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Dive Review of R/V Coral Reef II in
Bahamas/Bimini

R/V Coral Reef II, Oct, 2006,

by Lloyd Schwengel, CA, USA . Report 3129.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Red Sea, Caymans, Cabo, PNG, Australia, Fiji, Bay Islands, Belieze, Cozumel, Florida, Calif Channel Islands, San Diego, others
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 81 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 70 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Occasional time limit necessary but most time however long your air lasts. Depth set by sites. Diving done as a group.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments U/W photo is only a side activity. Few facilities, are able to charge bats, rinse tank and air available. Keep equip in your room. You can get some good photos on a few dives.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was my 5th trip with the New England Aquarium on the RV Coral Reef II. It is a collection trip so not oriented towards U/W photo. The rooms are small but adequate and bath facilites generally shared except one room. Food is excellent and plentiful. You are expected to help out with some of the chores on board since only three crew, two captains and a chef. They supply collecting equipment, two nets, catch bag and probe stick. Short demo on collecting. Helps to have experienced ones along. Sites are picked for types of fish or inverts to be collected and weather. A lot of comradery develops amoung the participants. The swim step has two ladders for easy exit. Most sites shallow for easy collecting with little or no current. The boat has several tanks to keep the collected fish in, which doesn't make for a lot of room but does not seem crowded. There are the crew, three Aquarium divers, and 9 others. Equipment is kept under two hanging tables and tanks in a box on each side. Entry and exit are from the rear swim step via stairs. One sits out as safety observer each dive. Usually a few beach seines for small juvenile fish, along with a visit to Alicetown one evening. Last day back at Miami is packing day. Everyone works hard this day to prepare, package, and ship the animals to Boston.
There is oxygen and safety equipment on board and two outboard inflatables for that wayward diver, although seldom needed. Only a few mild currents and shallow sites. You have to know fish ID and habits to really help collect.
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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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