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Dive Review of Nekton Pilot in
Bahamas/Northwest

August, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Ralph Asher, Co, USA (3 reports)
Report Number 2646

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Reporter
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Roatan, Belize, Jamaica, St. Lucia, Bonaire

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
79   to 82    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
1
Water Visibility
60   to 120    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
None other than usual recreational limits  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
1 or 2 
Dolphins
Schools 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
1 or 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
It was fine but nothing special.  Small area for cameras with clean water
and air gun.  They didn't have the equipment to allow some to download
digital pictures to their television which bothered some, but I brought my
computer and didn't need anything.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
1 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
2 stars    
Comments  
I wish they didn't make us wait until 8 PM to board as I arrived in Ft.
Lauderdale at 1 PM and had to loll around for 7 hours.  When they did come
to get us we were told that the A/C was not working and offered to a movie
until it was repaired.  We chose instead to wait on the upper deck until it
was complete.  When we arrived we were unimpressed at the look of the boat
since it was definitely in need of an exterior painting.  This was probably
a harbinger of things to come. They did get the A/C working after a couple
hours and we were soon under weigh. 

The rooms are okay except that there were towels stuffed in the ceiling
tiles to catch the water that would otherwise drip onto the beds.  Two
rooms, including mine, did not have working speakers and my roommate missed
two briefings since she couldn't hear the announcements.  I told them this
was unacceptable since we would be unable to hear an emergency announcement
if one were to come but I was told that the owner had decided not to
purchase the necessary parts.  I find this to be egregious and approaching
negligence even. The room was comfortable enough and while the bathroom was
cramped, it was okay.

We lost the opportunity to swim with the dolphins the next morning when it
was discovered that the starboard engine was not working and actually ended
up riding for several hours and missing at least two dives.  Happily it did
get repaired and we didn't need to return to Ft. Lauderdale.  Two days
later we were informed that we could not use the toilets.  This lasted
about six hours and it was not fun using the one public head which was
filled to overflowing.  

The Nekton boats carry too many divers for their size.  The galley is
almost dingy and much too crowded, and the small dive area just is not
sufficient for the numbers.  We had 32 divers and were bumping into each
other constantly when trying to suit up.  I didn't use Nitrox on this trip
since no one else was using it and also because it costs $250 for the trip.
 

The two dive sites where we stayed for a total of six dives were boring. 
They were listed as "wrecks" but actually were piles of debris
and very shallow with too much current.  The novice divers liked it since
there were so many fish but I lasted 15 minutes on each and got back on the
boat.  Between these boring sites and all the wasted time jockeying back
and forth after those dolphins, I was only able to do 16 dives the entire
trip.  I had done 25 dives two months before on the Aqua Cat and was very
disappointed.

The captain and the crew were fabulous.  The food was average but was
prepred well by a wonderful friendly lady.  It was not her fault that she
was not given better material to work with.  We did one dive on Theo's
wreck which was at 100 feet depth and had many openings for penetration.  I
spent the first dive on the site deciding where to enter and couldn't wait
for the return - wishing that I had a nitrox tank for the extra time it
would allow.  When I arrived on board I was appalled to learn that the rest
of the divers didn't like the dive and insisted that the captain take them
to where they could see fish.  The captain saw I was disappointed and
arranged to send me in a small skiff with two crew members for a two miile
trip back to the wreck that afternoon and I had the dive of my life.  One
of the crew penetrated with me at about 75 feet and took a multitude of
pictures as we went three rooms deep into the ship and finally exited
through a small opening near the bottom at 100 feet.  I actually ran my
decompression time to the limit.  I had never been more than a few feet
into a wreck and this was more fun than I could have imagined.  When we got
to our 3 minute safety stop a remora played with us the entire time.  I
felt like a navy seal and it was my first experience diving from a small
boat like this.  I will be forever grateful to that captain and those crew
members.

On the way to a later site the captain spotted a pod of dolphins and again
showed his flexibility.  He got as many of us as desried into the water to
snorkel with the beautiful animals and kept shepherding them to us.  Then
on the last day he took us to a site but the current was strong.  Again,
his ability to be flexible rose to the occasion.  He changed the dive to a
drift dive and it was a wonderful final dive to the trip.  I can't say
enough for this captain that went by the nickname "Big Daddy" and
he and his wonderful crew made what was otherwise a poor live-aboard
experience into a dive trip I will not forget.
  
I took my equipment in for its yearly maintenance when I got home and the
technician told me that he had found a strange type of corrosion - not the
usual from salt or fresh water.  He said that it appeared to be the kind of
gunk one used to find in dirty steel tanks.  He said he now understoon when
I told him that Nekton used steel tanks.  That was the final straw for me
and I won't use Nekton again.
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Other dive reports on Nekton Diving Cruises

AllBahamas Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Bahamas
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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