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Dive Review of Sea Saba/Julianna's in

August, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Jeff Bloomer, KY, USA
Report Number 1909
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Throughout the caribbean.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 85    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
80   to 100    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recreational limits but no time limit.  Surface intervals were 1 hour
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
Not a lot of room on the boat specifically for cameras although there was a
seperate bucket for cameras.  No film developing on the island but we were
shooting digital anyway.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
5 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
4 stars    
I have looked into Saba for a very long time without finding anything
compelling except for the obligatory pinnacle diving comments you usually
see.  Well either we were lucky or we've stumbled upon a conspiracy to keep
Saba unspoiled. If your looking for casinos and hopping night life this is
not your cup of tea.  If your looking for great beaches better go in the
summer when the only beach is available.  If you are looking for a great
experiance read on.  Each day starts with a short taxi ride past the dive
shop (just one more chance to make a reservation for dinner) to the docks. 
We dived the windward side the first few days.  We were told that maybe 1
day a month that side of the island is available but lucky us,  the coral
was great.  Our first check out dive with the crew and we seen a huge
morray and the biggest crab I've ever seen.  The crew, Bruno, Charlote, and
Alex were great and worked very hard to make sure everyones needs were met.
 If you wanted to be guided around and shown critters that's what they did.
 If you wanted to go your own merry way, then that was fine too. Dived
Diamond Rock, very cool dive, really too much see life for a single dive.
Current can be strong even on the leyward side so there were some must do
dives we didn't get to time!  The dive operation is top notch
and really do act as concierges.  Ask for anything,dinner reservations,
side trips, etc. and they will work it out.  They even managed to get a
restaurant to stay open late just for us so we could eat after the night
dive. Ok, so diving is very very good and its not all about pinnacles,
there is plenty of reef.  Lets talk about the island.  It is unlike any
caribbean island I've ever been on.  Lee and Lea,US transplant who divide
there time between Saba and skiing in New Mex. said it best, "this
island is european not caribbean". They are right.  There is no
poverty, everybody has a job and the entire island seems to be being swept
constantly.  The white walled, red roofed buildings (a requirement I was
told) make an idyllic setting.  Very hilly so be in shape but just super.
One intrepid sole in our group hiked to the 3000 foot top on Mount Scenery
to see the Cloud Forest.  Sounded great but a bit of an altitude change for
us dive addicts.  Food on the island is reasonable and I probably had one
of the best filets I've ever had at "My Kitchen", a neat little
place that does remind me of a european cafe.  Julianna's, our home on the
island, was nice and peaceful, Wim and his wife (the owners), as well as
the always attentive Stewart (aka Captain Stewy) were always there to make
suggestions as to what was going on the various days of the week, different
hotels have theme nights throughout the week. Don't pass up Paula's cooking
right there at Tropics on the property. The Ecolodge presentation and meal
are worth the trip too.  The owner was involved in setting up Bonaire's and
Saba's marine park and puts on an informative slide show on the 5 different
ecosystems on the island.  Too many good things to talk about so I hope
everyone leaves Saba alone and that I'm the only one who gets to dive
there!  Ok, you can come too just be keep it to yourself.  I guess that's
why I ran into so many Americans who visited Saba and now make it their
second home.  Dive safe.
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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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