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Dive Review of Caribbean Explorer II in
Caribbean (General)/St. Kitts, Statia, Saba

Caribbean Explorer II, Aug, 2007,

by L. Smith, MA, USA ( 2 reports). Report 3474.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cape Ann, MA - Florida Keys - Bali - San Salvador - Northern Bahamas - Aruba - Hawaii - Saba (land-based)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy, dry Seas currents, noCurrents
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 130 ft for air, 110 for Nitrox, 70 minute dive time, 500 PSI, no planned deco. Pressure remaining and Max depth recorded after each dive. Light and marker light for night dives.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Good setup with two dedicated camera buckets and a dedicated camera table with LP air hose and camera-only towels. Charging station near camera table. The position of the mask rinse buckets was such that some slop of mask soap into camera buckets seemed likely. The crew tended to pile all the cameras into one bucket most of the time rather than distributing them between buckets.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Room and bed comfortable, food good - great chef! Plenty of hot fresh water for rinsing and showering including a shower on the dive deck. A/C a bit aggressive, not adjustable, but not causing rain in the room, either. Quick tank refills between dives. Hot water poured down suit, hot towels, and hot chocolate after night dives were very nice. Daytime current tended to quiet down at night, making night dives much easier. Boat motion fairly minimal and journey times usually quite short except for transit between St. Maarten and Saba. A good mix of wreck and reef diving - walls and pinnacle at Saba are particularly impressive. Good dive briefings helped with navigating the sites. Guided dives always an option for each dive.

Smokers were permitted on both bow and stern, which engulfed the whole boat in the stench of tobacco smoke when the smokers were upwind (usually the bow). Yuck.

The dive sites tended to be deep - not very good for repetitive air profiles, particularly with a fairly tight dive schedule. Might want to do a nitrox course at home before booking this trip (can do onboard, but it's a waste of vacation time).

A diver using their rental gear experienced an inflator hose failure. Also seemed to have received incomplete instruction on use of rented computer - got it locked out.

We had not thought to bring camera cable to connect to their TV but one of the staff offered the chance to see our pictures on his own computer.

Dives at Statia are all "guided dives" to comply with Statian marine park rules - not so good for diving at own pace and apart from the crowd. Statian marine park ranger a great guy - very aware of what was going on.
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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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