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Dive Review of Blackbeard Cruises/Morning Star in
Bahamas/Bahamas/Bimini/Grand Bahama

October, 2002, an Instant Reader Report by William Ungerman, California, Unite States of America
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 2 Helpful votes)
Report Number 250
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Pacific and Caribbean
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
calm, choppy, currents, noCurrents  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
30   to 110    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recreational dive limits suggested.  Dive buddy system  
Liveaboard?
yes 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
2 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
No table.  Pretty primitive for a serious photographer.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
If you are used to the comparative luxury of the Peter Hughes and Aggressor
Fleet style of relative pampered diving, Blackbeard's may come as a bit of
a shock.  As often before mentioned by other Undercurrent commentators, it
is like camping at sea.  There is little or no privacy.  The bunks are
separated by a curtain and no one makes up the bed and leaves a rose on
your pillow with a breath mint. Well, at least you don't have to "hot
bunk."  I was in the Marines, so I can live with it.  With a full
complement of 24 guests, it's crowded, but the crew handled it well.  There
are no secrets kept here nor available retreats.  It's like one big family
picnic and you should be prepared for that.  If you are unperturbed and so
far unphased, let me say the diving offered was as good as anything I've
experienced in the tropical Atlantic or Caribbean.  Altough the reefs were
typically shrouded in a lot of algae, they were otherwise in great shape. 
Plus, Captain Jay spared no expense in seeing to it that his divers saw the
best sites, weather permitting.  We dove around Bimini and then treked to
the Gingerbread Grounds and on into and around Grand Bahama.  Who else
burns that much fuel? (Yes, they motored, using the sails only for
stabilization). Best of all, we NEVER sat ona site for three dives (not
even two, except by request).  Eighteen dives offered and sixteen sites
visited.

The crossing over from Miami to Bimini was a little rough (The Gulf Stream)
but no Bermuda Triangle anomalies at least.  Late overnight in Bimini and a
half day and overnight in port at Port Lucaya on Grand Bahama.  Freeport is
so crime ridden, it is declared unsafe.  There were 18 dives offered during
the five days of diving, including drift, wreck, wall, reef, night and
twilight adventures.  Bring towels and clothspins and plenty of SPF 30.  A
windbreaker is a good idea also.  Dramamine is a definite must for most. 
An unknown flu-like bug or other phenomonon hit both cast and crew the week
I was on board and layed all but three or four low. Can't call it as to
origin and no one was speculating.  Get to the weights early inasmuch as
they ran out.  I was unable to dive my 3 millimeter suit because there
wearn't any more weights.  So it was polartec and a 1 millimeter.

Blackbeard Cruises has a great home office, ("Beth") and the
Morning Star (at least) had an accomodating, hard working crew.  If you
don't mind a bare-bones platform and living accomodation, you cannot beat
the price.  However, if you are looking for luxury, pampering and deluxe,
keep moving.  Economy minded, hard core divers... this is your home.  
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Other dive reports on Blackbeard's Cruises

All Bahamas Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Bahamas
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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