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Dive Review of Aqua Cat in

June, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Deborah Campbell, MD, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 4892
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Curacao, Cayman Islands, Grand Turk, Belize, Cay Sal Bank
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Max depth 130 feet, no deco diving, return with 500psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Two camera-only rinse tanks, large camera table and extreme care by dive
staff when handing and retrieving cameras to/from divers in the water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
The Aqua Cat is a great boat for liveaboard diving, with
larger-than-expected cabins, a comfortable dining/salon area, large dive
deck with a head and two showers, a shaded "alfresco" deck for
relaxing (where dive briefings were held) and a large sun deck with
self-serve beverages.  The captain and crew are excellent, with just the
right balance of professionalism, safety-consciousness and fun.  Food is
top-notch with a surprisingly good variety at every meal, and special
dietary needs can be accommodated.  The option of doing non-diving
activities using the Sea Dog (their 28-foot launch with its own captain)
was appreciated by divers who weren't up for doing the maximum number of
dives offered (up to 26 during the week's charter.)  

The condition of most of the dive sites we visited in the Exumas was
disappointing.  Except at shallower sites (40 feet or less) there is
extensive algae which often smothers both the reef structures and the sandy
bottom.  Reef topography was interesting and varied, but extremely
"brown."  Visibilty was mediocre for tropical diving and there
was often a distinct greenish, murky quality to the water.  There were
several cloudy days, which also adversely affected the viz.    While there
was a nice variety of fish, the quantity of marine life overall was usually
quite a bit less than we've experienced elsewhere.  The shark-feed dive was
well-organized and resulted in many sharks visiting the site.  We also saw
sharks at other sites, particularly the "Lost Blue Hole." We saw
multiple lionfish on nearly every dive.  If they are freely eating
juveniles (as reported in DAN's "Alert Diver") that could explain
a reduced quantity of fish overall.    

The Aqua Cat is an excellent choice for a live-aboard dive trip, and we
would definitely choose them again - especially if the itinerary changed to
areas with better reef conditions.
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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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