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Dive Review of Dive Dominica/Castle Comfort in
Dominica

December, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Tom Hayes, FL, USA (9 reports)
Report Number 1553

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Reporter
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Most Carribean destinations

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
surge  
Water Temp
79   to 81    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
20   to 60    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth limits and bottom time.  100 ft. on first dive and 70 feet on second
dive.  One hour max, although we were sent up several times after 50
minutes.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
None 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
N/A  
Boat Facilities
N/A
Overall rating for UWP's  
N/A  
Shore Facilities  
N/A  
Comments
[None]
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
3 stars    
Comments  
We visited 2/2/05-2/9/05.  Air connections were not good, but we did get
our luggage on Liat Airlines.  Several groups staying the same week did not
get theirs for two days.

Castle Comfort is pretty much a basic 3-star lodge, with a good location on
the water, a pool. hot tub and nice oceanside bar.  Food was mostly local,
with plenty to eat and some unique dishes.  We were there during carnival
week, and the bands next door practiced all night for three days- complete
with loud music and vibration.  Soundproofing was not very good.  Our
package included breakfast and dinner. On Carnival Tuesday we were advised
the staff would be off for the day after lunch.  We did get a lunch, but
had no options given for dinner (we ate next door at the Evergreen
Hotel-very good).  Lodge was a mile from Roseau (the capital).

Dive operations were decent.  Very comfortable boats and gear was hauled
and rinsed each day by the staff, although setup was left to the divers. 
They did mix up the weight pockets twice on similar weight integrated BC's,
so my wife had to return to the boat each time to adjust her weights. 
Divemasters changed several times so we had little chance to learn each
other's dive routines.  On most dives the divemasters just swam their
routes and we were left to stay up or simply lag behind.  As a consequence
very little was pointed out to us- we had to find things on our own. 
Bottom time was supposed to be an hour, but on several dives we were
brought up early.

Viz was poor on a number of dives due to the surge which lasted most of the
week.  Corals were very healthy, but most of the big fish had been taken by
fisherman.  Small critters were abundant and we saw a number that we had
not seen in the rest of the Carribean.  Saw a spotted snake eel, numerous
electric rays, various species of shrimp, a sea horse, magnificent urchin
(more urchins than we had ever seen), and flying gurnards.  Blennies and
gobies were everywhere.

Our best dives in terms of critters were off the dock- not much coral but a
lot of life in the rocks and boulders.

The island has some good nature hikes.  The Boiling Lake was interesting,
but had stopped boiling since the earthquake in Montserrat.  They didn't
tell us this before we took the hike, but it made little difference.  The
hike was strenuous, to say the least.  The rain forest and the volcano
calderas were worth the trip.

All in all it was a good trip, except for the attitude of the divemasters. 
The hotel staff was helpful except during carnival.  The carnival itself
was an experience, except for the noise at night.  The Dominicans were all
very friendly and proud of their country.  Drugs seem to be a problem and
on several occasions we were offered drugs on our walks to town. 
Panhandlers were rare.  The main drag was littered with trash, and not very
sanitary, but the mountain rivers were extremely clean and drinkable.  Tap
water was excellent.

We would go back, but it is pretty far down the list.
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Other dive reports on Castle Comfort Lodge

All Dominica Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Dominica
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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