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Dive Review of Caribbean Explorer II in

July, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Donald Hoft, MA, USA
Report Number 1126
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Many Places
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy, cloudy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
80   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
35   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
110ft with nitrox,back with 500psi(not enforced]  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
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
   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any comments/issues re the particular crew members are no longer valid).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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