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August 2016    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 31, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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The Good, the Bad and the Uncomfortable!

Undercurrent subscribers telling it like it is

from the August, 2016 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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The reports from Undercurrent readers tell it as it was when our subscribers visited, and as such, their reports can be telling in details never mentioned in other media.

For example, Eleuthera looks inviting on a map, but in fact, there are better diving destinations in the Bahamas. Mary K. Wicksten (Bryan, TX) stayed at the Cape Eleuthera Institute in June, primarily for a scientific project, but went diving as well. She wrote, “I got a map showing a big resort near the Institute, but it went bankrupt and was abandoned years ago. There is a small dive shop, but it was closed. I’m told that one can charter a boat from them, but I never saw anybody there. If you’re looking for a snorkeling ‘thrill dive’ in one of the passes, be aware that the channel at Cape Eleuthera is very shallow -- it’s easy to be scraped. Even worse, it empties into a boat basin where the fishermen clean their catch. Visibility is poor, and bull sharks jump for food. (No lie! I saw it!)

When I dived St. Eustatius in the Caribbean many years ago, I was delighted with the reefs and fish, which have a good chance to remain healthy since it is a small island, little human runoff, and a marine preserve. It was the choice of Kristin W. Weck Farrag (Dundee, IL) in April, who dived with Golden Rock Dive Center. “Loads of fish and turtles -- very few sharks. Lots of little stuff, too. Not too many lionfish; they keep good control over them. The divemasters who run Golden Rock, husband and wife duo, Gary and Lynn, were fantastic.”

She noted that the dives are all pretty deep, and she was “always pushing the ‘no-deco’ limits, but Lynn and Gary went out of their way to get us the three dives per day safely, so kudos to them! In retrospect, we should have gone with Nitrox to squeeze out some extra bottom time, but we made it work.” www.goldenrockdive.com

The Old Gin House [where she stayed] is just that: Old! “The grounds are nice, but the ‘garden’ rooms really need some work. Windows are surprisingly screened (a good thing). However, the windows are wood slats, so all the A/C goes right out the window. Very difficult to keep the room cool enough.” Our tip: get the larger, more expensive rooms, not in the historic building. www.oldginhouse.com

Bonaire in the Dutch Antilles has always been popular for the unlimited shore diving, as well as the easy boat diving it provides. Todd Lichtenstein (West Orange, NJ), who went underwater with Bonaire Dive and Adventure in February, says its reputation is intact. “I would say that the reefs around Bonaire are the healthiest I have seen in the Caribbean. Lionfish are now abundant throughout the Caribbean, but there are few in Bonaire. I only saw five the whole week. It could be that the lionfish eradication program they have in Bonaire works better than in other places.”www.bonairediveandadventure.com ...

The donkeys used the rinse tank at Den Laman Condos as their watering hole. After we noticed that, we never rinsed our equipment there.

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