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Dive Review of Aquanauts/Coral Cove Cottages in
Grenada

Aquanauts/Coral Cove Cottages, Oct, 2007,

by Sandy Falen, KS, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 3703.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Most of the Caribbean; Fiji; Tonga; Costa Rica
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 60 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Group asked to descend and surface together on many dives due to current.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Large rinse tank on board.

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 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Diving in Grenada was surprisingly good, with reefs that were healthy and full of color. Sponges are prolific and varied purple barrel sponges were large and bizarrely shaped in the constant currents, and vase sponges were everywhere, in azure, pink, and pale green. Grenada is home to the most impressive collection of soft corals that Ive seen in the Caribbean: purple, pink, yellow, orange, red, white either sweeping across the reefs, or encrusting the wrecks they made for an underwater garden of color, and wonderful photo opportunities.

If you are enchanted by feather dusters, youll love diving here. Feather dusters were everywhere large ones, small ones, clusters of two or three, growing inside sponges, under gorgonians, or sprouting from a wrecked ship hull Grenada has got to be the feather duster capital of the Caribbean.

Save for a few nurse sharks, we saw no big fish here, and while there were a few impressive schools of Creole wrasse and chromis, in general, it appears Grenadas waters are sadly over fished. I dont think I saw one parrotfish or grouper in eight days of diving. We did spot a few turtles, large stingrays, and a surprising number of lobsters.

Grenada is known for its wrecks, and they did not disappoint. The Veronica was an easy second dive, at about 60 feet; the hull was almost completely encrusted in yellow and orange cup corals, and the deck was a fairyland of gorgonians a photographers dream. The Bianca C is, as they say in Grenada, a crackin dive. The wrecked cruise ship sank in the 1960s, and while the center of the deck is a mass of wreckage, much of the deck and the entire hull are intact. The sight of that soft white coral-encrusted bow coming into view, as you follow the line down to about 120 feet, was worth the trip itself.

My friends and I rented cottages at Coral Cove Cottages and Apartments (www.coralcovecottages.com), and could not have been more pleased with our accommodations. The setting was idyllic and peaceful, and the drive to Aquanauts at True Blue Bay was only about 15 minutes and easy to navigate. We let Damien at Coral Cove arrange our rental car, and we also had basic provisions (like plenty of cold Carib) stocked in the full kitchen before our arrival. The cottages were immaculately clean and spacious, and within 50 yards of a lovely beach and a dock that would be perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The pool made for a great place to relax after a morning of diving, and the constant sea breezes and sound of the sea lulled me to sleep every night.

Service at Aquanauts was efficient and pleasant. Boats were roomy, with large rinse tanks for cameras, plenty of fresh drinking water, and juice and fresh fruit served after dives. Dive briefings were thorough without being overdone, and the crew was friendly and fun. Given the currents, almost all dives were drift, and a schedule was maintained, so dive times rarely ran a full hour. Nitrox is included at no extra charge, and they make it simple, with an analyzer on board and tanks checked there before the boat leaves the dock. If youre not Nitrox certified, youll be the odd diver out so many of the dives are below 80 feet, that you really need the additional dive time that Nitrox provides. Boat trips averaged ten to twenty minutes, and the crew was great about accommodating dive site requests. The only real disappointment was the day we dived at the underwater sculpture park which was clearly a concession made for some snorkelers on board, and the one error in customer service that I encountered from Aquanauts. With all the lovely dive sites in Grenada, enduring the murk of that location was unfair to the divers on board particularly when we were spending a lot more money to dive for eight days than were the one day wonders with their snorkels.

Currents were lively here, but seldom tortuous. Water temps were perfect, averaging 82, and the vis was good, despite frequent nighttime rains. Youll definitely want to rent a vehicle in order to enjoy the fun of narrow, winding roads and left-side driving. There are plenty of good restaurants in Grenada, and food can be quite good, with an abundance of fresh, locally grown ingredients. Try The Nutmeg, on the Carenage in St. Georges, for killer rum punch and a roti. For ambiance and fine dining, get directions and head to La Luna. U.S. currency was accepted everywhere, but its also easy to get Eastern Caribbean dollars at ATMs.

After tripping around the Caribbean and avoiding Grenada for many years due to its lackluster diving reputation, I was drawn to Grenada on a hunch that it was probably better than its reputation would indicate. It was. People were friendly and accommodating, and the island is lush and beautiful. If youre looking for a new dive destination with fabulous corals, photogenic wrecks, and plenty of topside adventure, give Grenada a try.
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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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