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Dive Review of Peter Hughes /Wind Dancer in
Grenada

Peter Hughes /Wind Dancer, Dec, 2008,

by Chuck & Nancy Anson, California, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 3 reports). Report 5081.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bahamas, Caribbean, Sea of Cortez, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Standard, 130' max depth, no deco diving, safety stop, 500psi back on boat.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
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 N/A
UW Photo Comments 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):

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments 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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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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