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

Bill Tewes' Dive St. Vincent/Beachcombers Hotel, Oct, 2010,

by Jeff Robertson <BR>Fantasea E, CA, US (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 11 reports). Report 5981.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Australia, Fiji, Tonga, Palau, Tahiti, Kosrae, Niue, Cook Islands, Pohnpei, Chuuk, Belize, Mexico, Turks & Caicos Islands, Cayman Islands, Bonaire, Curacao, Bimini, Exhuma Keys, British Virgin Islands, Florida and California.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 84 to 85 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
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 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boats are not set up with UWP in mind.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments St. Vincent & the Grenadines - Trip Report

October 2010

Two feature articles in Undercurrent (March 2002 and January 2009) and several trip reports in the Chapbook convinced me to choose St. Vincent and the Grenadines as my next dive destination. I wasnt disappointed.

Getting here from California was not easy. We used frequent flyer miles on American Airlines that involved 4 takeoffs and landings. Our final leg on LIAT Airlines from Barbados to St. Vincent was fine, despite concerns from reading prior posts. The flight was on time, ground and flight crew very professional and most importantly, the reported 15-pound weight limits for carry-ons didnt affect us. My reg and camera gear in my carry-on were well over that limit, but not to worry. They werent even weighed. Dive karma.

We booked accommodations at Beachcombers Hotel in Villa Beach. Its a very nice family run boutique hotel located on a sloping property right on the beach across from Young Island. They have a very nice bar, restaurant and swimming pool located on a deck overlooking the ocean, where you can watch the incredible sunsets. The staff is very friendly and helpful.

We stayed in a large air-conditioned room with an ocean view that was exquisitely decorated. Beachcombers is just a short walk down the beach from Dive St. Vincent and the boat dock. A wooden walkway was just being completed that will make the short trip off the beach to the dive shop even easier.

Bill Tewes is the owner of Dive St. Vincent and went out with us on every dive. Ive never met anyone who knows as much about the undersea animals as Bill does. He not only knows the names of the fish, critters and coral, but he probably knows their scientific names too. Bill will point out things youve never seen and if youre lucky, some critters no one has seen before either. It seems DSV is discovering new critters all the time.

My first dive with DSV was at Orca Point, a 20 minute boat ride from the shop. We saw a southern teardrop crab, decorator crabs, many red hinds, juvenile french angelfish, several peacock flounders, octopus, many banded coral shrimp, many goldspot and spotted eels, a pair of jackknife fish, spotted drums, 3 high-hat babies protected in an urchin, garden eels, scorpion fish, hermit crabs, and many trumpetfish, sharp-nosed puffers, grunts, needlefish and several snapper eels who bury themselves in the sand. I had never seen one of these before. Seems they were first described and may exist only on St. Vincent. Wow. After my 85-minute dive I was running low on air and missed a red frogfish and reef squid spotted by dive master DJ who was leading another group of two divers.

And this is just a sample of the many and unusual critters we would see diving over the next several days. At The Wall we dropped down to 128 feet to see a red banded lobster; at Orca II we saw a pipefish and rough back batfish; at Critter Cove we saw 2 purple mouth eels and a magnificent urchin; at New Guinea we saw 2 yellow pike blennies; at Turtle Bay we saw a harlequin pipefish. And so it went for the week.

DSV uses Steel 80s so you wont need a lot of lead. As a matter of fact, Bill dives with no wetsuit or weights. Impressive! Most dives are not deep, so you can get a lot of bottom time. 90-minute plus dives are not uncommon. Most of the folks at DSV are locals who have been working with Bill for years. All are very knowledgeable, friendly and helpful. You are treated like adults, allowed to dive your own profile. The only restrictions apply to having good buoyancy, staying off the coral and not kicking up the bottom. DSV has at least 3 boats. The number of divers determines which boat or boats to take. We never had more than 6 divers on board at a time. The boat facilities are Spartan but sufficient. Anyone who communicated a specific need beyond what was available could make arrangements with the staff. No problem.

During the week I was in Saint Vincent, I got to know Bill a little bit. I found him to be a knowledgeable and straightforward gentleman with all the time in the world to share his fantastic underwater world with others. He seems to appreciate those kinds of traits in others and has little patience pretentiousness.

So, when you dive with Bill Tewes and staff at Dive St. Vincent, youll have a fantastic dive adventure and see more critters than you have anywhere else, all with a professional and experienced dive op, which is exactly why you came all this way in the first place.
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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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