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Dive Review of AquaCat in
Bahamas/Exumas

AquaCat, Mar, 2003,

by Anne and Michael Montgomery, MD, USA . Report 443.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Bonaire several times, Tortolla, North Carolina, Cozumel, Key West
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Rec. dive limits observed, dive own profile within computer limits.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 5 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Great big dedicated camera table on deck. Recharging station and pressurized air hose. Plenty of help in and out of water with cameras. Two camera only rinse tanks. E6 Processing aboard with free mounting, slide film $10 per. Two large lit tables in salon w/ mannifiers for slide viewing. Slide show and contest at trip end with nice prizes.

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 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments This boat was designed for divers. Rooms have more storage space than one could ask for, indiv. controlled a/c, large windows, good reading lights, mini fridge and descent size ensuite shower. Staff incredibly professional while remaining friendly, approachable and humorous. Dive deck set up is great. Dedicated spot during trip for each diver, choice of tank size (80 or 100) plus Nitrox available. Refilled tanks after @ dive with you having to remove BCD from tank, refills almost always 3000 psi and excellent safety system comprised of notification board with Dan tags for tracking where each passenger was (on Aquacat, On Sea Dog, In Water). DM Simon great with helping me out with use of new dive computer and photographers Josh and Sophia always there with advice on shooting tips and camera settings. Briefing before every dive with detailed talk and drawn diagrams. Dive site names and times posted each morning. Five dives per day; 2 after bfast, 2 after lunch and one night dive. If you're a real "dive monkey" you can get 26 dives in during the week. Corals: Sea Fans, some Staghorn and Elkhorn, Plate, Brain and Black. Fish life: Reef Sharks, Groupers, Queen Triggers, all varieties of Angelfish, Basslets, Hamlets, Parrotfish, Bermuda Chub, Snappers, Channel and Arrow Crabs, Scorpionfish, Lettuce Leaf Sea Slugs, Jaw Fish, Puffers. At night there were Octopus, schooling silver sides, lobster, shrimp and morays. Shark feed was a complete thrill!!! Saw more sharks on this trips than ever anywhere!! They have boat called the Biscuit to fetch diver surfacing far away from the boat. Also have jet boat, Sea Dog, with Capt. Howard to take you on daily excursions if willing to miss a dive or two. Well worth it; went hiking, fed iguanas, snorkeled with Lemon sharks. Only one dive towel allotted per day so if you need more, bring your own and dry each evening in the wind. Meals great, good variety with a nice green salad always at lunch and dinner. Staff caught a Tuna and served us sashimi in addition to Capt. Mark (great guy!) free diving for lobster so we could enjoy lobster Alfredo (yummy!) Drinks and snacks available on self service basis at all hours (Amy's cookies are to die for!). Beer and wine included and always available along with hard liquor but your first drink of the day is your last dive of the day; strictly enforced and for good reason. Public area spacious and comfortable; salon has plenty of room for dining plus several roomy couches for watching video's or taking a midday nap. Open feel, lots of natural light. Great UWP books aboard long with Reef ID Set for those of us who have to know "what that was". Photographers and DM's on every dive, follow or not per your preference. Great slide shots taken of passenger by staff available for purchase at $5 each, high quality. Trip video shot and edited by Liz is best by far we have ever seen or purchased, especially musical choices for background. If your arrange with AquaCat ahead of time, they provide free airport transfers (take advantage of it because cab fair's a killer). Can't board until 6pm Sat so good idea to fly in fairly late (boat doesn't depart until about 5 am next morning) or fly in a day early and out a day late to enjoy the Island and have a place to crash out of the heat. They do allow you to drop you bags at the boat and even let me take a cool shower on the deck (enclosed). Last night they throw a nice cocktail party w/ Captain and crew in attendance and you are responsible for dinner ashore, we recommend East Villa. Marina office always willing to help by calling for cab or reservations, as long as they’re open. We definitely intend to return to the AquaCat because of the fantastic customer service, conformable & spacious quarters and the varied diving. We would choose summer next time to avoid those springtime winds.
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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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