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Dive Review of Aqua Cat in
Bahamas/Exuma Islands

Aqua Cat, Mar, 2008,

by Jerry Hobart, N.Y., USA (Contributor Contributor 12 reports). Report 3973.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Florida Keys & Ft. Lauderdale, Bonaire, Curacao, Dominica, Walkers' Cay, San Salvador, French Polynesia( Rangiroa, Fakarava, and Bora Bora), Maldives, Australia-Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea, Nassau, Grenada, Niagara River, Cayman Islands, Turks & Caicos.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas calm
Water Temp 74 to 76 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 100 to 125 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Used Nitrox, so only restriction was the Nitrox Tables. For those using air- 130 feet.Occasionally bottom time was restricted to one hour because boat had to move because of tide change.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Large camera table and 2 dedicated rinse tanks for cameras. Also, pressure air hose at camera table and water hose to rinse camera when exiting water. Computer available for downloading digital pictures. Also, facilities for developing slide film.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 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 This was my third trip on the Aqua Cat and the crew was never better. As with most liveaboards, there is a high rate of crew turnover because of the lifestyle, but this time Aqua Cat had a cracker jack crew. Helen headed the dive crew consisting of Dennis and Chris and they did a great job of handling any request in or out of the water. One could not ask for a better dive crew. Chef Kirk took good quality food and made it better and added just the right amount of humor. Meals showed a wide variety and provided multiple options. You won't find better food or more of it on any liveaboard.For non-divers, Aqua Cat has a large launch( The Sea Dog) for trips to shore for those who wish to snorkel or look for shells. Capt. Ron provided just the right amount of professionalism as well as availability and personality. A better Capt. you won't find.
Just so you don't think I can't be critical, let me add that the condition of the coral was the worst I had seen in three trips. Half the dive sites we visited( dives with no current) were completely covered with ALGAE. This green growth has killed the soft coral and reduced the number of fish.I counted 3-5 sea urchins in the entire week. What Aqua Cat tried to do was substitute drift dives( the Washing Machine), The Blue Hole, and Shark dives for the previous sites( reefs) where coral and fish used to live.
In conclusion- If you have never taken an Aqua Cat dive vacation, there still is plenty of excitement and bang for your buck.On the otherhand if you traveled the Aqua Cat itinerary more than three years ago, you will be sadly disappointed in the majority of the dive sites.
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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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