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Dive Review of Native Divers in
Aruba

Native Divers, Aug, 2008,

by johnny larsen, NJ, usa ( 1 report). Report 4320.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 90 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 40 minutes dive time
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments 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 cash.
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 shorediving.com 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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Note: The information here was reported by the author above, but has NOT been reviewed nor edited by Undercurrent prior to posting on our website. Please report any major problems by writing to us and referencing the report number above.

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