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Dive Review of Peter Hughes /Wind Dancer in

December, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Chuck & Nancy Anson, California, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 5081
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Bahamas, Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, Australia
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

calm, choppy, currents  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 120    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Standard, 130' max depth, no deco diving, safety stop, 500psi back on boat.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
A single large table, air, towels, dedicated rinse tanks on main boat and
large dedicated tank on each tender with a dry area for storage in bow of
tenders.  If the tender is full it is difficult to make changes to large
rigs on board.  The crew helps photographers, knowing what their needs are
and accomodating for lack of space. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
4 stars   
5 stars    
Wind Dancer Grenada/St. Vincent December 08 Chuck and Nancy Anson
Oceanside, CA Experience 501-1000 dives VIS 30 to 120 feet Water 78-80 F,
breezy with chop, swells and current.  Our 15th live-aboard trip and 1st
with Peter Hughes. In the winter months we like to get as far south in the
Caribbean as possible, looking for warmer water. Grenada was as far south
as we could go in one day with just one stop in Miami between LA and our
final destination. Although we arrived late at night, after the captains
briefing, the crew waited up for us and made sure all our paper work was
taken care of before leaving dock. The Wind Dancer is one of Peter Hughes
older boats.  The passengers cabins are somewhat cramped on the lower deck
and do not have windows, so they were a bit dark even at mid-day. The
dining room and sundeck were spacious and bright so we spent more time
there than in our room. The dive deck was showing wear and rusty water came
out of the showers for the first few minutes after each dive.  What the
boat lacked in ambiance the crew made up for by taking care of all divers
requests in a very prompt and pleasant manner. There was one crewmember for
every diver. They made sure my wife had a 60cf tank and fixed a leak in her
regulator hose so she didnt have to miss a dive. Divemasters, CNN and
Larry, knew where the good stuff was underwater and chef Ryan was
excellent.  All diving was from a 10 person tender, which was quite crowded
when full to capacity and could be tough for older divers or those with
disabilities.  Backroll entries were done on a count of three to avoid
diver collisions when entering the water.  Coming up the ladder was OK as
long as divers were aware of each others presence and respected the need
for an orderly exit. 
We booked back-to-back weeks and the second week we were upgraded to the
captains suite, which is above decks and has an outside window.  The room
was much larger but by the time you put the king size bed in it, there was
not much room to walk around. The room had a flat screen TV for watching
movies and a larger bathroom with a glassed in shower.  We were thrilled
when the crew announced that for the second week we were going to do an
exploratory trip to St. Vincent.  The diving there was much better than
Grenada. VIS was better, variety of sea life was better and there was less
current. We overnighted in the bay where they filmed Pirates of the
Caribbean. Parts of the movie set are still there and you can get off the
boat and walk around the bay if you like. This itinerary has lots of wreck
diving and all of it was good.  Strattmans Wreck in Beque was a
particularly good night dive. Lots of strange creatures are living in and
around the wreck that come out at night in abundance.  We saw flaming reef
lobster, red eye sponge crab, decorator crabs, red night shrimp, orange cup
coral, basket stars, lobsters that looked like they could take you out with
one swipe of an antenna, squid and banded tube-dwelling anemone. During the
day we saw octopi out and about, seahorses, batwing coral crabs, the rare
jackknife fish, scarlet striped cleaning shrimp, plenty of eels (all
kinds), spotted spiny lobster and turtles.  
Although the dive destination is billed as Grenada, the itinerary takes you
to many islands in two different countries and covers a lot of water in
between. Travel between islands was done mostly at night and was smooth and
uneventful.  We got to dive Grenada, Carriacou, Beque, St. Vincent, the
Tobago Cayes, Sail Rock and Isle de Ronda.  If you are offered a chance to
dive Sail Rock, GO.  It is a long dingy ride but well worth it for big
pelagics. (lots of sharks and eagle rays)  There was significant current
around Grenada and the out islands.  That coupled with the rigors of tender
diving and the stairs to below deck cabins should give divers who are not
in good physical condition pause when considering this itinerary. The
significantly discounted price for this trip compared to other Peter Hughes
boats reflects these challenges. 
The end of cruise Friday night meal was on your own and divers were
encouraged to go ashore in the tenders for dinner. There was a torrential
downpour that night so we talked a crewmember into going ashore and
bringing back a bunch of pizzas, which worked out well for everyone.
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Other dive reports on Peter Hughes Diving

All Grenada Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Grenada
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