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Dive Review of Man Friday and DIVE M Redman/Man O' War Cottages, Charlotteville in
Trinidad and Tobago/Charlotteville/ Speyside

January, 2003, an Instant Reader Report by Beverly Coburn, CO, USA (1 report)
Report Number 339

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Reporter
Dive Experience
251-500 dives
Where else diving
Fiji, Hawaii, California Coast & Channel Islands, Coronado Islands
(Mexico)and Baja, Caymans, Grand Turk, St.Croix, Guanaja, Florida, Bonaire,
Curacao, Cozumel, Culebra

Dive Conditions

Weather
sunny  
Seas
choppy, surge, currents  
Water Temp
75   to 78    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
0
Water Visibility
50   to 80    Feet  
 
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
no  
 
Enforced diving restrictions  
All dives guided due to current. Man Friday more rigid about limits.   
Liveaboard?
no 
Nitrox Available?
N/A 
What I saw
Sharks
1 or 2 
Mantas
None 
Dolphins
None 
Whale Sharks
None 
Turtles
> 2 
Whales
None 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Corals
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
5 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  3 stars
 
 
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
1 stars  
Boat Facilities
1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
1 stars  
Shore Facilities  
1 stars  
Comments
Not the place for underwater photographers with either of these operators
due to open boats, rough seas, no facilities, potentially lots of current
and surge. Personally, it was nice not to have to deal with beginner divers
with cameras or "professionals" with their huge camera set-ups
grabbing and stomping the reefs.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Accommodations
2 stars
Food
5 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
N/A
Dive Operation
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  
Snorkeling
N/A  
 
 

Overall Rating

Value for $$
N/A    
Beginners
1 stars   
Advanced
4 stars    
Comments  
Our family of 4 (including 2 boys 5 & 7) went to Tobago after reading a
recent Undercurrent article, which we followed up with additional research.
MAN FRIDAY DIVERS(Charlotteville)- Anna a sweet & watchful divemaster,
did a good job in the water but inadequate briefing. Confusing policy for
reboarding the boat in very rough seas. Tremendous surge underwater, swells
and fumes topside left half of us sick (although I with the SCOP patch was
the only one to actually succumb to the nausea.)Bjorn, "the boss"
was downright hostile toward every American diver we spoke to in Tobago
(including us) and has a very poor reputation with the locals due to his
arrogant, nasty demeanor. His outrageous behavior (rude ranting and raving,
badmouthing divers in their absence) and scheduling rigidity were
unprofessional and unprecedented in the decades (combined) my husband and I
have been diving. Unfortunately the other Charlotteville dive operator RON
was out injured and did not dive until the end of our trip. So we made the
drive over to Speyside and dove with Redman (DIVE M REDMAN), a local with
the best reputation on the island. He bent over backward to accomodate our
little group of 4, adding a separate trip for us so the boat and diving
would not be too crowded. Beautiful drift diving over pristine reef with
lots of variety in terrain and perfectly timed so safety stops were spent
over shallow reefs. Lots of great fish life although not the mantas or
hammerheads recently reported by other divers. Our original cottage at MAN
O' WAR Cottages was somewhat shabby and not as clean as it could've been,
but we adjusted to it and were very happy there due to the comfy beds,
roomy deck, beautiful grounds, and super location right on the beach. We
loved the short walk to town by beach or road, the constant twitter of
tropical birds, the exciting and flavorful local cuisine, the rainforest,
and mostly the lovely local people. We were able to hire a young local
woman to watch our kids and they loved her. As reported by others, big
sister Trinidad is a MUST for nature lovers, including ASA WRIGHT NATURE
CENTER, CARONI SWAMP TOUR, and ARIPO COTTAGE for delightful accomodation
and great surprises. 
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Subscriber's Comments

By Tom Drewien in ID, US at Mar 27, 2014 19:50 EST  
We did only one dive with Man Friday on Tobago just a few months after you
were there in 2003. Agree with everything you said about the place,
attitude, lack of any help with gear, etc. Our divemaster was nice but
cramped up on dive and also very little fish to see. But in their defense
we had a newbie on board and they took the 'easy dive out' excuse of not
going to a perhaps better dive site.  My wife is a small person and they
expected her to carry tank and all off boat, thru water and along beach
back to dive center. I told her to leave stuff on beach and they could come
and get it themselves. . Would not recommend it to anyone, and we also read
the undercurrent report on Charlotteville and did not find the place near
as enchanting as written.  We also tried Speyside but it was all to windy
and rough waters while there.  We had spent a month diving in Venezuela on
Isla Margarita's cooler waters 75 degrees +or-, prices extremely
inexpensive, and diving limited and primitive but  very interesting.
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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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