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Dive Review of Se Saba/Daphne's Cottage in
Saba/Netherlands Antillies

May, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Tom Garber, Ca, USA
Report Number 1768
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Channel Islands and Catalina Ca, Cozumel, Roatan, Grand Cayman, St.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
70   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Follow Divemaster or Dive your own computer.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
Interesting subject matter. Saltwater rinse tub only on boat.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
4 stars    
 This is my favorite Caribbean island thus far. There are only about 1200
people there and the atmosphere is very laid back and relaxing. The Dutch
village of Windwardside has enough restaurants, pubs (2 that we know of)
and stores to provide everything you need with enough variety to keep
things interesting for at least a week. If youre into resorts and
nightlife, try another island. The scenery is spectacular and the diving
rates with the best that I've seen in the Caribbean. I did 15 dives and
never repeated a dive. With only around 25  30 dive sites, that speaks
well for the dive operation. The dive masters asked us where we wanted to
dive each day and did the best they could to accommodate all of the divers.

  The briefings were informative and the dives were all good. We actually
preferred the intermediate depth pinnacles, with greater bottom times and
more sea life, over the deeper pinnacles. The boats had between 4 and 10
divers daily. The van would pick us up around 8:45 for the 15 minute drive
to the harbor, we were usually back at the harbor around 1:00 after 2
dives. If you wanted to do a 3rd afternoon dive, the boat usually departed
by 2:00 or so. I couldnt seem to muster up much interest for a night dive,
but I think if I would have pressed the issue; Sea Saba would have taken me
out without any other divers.  They are a very organized and well run
  We did a multi island 2 week trip with stops at St. Eustatius (see St.
Eustatius report) and St. Maarten, although we didnt dive St. Maarten. We
booked our trip through Beth Jansen of Dive Saba Statia.  Although a little
confused in making our arrangements in the beginning, she got everything
arranged and even called to check on us after checking our flights with Win
Air and finding out that we had been involuntarily rescheduled.
 Win Air is without a doubt, the worst airline that Ive ever dealt with.
The planes appear to be safe with skilled pilots, but the ground staff
couldnt care less about your baggage or lack there of or what flight you
actually reserved. American Airlines lost our gear on the first flight from
California, however it took WinAir 2 ½ days to get it to us on
Statia. According to American, they had it the same day we departed the
states. We made 4 flights with them (only booked 3) and never once traveled
with our baggage. We couldnt even bring carry-on on the last flight back
to St. Maarten. There was no head wind for take off, so the plane could not
carry the extra weight. It was always a weight issue, since they travel
fully loaded with passengers on all flights. Cant argue with the laws of
physics, but you best be prepared to be without your stuff for awhile. We
usually received our bags the same afternoon. 
  The planes had a hard time landing on the short 1,000 ft. runway for
about 3 days during the week, so would either turn around and head back
after looking at the wind sock or not come at all. After all, this runway
is about the size of an aircraft carrier without the arresting gear. Even
at that, when they do land, they only use about 300 ft. One guy waiting for
his wife had her finally show up on the ferry after 3 days of delays. If
you like to travel with your stuff and expect to go at the flight times you
reserved, suggest you book The Edge, which is the ferry.
  All in all, we truly enjoyed our time on Saba and Statia and if we did it
again would skip spending any time on St Maarten. WinAir just made things
more of an adventure, which is why we chose Saba in the first place.
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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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