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Dive Review of Carribean Explorer I in

January, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Harry O'Neil, VA, US
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 3856
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Most places in the Carribean, Florida Keys, North Carolina.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy  
choppy, no currents  
Water Temp
71   to 74    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Std. nitrox depth limits. Buddy up and dive own profile. Std. rec. limits
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Separate camera table with "no liquids" rule actually enforced.
Separate camera rinse. Crew did an excellent job handling cameras in and
out of the water. Compressed air and separate towels available. Few
photographers and lots of room. Separate small area for charging on dive
deck; would probably get crowded with several photogs.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
4 stars    
The boat departs from the main pier in Georgetown, Great Exuma. I arrived a
day early and Explorer arranged my airport pickup which went smoothly. I
spent the Friday evening at the Club Peace & Plenty. Ive done several
liveaboards, including Explorers Turks & Caicos and Saba/Statia boats.
The CEI is a little older than the other Explorer Caribbean boats, but for
the price, is an excellent value. The five lower level double state rooms
share two heads/showers. The upper cabins are en-suite, I believe. I booked
in the lower level. There were only nine divers this week, which made for a
relaxed pace. The full compliment is 18 and Id expect it to get crowded,
especially on the sun deck and in the lower level showers/heads with a full

The crew was two people short, by design, but I was never wanting for
anything. All crew members pitched in and worked as an efficient team. Food
was very good and the chef readily accommodated special requests. 

The normal itinerary is Long Island, Conception Island and San Salvador,
then reverse back to Georgetown. We had some weather issues, but got to all
three islands for some exceptional wall diving. Captain Ian was able to
dodge all the heavy stuff and keep us in reasonably calm waters for most of
the trip. We missed 4-5 dives due to weather or lack of interest in night
dives, but spent three full days at San Salvador. That was the highlight of
the trip. Most of the dives were deep walls starting at 50-60 feet.
However, most of the fish life was at the crest or on top of the walls, so
you didnt have to go real deep if you didnt want to do so. On Friday, we
dove the wreck, MV Comberback, off Long Island. This was the only real
disappointing dive of the trip.

I was somewhat disappointed in the numbers of large fish we saw. We did see
6-8 hammerheads and numerous reef sharks, small rays, etc. Most of the
usual reef fish were there plus lionfish on most dives, but the reef fish
were on the smaller side. Generally the coral was in decent shape compared
to other Caribbean trips. There was little sign of bleaching. Also not as
much macro stuff as I've seen elsewhere in the Carribean.

On departure day, the Explorer arranged for cabs to the airport. Mine never
showed up and Captain Ian stayed on top of it until he was able to get me
there. His attention to all details was evident throughout the week.

There was a dedicated camera table with separate towels and compressed air.
The crew was good about enforcing the no liquids on the table rule. The
dive briefings were excellent. There as a divemaster/instructor in the
water on every dive and they were actually watching the divers, not just
blindly leading. You could go with the DM or dive with your buddy. Safety
was paramount and enforced in a professional manner. One group exceeded
their nitrox depth limits and were quietly warned. One diver got blown away
and the crew promptly got the dingy to him.
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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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