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Dive Review of divingDR/private arrangement in
Dominican Republic/Bayahibe

January, 2009, an Instant Reader Report by Terri Feinblum, MD, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4733
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Mx, Puerto Aventura, Mx, Sosua Bay, DR, Key Largo, FL USA, 
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
76   to 78    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
  to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We followed a safe plan.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Vladi had a  rinse tank on the boat for the camera, and also one on shore,
filled with clean water.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
4 stars    
Vladi Heger runs a great, small operation.  His diveboat, Sharkey, has a
canopy for sun protection and a ladder to easily re-enter the boat.  My
husband and I were the only divers, and more could have been accommodated. 
We entered the boat from the beach, and did an easy backroll entry at the
dive sites.  We were pleased with the whole experience.  We did two dives
each day for five consecutive days and one night dive.  The crew (Vladi and
son Vlad) was willing to assist us in any way necessary to give us the best
dive experience ever.  This included trips to less explored sights where no
other divers were around.  We appreciated having our tanks set up and
carried, and also a secure place to clean and stow our gear each night.  We
took our dive computers and cameras with us, as advised. Two day trips to
Catalina and Saona Islands did not disappoint. We were unable to dive at
Catalanita, as the channel currents were very strong the whole week. The
Aquarium site at Catalina had abundant schools of fish.  Saona was more
peaceful, and the reefs more pristine.  On the way to Saona we were awed by
hundreds of flying fish skimming above the waves; it was a beautiful sight
to behold! We had a scrumptious lunch on the islands, between the morning
and afternoon dives, mostly home made. We returned through the mangroves,
and saw starfish scattered across the shallow bottom. On all other days we
did a.m.  two-tank dives; snacks and beverages were supplied and enjoyed. 
The night dive, a 5 minute boat ride away, was great, and we recommend that
as well.  One morning dive of interest: The St. Georges Wreck was sunk
about 12 years ago and has settled in as an artificial reef, at about 130
feet (140 on the sand).  Many side and top panels are open, and there is
much to be seen without penetrating the wreck.  Most of the dives were less
than 80 feet deep, and we saw wonderful critters:  a loggerhead turtle, big
squids, octopuses, crabs, lobsters, 2 large morays, an enormous ray, and
other great macro.  Vladi did not rush us, as I take UW photographs, often
of tiny creatures.  He was also helpful with the camera, and had an
exclusive camera rinse tank on the boat, and another one at the dive shop. 
Vladi arranged our airport transportation from Santa Domingo to Viva
Dominicus in La Romana( a Euro resort), and his family members transported
us to the dive shop and back each day.  We recommend diving with Vladi.  It
is not inexpensive; it was a private dive of total quality. They are
English speaking, and you dont hear much English in Bayahibe. We had a
blast!  We are staying in touch and plan on exploring new sites with Vladi
in the future. The best way to contact Vladi is at info@divingDR.  Denise
Heger will answer your questions and make the reservations.   

If I realized how cold the water was, I would have worn my 3 mm wetsuit,
with a 3mm shorty on top, and a hood.  We had a great time, and would have
been more comfortable with more protection.

I learned later that the cab rates are negotiable.  For your safety and
clarification purposes, if you arrange your own transportation, write down
the final amount on a piece of paper and have your driver sign it.  In case
of dispute, cabbies rule, and it is frowned upon to cheat cabbies.

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