regulations only allow to do 3 dives a day (had booked 4) , but they set depth limits by your training level. Master implies and enforces a 30 meter limit, claiming to be law- but it is not. While it does not matter in other locations, when you're stuck in Rangiroa it does.
    3. All the little things
    a) salon, dining room and camera area are too small for 25 divers
    b) only one coffee machine half broken and a small household toaster for 25 guest c) airco in cabin did not work because it was dirty (got it cleaned right away though) d) compressor drain (oily water) goes onto the dive deck, always have to watch that your gear is not stored there (pointed it out, nothing done)
    e) Due to the lack of space in the tenders they have to be loaded and unloaded all the time by the crew (very tough on them and your equipment. expect things to be broken)
    f) Not enough certified guides on board, if one get's sick in a remote location, you'll miss dives (one got sick in Rangiroa and we got some "Freelance guy" from the island, not very good)
    4. Finalizing, the diving in Fakarava South was amazing. The French Polynesia Master was scheduled to return us to Tahiti, but we opted to depart in Fakarava, stayed at a guest house, did an extra day of diving and took a flight back, all on our own expense. Besides that, we had safety concerns to cross open ocean in this vessel.
    We had missed 4 days (50%) of our itinerary and where offered free Nitrox, a 150$ value for compensation. We got in touch with Master Liveaboards after the trip, but so far only received the promise of an investigation.
    The rack rate for the trip is 6500 us$ plus extras for Nitrox, beer, tanks, tips etc.....For that kind of $$$$, one can stay in a great resort or guest house on the islands, pay for the flights, enjoy wonderful hospitality culture and have fun with some less regulated diving. For the parent company this have all been only "minor setbacks", that would not justify any reimbursements, but we should enjoy another cruise with them.....
    Wingy likes this.

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