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Dive Review of AquaCat in

March, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Anne and Michael Montgomery, MD, USA
Report Number 444
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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

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Rec. dive limits observed, dive own profile within computer limits.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
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):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
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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