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Dive Review of Captan Dons in

April, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by MARK A. HICKS, IL, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 3314
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Honduras, US Virgin Islands, Bahamas
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
82   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
None to speak of.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 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
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
3 stars  
Tubs were avalible on boats and shore though they got crowded a lot. MACRO
is suppose to be this islands strong point and for the most part it was.
The night dive was also interesting with half a dozen BIG TARPIN following
me with my dive light. These guys just had no fear of me at all !!
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
2 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
2 stars    
"Captan Dons" is a nice place and has a lot to offer.  Besides
some minor quarks here and there (will get into later), we survived the
week and brought home some good memories. The island is very DUTCH in
nature as can be seen in the architecture and colors of the down town area.
Its colorful stores are mostly small, but many as they set there sights on
the Cruise Ship cliental that stream into the area periodically.
Restaurants are varied and we had no problem different selection each night
for a good meal (RICHARDS was our last nights outing . . MMMMM !).
	OK, now as to the DIVING . . . well I was told the island is know for its
MACRO . . and that is fairly true as we saw lots of little guys that
challenged out cameras macro shooting skills. One suggestion when shooting
in macro . . shoot LOTS of pics and cross your fingers . .  :o)  The reefs
were healthy with a good variety of corals to be seen. One dive even had us
swimming amongst stands of Black Coral that was really great to see !!  We
were fortunate enough on one boat trip to come across a school of Dolphins
that wanted to play in our wake . . . words just can not describe how
beautiful these creatures are . . . there grace in the water is so
incredible as they swam with us for a good ways.  The walls were mixed from
easy sloping sections to sheer drops down into the deep blue beyond. The
Hooker was a treat, and boy is she BIG !!! From one end, her hull stretches
off into the distance as you see her graceful lines and curves (this is a
dive you do not want to miss).  We dove the house reef many times and each
was just as enjoyable as the last, but hold it . . maybe not the first dive
(let me explain).  On that first dive we were introduced to Tunicates . . .
LOOOOOOONG lines of them floating in trains in front of you. You had
singles here and there, but most were trains of these transparent creatures
that were many feet long. At first your mind said Jelly Fish and you
tried to avoid them, but the water was teaming with them and after finding
out that they do not sting . . you would simple just push them aside . .
again . . and again . . geeesh there was a BUNCH !!! Once we droped down a
ways they thined out, but we still had to pass back through transparent
mine field in the end. As I mentioned, we found lots of little stuff, Fire
Worms, juvi Spotted Drums (and a BIG adult on one dive), Morays of many
colors, and the list is quite long !!
All in all the reefs looked healthy, just not much was seen of the larger
fish species.
	The week passed quickly as most vacations do, but we did come away with
lots of memorable dives. I mentioned in the beginning of this report about
a few quarks and I think its only fair to give both sides of the story to
better form a complete picture. To start with, well airlines are airlines
and as we all know are as predictable as the weather, so I will leave it at
that !!  Captan Dons has a nice operation, but a few wrinkles I guess are
to be found any where. Our room were nice and comfortable as long as you
did not breath. The aroma from the bathrooms gave the bedrooms that it
leaked into a fragrance that would remind one of an old out house, but with
the window left open, it brought it down to a level of toleration. Now as
to the dive operation . . . well they have three one tank boat dives going
out each day, 8 . . 11 . . and 2. I guess I have been spoiled over the
years with other operators as we have mostly done two tank dives on any
boat trip, but the spacing of Dons dives left a little bit to be desired.
There changing area is just far to small when twenty or more divers are
trying to get gear and suit up for either boat or shore dives . . there
just was no room. The small lockers were ok for your main gear but the
pieces of string around the outside walls were the only place to hang any
wet suites and again, these were full most of the time. Now I know the
island is designed for loading up your pickup truck and driving to any
number of shore dive sights . . and for some I am sure it is GREAT !!  We
had talked about doing this but after looking at the rocky shore entrances
at many sights from the boat, we resisted the concept for fear of taking a
fall and ending out week. Having not done much shore diving, I was hoping
for a sandy entrance, but suiting up and walking down rocky slopes with
fins and camera gear in hand as I did my best to carefully watch my step on
the slippery rocks brought forth a strong feeling of self preservation. . .
so we stuck to the boat dives.
	Well all in all we enjoyed our selves as our group of 10 came home with
lots of good stories to tell. We did take the time to venture next door to
Buddy Dives and take a good look around (Dive operations and rooms) and if
we return some day . . . we all agreed it would be to Buddy Dives.
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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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