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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Wind Dancer in

November, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Eric Ault, IL, U.S.A
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 4658
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Galapagos, Hawaii, Turks, Dominica, Belize, Cozumel, Bahamas, Los Roques,
Utila, Bonaire, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy  
surge, currents  
Water Temp
80   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Nitrox limits, dive time usually 50 minutes  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Roomy camera table.  Charging was done in the salon with facilities
somewhat crowded.  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
2 stars   
3 stars    
Six members of our dive club, The Scubaneers, Glen Ellyn, IL decided to
spend a week on the Wind Dancer as we had not previously visited that part
of the Caribbean.  At the time we booked our trip there was no direct air
service to Grenada so we had to connect at San Juan, PR both ways. 
American has since added a daily direct flight from Miami but it was too
late for us to re-book.  We had to arrive Thursday night for our Saturday
sailing as when we booked there were no flights to Grenada on Fridays. 
Similarly, there was no flight to San Juan on Saturday so we had to spend
an extra night on Grenada.  We elected to stay at True Blue Bay Resort
where the Wind Dancer picks up its passengers.  The resort was comfortable,
has a couple of nice pools and the food and drink at the restaurant were
adequate.  We did enjoy barbeque night on Friday.  Service was a little
slow but not too bad by Island Time standards.  The staff was friendly
and helpful.  There is a dive operator on site but we did not partake of
their services.  A couple of us enjoyed a half-day tour of Grenada, the
Spice Island, being one of the worlds major suppliers of nutmeg and

The Wind Dancer is one of the older boats in the Hughes fleet but
everything was in working condition the week we were on board.  Most cabins
are at the waterline with a bunk on top and a larger bed below.  The sink
is in the cabin with a separate ensuite shower and toilet.  Real flush
toilets, not marine heads.  There is a large salon with sofas, dining room
tables and a bar.  Up top is a large sun deck with plenty or space in the
shade for the SPF 45 crowd.  The dive deck is spacious especially with a
less than full load of divers and the camera table was adequate.  Many of
the crew including First Mate CNN are islanders and have been with the
boat for quite some time.  CNN is an accomplished musician and one evening
he played the steel drums for us.  We also enjoyed Capt. Simon,
Hostess/Purser Andrina (two Brits) and divemaster Jeff (Canada).  Chef Ryan
kept us well fed.  Peter Hughes Fleet consulting chef Walter Tanner was on
board working with Ryan the week we were there.  Our group can be pretty
boisterous and the crew was good natured about putting up with us.  

All diving is from one of two tenders, actual small boats, not inflatables.
 Most dives last about 50 minutes though divemasters did give us more time
once they realized we knew what we were doing and werent air hogs.  Dive
briefings were accompanied by a rough diagram of the site and were
thorough.  Dives were guided but you did not have to stay with the
divemaster if you didnt want to.  We found it easier just to do so. 
Almost all safety stops were done drifting in the blue so it helps if you
are comfortable maintaining proper depth without the aid of a line or hang
bar.  Each diver is issued a safety sausage and a reel.  Divemasters would
deploy the sausage during the safety stop so that the tender could find the
group more easily.  Divers separated from the group were advised to do
likewise while doing their own safety stops.  For the most part diving was
pretty easy though we did have a couple of dives with current.  On one dive
the current seemed to switch direction frequently and at one point divers
only a few yards apart were subject either to updrafts or downdrafts. 
Washing machine diving.  We did not see a lot of large fish, mostly the
usual tropicals.  We did see a few turtles.  Several sites had an abundance
of reef butterfly fish which I had never seen before in all my Caribbean
dives.  Because there were quite a few smooth trunkfish we spent some time
searching for juveniles.  We were rewarded with several sightings of these
tiny fish looking for all the world like light-spotted black marbles.  At
one site several divers saw a black brotula which is pretty rare I guess. 
The presence of these fish in this area has been mentioned recently in
article in one of the major dive magazines.  We particularly enjoyed the
night dive on a shallow wreck festooned with orange cup corals, arrow
crabs, decorator crabs and slipper lobsters.  On Friday we dove the wreck
of the Bianca C which burned and sank off Grenada a number of years ago. 
It reminded me of Lake Michigan wreck diving, but at least no one was
freezing their rear off this time.  The wreck has deteriorated quite a bit
and other than some jacks swarming around the foremast there really wasnt
a whole lot to see.  All in all, we had an enjoyable week.  
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Diving Guide to Grenada
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