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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters/Lions's dive in

October, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Patricia, Fl, USA
Sr. Contributor   (24 reports, with 1 Helpful vote)
Report Number 3102
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
St Eustatius, Grand Cayman, Bimini, Cozumel, Jamaica, Forida Keys, Roatan,
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, dry  
choppy, surge  
Water Temp
82   to 90    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Must follow dm  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Nice Photo Opportunites on several reefs, but most especially at the
Tugboat and the Pier,
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
2 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
CURACAO, October, 2006 
We arrived on the island of Curacao at 7:45 PM .  After going through
customs and getting our luggage we picked up our rental car for the week. 
Note to self: never  rent a car on a strange island again!  
We got directions from the rental agency from the airport to the Lions’ Den
Resort (go over the BIG BRIDGE, etc.)  Well, it was dark, who could see if
the bridge was the big one or not?  After driving around for 3 hours, and
mostly in circles, we finally located a Domino’s Pizza, went in for
directions…surely they would know how to get there.  They did!  They gave
us directions (at the Burger King turn left, go down and turn left, then go
down and turn right…)  One little problem, the Burger King is closed, no
longer has a sign on it.  Anyway, those directions did not help, so came
time for drastic measures…we went back to Domino’s ordered a pizza to be
delivered to Lion’s Dive and then FOLLOWED the driver to the resort.  It
was the ONLY way.  
Now we are at the resort, things should be better.  NO.  I go to check in,
and they have no record of my reservation (which was made in June.)  Ok,
after much checking they found the reservation, on paper next to the
desktop computer.  They have no room (so, it is 11:30 PM, pizza in rent car
getting cold, and no place to sleep or eat the pizza.  JUST GREAT!)  By
12:30 AM, they had finally found a room for us, on the third floor, no
elevator, just nice NARROW stairway.  The next morning I awoke and realized
that the room was beautiful, it looked out over the resort toward the
ocean, had a nice little balcony, two really large queen beds, nice
restroom, sliding glass door onto walkway in back. Rooms very well kept and
clean.  Who could ask for anything more, other than it would be great if it
were not 3 flights up!  I decided running up and down stairs would be good
for me…not sure about hubby, however, he finally consented to climb stairs
rather than move rooms (thank goodness for small favors.)
On to the diving – Ocean Encounters tries very hard to be a safety first
shop.  They require that you do a checkout dive before you go out on a boat
dive.  Checkout dive – you get a tank, and go in at the pier and check your
buoyancy.  No DM, no one at all from the shop is there to see if you really
get wet or not.  What is the point???   But they REQUIRE this 

First real dive of the trip was the TUGBOAT, this is a reef dive, along the
shallow ledge/wall for a ways, then back to the Tugboat wreck (20 ft) where
you do the safety stop and check out the fish all around the wreck.  They
tend to feed the fish at this site, so most of the fish here are not afraid
of divers.  There were some huge terminal phase blue parrots here as well
as the usual yellowtail snappers, grunts, trumpetfish, stoplight parrotfish
and others.  For an added bonus, if you looked in the right place on the
tugboat, there was a octopus hiding in it’s hole, and blennies (black with
orange fins and lips, don’t know the variety) were everywhere.  Orange cup
corals were growing on the tug and this would make a nice shallow night
dive, I think.

Second day – we made the first two dives in the morning.  First Dive was
Gill’s Finger, max depth 65, time was 1:01.    Second dive was Cornelius
Bight, depth 60, time was 1:02. 

Third day:  First Dive, Diver’s Leap, depth: 57, time: 1:00.   Second dive,
Shipwreck Point, depth 50, time: 1:01.  The Pier, depth 50, time, 1:10. 
With the light filtering through the piers from above it was etherial in
nature.  Unfortunately, there is monofilament everywhere here, and if this
site were cleaned up (removal of bottles and other trash) it would be
absolutely awe inspiring.  However, for now, take a dive knife with you on
this one, entanglement could happen easily here.

Fourth day: First dive, Care Pile, depth 101, time 44 minutes.  This dive
(from the viewpoint of the wreck itself) is not one I would do ever again. 
Second dive, Misha’s Mischief, depth 55, time 1:03. 
Fifth day:  First dive, Jan Thief, depth 53, time 1:02.  Second dive, the
Tugboat, depth 50, time 1:04.  Night dive:  Coral spawning dive, depth 30,
time: 1:15.  Cost was $90.00 per person.  20+ people on the dive boat plus
4 dive masters in the water with the group.   I did saw 3 different heads
of coral spawn, and it was an amazing sight.  Was it worth the $90.00 per
person cost -  No.  Was it worth seeing at least once in a life time - Yes.

Sixth day: First dive, Shipwreck Point, depth 53, time 58 minutes.   Second
dive, The Tugboat, depth 50, time 52 minutes.  
Total number of dives this vacation:  11
Total bottom time this vacation: 10 hours and 32 minutes

Breakfast was part of the package, so we ate at Nemo’s daily. 
Lunch:  We generally ate at Hemingway’s next to the dive shop between the
morning dives and the afternoon dive.  Service was VERY slow. Food most
often delivered to the table cold or cool.  
Dinner:  We ate once at Hemigway’s, and the dinner fare was better than the
lunch fare.  Service was better than during the lunch hour. 
Bottom line, I would do this trip again
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