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Dive Review of Hawk's Nest Resort in
Bahamas/Cat Island

Hawk's Nest Resort, Jul, 2004,

by Karin Doggett, VA, United States . Report 1123.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Curacao, Cozumel, NC, other Bahama areas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Safety was a concern, which we appreciated. We all dove with computers and air consumption was similar so it worked fine for us.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Nothing was provided for UWPs. I had a digital Canon with housing and poured fresh water on housing and wrapped in damp towels between dives and could wash it off once back at shop.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Overall we had a wonderful vacation at this resort. My buddy suffered from DCS last year after diving in Coz so we were looking for a laid back and safe facility and that's exactly what we found. Randy, the divemaster, was extremely patient, allowing us to decide what type of dive to do and also willing to take us on more advanced dives when we chose. We had him to ourselves for all but two dives.
The routine: We would meet somewhere around 10:00 a.m. and eventually make our way to a dive site where we dove a safe profile. Randy was both dive master and captain so he'd tie up to the mooring, throw over the anchor into sand (and dig it down deep once he was in the water), call our location in and ETA back on board to his wife, J.R. in the office.
We did some wall dives and tunnels in our first dives when it felt right. Then we'd head back to the marina for a break, including lunch he'd called in on the radio which would either be waiting for us at the marina club house or soon delivered.
After lunch and a brief rest, we'd gear up again and go to the shallow dive. The only downside would be that we'd all get back somtimes rather late, but we were visiting and chatting a lot so this was something we could have rushed if we'd wanted, but chose not to.
There are no night dives, due to sharks I'm told.
We'd move our gear to the locked, airy area to rinse and dry before either getting a ride or riding our bikes back (over 1/4 mile) to the area of the resort where our rooms, honor bar, and restaurant were located. We really enjoyed the bikes once we got them, as opposed to rides. Rides back and forth were never a problem if we chose, however. We carried some gear back to our rooms in our mesh gear bags and this worked fine on bikes.

Downers: Coral is covered with algae in the shallow sites especially. Did not see many large fish, though on deeper dives did see schools of Spadefish, Blue Parrotfish and jacks. We were not diving the wall as much as I'd have liked due to my buddy's needs to ease back into diving, though, so I can't judge based on that.
The tunnels were fun and exited on the wall at about 90 feet, so they weren't deep as they can be in Coz (130+ feet). Walls seems much healthier.

Randy was an excellent DM and teacher and we felt safe with him. My buddy's BC was slowly self inflating and he taught her how to deal with that by descending, adjusting bouyancy, then disconnecting line. My computer flooded on a shallow dive near end of our visit and he loaned me one of his, no charge.
The resort was great, though this is based on very few being there. Others working the resort were nice and we made several friends while there, including Randy, J.R. and Lynn as well as others. Randy and J.R. were running the resort and they did a great job. The other couple managing were on vacation.
The food was generally great, esp. the fresh fish the boats would bring in and sell to the resort. Our price included room, food, taxes and service charges for all that, transfers and diving so all we had to pay for were purchases (from gift shop) and the drinks from the honor bar (including soft drinks and juices) and tips for bar and diving. We had a decent room overlooking the water (though it was a bit of a walk to the shoreline - not far at all). The AC worried us at first but proved fine as we'd need a light blanket by morning. Bathroom was fine, including nice toiletries.

We were fortunate and that things can go wrong on a small out island that are beyond staff's control, which you must be prepared for. For example, the last day as we were leaving the electricity was to be out on the entire island for 6 hours or the septic might get backed up and as there are only ten rooms, it effects at least 5 at a time. There are two good dive boats now, ask them for the story on that!

Cat Island is minimally devloped. Our taxi driver took us on a tour (CONFIRM PRICES FIRST as he really overcharged us) of the southern end of hte island and we saw the two other main resorts, Greenwood and Fernandex Bay. I think Hawk's Nest suited us better as rooms were ocean view/front and meals were included. I undetstand that Greenwood has diving but the rooms were not ocean view and may not be air conditioned, which in July is not comfortable for my tastes.

Feel free to e-mail if you have specific questions.
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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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