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Dive Review of Reef Gliders in

August, 2012, an Instant Reader Report by Rik Pavlescak, FL, US
Reviewer   (5 reports)
Report Number 6657
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
West Palm Beach, Florida; Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Costa Rica, Playa Del
Carmen, Costa Brava-Spain, Key Largo, Key West
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, dry  
Water Temp
82   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Each dive had a specific depth limit; divers asked to follow their
computers, and signal dive master with half-tank and low-air signals (1500
psi and 700 psi, respectively). Many of the dives during the week lasted
more than 1 hour.   
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
5 stars  
Shore Facilities  
While I'm not a photographer, several dove with me during the week. Their
equipment was gently handed to them from the boat after they were in the
water, and the dive master, also a photographer, pointed out large and
small subjects. The pace of the dives was very well suited for
photographers, except during one drift dive in a fast current, when
photography was not practical. 
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
5 stars
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars    
5 stars   
5 stars    
The Good: Reef Gliders was a great find! 

Upon my arrival in Roatan, I signed up with another dive shop to take the
advanced open water course. I wish I had discovered Reef Gliders first.
Lots of mishaps with instructor at the OTHER PLACE of the AOW class:
forgetting to put gear on boat for a diver, getting lost on a dive,
misjudging a dive site and having divers swim for 20 minutes against a
strong current (I literally burned through a tank of air in 33 minutes on
that one: usually I go for an hour or longer!) etc. As soon as I completed
the course and was certified, I hit the road! Someone had recommended that
I try both Ocean Connections and Reef Gliders. 

Ocean Connections: I dove two dives with them. I liked them just fine. Sam,
the dive master goes at a very slow, deliberate pace. While there was a
definite "Ocean Connection", I just didn't feel all that
connected to the dive shop/business. In between dives there was no
comfortable place to sit under cover from the sun, folks busied themselves
about, it was just sort of awkward, uncomfortable being there. The dives,
though, were great, and had I been not traveling solo, I'm sure my dive
buddy and I would have liked Ocean Connections just fine. 

Reef Gliders: Got there and knew I was home. Micky, the dive master quickly
introduced me around to the owners, other divers, dive masters in training.
They have a nice, large open air, under roof area protected from the sun to
sit, and are co-located with C Level Cafe, which had plenty of good eats
and cold beverages. What a treat to get off the boat after a dive and get
an ice cold Fresca, and to order a cheese burger with home cut fries.

The diving with Reef Gliders was great. I'm very aware that the
personalities of the dive shop (Dive masters, owners, etc.) make or break
the experience. At the first shop, where I did my AOW course, the
instructor was a bit of clown and I didn't appreciate it. They lost my
business for the rest of the week because of it. Reef Gliders folks were
totally different. Friendly, professional, knowledgeable. Micky, the dive
master quickly pointed out both macro and micro life to all divers. He kept
a slow, steady pace in the water. Prior to each dive, he gathered the
divers (no more than 6) and gave an excellent briefing on the dive site and
what to expect: laying out the dive plan, back up plan, (in case we needed
to shorten something due to low air, or stronger currents than expected,
etc.)and what we should be on the lookout for in terms of sea life. Then,
with great consistency, he led us through the dive as he discussed. Once
back on the boat, he entertained questions: mainly fish and plant life id
questions. He is very, very knowledgeable and patient, and enthusiastic
about the ocean and its diverse life. Frequently underwater, he would clap
his hands with excitement at a discovery and would patiently point out a
particular subject over and over to each diver. He has clearly chosen his
profession well. In 8 years of diving, he was the best dive master I've

The bad: At Reef Gliders: NOTHING. At the first place, where I got my AOW
training, the instructor was a goof who made a lot of careless mistakes.
Others have had good experiences with him, so it could have been an off
week, or maybe just me. But then, I was also told that others didn't care
for diving with him either, so who knows. 

Before leaving home: bring an empty water bottle (like a bike bottle) for
drinking water. Five gallon jugs of water are plentiful at the dive shops,
but drinking cups are not. I wish I would have just had my own water bottle
with me that I could have filled as needed and kept with me. Also, for
Roatan, bug spray with DEET and anti-itch cream (calamine, betadine, etc.)
are important. Flashlight for walking at night is a good idea, too. 

Other stuff: I stayed at Cocolobo resort, a five minute walk  from the main
street of the West End. It is clean, well-furnished, serves breakfast
daily, has a nice infinity pool looking out to the ocean and every room has
a balcony with a hammock. At $75 a night, it was a great deal. Easy walking
distance to the dive shops in the West End: I traveled with my own gear and
the dive shops are happy to store it overnight for you--so I only had to
walk with the gear once out and once back. 
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Subscriber's Comments

By hkaiser at Aug 23, 2012 19:14 EST  
Was Micky previously at Cayman Dive Lodge ? If so, he's one of the best
dive masters I've ever dived with..
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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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