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Dive Review of Nature Island Dive/Herche's Place in

Nature Island Dive/Herche's Place, Jun, 2003,

by Rick Cavanaugh, MD, USA . Report 553.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 1 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The best part of Dominica is the diving. If you are willing to deal with the downsides of the island, Dominica is probably one of the best dive locations in the Caribbean comparing to the dive quality of Little Cayman.

Nature Island Dive is an Excellent shop with Excellent dive masters. Most of the week we were the only 2 divers on the boat! Most dives lasted over 1 hour and one night dive lasted 1 ½ hours!

The dives in the Soufriere Scott’s Head Marine Reserve are some of the best dives I have done in the Caribbean even though the visibility was only 30 to 50 feet. There was a rare plankton bloom that limited the visibility for our entire trip. The reefs were much more colorful due to the amount of sponge life and healthy corals. What was strange was what was absent. The more common fish found through out the Caribbean were missing. We saw very few angel fish, butterfly fish and no sharks of any kind. . I do not think I have ever dove without see at least 1 nurse shark until diving here. What we did see where not as common. We say many basket stars, Golden Crinoid’s, Magnificent Urchins, Frog Fish, Sea Horses, Lettuce Sea Slugs, Leech Headshield Slug, Bat Fish, Red banded Lobsters, Slipper Lobsters, Pederson Cleaner Shrimp, Spotted Cleaner Shrimps, Squat Anemone Shrimps, Scarlet Striped Cleaning Shrimp, Octopus, Squids, Scorpion fish and much more.

Simon Walsh, the owner, is an avid photography and he and his staff is very dedicated in finding the little stuff. On many dives they asked us what we wanted to see and they would take us right to it. They are an excellent choice for photographers as all of the surface intervals are back at the dive shop. This made it very easy to change film, lenses and ports.

Simon has big plans to improve his dive shop with the addition of a large 3 story building behind his shop. When the economy improves he wants to have a small restaurant, E6 processing plus more. His plans for those are on halt until things change.

There is a $2 Marine Park fee per dive.

The trip from Dominica’s airport to Scotts Head area takes around 1 ½ hours. My original intention was to rent a car and drive myself to save the $60 one way taxi fare. After taking a taxi, I was very happy NOT to drive across the island. The roads are very narrow with hairpin turns and cliffs. The roads are not marked and it would be very easy to get lost. If you are interested in renting a car rent it from the other side AFTER you have traveled by taxi to the other side.

The center of the island is beautiful. Very high and steep mountains with waterfalls and lots of small rivers surround you as you travel across the island. There are many day hikes into the rainforest. We took a 45 minute muddy hike to Middleham falls. We also visited Trafalgar Falls, which was a very short 5 minute walk from the parking lot to the falls.

Upon arrival into Roseau, you enter into the largest city on the island and it is typical of Caribbean cities in construction and appearance. Scotts Head is approximately 20 minutes past Roseau. Scotts head is a fishing village and is NOT very attractive. The town is very run down. This is where Herche’s Place is located.

Herche’s place is a small economy style hotel with about 5 rooms available. One week was $636/week and included a basic breakfast of fresh fruit and bread. The rooms are very sparse and small. Ours had an A/C unit that kept the room very cold as the thermostat did not function properly. The room was so small that the bathroom door would not close unless the bed was moved. The area was not attractive and very run down as compared to other islands in the Caribbean. There are not many other hotel choices in the Scotts Head area.

When we return to Dominica, we will make sure that we stay at Dive Dominica’s “Cottages” which were booked during our trip. We did not see the interior of the “Cottages” but from the appearance of Simon’s dive operation, I am sure they are significantly better than Herche’s.

The final insult from Herche’s place was the unauthorized additional charge of approximately $380 that showed up on my charge card after leaving!

The main attraction of Herche’s place was that there was a restaurant with a good reputation for fine food located at the Hotel. Barbara Herche’s husband, Greg, had the reputation of being the best chef on the island. Unfortunately he is now working for the Anchorage Hotel. What remains of the Herche’s restaurant is an average restaurant the frequently ran out of many of the items and was over priced. However, there are not many other choices in Scotts Head. The only other restaurant was Roger’s Place which was a very basic restaurant with not much of a menu. Fish, egg sandwich, ham and cheese sandwich, burgers and such were the only choices.

One restaurant worth going to is Andre’s Rainforest Bistro. Reservations are required well in advance as you will probably be the only customers. The meal is large and reasonably priced. Choices are fish, chicken or vegetarian. The meal comes with many varied vegetables grown on his farm. It is a must if you are on the side of the island. Andre will pick you up at you hotel and drop you back off for no extra charge.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Belize, Bonaire, Cozumel, St Croix, BVI, Little Cayman, St Vincent, Grenada, Bequia, Provo Turks and Caicos, Grand Turk, Key Largo, North Carolina, Tobago Cayes.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy, cloudy Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions None
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments No good E6 on 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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