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Dive Review of Dive Fair Helen/Oasis Marigot in
St. Lucia/Marigot Bay

February, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Roland and Pam Hebert, MA, US (1 report)
Report Number 5422
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Bonaire, Aruba, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Hawaii, Tobaggo, St. Croix, Newport
R.I. and Lake Mead, NV
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
79   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
30   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Dives were generally 50 minutes.  No more than 65 feet.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  5 stars
Large Fish
2 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
4 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
2 stars  
No tub for cameras.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
3 stars
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars    
4 stars   
4 stars    
We stayed at the Oasis Marigot resort in Marigot Bay, just outside of
Castries.  The resort was on the opposite side of the Bay from the
connecting roads and stores.  We took a small ferry boat back and forth. 
It was never a problem getting around.  Oasis Marigots rooms are split
level cabins that are well maintained.  Its a time share resort that can
be difficult to trade into.  The cabs were way too expensive.  We finally
found out how to take the bus into town, but it required a difficult walk
up the hill and down the other side to get to the nearest bus stop.  The
service at Doolittles restaurant was poor and meals were over priced.

The main dive operator in the Bay is Dive Fair Helen.  From other
Undercurrent reports we knew what to expect.  We booked a 5 day package (5,
2 tank dives) at $355 each.  I negotiated a 20% discount on the one day
price to add a 6th day.  Dive Fair Helen advertises that they are a member
of DAN, and they fly a DAN flag on the boat, but we later found out that
they havent belonged to DAN for several years.

On the flight from San Juan to St. Lucia one of our bags stayed behind. 
The next day the volcano on Montserrat erupted and closed down air traffic
for three days.  Dive Fair Helen let us use their masks and fins at no
extra cost until the rest of our gear arrived.

They started late almost every day.  The first and third days were the
worst.  We waited for cruise ship customers until 10:30 and didnt get into
the water for our first dive until 11:36 on our first day, and 12:03 on the
third day.  So we ended up sleeping late most mornings and bringing our
books everywhere to make use of the wasted time.

In between dives the operator provided everyone with a full lunch.  We had
a meat dish like chicken or lamb chops, rice, beans, salad and noodles of
some type.  One day they served lasagna  along with macaroni & cheese. 
All this food made us heavy for our second dive.  Often times burping up
the flavors while we were 50 feet down.  After a few days we brought
plastic containers with us to save most of the food, and brought it back to
our rooms.  One night we fed four people on Dive Fair Helen leftovers.

The dive crew was very friendly and fun to be with.  Dive briefings were
short and skimpy, but most of the dives were drift, so it was just follow
the leader.  It bothered us that most trips had snorkelers on board, so the
boat left us to serve the non-divers, and returned to pick us up at the end
of our dive.  If anyone had a problem and had to surface, there would be no
boat around to help a diver in distress.

The St. Lucia marine reserve charges a fee from all divers.  We paid the
yearly fee to Dive Fair Helen but received no receipt or tag.  We asked
every day for the tag, but they never had any.  We made a fuss about it and
finally received our tags in the mail about three weeks later.

The dive sites were great.  We did Beehive, Lesleen M. wreck (twice), Anse
La Raye (reef and wall), Supermans Flight (twice), Grand Caille, Devils
Hole, Rosemon Trench, Coral Gardens and Pinnacles.  The first time we did
Supermans Flight there was a fast current that literally felt like flying.
 The second time the current was very mild.  We enjoyed the repeat dives
because they still had a lot to offer.  On the last day we used the faster
boat and made it to Coral Gardens and Pinnacles.  They were really the
highlight dives of the week.

We saw very few large adult fish, but the numbers and variety of smaller
fish was plentiful.  We found a frog fish on the Lesleen M and spotted
scorpionfish at most of the dive sites.  Im always looking for small
critters, and there were so many spaghetti worms, fire or bristle worms,
banded coral shrimp and arrow crabs that I ended up with a ton of pictures
of them. 

My wife does fish reports to REEF and was pleased to report several rare
sightings.  We found Sargassum Triggerfish at Grand Caille, Purplemouth
Moray at Anse La Raye, Redspotted Hawkfish at more than 5 sites, and a
field of Rosy Razonfish at Coral Gardens.
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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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