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Dive Review of Special/La Sirena in

January, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Lucius, MN, USA
Report Number 1546
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Florida Keys, Bahamas, Cozumel, Hawaii, California, Jamaica, and Lake
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
74   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
start assent with no less then 700 psi.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
There was no real set up for underwater equipment on the boat but Doug (the
owner and dive master) will arrange a plastic case or special area for your
camera while on the boat.  Then when we got in the water it was so choppy,
the whole time I was there, that Doug would have the capitan hand him the
camera with strobs and he would bring it to me so that I did not have to
deal with getting to close to the boat during the choppy seas.  When I
would come up from the dive he would give me bottled water to rinse the
camera housing and strobs and then when we would get to the dock he would
take the camera and diving equipment and rinse it all off with fresh water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
Well it all started on a trip to Cozumel in November of 2004.  My
girlfriend was going to meet me in Cozumel after I had been their diving
for a week. I was going to ask her to marry me (on my dive slate) while
drift diving the Santa Rosa Wall.  However, she turned up for a week with a
cold and ear infection.  Well, there went my plan to ask her while we dove.
 I really did not know what to do so I asked her just before she got back
on the plane for the States, and I explaned how I had it all planned out to
get married if she had said yes while we were in Cozumel.  Will to make a
long story short, she said yes and we decided to go to Saba to tie the
knot. When I got back to the states a week after she did I found out that
it would take a couple of months for the Saba goverment to put together the
paper work (red tape).  Saba was out and Anguilla was in.  The reason was,
you only need to be on the island three days to get married and the diving
was suppose to be pretty good.  Ok, there are alot of other islands that
take three days two get married.  The main reason was the diving (don't
tell my new bride).  We stayed at the La Sirena at Meads Bay
( in a side by side duplex one bedroom with an airy
living room, breakfast room, and kitchen with a front porch that had plenty
of space for drying dive gear.  It had its own little drive way to park a
rental car and the walk to the beach was about 200 feet.  Most every day
the beach was empty and very private because most people stay and go to the
beach at Shole Bay.  The food was good and the staff goes out of there way
to make sure your stay is comfortable.  I would drive every morning about
10 min. to Sandy Ground were Special "D" Diving would leave for
the daily AM two tank dive.  The 30' dive boat is locally made (like most
boats) with twin 150 HP outboards, center counsel drive, with comfortable
side bench seats with plenty of room for up to 10 divers.  Most every dive
never had more then 10 divers and on most days 6 to 8.  We were pretty
limited to only the AM two tank dive every day because the weather for a
week was very windy and the seas were 4-8 ft rough and choppy.  The owner
(Doug Carty)and dive master was always very professional, environmentally
careful, and very safety conscious.  The visibility was limited because of
the weather however, the dive usually started with a wreck for the first
dive then a reef on the second.  The coral is very healthy with elkhorn
limited due to the last hurricane that ripped most of it up some years ago.
 Lots of wrecks, healthy fan coral, lobsters, nurse sharks, eels, large
turtles, spotted eagle rays, large spotted drums, large schools of atlantic
spadefish, and plenty of small stuff for the macro shots.  I was pretty
impressed and have definately put Anguilla on my list of "I will be
backs".  It seems to be growing pretty fast and they just completed an
expansion to the airport so you can now jet in with having to take the
ferry from St. Martin.
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