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Dive Review of Nekton in
Puerto Rico/St. Croix

Nekton, Sep, 2009,

by Doug Dellisanti, Ohio, USA ( 1 report). Report 5151.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bahamas and Bonaire
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions max 130 feet
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 2 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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 Plenty of camera tables and rise tanks.

Ratings and Overall Comments 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We just finished the 5-day St. Croix trip on the Nekton Roqual. This was our first liveaboard and I was a bit apprehensive about being stuck on a boat for a week. From the first moment on board, I enjoyed the whole experience so much so that my wife and I are both looking forward to the next trip whatever that may be. The Rorqual is very big, very slow, and about the ugliest thing that you will ever be on but I can not imagine a boat better suited for this purpose or more comfortable. While it is true that there are a few steps that need to be climbed during the course of the day, it was well worth it. Our September 27th cruse only had 15 people on which made for a very spacious environment. We only had 8 out of the normal 12 crew and I truly felt sorry for them. Remember, this is pretty much a 24 hour operation and those people worked harder and longer that what I would have considered reasonable. Any time that I tried to help like refilling the mask rise tank, one of the crew would come up to me and take over with a smile and say that is my job! That is an attitude that is not widely shared in the service industry. The crew was attentive to our needs and always went out of their way to ensure that we had a memorable time. The food was prepared well and it was astonishing what came out of that little galley. After the second day or so, we asked the cook if could have a salad for lunch instead of what was being served. She said yes and from that point on, there were the makings for a salad available every day. Many of the guests enjoyed the salads as well. I liked the fact that the crew would often dine with us and was always willing to talk about any subject even though that talk may be intruding into their limited sleep schedule. The crew interacted well with the passengers and well with each other.

Wednesday is the day that the boat docks in Fredriksted where you have the choice of walking into town or taking a shuttle somewhere I forget where. Nobody opted for the shuttle and decided to stay close by. Most people made multiple dives at the pier and it was truly very enjoyable. We all liked the pier so much that we made a request of the captain to see if we could return to the pier on Friday, which was our last day of diving we even offered to pony up for the dock fee. The captain said that he talked to the company and that we could return to the pier Friday afternoon and the company would take care of the dock fee. While we were having lunch on Friday, the boat made the slow but smooth journey to the pier. In additional to the fantastic variety of life under the pier, these are shallow dives which make for a greater margin of safety for those that were flying on Saturday.

The Rorqual is old and showing its age but it is a worthy boat. The carpet is in dire need of replacement and the curtains have never fitted correctly. Many of the lower cabin doors can not shut fully. We never ran out of anything including fresh water or hot water. Electrical power was only interrupted once for 5 or 10 minutes during the whole trip while they checked the oil in the generator. We were told well in advance that this would be happening. The boat has two generators each of which is capable of powering the entire boat. One of those generators is always running.

We opted to take the Nekton shuttle from the airport to the boat, which is $75.00 per person round trip. While this was a pleasant way to get to know the other passengers for that trip, it is rather inconvenient if you plan on staying at a hotel before or after the trip because you are responsible for getting to the post office at the airport or from the airport. We found a taxi driver by the name of Luis Velez that said that he would take us to the boat directly for $80.00. This would have worked out to be a better deal for the two of us as opposed to taking taxis to and from the airport to catch the shuttle. His phone number is 787-630-4929 and he is a great guy tell him that I sent you. Keep in mind that you cannot board the boat any sooner than 7:30PM on the day of departure so plan accordingly.

All in all, this was very enjoyable and we truly felt that we got more that we expected. Every one of the crew members were a joy to be with and should be commended for their hard work and dedication. The diving was good and the other passengers on the trip made for a memorable experience.
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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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