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Dive Review of Golden Rock Dive Center/Old Gin House in
St. Eustatius

May, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Tom Garber, Ca, USA
Report Number 1756
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
Cozumel, Roatan, Grand Cayman, Saba, Channel Islands Ca, Catalina Island
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
82   to 84    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
50   to 90    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
All dives were guided by dive master, however you could dive your own
computers and and not follow the group if you requested.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
3 stars    
We had planned a two-week, three-island trip to include 3 days on Statia, 7
on Saba and 3 more on St. Maarten. We booked American Airlines to St.
Maarten and our inter-island flights through WinAir on line. All sounded
good until we arrived at St. Maarten and found that our baggage never left
LAX. All we had was our carry on, which contained our essential dive gear;
regs, computers, masks, etc, and some misc toiletries, etc. No clothes or
swim suits, BC's, Fins, U/W Camera. We had to purchase some T-shirts,
Thongs, etc. from the gift shop in town. Not much available for clothes
 When we arrived at Statia, we told the folks at the Old Gin House of our
predicament and they said that this happens frequently and that they would
have someone bring our baggage as soon as it arrived via WinAir. We met
with Michelle and Glenn Faires at Golden Rock the next morning. Even though
WinAir had not notified the hotel, Glenn immediately drove me back to the
airport to see if WinAir had delivered any baggage, where we received the
1st suitcase with the clothes. We dove the next two days as planned but did
not receive our remaining dive gear until right before our 2nd dive on the
last day. Glenn went and picked it up at the airport. Glenn and Michelle
loaned us rental gear at no charge. They were by far, the most
accommodating dive shop folks that we have ever dealt with, Michelle made
numerous calls to WinAir trying to locate our stuff and was genuinely
concerned with ensuring we enjoyed our stay in spite of our airline
problems and rainy weather. If you go to Statia, dive with Golden Rock.
When we showed up to dive on the third day Michelle was on the phone with
WinAir, they had landed and wanted to know why we weren't at the airport to
depart for Saba. I gave Michelle my itinerary which showed we had
reservations on a 3:00PM flight that day not 7:30AM. WinAir informed her
that if we didn't get to the airport in 10 minutes, we would not be able to
leave until the following day. We packed in 5 and Michelle drove us to the
airport. She gave us a hug and we departed, once again without luggage, due
to a full plane and weight limitations. We made a total of 8 flights on
this trip and the only flight that had our luggage when we landed was the
return trip to LAX. 
 Unfortunately, we were only able to make 4 dives, so can't really provide
a good assessment of the diving. We dove the Blue Bead dive, which was a
muck dive where one of the divers actually found a blue bead. We also dove
a large wreck, which was quite interesting, and the Double Wrecks site.
Golden Rock Dive Center is a Class operation, Michelle and Glenn went
beyond expectations in trying to make our time enjoyable. Michael and Lis
were not only informative and professional divemasters, but were
entertaining and kept things fun and interesting. The island is very
interesting with a lot of history. Things commonly found in touristy areas
are non existent. There are some good restaurants within walking distance
of the Gin House. The Blue Bead was probably the best. Gin House food was
good, but a bit overpriced. If you stay at the Old Gin House, I recommend
the Ocean Front Rooms. They are very nice with privacy and a great view.
 Due to the difficulties with WinAir, I do not recommend a multi island
trip. We met two other divers on Saba who had booked Statia as their 2nd
island, but never made it due to WinAir's inability to land on Saba for
several days. A 1000' runway doesn't allow much room for crosswinds. If you
do go multi island, you might consider "The Edge" which is the
ocean ferry. You get to travel with your luggage. I know they service Saba
and St. Maarten, but not sure about Statia. See Saba write up for remaining
trip info.
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