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

March, 2011, an Instant Reader Report by Sandra Quick, MI, US (2 reports)
Report Number 6022
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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

sunny, windy  
Water Temp
78   to 80    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
  to    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Guided tours.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  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
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
3 stars   
4 stars    
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  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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