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Dive Review of Saba Divers/Scouts Place in
Saba

August, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Rick Cavanaugh, MD, United States (3 reports)
Report Number 2732

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Reporter
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Belize, Cozumel, Dominica, St. Vincent, Bequia, St. Croix, Utila, BVI,
Bonaire, Tobago Cays, Turks and Caicos, Florida,

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny, dry  
Seas
choppy  
Water Temp
78   to 80    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
3
Water Visibility
50   to 75    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
?  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
  
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
Lots 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  2 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
2 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Comments
I had to argue to get a proper rinse tank on the boat and it contained salt
water.  They did not have a rinse tank on shore either.  Had to use the
regulator/ mask/ computer tank.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
3 stars
Food
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
2 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
Saba Divers and Scouts Place

We visited Saba in August of 2006. We were scheduled to fly from St. Martin
to Saba on Winair, but our plane was delayed in San Juan Puerto Rico. We
missed the flight. We were able to catch the Dawn II Ferry at 5 pm. It
looks more like a freight boat than a ferry, but it does have room for
about 20 passengers. The Ferry cost $40 each way and it takes about 2 1/2
hours to make the crossing.

Saba is a very steep mountain that “pops” out of the water. The Roads are
extremely twisty and steep. It is the prettiest of all of the caribbean
islands that I have visited. All of the buildings are white with red roofs
and everything is very clean and well kept. Many of the island's have the
“slum” look with cinderblock buildings, wrecked cars on the side of the
roads and trash piles in the back of homes. Saba had none of this. The
short 15 minute taxi from the islands only harbor to Scouts place quickly
showed the new comer that this island is different.

We reserved a “Luxury Cottage Room” it was adequate. It was small, but
clean. It had a very small deck with a view of the ocean. The room had a
small refrigerator, coffee maker and a TV. The TV remote and TV were
different brands, but it worked the old fashion way of pushing the buttons
on the TV. The screen would pop up with a message of calling an 800 number
to prevent loss of service every hour (TV was of interest due to 2 storms/
Hurricanes in progress). After the speech from the owners of “conserve
water” and “If it is yellow, let it mellow, if it is brown flush it down”
and take very short showers” and use the waste paper basket for toilet
paper”.... I would not describe our room as a “Luxury Cottage.”

Scouts Place had their own restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and
dinner. The food was good and varied. However, I am the type that likes to
explore and visit other restaurants for local flavor. The Swinging Door
Restaurant is a very short walk and has Several BBQ nights. My Kitchen
(Mijn Keuken) was an excellent restaurant that was a 5 minute walk from
Scouts Place. My Kitchen is a place you must try if you visit the
Windwardside, Saba.

Scouts Place owns Saba Divers. Saba Divers has Nitrox for free (same price
as air $43 per dive). The dive shop is located in the harbour which is a 15
minute taxi ride from the hotel. The taxi fare is included in the dive
price.
The diving is done from an older boat that would comfortably hold about 8
divers. There is very little shade and not much sitting room. 3 tank dives
do not return to the dock between morning and afternoon dives. Basically it
is 3 dives in a row with 60 minute surface intervals. Bring your own lunch
and water. There is no food on the boat. They supply water in refilled
water bottles. The refilling of water bottles was really tacky. The boat
has no head.

The boat did not have a rinse tank for cameras. I dive with a Subal housed
Nikon with dual strobes. They showed me a 2 gallon bucket that they
suggested I put my camera in. After about 15 minutes of discussions on
letting salt water dry on a camera and the costs of a flood they brought a
30 gallon trash can and filled it with salt water. Remember, conserve
water. On shore they had 3 tanks for rinsing gear. 1 for wet suits, 1 for
BCD’s and one for regulators masks and computers. I guess the regulator one
will have to work for cameras too. They never changed the water in these
tanks and the water was about 4 inches deep. The wet suit tank was quite
murky after 4 days.

Our divemasters were fairly new to the island and did a decent job of
trying to make everyone safe. They did not have the experience to know
where all the critters were. They basically gave you a tour of the site
pointing out the larger more obvious critters. They went too fast and too
far for my tastes. I never asked to dive my own profile since I really do
not think they would let me. As a photographer I like to hang way back to
avoid the other divers. When I did this they asked me to stay closer.

If there are any new divers or inexperienced divers you will not dive the
pinnacles since the shallowest dive on a pinnacle is about 90 to 100 feet.
The deep pinnacle dives are not that great. The shallower dives are much
better. The hard coral is bleached and much has died and is covered with
algae from the bleaching event the occurred caribbean wide in 2005. There
are still areas of soft coral that are quite colorful and healthy. There
are flamingo tongues, leech head sea slugs, 3 different colors of lettuce
sea slugs, cryptic tear drop crabs, day swimming octopus and other
creatures to be found. If you dive slow enough, you will be entertained
with some beautiful creatures. Sea horses and frog fish were not found. We
did 1 muck dive around the boat moorings. This is not a “regular site” but
if you like small critters and muck diving you will enjoy this area.


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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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