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

June, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Chuck and Nancy Anson, CA, USA
Report Number 1218
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Sonora Bay Mexico, Loreto Mexico, Bonaire, Roatan, Belize, San Salvador,
Grand Turk, St. Croix, St. Vincent, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little
Cayman, Fiji, Carriacou, Cozumel, Nassau,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
calm, noCurrents  
Water Temp
79   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
60   to 200    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
130max depth, no decompression diving, back in boat with 500 psi  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
A water cooler with clean water was provided for our cameras but we were
the only 2 photographers during our stay.  The DM was professional with
photo equipment handling.  The boat is small and no specific dry camera
area available. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
Hawks Nest Resort is located at the south end of Cat Island.  It is a 45
minute taxi ride from the airport.  Our package included transfers, room,
meals, diving, taxes, and gratuity.  The package price is a bargain over
the ala cart pricing.  Everything is included except drinks, which are
available at their very nice honor bar.  This is an up scale Resort and
Marina with a dirt landing strip for private planes.  They cater to a mixed
group of customers.  The air strip brings private pilots and small planes
and the marina brings fishermen, sea faring travelers and small yachts. 
Then there are the vacationers just looking for a quiet get away.  And
finally there are the divers looking for something new.  The diving was
super good with visibility at 150+ on the remote walls. There were caves,
swim throughs,  cuts, grooves, pinnacles, vertical drops with spectacular
views and good healthy coral, sponge, and sea fan growth on the walls, most
as good as Cozumel.  At a site called The Trench we were guided down an
open trench about 8 wide to a cathedral like cave about 40 long and 30
high, encrusted with beautiful coral and sponge growth, that opened into
the deep blue water at 105 to a wall that was covered with plate coral,
huge barrel sponges, and large healthy gorgonians.  There were large
clusters of black coral under ledges and schools of Horse Eyed Jacks,
Bermuda Chub, Permit, Ocean Trigger, and Yellow Stripped Jacks.  Shark
encounters were limited to two, one Caribbean reef and a nurse shark.  The
shallower dives were good for fish life, large schools of the usual
Caribbean tropicals and small critters in crevices and coral mounds but vis
dropped to 60-80 and the flat bottom areas had the now new plague of
algae.  The dive operation is well run for a 2 person shop.  Randy, the DM
and boat captain, and wife JR handle the diving, as well as helping to
manage the resort.  The dive boat is a 28 fiberglass Merc Panga powered by
twin Mercury outboard engines with speed enough to get to remote sites
quickly.  There is no head but it is covered and rides comfortably. 
Aluminum 80s, with fills of 3000+, were racked in the center of the boat
with seating along both sides.  With 6 or more divers this will be
difficult when moving around and gearing up.  All safety gear, DAN oxygen,
and radio were aboard.   Radio calls to the resort prior to each dive with
location and estimated time back on board, and another call when everyone
was back was standard procedure.  Randy has the dive sites on GPS and knows
them well and he leads a good dive.  He also lets you do your own thing
once he knows your ability.  Entries were back roll and exits were by
sturdy aluminum ladder.  If needed, you could hand up your gear before
boarding the boat.  Randy tells a good tale and has some very funny
experiences that he will share if you encourage him just a little bit.  He
enjoys his work and it reflects in seeing that everyone has a great
experience.  The food at the resort was very, very good with a varied menu
for all three meals.  At breakfast they take your lunch and dinner orders
so meals were on time and cooked as you liked them.  The staff gets to know
you quickly and were friendly and efficient.  The pool next to the dinning
room and bar area was always a refreshing place to go after a day of
diving.  The rooms were large and comfortable, with tile floors, air
conditioning, king sized bed, plenty of closet and drawer space, sliding
door to a patio with a view of the ocean, nice sized bathroom with
beautiful tile work, and plenty of hot water.  The rooms had recently been
refinished and everything was new.  Bicycles were the mode of
transportation from the resort to the marina, where the dive boat was
located, which was about a half mile.  So pick out a good bike on your
first day because it is two trips per day for all dive days.  Tools are
available for adjustments to seats and handlebars and there is air for the
tires.  The value is good for the quality of the resort and the diving is
well worth it but it does require agility for the bikes and at the dock
getting on and off the dive boat, especially at low tide.  Its not valet
diving, except that Randy does help with gearing up and exiting the water
after the dive.       
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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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