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Dive Review of Nature Island Dive/Evergreen Hotel in
Dominica

Nature Island Dive/Evergreen Hotel, Nov, 2008,

by Vicky Polashock, GA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports). Report 4813.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, FL Keys, Bonaire, Red Sea, French Polynesia, Caymans
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales > 2
Corals N/A Tropical Fish N/A
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I traveled to Dominica in November with 3 other people. Our summary: the island is beautiful, uncrowded, the locals are friendly, the diving is great, and the rum is cheap. Dominica is very difficult to get to however - we had to bounce through San Juan and Antigua first - hence the 'uncrowded'!

The Evergreen Hotel staff are very friendly. You cannot make reservations on-line; we emailed them and provided our credit card that way. Which, they did not charge until a few days before our trip. They arranged our transfers from the airport, and our diving at Nature Island. The hotel is in Castle Comfort south of the main town of Roseau, and beyond walking distance, so we ate most of our meals at the on-site restaurant. The staff there were very friendly, and called us by name. Breakfast was included in our package, anything we wanted off of the menu. Dinner options included pricey entrees (which were pretty good), and more reasonable sandwiches. We did get a shuttle to take us to a small grocery where we bought some food, but the room did not have a fridge so we just bought non-perishables. One of the staff drove us into town one evening so we could try a downtown restaurant, and wander through the Fort Young Hotel (which looked very nice, very tourist-y, and had a cruise ship dock right in front of it). At the Evergreen, the rooms had A/C (though it didn't keep up with the afternoon heat), showers, TV, and phone. We had a "seaview" room with a balcony looking out over the water. The pool was nice and refreshing. I would definitely stay here again.

Nature Island Dive was a fairly nice operation. It is located in Soufriere on the southern part of the island. We paid extra to get picked up each day for our dives, and got to enjoy a beautiful scenic ride up over the side of a mountain into Soufriere. Dives were one tank at a time, with the surface interval spent at the dock. There is a lot of diving near Scott's Head so the boat rides were typically very short. I would have preferred to stay out for both tanks rather than haul everything in to shore each time, but many of the other divers were from the cruise ships docked in Roseau and were only doing one dive. Because of this, overall the diving experience was slow, with a typical pick-up time of 8:30am and a return time of 3:30pm after only 2 tanks. The boats generally had 10 to 12 divers but could fit 20 or more, so we weren't crowded. There were rinse tanks both on the boat and on-shore, and if you were doing a second dive, the staff changed over your gear to the next tank. We generally had enough surface time to wander around the town a little. One of the divemasters was the son of the manager, and he was very good (as were all of the DM's). Nature Island had had some hurricane damage earlier in the year and had lost one dive boat. During one of our dives, the engine on the remaining dive boat gave out, and the boat was nursed to shore. Though the boats weren't in good repair, the staff were on top of things, and the regs and BC's we rented were fine. We did one night dive, which was fantastic - it was just our little group, and we saw lots of critters - octopi, crabs, lobsters, huge parrots and trumpets, spotted morays, and a banded moray that looked like a snake. During the day we saw seahorses, turtles, drumfish, flounder, grunts, wrasse, tangs, and frogfish, among others. Overall, I would say the reef life is good and varied, and the hard corals are nice, and there was little to no current throughout our stay.

We spent a day off-gassing by taking a tour of the island, and going on a whale-watching cruise. Ken's Hinterland Tours picked us up at the Anchorage Hotel (which is a short walk from the Evergreen) and took us to Titou Gorge, Trafalgar Falls, Emerald Pool, down the Indian River, through the town of Portsmouth, Cabrits National Park, and the Caribe Indian Territory (where our guide lives). We took a whale-watching tour with Dive Dominica, which left from the dock of the Castle Comfort Hotel. We were out for about 30 minutes when we saw the first whale, and ended up seeing 4 total.

Regarding Dive Dominica, our only experience with them was the whale-watching tour. Their dive trips leave from the Castle Comfort Hotel next door to the Evergreen. They seem to put more divers on their boats than Nature Island, but the boats are in good repair and leave earlier than Nature Island, so they get to the Scott's Head sites earlier. So, if we return to Dominica, I might consider Dive Dominica just for the convenience, though I would miss the beautiful drive to Soufriere and the friendly people at Nature Island.
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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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