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Dive Review of Nekton Pilot in
Bahamas/Northwest Bahamas

Nekton Pilot, Jul, 2004,

by James Heimer, TX, USA (Contributor Contributor 15 reports). Report 1232.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, S & N California, Belize, Honduras, GCI, Tahiti, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, GOM, Mexico (E & W Coasts)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 85 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 130 foot sport diving limit; no deco
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera tables available above diving deck. Camera staging tank on diving deck and rinse tanks near camera tables. Color slide processing available. Hip had computer facilities to review and download digital photos to CD's, including display on 42" LCD flat panel screen. Awesome. Members of dive staff knowledgable about photography and very accomodating to assisting divers at all levels of photographic experience.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Nekton Pilot left Fort Lauderdale and transitted overnight to the NW Bahamas (Grand Bahama, Bimini, Cat Cay area). Weather was rough for first two days with six to eight foot swells. We used bonine for that period, as ship moves in those seas, even though design (semi sub type hull) mitigates excessive motion. One problem with the ship design, is that the diving deck remains relatively stationary (versus a conventional hull shape), which causes high swells to "break" under the deck. Coming back aboard in these conditions is like swimming into the surf. The dive deck is raised a few feet when the ship is transitting and lowered to a few feet above sea level for diving. Gear is left on the tanks on the dive deck, but there is not cover from the sun and rinsing facilities are rudimentary.

Excellent dive sites (shark alley - there were sharks), Hesperus (large hawksbill turtles, baracuda), Theos Wreck (deep dive under beautiful conditions), and others. Sites were both deep and shallow (mostly deeper) and current was strong on some sites. The seas mitigaged after the first two days and we had ideal, dead flat calm conditions thereafter. We cruised an area known for dolphins one morning, but they kind that you dive with didn't show up. Dive staff gave good briefings on what to look for at each site and a suggested route and profile, They left it up to the divers to explore on their own, but would guide a dive, on request.

Accomodations were comfortable. There is a large salon for meals and each evening a seminar was given on reef ecology, fish ID, etc. The meals are served buffet style, and the food was plentiful and prepared excellently with a good variety in the menu.

The crew was extremely helpful, especially C.Lee (photography expert), Wes (who repaired the underwater cable on my video light) and Chris (who guided a dive for my wife and myself, when we had some concern about the current).

The Pilot is moving back to Belize this Fall. I would dive it again in a heart beat.
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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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