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Dive Review of Blackbeards/Cat Ppalu in

July, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Steve Meinhardt, MO, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 4975
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, St. Lucia, Cancun, Cozumel, Key Largo, Key West and now the Exuma
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
  to    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Just stay with your buddy and be aware of your surrondings.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
5 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
I am not doing UWP yet but the other people useing their cameras said that
they were happy with facilites.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Service and Attitude
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
I booked a trip on the Cat Ppalu(Blackbeards) through my local dive shop
(Y-kiki here in St. Louis) along with 11 other divers whom most I never
meet until the week before we left at the pretrip party. While most
everyone else arrived on the day we left port(Saturday), I flew into Nassau
on Wednesday and stayed at the Orange Hill Beach Inn. What a very lovely
place it turned out to be. At first look the place seems to be a little
"dated" but let's hold judgement until you see inside the rooms.
Even though I had to carry my own gear to my room, (which was no big deal
to me), when I opened the door it smelled freshly clean and well made up. I
was suprised to find a minikitchen complete with stove, fridge, microwave,
coffee maker and a complete set of cook and eating ware. The bathroom was
clean with very large bath towels and enough room for your shave gear. In
the closet you will find a large steel safe bolted to the wall for your
cash and passport, just go to the office and ask for a lock, install it
yourself and leave the key in a sealed envolope with the office and your
good to go. BTW, I've been a locksmith for 19 years and this was a
impossible lock to by-pass, so DON'T lose the key while diving. The owner
of the place explained how the bus system worked for getting around town.
With the bus stop right out in front you can ride all the way to the
downtown area for just $1.25. Just make sure you have correct change as
they don't. If you want to stop anywhere along the line just sing out and
the driver will stop. All taxi trip are $15.00 each way so you can see the
savings. Make sure you ask the bus number (for Orange Hill Inn it was #10)
and that way you can get back to where you started from. I found two food
stores that I used - a small one within walking distance and a LARGE one
with everything just a short bus ride towards town. Remember, it's $1.25
each way no matter how long or short a ride and you pay when you get OFF -
not on. I thought that kind of strange. Now you don't have to go and buy
food as the Inn has a complete resturant and bar that serves just about
anything you need. You can get coffee and cold cereal starting at 6:30am in
case your diving and hot food at 7:30am. I get up at 5:00am so that's why I
need carry coffee/tea packs with me when I travel. The bar is on the honor
system, just help yourself and mark it down on the sheet. They have two
computers that you can use and wireless internet if you have your laptop
with you.

For the price I highly recommond the Orange Hill Beach Inn. 

Any other questions, please contact me.

Steve Meinhardt 
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All Bahamas Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Bahamas
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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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