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Dive Review of Carib Stu/Cholson Chalets in
Trinidad and Tobago/Charlottesville, Tobago

May, 2007, an Instant Reader Report by Jamie Levy, IL, USA
Report Number 3557
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
51-100 dives
Where else diving
My husband and I have been diving in Cozumel, Belize, Turks and Caicos,
Tobago, Bonne Terre Mine, Quarries.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
78   to 82    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 75    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
We were able to dive our own profiles.  Safety was always enforced.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
3 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
There is plenty to photograph.  We did not have any freshwater to store our
camera on the boat.  However, at the end of our trip, we were told that one
would have been provided for us if we just asked.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
4 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
2 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
2 stars   
5 stars    
My husband and I traveled to Tobago the first week in May, 2007 from
Chicago.  Tobago is a lovely island with fantastic diving.  However, it is
not easy to journey there.  We flew to Trinidad through Miami and spent a
night in Trinidad.  Apparently, most people must overnight in Trinidad on
their way to Tobago.  I would suggest staying anywhere near the airport as
there is a lot of traffic around the island and it isnt worth driving 45
minutes to sleep only 6 hours.  Be forewarned, the sleeping establishments
close to the airport are a little bit scary.  The following day, we hopped
a flight to Tobago where we rented a car to drive to the north side of the
island.  The drive is a beautiful 90 minutes along the cost. 
We stayed at Cholson Chalets in Charlottesville, which is a quaint little
fishing village in the north of Tobago. The Chalets consist of three
buildings: two antique two-storied buildings with wooden upstairs and
varnished wooden floors; and one (1) cottage. We rented a two bedroom
apartment fully equipped with a kitchen.  The apartment was charming,
however, there was no air-conditioning and we were incredibly hot.   We
bought food at one of the grocery stores near the airport but never ended
up cooking any meals.  The restaurants in Charlottesville and Speyside are
very good and very cheap.  Most are located on the beach and dinner cost
around $20 for two.  We ate lunch every day at Cheryls, our boat captains
wifes restaurant.  Her food was just delicious and ready for us after we
finished diving.  The food is essentially the same at each establishment
and offers the same Caribbean/Creole menu of beef, chicken, or fish.
We dove with Stuart Sampson from Carib Stu .  We were able to get in three
dives per day and finish around 1 pm. He offers an exclusive private guide
service for Divers who want something special.  You can check out his
website at   This was the first time my husband and I
hired a private dive guide and now we never want to dive on a crowded dive
boat again.  We were most definitely spoiled from the impeccable service
and individual attention we received from Stu.  He runs a topnotch
operation by focusing on fun with an emphasis on safety.  Tobago has some
serious currents. During each briefing, he not only described the site but
also explained how to maneuver through the currents and how to avoid
problems when caught in strong currents.  We were able to dive our own
profiles based on our computers.  He was an excellent guide pointing out
critters and such but also letting us explore on our own.  We were
fortunate to see the usual suspects including lobsters, crabs, turtles,
barracudas, eels, tarpon, different species of shrimp, and snapper.  In
addition we saw a Hammerhead, Blacktip Sharks, Mantas, Rays, and fantastic
Corals. We were lucky enough to have a close encounter with over 50 Squid. 
They are curious little buggers that checked us out and copied our every
movement.  They really were fascinating.  Stu took us to dive sites that he
founded and that the other operators do not frequent. Even topside, he was
great company and loved to joke around. After each day, Stu would rinse and
store our gear for the next day. Overall, we absolutely would recommend
diving with Stu. (We saw some of the other dive operations and they
appeared to be very unsafe and had no regard for any other dive groups.) In
my opinion, there is no better dive operation than Carib Stu.  We loved
diving off Speyside in Tobago and hope to return soon.
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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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