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Dive Review of Bill Tewes' Dive St. Vincent in
St. Vincent and the Grenadines/St. Vincent

Bill Tewes' Dive St. Vincent, Jan, 2010,

by Todd Lichtenstein, NJ, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 10 reports). Report 5345.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Belize, Galapagos, Lembeh, Florida Keys, Papua New Guinea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy, surge, no currents
Water Temp 81 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 70 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions No restrictions,just your computer limits and your air
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 2 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments [None]St. Vincent

This is the best macro diving I have ever seen in the Caribbean. Getting there is a schlep and takes 12 to 14 hours from the east coast. LIAT was its usual tardy self. Flight was 2 hours late from St. Lucia to St. Vincent. All of our bags did arrive along with us, however.

We stayed at Sunset Shores and dived with Dive St. Vincent. The hotel is a little overpriced and needs some renovation especially in the rooms where some of light fixtures were damaged and needed to be replaced, the closet doors were off their tracks, and some of the furniture (e.g. dresser) was cheesy. However, the beds were firm and comfortable, everything was clean, and the a/c worked. There was an in-room safe, but it was placed on such a high shelf in the closet that people of average height had to stand on a chair to access it a minor but constant annoyance. The food was good although the service was often glacial. We checked out Beachcombers next door and Mariners down the beach. They both would make good choices. Mariners has a very good French restaurant which gave a 20% discount to all hotel guests. Rooms at Mariners are being renovated and appeared nice but a little austere; rooms at Beachcombers are very nicely furnished. Sunset Shores had the nicest pool/beach/outdoor area of the three. All three are within walking distance of Dive St. Vincent. At low tide divers can take the shorter way, just a couple of minutes along a narrow stretch of sand (and, if coming from Beachcombers or Sunset Shores, over some treacherous jagged steel beneath a pier make sure your tetanus shot is current); at high tide, you must walk up a short but steep hill and along the road, which can take 10 minutes or so. Dive St. Vincent will pick you and your gear up at your hotel on the first day and bring you back on your last day of diving, but other than that they do not gladly offer to assist with transportation between hotel and dive shop.

None of the dives were very deep; the deepest we dove all week was 65 feet most lasted 60 to 70 minutes. Dive St. Vincent has 3 boats, all very fast and none with full sun shades. We dived on two out of the 3 boats. One had a cuddy cabin and a roof over the helm area. The other boat had a roof over the helm area mid ships. Except for one day when there were only three divers plus Bill and divemaster D.J., there were between 5 and 8 divers and, regardless of which boat we were on, it was crowded, awkward and uncomfortable. Some of the dive sites are a 30 minute trip from the dive shop. There is one two-tank trip per day, usually starting late, about 9:30 a.m., which means that youll be lucky to get back in time to have lunch around 2:30. This also makes doing an afternoon dive almost impossible.

Bill Tewes, the owner of Dive St. Vincent, led all the dives and he has an uncanny ability to find small critters. Bill can be cantankerous and seems to enjoy hectoring his customers almost as much as he does finding critters. There is no crew on the boat during the dive. They are all underwater. We were cautioned not to leave anything of value on the boat including wallets and hotel keys. Apparently people have come on to the unattended boat and not only stolen cash but taken the hotel keys and broken into divers hotel rooms. This is a do it yourself dive operation. If you come up before Bill or one of the crew you have to climb up the dive ladder with all your gear on and take it off yourself. If you are lucky enough not to be the first one up then one of the other divers might (or might not) help you with your camera and gear. BCs, regulators, masks and fins can be left in mesh bags for the crew to rinse and load onto the boat the following day, but wetsuits and cameras must be taken back to ones hotel to be rinsed, and Sunset Shores does not provide a space for this.

During our week of diving we saw and photographed Leech head shield slugs, cryptic teardrop crabs, blue fin jawfish, schools of squid at close range, several frogfish, slender filefish, lots of arrow crabs, lots of lobsters, to name a few.

We spent our last day touring Fort Charlotte, the Botanical Gardens and some of the other towns by taxi. The young tour guide at the fort was extremely knowledgeable. While it is not strictly necessary to have a guide to tour the Botanical Gardens, it is hard to avoid them and in any event, youll get much more out of the experience by seeing it with someone who knows all the various plants and trees. Our guide, Professor Sinclair (or St. Clair?) was both informative and entertaining. After inhaling a variety of crushed spices and herbs, it was easy to see how European explorers were enchanted by their heady aromas.

If you like small critters some of which are smaller than your fingernail then St. Vincent might make a comparatively inexpensive 1 week trip.




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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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