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Dive Review of anchorage dive center in
Dominica

anchorage dive center, Aug, 2005,

by tom greenway, il, usa . Report 1917.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving saba, keys , midwest
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 80 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions first dive 100 or less. never any reason to go deeper. second dive 60 or less. losely enforced. no nitrox needed.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 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
UW Photo Comments [None]basically a dunk tank on the boat...usually an igloo cooler. nothing else available.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments [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 groups....as 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 treats....one 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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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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