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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Wind Dancer in

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Juli Tracy and Dick Gamble, CA, USA
Report Number 3002
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
Pacific - Fiji, Palau, Yap, Indonesia
Caribbean - BVI, Bahamas, St. Lucia, Bonaire, Curacao, Caymans, Belize
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 80    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Depth 130, except for Nitrox, which was 110 feet.
Time limits were 45-50 minutes, which was usually quite enough, but
sometimes we wanted to stay longer, which we couldn't do, due to dinghy
diving and inconveniencing other divers.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Nice camera table on back deck and two rinse buckets (after we asked for a
second one due to the number of large cameras on board.  Divemasters were
careful with camera gear.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
Perhaps because this is a new itineray for the boat, and perhaps because
many of the crew were fairly new and the captain was a relief captain, the
boat was, surprisingly for a dive boat, very disorganized.  Starting from
the first night aboard, there was no safety briefing (which we finally had
on Monday, two days later), then the next morning, although we had arrived
at the dive site in the wee hours, our first dive was not until after 10AM.
 Needless to say, we divers were a little anxious to get in the water! 
(Although, once we did, the water was green and murky -- Grenada was not
very good diving while we were there!)

The tenders were fairly easy to dive off of, but not very easy to get back
onto.  Back rolls were the entry, and seating, even with a BC on, was easy
on the way to the sites, usually not very far.  But the ladders back on
tilt under the boat, so unless the dive crew helped by pulling up the
airtank as you climbed up, (and even then), it was very difficult to climb
back up the ladder.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines provided better diving, but we seemed to
lose a few dives there, too, as things were always running late.  The last
day we had two morning dives, then were motoring during the time of the
first afternoon dive, supposedly passing by the scheduled dive because
current was too strong, so didn't have two afternoon dives. (Thursday, not
Friday, the usual "only two dives" day, and, by the way, the one
dive we did do had current so strong that we were tumbled around like
leaves and most of us did a less than 30 minute dive.)  Friday was supposed
to be a wreck dive, but we were told that the current was too strong --
later we talked to other divers from the island who dove it just fine.

Food was very good at dinner, so-so at lunch, lacking condiments, for
example, such as cheese, onions or pickles, for the burgers, or for the
sandwiches.  Ran out of some dishes on a few days at lunch and ran out of
eggs for breakfast on Friday.

But mostly, the communication on board was terrible.  We had a captain's
briefing only when we specifically asked him to tell us what was going on,
and then it was often wrong.  It is always nice to know what the plan is
for the following day -- motoring times, dives planned, etc.  We did not
get this, nor did the crew know what was happening much of the time.  There
also were no slide shows, nor pictures or videos of the trip, which we
don't care about, but some people enjoy those in the evening. (Rooms were
comfortable, except for the two nights when the A/C quit, but the crew got
that fixed admirably quickly.) 

When the crew and boat get organized, it will definitely be a trip worth
taking for Caribbean divers, but as it was, it was worth what we paid for
it -- half price!!  

Note:  We have been on many Peter Hughes boat before, in Palau, Belize,
Turks & Caicos, Indonesia & Southern Bahamas and this was the first
one that has been so sloppily run.
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