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Dive Review of Octopus Diving/La Vista in
St. Maarten/Gran Case, St Martin

Octopus Diving/La Vista, May, 2012,

by Timothy Waite, Arizona, US ( 1 report). Report 6552.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, La Paz Mx, San Carlos Mx, Thailand, Philippines, Fiji, Hawaii, Florida Keys, Beleze, Roatan, So. Cal.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 76 to 78 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dives were lead by dive guides / Instructors. While they lead the dive, they really allowed divers to explore independently as long as they stayed in sight of the dive leader.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 2 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food N/A
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Went to St. Maartin on a vacation with a timeshare I had bought independently of the resort. The resort was very well maintained and beautiful. The staff was very helpful, and it was located in a central location near the airport, with plentiful eating, drinking and entertainment establishments very close by. The Property (La Vista) was on the ocean, with a beach. I did some snorkeling off the breach, and while the marine life directly off the beach wasn't plentiful, there was lots to see.

Based on other trip reports from Undercurrent, I opted to dive with Octopus divers, on the French side of the island. They gave me good directions to get to their shop, and the morning commute was about 25 - 30 minutes. Their staff is fantastic, they only take 6 divers on each boat, and their departure schedules are promptly at the time stated! As depths were not significant (50-60 ft max on only one dive), surface intervals were a bit rushed (about 30 minutes), but the crew was very helpful. The Octopus Diving staff carries your gear to the boat, sets it up for you, swaps cylinders in-between dives, and then rinses your gear after diving is done. There is a small bucket for camera's and they carry defog and ensure your mask is defogged before each dive.

We dove a wreck (the Tugboat) which was our deepest dive. Marine life wasn't plentiful, but there was enough to keep the diving enjoyable. Other dive locations (Basse Espagaole, Chris Reef, and Marianne's Reef or New Reef) proved to have a greater abundance of sea life, but still not as much as places such as Cozumel or the Philippines. Visibility was generally descent, and the diving was relaxed, comfortable, and the dive guides made attempts to point out marine life as they found it (had I kept up with them). I brought my own gear, so I cannot speak to the quality of their gear. However, it appeared rental gear included a BCD which required a weight belt (I prefer integrated weight systems).



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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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