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Dive Review of Blue Reed Divers in
Barbados

April, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by J Kelley, Ma, USA
Report Number 467
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Many Atlantic and Pacific locations
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
calm  
Water Temp
82   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
0   to 50    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Don't dive alone  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
There wasn't a dunk tank on board.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
5 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
BARBADOS AND
BLUE REEF DIVERS TRIP REPORT

Last fall my best friend, a non-diver, and I went to a charity auction. We
bid on and won two American Airline tickets to anywhere in the Caribbean,
for $550, a great deal.  When we called American to get reservations, in
November for an April vacation, we were told that the only island that was
available for our ticket category and travel dates was Barbados.  Given the
choice of Barbados or Barbados we took Barbados.  It wasnt on our long
list of choices but a trip to warm air and water is always a delight.

After reading my Undercurrent chapbooks, which pretty much panned Barbados
as a dive destination, I was really thinking about not packing my dive gear
and not diving on Barbados.  Heresy you say?  Well wouldnt it be wonderful
to just take a light carry on bag rather than lugging that huge, heavy,
unwieldy bag which is jammed with gear?

Then I turned to Rodales Scuba Diving Diver to Diver Forum and had a
change of heart.  From the comments there I gleaned that Barbados diving
was average for the Caribbean and while it was not electric it was worth
diving.  Also several divers recommended John Moore who operates Blue Reef
Divers.   This was a fortuitous happenstance as I took this advice and I
have never had a better experience with a dive shop and I have almost 300
dives at many locations in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

We arrived on Barbados a day late because American Airlines over booked the
flight from San Juan to Barbados and we were bumped involuntarily.  It was
April 2003.  The weather was great for the week we were there. It was
sunny, hot and there were occasional clouds and a rain shower or two.  The
seas were calm on the west side of the island where I dove.  The viz was
about 50 feet and the water temp hovered around 82f.  

Mary and John Moore own and operate Blue Reef Divers on the west coast in
Mt Standfast, which is just north of Holetown.  The shop is right on the
beach.  Mary provides free transportation to and from your hotel.  As I was
staying on the South coast of Barbados, this was a fabulous bit of luck for
me.  Even though the ride was 40 to 60 minutes each way, depending on the
rush hour traffic, Mary arrived each morning with a smile and an affable
attitude.  The rides were a treat as I got to see the island and Marys
island commentary and conversation were great fun. 

While Mary is in charge of the transportation and managing the dive shop
John handles the diving end of the operation.  John is the dive master
while a lifelong Bajan named Bob steers the boat and changes over your
equipment between dives.  The boat is small so the dive group is limited to
a maximum of six.  This makes for great diving as the group is small.  And
there was plenty of space on the boat for the group size.  

The dive sites were varied and we did a few drift dives with mild current. 
The dive that most people like best is the wreck of the freighter
Stavronika, which at its deepest point is in about 120 to 130ft of water. 
John lead the group through some remarkably small swim throughs that I
wouldnt have tried on my own but with Johns leadership and knowledge of
the freighter were perfectly safe and fun.   The morning we dove the
Stavronika we left a little early to be the first ones to the site as it is
popular.  There are other wreck sites and we dove another one which was
shallower with lots of fish life although I cant remember the name of it
just now.  

Overall I found the reefs to be in good health with hard and soft coral
with gorgonians and sponges.  At most dive sites there were plenty of
smaller fish, but larger fish were in shorter supply.  Barbados had more
turtles than Ive ever seen on any other island.  I did ten dives and saw
large Hawksbill turtles on nine of them.  Usually we saw several turtles
and on one dive I saw five of them.  And no it wasnt one turtle circling
me five times.  Many of the turtles in Bajan waters are tagged.  I usually
saw at least one spotted eel and there were quite a few multiple sightings.
 There was even one huge green moray at the Stavronika who rivals Chester
at the Habitat Curacao house reef in size.  

John was remarkably personable and very good at striking up conversations
he took a real interest in the people with whom he was diving.  Both John
and Mary are amiable, easy going and good-natured.   I really felt I was
diving with friends. 

Although the diving on Barbados isnt rip-snorting, its fine.  There are a
lot of things to do topside including a tour of rum distilleries and a
brewery. A visit to the wild and less populated east side of the island was
at the top of my friends favorite activities.  The island is loaded with
pretty beaches and activities so this might be a good vacation for a couple
where only one of the partners is a diver.  The people were friendly and
easy going and very helpful in getting us to and from our destinations. 
Barbados has a good and cheap transportation system (although some of the
small van rides can be hairy) so we didnt bother with a car and driving on
the left side of the road.   

You can contact Blue Reef Divers at

Website  bluereef.com
E-mail  bluereef@sunbeach.net
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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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