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Dive Review of SeaSaba Dive Center/Juliana's in
Saba/Netherland Antilles]

SeaSaba Dive Center/Juliana's, Sep, 2003,

by Thomas Daly, FL, usa . Report 804.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Maine, Caymans, Cozumel, Florida, Puerto Rico including La Parguera and Culebra island.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20 to 30 Meters

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions One could dive their own profile within the constraints of the Dive site eg the pinacles, one must stay within the sport diving limits, no deco diving and monitor your computer. Dive with your buddy. On Shallower dives, diving was permissive. Safety at all times.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments SeaSaba provides enough room to work with your cameras for the number of people they allow on the boat. I have never seen a shortage of workspace. They provide a salt water "camera only" rinse bucket to keep salt from crystalizing while on the boat. A sea and sea mx10 with ys40 flash is available for rent 25/day at the shop....also available are accessory lenses for this camera.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Seasaba owners John Magor and Lynn Costenaro do a world class job of making our trip stress free and most enjoyable from the planning stages, to the actual trip, and rechecking our Winair reservations for our departure date. Their service and cheerful attitude are extraordinary. When they say "concierge level service" they are accurate in describing themselves.

The diving was as usual, action packed, never knowing what we would see next. I had several opportunities to photograph smaller critters I am still trying to identify, as well as face to face (well actually, about 10 feet away) encounters with Gray Reef Sharks at Third Encounter(pinacle dive). Turtles were everywhere, all hawksbills I think. Caughta glimpse of the elusive manta....no photo evidence however. The marine life was healthy and plentiful.Schools of fish were everywhere, including the Atlantic Spadefish. I believe I could easily spend a week on each dive site. I always wish I could give myself two weeks, one for exploring and hiking around the island and the other for diving.

Our trip was cut short due to a hurricane headed toward the islands, Lynn kept us informed at all times as to the status of the weather and the contingency plans. All went smoothly. The pinacles are dives not to be missed....just wish my computer would let me stay down and explore a little more...but this is part of the charm of Saba diving, you always want to go back for another look.

Juliana's has new owners, yes Franklin and Juliana are retired from the hotel now, but you still see them around town. Franklin even makes the occasional appearance at the hote. The new owners are a young dutch couple (I am probably butchering the spelling of their names) Wim and Yohanna. They are excited about their new place in paradise and are willing to do what it takes to make you comfortable. They have added hammocks to the guest rooms that have balconies. The cottages have air conditioning in the bed rooms. The Hotel rooms do not. My only comment on this is it would be nice to have the option of a/c in the rooms as well as the cross breezes.

Willards restaurant was fantastic..reserve a table for sunset on the deck, go inexpensive with appetizers and wine and use the hot tub as night falls or enjoy the world class cuisine. They have exptensive wine selection from 20 dollars to over 800 dollars a bottle.

The Brigadoon restaurant is always a favorite of our group[s. Chef/owner Michael Chaama does all the food preparation and his wife Trish minds the restaurant operation. They are quite fun to talk to as well. Do not miss Michael's slide show of Saba Underwater and topside photos. If you are Lucky, John Magor may do a slide show as well.

Lollipops restaurant had a great Rack of Lamb...reviews were mixed about the pizza.

Swinging doors saloon is a great place on BBQ night. Don't miss the fun and good food!

Saba remains in my opinion "the Mayberry" of the carribean. Slow pace, friendly people, everyone knows everyone(and their business) and charm. Saba remains the Unspoiled Queen
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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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