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Dive Review of Nature Island Dive/Gillette Cottage in
Dominica/Soufriere

Nature Island Dive/Gillette Cottage, Apr, 2007,

by Tom Bartlett, IL, usa . Report 3651.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving [Unspecified]
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 80 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Surfice with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boat had a nice large carpeted area for cameras or small gear (masks, sunglasses, etc).

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was one of the best dive vacations we have taken. Dominica is a very beautiful island with some of the healthiest reefs we have ever seen. If urchins are a sign of healthy reefs, Dominica is REALLY healthy. We saw at least 50 - 100 urchins every dive, including the red heart urchin. We saw the usual Carribean fish, corals and creatures, such as arrow crabs the size of our fist. We also encountered large schools of squid and barracuda, scorpion fish, juvenile drum fish, juvenile trunk fish, flounder, flying gunnards, parrot fish and queen angel fish. One cleaning station had an eel being cleaned. There were many eels, including green morays, spotted eels and a sharptail eel that looked like an old rope. The best dive of all was a muck dive that they called Champagne Sand Dive. There we saw 3 sea horses, 2 bat fish, 3 flounder, grape cluster nudibranch, flying gunnards, garden eels, a juvenile ell about 2" long, French angerfish, conch, green feather algae (which looked like yellow feathers growing out of the sand), red-lipped blenny, 2 leech head shigla slugs and bumble bee shrimp covering a sea cucumber (not even found in Hunan's book).
Nature Island Divers is one of the best operators I have experienced. The boat was very roomy, especially when it was only the 2 of us on 4 dives. Our dive master was Tony -- very knowledgeable, friendly and accommodating. Don't worry about being on time for the first dive of the morning - 9 a.m. means 9:30 or so Island Time. The boat ride was never more than 15 minutes to any of the sites. We had cruise ship passengers join us for a couple of days - they entertained us with heated debates over the World Cup tournament which was taking place in the islands that week.
Since there is no hotel or resort in Sourfiere, Nature Island Dive owns Gillette Cottage, which is a duplex situated about 1/2 mile south of the dive shop and 1 mile from Scott's Head (where the road ends). The upper unit is the best with a deck running the entire length of the house and facing west over the bay. Fantastic sunsets and billions of stars every night. The cottage is very clean and nice with everything you need. We had a bike to ride back and forth, but one day they needed them for a cruise ship excursion. Nature Island Dive arranged a driver to pick us up at the airport and stop at a grocery store in Rouseau to stock up on food and beer for the cottage. We found Tony's Restaurant in Soufriere and ate lunch or dinner there every day. The choice is limited - no menu needed. Either chicken drumstick or mahi-mahi with your choice of french fries or rice. The food was so good we didn't even search for the one other restaurant in town. There were vendors in town selling "Bakes", which are deep fried bread stuffed with tuna, cheese, or just plain. Delicious. Four "Bakes" and two cans of pop - less than $4.00. Everything in Soufriere is closed on Sunday, so we walked to a restaurant in Scott's Head, but the food was not fresh and very disappointing.
Dominica is definitely on our list for a return trip.
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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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