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

Golden Rock Dive Center/The Old Gin House, Mar, 2011,

by Sandra Quick, MI, US ( 2 reports). Report 6022.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving South Pacific, Hawaii,
Central America, all over the Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas surge
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Guided tours.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Golden Rock is a well run shop. Co owner Michelle was very helpful answering questions via email about dive package options. The shop has an affiliation with The Old Gin house. We dove 9 days and spent 6 nights in a one bedroom ocean front suite and 5 nights in a second floor garden view room. Had to move as the ocean front suite wasn't available for our whole stay. The diving consists of deep patch reefs. No real walls. The average depths were 55-70 feet. We decided to use Nitrox as a result. There is a wreck the "Charles Brown" at about 90 feet. It is a cable layer intentionally sunk in 2003(?). Two morning dives are offered at approximately 0930 and 1130am. An afternoon dive at 1430 and evening dives are available given sufficient interest. We did two afternoon dives to "Blue Bead Hole" - a shallow sandy spot - looking for the elusive blue beads. We didn't score a bead but one diver on the boat did. The dive boat is a large Pontoon boat called the "Easy go In". We entered via a giant stride amidships and re-entered the boat via ladders at the stern. We usually had 6 divers but once had 12. 6 was great. 12 was a bit much. The shop stored our gear (picked it up at the Old Gin House the first day). The Old Gin House is a short pleasant walk from the shop. We got on the boat at a pier adjacent to the shop. We returned to the shop between dives for our surface interval. The diving is good. We saw more flying gurnards in our 20 dives here than our previous 500 dives! The sealife is very approachable especially the pufferfish, southern stingrays, french and gray angelfish,and lobster. Lots of spotted eels. The second morning dive got in too late for lunch a couple of times. The few local restaurants stop serving lunch at 2pm. The dive staff seemed loathe to rush guests but this needs to be done with larger groups! We learned to order lunch from the Blue Bead (across the street from the shop) between the morning dives. An effort to get in before lunch ends or suggesting divers order take out would be nice. We dove mostly with Matt. A very pleasant young man. A well traveled American who studied marine biology in Australia. Also dove with Co- owner Glen. Both shared discoveries with us...they both pointed out pipefish and sailfin blenny we would have never found on our own. No rinse tank at the shop or at the Old Gin House. Two hoses at the shop to rinse gear. Will do a seperate review on the Old Gin House (accommodations and service) on Tripadvisor.com. Our favorite restaurants were Ocean View (in the upper town) and Blue Bead (on the waterfront). Old Gin House offers a nice breakfast but has no restaurant (a definate negative). Michelle told us to bring cash for dining out as many restaurants didn't take cards. US$ accepted everywhere. Nice hiking available for afternoons or dry days. We found the nice walks/hikes a real plus. We would definately recommend spending some time walking in the upper town and exploring the fort. On our inbound flight there were a number of folks coming just for the hiking! Winair was actually quite efficient. We had a third bag. A $40/50(?) charge for it. All three made it coming and going.
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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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