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Dive Review of Nature Island Dive/Galette Cottage in
Dominica/Scotts Head Area

March, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Darren Dawson, SC, USA
Report Number 1645
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Grand Cayman (North and East End), Little Cayman, Belize (Lighthouse
Atoll), Hawaii (Kona), Bonaire, Cozumel, Utila and the Bahamas.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
77   to 79    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
1 stars    
You can download a slideshow and a longer pdf version of the trip report
with blow by blow accounts of the diving at web page. Search for Darren
Dawson on Yahoo. 

We took our first trip to Dominica in March 2005, and Darren and I agreed
that the diving here was the best diving we have done to date in comparison
to Grand Cayman (North and East End), Little Cayman, Belize (Lighthouse
Atoll), Hawaii (Kona), Bonaire, Cozumel, Utila and the Bahamas. The most
outstanding feature of diving here is the breath-taking color on the reefs,
which are literally covered with large sponges and corals of every color
imaginable, most with crinoids growing in and around them. A wide angle
lens is a must here for photographers. The visibility was not great while
we were there; while you could see about 50 feet on most dives, it was not
extremely clear as there seemed to be a good bit of particulate floating in
the water. Despite this, we still were awestruck by the breathtaking colors

We dove with Nature Island Divers (NID) in the southern village of
Soufriere and stayed at a nearby cottage owned by the dive shop. We found
NID to be among the most accommodating dive operations we have experienced
(they tried to go to the sites we requested each day and they took us out
on multiple night boat dives, even with just the two of us as customers).
Also, NID is located on the Soufriere/ScottsHead Bay, which offers the best
diving on the island. All of our dives were conducted in and around the
bay, so boat rides were usually between 5-15 minutes and we always returned
to the shop between dives for our surface interval. Our stay was limited to
one week, so we did not explore the interior of the island, which is known
for great hiking and beautiful waterfalls.

Soufriere is a small fishing village without much in the way of
accommodations or restaurants. It is located near the southwestern end of
the island, about a mile from the last village on the island, ScottsHead.
The town itself is not particularly attractive, with make-shift shacks and
abandoned or neglected buildings on every street, and chickens and dogs
freely roaming around town. There are no sandy beaches as the shoreline is
composed of smooth stones. The closest town within walking biking distance
is ScottsHead, and it was very similar. By and large, we did not find the
indigenous people in this area to be overly friendly to tourists, though
there were some exceptions. This part of the island is not known is not a
tourist destination, and many people stay in hotels in the larger city of
Rousseau about 20 minutes north of Soufriere. However, since we were here
to dive, we chose to stay in Soufriere and would definitely do so again. 

We stayed in the upper apartment at NIDs Gallette Cottage on the bay. The
cottage was nice, similar to a small lake cabin here in the States, with a
bedroom, bathroom, kitchen and den, and a covered porch overlooking the
ocean. There is no A/C, but we never needed it. The windows and the
louvered panels in the bedroom and den allowed for plenty of cool air.
Photos are included in the slideshow and are also available on the NID
website. The only downside is that the road between Soufriere and
ScottsHead runs about 5 feet behind the cottage, so you do get some traffic
noise and the waves at night can also be quite loud, so you may want to
bring earplugs (we used them). The dive shop provided us with bicycles to
travel back and forth from the shop to the cottage, a trip of about 4-5

We were most impressed by the color on the reefs and the large sponges and
corals. The dive sites consisted of walls and pinnacles for the deeper
dives, and scattered coral heads in the shallower areas. There were some
macro critters, but not as many here as other places like Bonaire. We found
one juvenile seahorse and one adult, but the frogfish were nowhere to be
seen on this trip  they seem to be in hiding at this time. We didnt see
any large animals (no turtles or sharks, etc.) but there were schools of
small fish, and always large schools of blackbar soldierfish in the
swim-throughs at ScottsHead Pinnacle. Among the most common fish we saw
during the day were parrotfish, damselfish, drums, chromis, longsnout
butterflyfish, trumpetfish, trunkfish, scorpionfish, grunts and
squirrelfish. We saw very few angelfish, and only occasional butterflyfish
other than the longsnout. On the night dives, we saw numerous lobsters and
crabs of many varieties and occasionally squid; no octopus. Our favorite
divesites included ScottsHead Pinnacle, Condo, Craters Edge and the

NID has 3 covered pontoon boats (1 large and two medium-sized), allowing
for very smooth rides to the dive sites, most of which are between 5 and 15
minutes from the dock. The divemasters set up our gear each day and took
our gear between the boat and the dive shop, which is located just a short
walk across the street from the dock. Our main divemasters during the week
were Wefee and Oscar. Tony took us on one night dive and Simon dove with us
on our last day. Selwyn served as our boat captain most days. All of these
guys were great  they let us go at our own pace but also pointed out
interesting fish, critters, etc.
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Other dive reports on Nature Island Dive

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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