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Dive Review of Risding Rock Inn in
Bahamas/San Salvador Island

Risding Rock Inn, Aug, 2007,

by Jim Reilly, PA, USA ( 1 report). Report 3447.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Cozumel, Cancun, Turks and Caicos, St Lucia, Cayman Brac, Nassau, Bonaire, Curacao, New Jersey
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions none
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table and fresh water rinse tank on boat.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Getting to San Salvador Island remains a challenge, but one worth the trip. We flew Spirit which provided a nice modern aircraft and a smooth 58 minute flight, but unfortunately it flies from the amazingly over-crowded Ft Lauderdale airport terminal 4, which is also dirty, has inadequate rest room facilities, clearly breaks fire safety standards and is otherwise completely unsatisfactory. FLL proved to be a pain coming and going and is such a mess it made us long for PHL and our old US Airways / Bahamasair connection - can you imagine?. (Note: the flight is a charter to Club Med and their folks at the airport made an impossible situation tolerable - thanks Club Med.)

Riding Rock Inn is a small 50's built resort with a fine marina and a very good dive operation. Since we were there two years ago, substantial renovations have been undertaken. Our room had a new ceiling, new bathroom fixtures and tile, a small fridge, a new air conditioner and a new sliding glass door to the oceanfront balcony. Outside new walkways have been built and a new sea wall was nearing completion, to replace the one damaged by a hurricane 2004. It was clear the dining hall was soon to be improved and we met 'dive consultants' who'd spent the previous week talking about new decorations for the facility. Finally, Michelle, the owner, told us more improvements are to be implemented over the next year to make the stay more personal and friendly - things like providing personalized coffee cups for guests. We found our room to be comfortable but not luxurious, clean and kept that way. The food service also was good. While we were there all food was made to order, but the usual norm is a buffet. The resort bar an institution frequented with salty charter boat folks and locals. San Salvador Island is safe and the folks friendly.

Hospitality was first class. The divemaster drove us to stores to get drinks and snacks for the room. When my mask strap broke, he GAVE me a new one and REFUSED compensation. When my partner's recently repaired inflator broke and released all the air in her BC, she was immediately rescued by the Captain after kicking her way to the surface and the next morning where we arrived at the boat, her BC had been fixed by the divemaster - no charge. The owner drove us to dinner at a restaurant one night and then 2 hours later, picked us up - glad to do it.

The diving was great! The divemaster, Patrick, and boat captain, Bruce, here seasoned professionals. The boat, while worn a bit, had full safety equipment, ran well and was SPOTLESS, including the marine head. Divers sat on the steps to the dive platform and the crew brought your gear to you. You suited up seated, stood up using the dive platform rail then one step and giant stride. Getting back, you could chose to leave your BC in the water and have the crew recover it, or take the steps. Fresh fruit, cold water and good SITs between dives. We saw Hammerheads on our first two dives -others saw some on later dives, but we did not. Following the divemaster's instructions we stayed still and they came close to investigate - just wonderful! We also saw nurse sharks - 4 on one dive alone - other shark sightings were also reported but not by us! The deep reefs, walls and swim-throughs are excellent. Two years ago the shallow reefs were bleached by high surface water temps. Now sponges are making a come-back as are the soft fans etc. Still, not a lot to see above 30 feet, some to see 30 to 50 feet but deeper the reef is pristine. Not a lot of eels or small creatures.

We had a wonderful, peaceful dive vacation while there. For non-divers RRI has a small fresh water pool and fine beaches are next to the property and elsewhere on the island. You can also charter a fishing expedition. RRI provides a tour of the island and a fun boat picnic the Friday before you leave. Do not miss out on Captain Bruce's fresh conch salad and you get a chance to catch the conch! A great way to end the week.
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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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