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Dive Review of anchorage dive center in

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by tom greenway, il, usa
Report Number 1917
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
saba, keys , midwest
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
first dive 100 or less. never any reason to go deeper. second dive 60 or
less. losely enforced. no nitrox needed.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
[None]basically a dunk tank on the boat...usually an igloo cooler. nothing
else available.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
[None]All in all we had a great time on Dominica. We ( my 14 and 15 sons,
non diver spouse)dove 18 dives over 9 days and hiked also.

 I found the dive operation to be well organized and professional. Richard
and Stone were everywhere they needed to be. Newer divers were given
special attention and the more experienced given lots of room. The boats
were spotless. We dove w/ as few 2 others and as many as 16 total. the
smaller 30' was great for up to 8.....then the very nice 65' whale cat was
used for larger groups. With the larger groups the big boat was great...the
DM's would split the groups and after a minor traffic jam getting in you
wouldn't know there were so many w/ you. The cat was only needed 2 days.
You could always get out of the sun if you desired...on either boat.The
boats from DiveDominica, which is directly next door appeared always have
huge many as 20 on a much smaller boat....nods to Anchorage on
this. All gear was removed from the boat nightly and rinsed in warm soapy
water. Nice touch.

The diving is best described as a huge aquarium. spectaculer
colors..sponges and corals..amazing critters everywhere. I found myself
slowing down more on each successive dive. I know my boys " finding
stuff" skills improved dramatically as did mine. There was no reason
to go deep as most of the life was 60 ' or less. Turtles every dive. Most
dives are very easy. When the DM's had confidence in the boatloads abilties
we were taken around Scott's Head to the Atlantic side which is great
because it different. A little deeper , not as many critters, but great
formations. I especially enjoyed " condimnium" Be aware the
currents can and will kick up on these dives. Another great dive was the
unmarked " Craters Edge"....where we saw where the adult fish go
when they graduate from the Scott's Head reefs. You can shore dive in front
of the hotel....a nice shallow warmup type dive w/ a small lively reef.The
surface intervals were spent cruising w/ at least 30 jumping
dolphins while riding upfront with my feet almost touching them...another
to watch a turtle lay eggs, unmolested by the curious villagers of
Sourfrie...and another at Sourfire on a Sunday ..just in time to watch the
villagers leave church in their Sundays finest. very colorful.

now the hotel which owns the dive operation.....definite mixed bag..they
" forgot" to pick us up at the airport requiring we stand around
the in construction of the airport for 1-1/2 hours while the house driver
sped from the hotel to pick us up, all the while having to fend off
volunteer replacemnet cabbies. Apparently the best job on Dominica is being
a cabby giving tours..because we were asked constantly including inside the
hotel....not threatening, just annoying. My non diver wifes biggest gripe
was the you had to hire a driver to go to any hike...and its expensive. A
fellow diver took back his rental car after one aftenoon as driving was
" terrifying" in his words.

our big rooms were clean,matress good, the noisy a/c worked well, nice
view, one room rarely had hot water and a faucet leaked alot....and no
cared after my 3 tries at pointing it out. food was also a mixed
bag..breakfasts great...think classic american truck stop..lots of
it...usually enough left for a surface interval snack. lunch and dinner
inconsistant and slow. go for breakfast only and explore the area. We liked
the Evergreen and the Greenflash for evenings
Hiking:The boiling lake was great.but be ready...tough...Trafalgar Falls
for an afternoon is cool as were the hot springs. We found the Caribe area
dissappointing as it one big basket sale w/ very little of historical
significance. Scotts Head was fun to wander around for a few hours.

Be sure to ask for your bill well in advance as nothing happens fast at the
front desk. The front desk can be indifferent. All in all the locals are
friendly and helpful. My wife never felt threated well out by herself.
Dominica is very poor so be ready for people living as such. 

With a few reservations I would recommend the Anchorage as a divers hotel
and I wouldn't hesistate using the Anchorage as a dive operator.
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