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Dive Review of Aquamarine Dive/Blue Waters Inn, Tobago in
Trinidad and Tobago/Speyside

Aquamarine Dive/Blue Waters Inn, Tobago, Oct, 2004,

by S. Titus, VA, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports). Report 1418.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Dominica, Bequia, Bonaire, Saba, Puerto Rico, Roatan, Belize, Cozumel, BVI
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 80 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 20 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Time and depth, entry and exit
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments The design of the boat doesn't accommodate large cameras, but the staff used a styrofoam cooler as a makeshift camera bucket for us. The camera rinse tank at the dive shop was not filled for some reason. Did our camera maintenance in the room. Speed of current on each dive will determine success or failure for pictures!

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 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments After reading very mixed reviews of the Blue Waters Inn on several travel websites, we were pretty wary of what we would get. Aside from the disappointment of a mix-up in our reservation that put us in a 2-room kitchenette suite instead of a full cottage, we were very pleased with the accommodations. The rooms were simple but clean and well-kept, beds comfortable, A/C if you wanted it, and bathrooms in good shape with no mold or corroding fixtures. TV is located in a game room; no phones in the rooms either. (Bring your own alarm clock). We had strong consistent water pressure, and were never out of hot water in our shower. The grounds of the Inn are well-kept, with many bird feeders to attract the hundreds of species that live on Tobago. The beach is narrow, with tree roots and rocky sand, but is kept free of litter.

The manager- Duane Kenny -is very sociable, attentive, and aims to please. Aside from him, service response is slow; if you need something done or fixed it may take 2-4 requests. As long as you are patient and persistent, it will happen. The staff are polite, but not very overtly friendly as on other islands. We ate breakfast and lunch everday at the onsite restaurant, The Fishpot, as well as a few dinners. The food was consistent in quality and good. We also went to dinner at Jemma's Treehouse in Speyside for the most incredible lobster dinner we've ever eaten, and to Sharon & Pheb's in Charlottesville for another great local seafood dinner. Having a car helped - BWI is tucked away in a remote setting and a bit of a hilly walk to town. Most guests are Europeans, with a split mix of divers and birders. Everyone dressed very casually.

The dive shop, although on-site, is a separate business. The staff is courteous and helpful if asked, but no-one steps up to tell you the "drill" on getting geared and onto the boat; you either watch or ask another diver. Set-up is done at the shop, a cart takes the gear to the boat. Gear is switched to new tanks at the dock between the dives; after last dive gear is carried (by you unless you ask) to be rinsed at shop and set aside for next day. The boat is very simple - tanks in the middle with gear on, with divers seated in front of gear for 5 - 15 minute ride to sites. Group back-roll entries are done; some dives require fast descents due to currents. You are "counted" back at the shop - not on the boat after dives. Everyone is given a safety sausage, if you don't have your own - we also carried whistles. First dive is at 10-ish, second dive after lunch around 1PM. One or two night dives can be done during the week.

Hurricane Ivan did a real number on the delicate finger corals at a few sites (also strange to see a large land cacti at 100' depth), but still many sites with beautiful corals and lots of small to mid-size fish remain. Japanese Gardens is particularly stunning. Currents are not always consistent - switching at depth or along the wall - so on occasion you may need to swim into pretty stiff water for 10 - 15 minutes. It helps to be in shape - and you need solid bouyancy control to be comfortable. There is no drift line off the boat...so re-entry can be time consuming while the boat maneuvers to collect everyone. A few dive guides surprised us by grabbing little arrowhead crabs and releasing them away from their spots, or pulling lobsters out of crevices by their antennae while leaning on corals - not actions we wish to see. Also saw a good sized turtle shell on a night dive - the turtle had been freshly harvested and the shell dumped. No conservation efforts are apparent to protect the reefs. Tobago is behind the curve on protecting her underwater resources.

Still worth a trip; the island itself is beautiful with many waterfalls to hike to and a rainforest to explore. Englishman's Bay is a movie-set beach for a quiet day swimming and sunning.
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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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