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Dive Review of Aquacat in
Bahamas/Exumas

Aquacat, Sep, 2003,

by Ron Johnson, TX, USA . Report 722.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Belize, Cayman, Roatan, Florida, Los Roques, Bonaire, Aruba, Truk Lagoon, Hawaii, Cozumel,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 60 to 110 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Be back in time for dinner.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There were 14 cameras on this trip from a group of 22 divers. EVERYONE (it seemed) was snapping pix. Only two were shooing digital. The Aquacat has a projecter TV that will allow digital photo and video to be viewed while on board.

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 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Well, my complacency has been disturbed. Those of you who dive with Club Ed know that Ive been grumbling about all those Caribbean dive sits look alike. Im tired of diving the Caribbean. Give me the Pacific
Well, Im pleased to say that my opinion has evolved.
The diving first..I was worried about Hurricane Fabian (turns out that I was the only one) and he passed us right by. The Captain told us that he had sucked most of the winds out of the Lower Bahamas chain and that was why we had ultra-calm waters. These reefs, like most in the world, were suffering from coral decline. BUT all of this considered, seemed to be some of the healthiest that I had seen. Fish life was everywhere and we ever saw some BIG fish. Lots of groupers, angel-fish, and sharks. We did some 130 foot dives on incredible pristine walls. We also did many dives in 20-35 feet and they were spectacular. The coral landscapes were most impressive as were the caves, cuts, channels, and holes. Water temp was always 82 plus! Great for photo opportunities!
All in all, IMHO, this is the best Caribbean diving Ive ever been on. Because of the plentiful sea life, it replaced Caymans Bloody Bay Wall as my reference dive area and Ive been to many of them.
NowThe Aquacat: The Aquacat has raised the bar for liveaboard diving with Club Ed. As Membership Coordinator, I gotta tell you that our old standby, The Aggressor Fleet, can take a lesson from these folks. (Check out their site at www.aquacatcruises.com) The 102 foot Aquacat is HUGE! The main salon is roomy and comfortable. There are 7 large sofas that are perfect for watching movies or reading. There are large coffee tables that double as permanent slide tables. The cooking is the best that weve ever had! There is always enough for many seconds! The cook has a huge galley to work in and he maximizes it every meal. This man was a genius!
Ed and I shared a room that was 14 x 12. It was equipped with twin beds but the vanity dresser could easily have been moved to make a king. They echoed that design that in many their rooms. The head was big enough to fit 4-5 of your closest friends. The storage was cavernous and each room had a refrigerator. Unfortunately there was not a DVD/TV in each room, but then Ed and I disagree on that point anyway. Each room had 2 large water level windows. Wow! Now thats was a suite. (Listen up Aggressor!)
The dive deck was large enough for the 22 passengers. There were 2 enclosed showers on the deck. (Hear that Aggressor!) The camera table was usually adequate but there were 14 cameras this week. Most of them were filmbut a couple of us had evolved to digital! The Aquacat even had an LCD projector with which I connected my notebook computer and presented a slide show of my digital photos. I had never seen so many photo/video people. Interesting that there was no compressed air to blow off the cameras at the table... The Aquacat also has 100 cubic foot tanks available at no charge. Nitrox was the standard 32% mix but they usually filled to 2800-3000 psi. Seldom over.
We missed the nightly hot water wet-suit dunks and hot chocolate that Aggressor had spoiled us with. No hot tub either.
The photo pros shot bunches of slides for the Thursday eve slide shows. Curiously they wanted to charge us for the slides they shot. (Aggressors are freebies.) Finally and unfortunately it tarnished the entire trip, the AC went out at 2-4 AM on 3 nights. I found myself sleeping on the top deck a few times and that truly sucked. The Aquacat was built in Australia using French air conditioners. We all know that the French are world-renowned for their AC technology. (sic.)
All it all, it was a magnificent dive boat with a fantastic crew of 9. The Captain made a helluva Pina Colada while the video pro did one of the best videos weve even seen! He was a little out there, but most creative people are The DiveMaster and his beautiful Dive-Mistress were always there and able to assist. See the sharks on the tail of Dive-Mistress Michelle was an interesting site. (I have a great slide of her swimming like a banshee pulling the chumsicle)
I would rate the Aquacat a good solid A-. (It would have been an A+ if the AC had worked.) I would rate the diving at an A. Food was an A+. Service was an A. Club Ed and I will definitely return to Nassau and The Aquacat.
Dive cheerfully!
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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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