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Dive Review of Dive Dominica/Castle Comfort Dive Lodge in
Dominica

April, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by David Reubush, VA, USA
Top Contributor   (45 reports, with 8 Helpful votes)
Report Number 2436
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
North Carolina, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Curacao, Turks & Caicos, Grand
Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos, Red Sea 
Closest Airport
Getting There

		

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, windy  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
60   to 70    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
yes  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
Return with 500 psi,  Asked to stay above 100 ft. for 1st dive and 60 ft.
for 2nd dive, but not enforced in any way.  I hit 122 on a 1st dive and 80
on a 2nd dive.  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
>2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  4 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
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Comments
The crew members were very good about handing you your camera at the
beginning of a dive and taking the camera from you and  placing it in the
rinse tank after every dive.  However, there were no camera tables on any
of the boats that we used so that nobody attempted any work on the cameras
during the surface intervals.  While they advertise a 110 volt outlet for
battery charging in every room the only 110 outlet I found was in the
bathroom and was intended for shavers.  I used it for charging my
batteries, but it required a 2 round prong adapter like that used in
Europe.  The rest of the 220 volt receptacles in the room were of the 3
flat prong variety.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
2 stars
Food
3 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
4 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
4 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
This was my second trip to Castle Comfort/Dive Dominica, the first being 5
years ago.  I will return again, probably in less than another 5 years.  My
wife (her first trip) really enjoyed the diving and Dominica in general. 
The diving is generally easy with a current on only one dive and the coral
generally healthy.  Dominica is a relatively poor island with considerable
subsistance fishing which results in almost no large fish.  However, it is
a small critter paradise.  There are loads of Bristle Worms, Anenomes with
Anenome Crabs and Shrimp, juvenile Spotted Drum, Golden Morays, etc.. 
(Five years ago there were abundant Frog Fish and Sea Horses.  The Frog
Fish are gone and we only saw 3 Sea Horses all week.) There are also lots
of Urchins, Crinoids of various colors, Spotted Morays (We saw several
free-swimming in the daytime.), adult Spotted Drum, Yellow-spotted Snake
Eels, and a host of other small tropical fish.  We saw 3 of the largest
Hawksbill Turtles I have ever seen.  There are whales in the area and we
saw several Humpbacks after one day's diving.  The boat captain delayed
returning to Castle Comfort and moved the boat to the area of where the
whales had been spotted and we ended up with 2 of them right next to the
boat.  A really neat experience.  There are tanks available 24/7 for shore
diving.  The shore diving is in 15 - 20 ft. of water over a boulder bottom,
but the rocks are full of life.  We stayed down for 90 minutes on one dive
and I would have stayed down longer, but my wife was ready to get out. 
Deeper beyond the rocks is sand with some of the largest Garden Eels I have
ever seen.

The dive masters and boat crew are all very friendly and helpful.  Several
were working there 5 years ago.  The longevity means they really know the
dive sites and take you the best route to see the most.  While following
the dive masters was encouraged, there was never a problem for anyone
(mainly photographers) to go off on their own.  The surface interval was
generally almost an hour which was good as a safety measure.  The max dive
time was never rigidly enforced, but peer pressure encouraged not
stretching things out as many people came back, showered, ate lunch, and
went on an afternoon tour.

One of the great things about Dominica is the above-the-water things that
you can do.  The island is mountainous with numerous waterfalls and other
beautiful scenery.  We toured every afternoon we did not do a shore dive
and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

The food at Castle Comfort is good.  There is a menu for breakfast and
lunch (lunch costs extra), but, particularly for breakfast, they will make
just about anything you want (if they have it).  At dinner you typically
would have a choice of two entrees.  A lot of the dinner side dishes were
island food and were not recognizable to most Americans, but were all
good.

The only thing I really wish to change about Castle Comfort is the
mattresses.  The beds were past their prime.  Otherwise we were very happy.
 The only other thing to be aware of is that it is not easy to get to
Dominica.  We flew through San Juan and found that 2 hours is not enough
time to make connections.  Going down we missed our connection and had to
spend the night in San Juan courtesy of US Airways, but we lost a day of
diving.  Coming back we missed our connection and got upgraded to first
class on the next  2 flights courtesy of Caribbean Sun Airlines, but our
bags did not get home for another 24 hours.
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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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