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Dive Review of Caribbean Explorer II in
Saba

Caribbean Explorer II, Jul, 2004,

by Donald Hoft, MA, USA . Report 1126.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Many Places
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 80 to 0 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 35 to 75 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 110ft with nitrox,back with 500psi(not enforced]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This is my second run at this trip. I did it last year in November, StK-to-StM, but unfortunately we ran into a tropical storm causing bad viz, bad weather and finally over 2 days at the dock in StM. The crew then worked hard to make the trip as pleasant as possible. We missed STATA in total and had to come back to SABA. I still felt I wanted to visit this area by live aboard having touched most of the Caribbean "diving Holes".
This time we had much better weather and a TOTALLY new crew. A surprise to me but it turned out to be a plus non-the-less. Our group of 9 divers were all experienced and enjoyed each others company-as we did with the crew. IAN, the skipper is in control, is a super, fun guy with broad experience. A good overall experience.
Since my trip in November, Undercurrent had a very good feature of this itinerary which I think does well in describing the details. So I would refer readers to that article (MARCH 2004) and not repeat here. (Except any comments/issues re the particular crew members are no longer valid).
I personnally felt the diving got better and more challenging as
we went North (StK-to-SABA). StK (2 days) was good, and interesting with many wrecks (in south) and reefs (north). Viz was not great compared to many Caribbean destinations; generally 35 - 75 ft. STATIA (1 day) was good but the sites we visited were pretty much repetitious. Healthy reef, nice color made for fun diving in this Marine Park (always with a marine park ranger who just joined in with the group). SABA (2 1/2 days) was clearly the best, again in a Marine Park. Pinnicles, Man-of-War and Diamond Rocks being the most dramatic but with very nice sites all over. I believer there were many other good sites we never got to dive due to time limitations. Friday morning we did a 6 and 9 am dive before heading to St. Maarten (when I did this 6 am dive in Nov. it was a night dive, this was in light).
The trip offered lots of dive diversity island to island, afforded a good tour of this island chain, the island tours were well received (I only did SABA and enjoyed it), and it's a good comfortable boat. Well worth a try for those looking for diving away from the heavily visited destinations of the Caribbean. Interesting that I was the only "east coaster" in the group-all the others were "westerners" who had the long travel to the Caribbean, and I believe were well pleased.
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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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