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Dive Review of Riding Rock Resort and Marina/Riding Rock Inn in
Bahamas/San Salvador

June, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Bob Abraham, MA, USA
Reviewer   (4 reports)
Report Number 4211
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Curacao, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Bonaire, Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, Virgin
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
75   to 175    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
back on the boat in one hour, with 500 psi, no depth limit  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  1 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Camera barrel on the boat with clean water, limited dry flat space 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
We traveled out to RRI via Nassau on AA & Bahamas Air. No flight issues
but an overnight was required on the way out. We'd avoid Orange Hill next
time, its run down. RRI was a pleasant surprise. The facility was well kept
inside and out, freshly painted and major maintenance had taken place in
the last two years. Rooms in the two story were fresh with comfy beds,
adequate air conditioning, and plenty of hot water. Food was good and
plentiful, breakfasts were to die for! Special requests were accommodated.
The RRI staff was first rate, they were friendly, very accommodating, and
eager to have you enjoy your stay. 
The island itself is fairly large, actually a desert island with brackish
inland lakes. Michelles Friday island tour was fun and informative, dont
miss the lighthouse. We were there at the start of the rainy season and I
think it sprinkled twice. Air temperature and humidity were bearable even
during the heat of the day. We were able to leave the sliders open at night
and fall asleep to the waves
The dive operation is a short walk from the rooms. We had 4 to 9 divers
each day on a boat that could probably take 12 comfortably. A second boat
was available but never used. The boat is in good condition with a full set
of equipment including oxygen. Lots of space to sit and relax. The crew had
the operation down pat, dive briefings were thorough and accurate,
headcounts, bottom time and max depth were recorded every dive. Divers sat
on a wide step on the back of the boat and the crew brought tanks and bcs
to don while sitting. You put your fins on and then two steps and off the
boat, very nice! No worries about tipsy divers tripping while wearing all
that gear. Boarding was the reverse. You never had to touch your tank
(steel 90s) bc or reg for the week. There were freshwater rinse tanks for
suits, showers and a locked storage area to dry things overnight. We booked
17 dives we could use flexibly during our 9 day stay and added a couple. An
optional afternoon dive was always available.
The dive sites were varied, primarily deep reef tops 35-65ft some swim
thrus with excellent walls going well beyond recreational depths.  The
crew mixed in some second dive sites with sand chutes. Travel time varied
from 10 to 45 minutes depending on the site. Divers were allowed to do
their own profile and some tech divers chose to do very deep, short dives.
You need to be seasoned divers with good time management skills to enjoy
these deep sites. Depending on the tide and currents visibility was very
good to stunning. We only had a few dives with heavy current mostly at the
southern end of the island where it ripped. The southern sites had the
healthiest reefs by far.
The balance of the fish life was somewhat unexpected, sharks were seen on
every dive by at least one group of divers, mostly Reef some Hammerheads
which was cool. "Sponge Bob" the Grouper will accompany you on
your dive at Runway. We saw large specimens that allowed relatively close
approaches; Groupers, Snappers, huge Permit, Barracuda, Horse Eyed Jacks,
Angelfish, File fish lots of Indigo and Barred Hamlets but very few of the
usual smaller reef fish or juveniles. It may have been the depth of the
sites, the rubble inshore was crawling with small specimens. Macro life was
hard to find, few shrimp, arrow crabs, gobies, blennies etc although the
reefs were perfect for them. We saw multiple Lionfish of various sizes on
every dive site except those with current. Beautiful and calm these fish
were excellent photo subjects and held their ground when approached, which
didn't always work in their favor. The dive master spent quite a bit of his
time spearing Lionfish so we avoided swimming with him. Given the numbers I
dont see how he can make a dent in the population. If you are squeamish
about this or want the dive master to show you around this isnt the place
for you. But it did bring in the sharks. 
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