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Dive Review of The Dive Shop Ltd./Nautilus Beach Apts. in
Barbados/South Reef

May, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by David Bader, NC, US
Contributor   (16 reports)
Report Number 6578
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy, dry  
Seas
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
None.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
no 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Comments
Boat and shore facilities had no accommodations for camera's.  No tables or
dedicated rinse buckets.  Once I came on board and found my camera sitting
in the weight bin.  Luckily, I only have a point and shoot camera.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
N/A  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
Our arrival went without a hitch.  Cost of taxi to the apartments was
around $25US.  Nautilus Beach Apts. is situated right on Carlisle Bay, next
door to the Dive Shop.  Most stores were closed on Sunday so we ended up
buying supplies at the local gas station.  If we ever return, we'd stay
closer to the restaurants in Oistins specifically St. Lawrence Gap.  The
apartment was very roomy but only had a small A/c unit in the bedroom.  We
kept it running all day with the doors closed just to keep one room cool. 
Apartment had a stove, oven, full size refrigerator but we mostly ate out. 
Cost of food can be very pricy if you don't go to the smaller mom&pop
cafes.  Exchange rate was $2B to $1US.

Most dives were on the reef system stretching from South Point Lighthouse
to Needham's Point Lighthouse.  The exceptions were the wrecks located at
Carlisle Bay and the Stavronikita.  Getting to the dive boat was an
interesting experience.  There is no dock so you gear up at the shop, walk
down the beach and swim out to the boat.  Forget about anything staying
dry.  I had a mess bag for my gear which made things a little easier. 
Generally there were only six to eight divers so there was plenty of room. 
The captain, Michael, and divemaster, Julian, were very personable.  All
dives were guided as they were one way dives and the group had to stay
together.  But we did one hour dives as the average depth was only 45-60
feet.  The only deep dive was the Stav which is 130 ft. to the prop.  The
colors of the reef were nice with turtles on almost every dive.  At one
site called the Boot, we saw no less than 20 turtles during a one hour
dive.  There were very few large fish, mostly damsels, basslets, spotted
drums, and lots of turtles.  There were no lionfish seen during my 10
dives.  Aside from the unconventional boat loading procedure, I had only
one observation that bothered me.  One of the divers did not have a timing
device but was allowed to dive and told to stay close to their buddy.  For
45 ft dives, you can get away with that but the dive on the Stav was to
125ft and included some minor penetration for much longer than the 5
minutes allowed by tables.

I took the last day off for a tour of the island.  My wife and I hired a
taxi driver, Chris Grant (246-251-3656) for the day at a cost of $240US. 
It was roughly the same cost as the local tour groups but we could
customize the plan and commit as much time as necessary at our chosen
sites.  Harrison Caves are a must see.  

Our return trip did not go as well as our arrival.  We flew US Airways and,
after a short maintenance delay, were taxiing down the runway when the
captain hit the brakes and stopped the plane.  He said that numerous
warning lights came on as they gained speed and he was not taking the plane
up until a full inspection was done.  As US Air only flys once a week,
there was no replacement aircraft and we had to overnight.  We were told
that instructions would be provided to the hotel regarding food and
pick-ups.  Those instructions were not received until 8:30 PM.  We were
told to eat at the hotel restaurant not to exceed $25US per person.  They
also said a replacement plane was being flown in and we would all be
picked-up at 1PM.  Luckily, I went on line to verify the flight schedule
and found out we were rebooked on an American flight that was leaving at
2PM.  Others in the hotel found out they were rebooked on an 11:30AM flight
so missed it.  When we complained about the lack of notification, we were
told the Barbados US Air office doesn't open until noon!  We made our
flight and arrived home 36 hours late.  Overall, we had a good time and
hope to return someday.   
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Other dive reports on The Dive Shop Ltd.

All Barbados Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Barbados
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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