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Dive Review of Native Divers in

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by johnny larsen, NJ, usa (1 report)
Report Number 4320
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Maine, New Jersey, Bonaire, St Martin, San Diego, Florida keys, Rhode
Island, Long Island NY
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
90   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
40 minutes dive time  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
camera bucket.  room below for dry storage , camera stuff. camera handed in
and taken abord promptly. great reef colors.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
 Aruba trip 8/16/08
My wife and I are divers from New Jersey.     Based on reviews in
undercurrents we contacted Romeo of Native Divers.  We liked the idea of
being able to dive our own profiles.  The first 2 times I tried contact
through the website I did not get a reply, and then sent a regular e- mail
saying when we were coming and he replied no problem.   The day prior to
our leaving I called.  Hearing no reply, after arriving we contacted Romeo.
 He did not believe he would be having dive Sunday as he did not have
enough divers.   Monday we should be okay for a boat trip as other divers
coming.  Romeo told me he would call me by about 6 pm Saturday night.  
Later, I turned on my cell phone 4 pm and found a message waiting from
Romeo.   Not having enough divers for Sunday he suggested I contact Unique
Divers in the lobby of the Casa Del Mar (Pelican Water sports) to book but
when we arrived back to Casa Del Mar   people at booth were gone.    I
called Romeo about 6 pm to let him know why I did not get to book with
Unique.  He would see what he could do and called back in about 10 minutes
and told us that we were on for the am 2 tank dives Sunday morning.  
Later, I found a dive shop nearby they dont have a boat they just run
shore dives for small groups at $55 per diver.  I wondered if they rent
tanks, they dont. I had asked Vanessa about Romeo renting tanks, she would
have to ask him. 
Sunday: dives with Unique water sports.  The person from Unique divers was
there waiting for us in the lobby at 8:30a, right on time. 
By the way this seems to be the way it works for most dive operators is
they pick you at your hotel. Unique takes credit cards, Romeo only takes
Monday, Romeo picked us up on time with 3 other divers and two snorkelers
(boat max 8 divers).  Romeo is sort of a character, always kidding, very
friendly.  He let us know since we booked with him all week that if some
days there were not enough divers or just the 2 of us we would still go. 
First dive was on the Jane Sea wreck with warm water 82 degrees and about
100 foot visibility.  He did not mind if after the wreck my wife and I
lagged behind to shoot some pictures with the plan we come up after 40
minutes.  The second dive was on Barcadera Reef.  What a beautiful reef. 
We did a drift dive and the boat picked us up.     I asked Romeo about
shore dives he did say there were 2 good ones, Mangel Halto reef and the
other Baby Back Beach.  The later dive, he recommends a guide to make sure
you get out.  He would rent us tanks and he gave us directions to the site.

Tuesday there were three divers on the boat.  The first dive was a reef
just south of Sponge Reef and we happened upon a barge wreck at 110 feet. 
Nice dive 100 foot visibility. Usual stuff, large green moray, banded
butterfly fish, spotted drum juvenile and grown, other butterfly fish,
parrotfish and a small chain moray.  The second dive on sponge reef was
about equal.  
The afternoon I dived Mangel Halto reef.   The site is detailed in but it still seems difficult to get oriented.  Romeo
recommended parking alongside the road so someone will not bother the car
as  on the beach area it is out of site and more vulnerable.   I was
fortunate to see 2 divers exiting the water and that gave me a clue to how
to enter.     The first section is a lot of plate fire coral about 5 foot
deep then gorgonians and a bit of a swim to where the reef drops off. The
visibility on the reef was about 40 -50 feet the reef being very pretty. 
There was a good bit of current from the south.   As advised by Romeo take
good landmarks so you can get out the way you got in.  
Wednesday with five divers on the boat we did 2 reef dives.  I am spoiled
by Bonaire shore diving and having to keep to 40 minutes seems short but it
seems the purpose is so everyone can be picked up together.
Thursday we did 2 reef dives at the Mangel Halto reef area.  Visibility was
about 90 feet, much improved over my shore dive there.     
Friday, the first dive was on the Antillean wreck a large wreck in about 55
feet of water sunk in 1941.  Very nice wreck well encrusted with sponges 
Visibility was about 100 feet,    The second dive was more north in one of
Romeos favorite locations, there was separated patches of reef with sand in
between and a good bit of current   My wife and I encountered a southern
stingray, a small turtle and 3 queen triggerfish, the others 6 turtles.   
While the diving was good it is not particularly a dive destination.  It is
a good place to go if you also like to do other things or have family that
does not dive if you are headed to Aruba and interested in diving I would
recommend using Romeo of native divers.  The best way to make contact is to
call him on his cell phone 011-297-5654090
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