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

August, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by L. Smith, MA, USA (2 reports)
Report Number 3474

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

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 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
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  
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  
 
 

Overall Rating

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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