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Dive Review of Dockyard Divers in

January, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Marty Kalb, OH, US
Reviewer   (3 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 5894
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
20+ years throughout the Caribbean. Bonair,Cozumel,Grand Cayman,Cayman
Brac,St.Croix,Virgin Gorda, Curacao, Barbados,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
78   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
25   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
The sites did not exceed 80 feet  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
The proprietor of Dock Yard Divers is Tony Fincham who is very interested
in UWP. However his boat has no facilities dedicated to dealing with UWP
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
3 stars   
3 stars    
I have had 20 years of diving experience at numerous sites in the
Caribbean. For me the best diving is at Cozumel but Antigua was selected
this time to see something different. My wife is not a diver but she likes
to snorkel so we try and find a place that hopefully has both. The waters
off Pineapple Beach Resort at Long Bay received praise from former guests
about the good snorkeling so we picked that all inclusive resort. Food was
good the staff very friendly accommodations very good especially in the
ocean view 500 rooms. The snorkeling was indeed good. I read about the
various dive operations on Antigua from their web sites and selected
Dockyard Divers based on the length of time they had been in business.
After arriving at Nelsen's Dock Yard where Dock Yard Divers is located I
discovered that it is really a one man operation. Tony Fincham is the whole
business. Tony is an expat Brit. He is engaging and very concerned about
doing the best he can for you. He claims to have had decades of sailing
boat building and diving experience in both the Pacific and the
Caribbean.If you need it he can rent all the gear you want.  Diving with
Tony is what scuba diving was like in its earliest days. He has a small 18
foot wooden hulled open boat with space for about 4 divers. Of course there
is no head and Tony does not provide any thing to eat or drink between
dives. He ties up to a mooring or sets an anchor, gives a briefing about
what the site is like geographically and geologically  and you and he do a
back roll into the sea. When you finish the dive he gets out first lowers a
small single pole ladder assists you with your gear as you get back into
the boat.  My first day with Tony was just the two of us. On the second day
there was one more diver. We were all on computers. Each dove more or less
where we wanted I  take lots of photographs and we agreed to exit together.
Each dive lasted about 45 minutes. The dive site was just outside of
English Harbor near what locals call the Pillars of Hercules.All the dives
for the two days I was there were at or near this site. The sea was just
much too rough to venture further out. The sea was choppy with strong
surge. We were about 100 yards from shore. Antigua does not get strong
praise for scuba diving so I was not expecting much. I was pleasantly
surprised. The vis was OK about 25-50 feet.Water temp 78F. This site has
many large boulders covered with very healthy coral. Large numbers of
typical reef fish in schools and on their own,lobsters turtle sting ray and
lots of small stuff. What was unique was swimming under the surge which was
clearly visible over head as waves smashed against the shore. What pleased
me was the health and variety of coral, and the really large number of reef
fish. Given time this area will get better and better.     
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