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

Golden Rock/Old Gin House, Feb, 2007,

by Jeffrey Johnson, IL, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 3097.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Belize, Roatan, Florida, Saba, Palau, Fiji, Cozumel, Little Cayman
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas surge
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Return with 500 psi, max depths recommended
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments The diving experience was very enjoyable. Interesting coral formations, walls with black coral etc, and wrecks. We saw more lobsters than we have anywhere, lots of turtles and spotted morays, a few stingrays, lots of the usual carribean fish including scorpionfish, schools of barracuda, small stuff including fireworm, shrimp. First time we had ever seen Flying Gurnards with wings spread underwater. Conditions were good at beginning of week but storm came middle of week, didn't effect topside much but stirred things up underwater. Charlie Brown wreck is a must dive, we were going to do penetration but conditions too murky. We probably should have used Nitrox because bottom time opportunity was significant, found we got close to decompression time sooner than we would have liked on second dive.

Golden Rock dive operation does a good job, accomodating, laid back, and competent. Boat was not crowded, had safety gear, no head but you return to land between dives. Other dive operations seemed to have smaller more crowded boats. Nothing moves too fast but that's the Caribbean. If we were to return to St. Eustatius, we'd use them again. Glenn and Michelle are owners, very helpful, also GMs of Old Gin House.

Old Gin House had excellent accomodations, no problems with a/c, water, housecleaning,etc. Our room was on water side, had great sunsets. We didn't see other resorts that seemed to be in same league but then we didn't explore much. Don't go to St. Eustatius for the beach, they don't have much. You can snorkel out to old sea wall. Food at Old Gin House was very good, particularly at dinner. Had beach bar barbeque + band on Wednesday, lots of fun. Allow plenty of time for breakfast, service is very slow and not particularly good. We didn't venture too far from Old Gin House for meals, did go to Blue Bead a few times for lunch and dinner, also very good. I was struck by few fish dishes on menu, particularly at Old Gin House. Other people seemed to like the Chinese place in town, a restaurant by old fort, and another place on beach road, none of whose names I remember.

We didn't explore island much. It has a great history, once was major seaport and trading area. We did go to town to get some provisions, had everything we needed. Visited old fort. We didn't do it but hiking up and into volcano supposedly worth doing, plus other side of island supposedly had better beaches. If we hadn't concentrated on getting our quota of daily dives (didn't take any off days), we would have rented a car and explored. Taxis are available also.

If you go, don't count on Winair to be on time, to give you any information, to get your luggage there on your flight, or to care about any of it.

All in all, an enjoyable trip. We'd recommend St. Eustatius, Golden Rock Dive Center, and Old Gin House. This probably won't be a repeat destination for us, but then we like to visit new places.

Jeff & Chris Johnson
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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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