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Dive Review of Peter Hughes Wind Dancer in
Trinidad and Tobago/Tobago

Peter Hughes Wind Dancer, Nov, 2004,

by Timothy W. Smith, TX, USA . Report 1464.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Belize, Cozumel, Bahama's, PNG, Palau, Fiji, Roatan, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 20 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Depth Limits and Time.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was ample space on board the Wind Dancer. Compressed air, towels, seperate charging station, rinse tank.

On the Tender there was a safe, secure place to store the equipment, but no fresh water on the Tender for rinsing photo gear.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Going into the trip, we knew the diving wouldn't be the best due to weather conditions, but we had an overall great experience. This is not a dive destination for beginners there is surge, current, and changing conditions that require a diver with experience. You must be comfortable controlling buoyancy, and entry on and off a tender in rough surface water.

The Island of Trinidad in the areas we saw was quite dirty, and overcrowded. I wish we had time to explore the nicer parts of the Island here, but really only stayed overnight on both ends of the trip for transfers. It looks like little America with KFC's and Pizza hut's everywhere.

Now onto the good stuff - Tobago is a hidden gem. From the time we arrived, until the time we departed, this little island took on the look and feel of a place to escape time. We were picked up at the airport by Ray of Peter Hughes, and spent the day at the Hilton on Tobago as day guests. This is a very nice hotel. For the individuals in our group that stayed overnight, they were pleased with the rooms.

The Hilton Tobago is located on the Atlantic side of the coast, and gets a fair amount of wind, and waves along it's private, and a secondary semi-private beach. The hotel food was reasonably priced, and very good. The fruity drinks were given a thumbs up by Tisha, and I found the local Beer Carib to be very tasty also. Just a note, there is a second beer called STAG that is the "Man's beer", but only had more alcohol content. The pool and services were great at the Hilton. The only downside I saw were some of the international guests. They were very unreceptive to locals, and Americans. Oh well, another story there.

On the Wind Dancer boat, the crew was professional and a blast. I actually ran into an employee that was on the Sundancer I when it was in Palau (now the Star Dancer in PNG). The Instructor Suzanne, and all the DM's: Tian, Tyson, Mr. Miller, and Motley (aka Mr. Handsome to the ladies) were professional and fun. The meals were typical 5 stars throughout, and there was always plenty of entertainment from the crew and the guests on the boat. Motley was just on temporary assignment, but should be pursued to be a full time DM on this boat.

The diving was up and down. They have had much rain and mudslides on Tobago, so the dives close to shore were poor, but the dives away from the main shores were incredible.

The Atlantic Side provided the most reef, and fish life I have ever seen in the Caribbean!!!!! The reefs are lush, vibrant, and covered in diverse marine life. I have never seen so many large fish, and in so much quantity. It was like diving in Belize and Cozumel on steroids. Similar to Belize for the reef, and Cozumel for the large size of fish.

The Caribbean side was more rocky, and deeper dives, but provided an incredible glimpse of game fish, and sharks. The dive through London Bridge was an incredible experience. Listening to the waves crashing overhead, and having the surge push you through this arched tunnel was AWESOME.

We saw tons of Spotted Drums, Golden Eels, Angels, Trunkfish, Scorpion fish, and thousands of Creole Wrasse's. It was not uncommon on the Caribbean side to see Jack's and Barracuda's chasing after them. Also on the trip, a Manta was seen from the surface, Dolphins off the bow of the boat, Sea Horses, and Hammerheads (unfortunately not my group).

Captain Brian did the best he could to provide great diving for the group, and has and incredibly diverse background in Medical Training, Diving, and now working on his 500 Ton License. He is worth to sit down and chat with. He went out of his way to make us feel like we were at home!!!!!! Great job Brian!!!!!

When we docked back on Friday in Scarborough, Tom, Mary, Tisha, Craig, Marc, and I ventured into town. Craig and Marc found Pizza and an Internet Cafe. The rest of us found local shops and pubs to pass the time. I made many new friends at one of the mini-markets with a large quantity of Carib's passed out. The prices were extremely affordable for everything with an exchange rate of $1US = $6TT, a $5.50TT beer (includes VAT and TIP) was a bargain.

The only complaint was the condition of the tenders. There is some long overdue maintenance that is needed for them. The overall condition of the boat was good, but none of their boats that I have been on are as nice as the Sundancer II in Belize. We also spent two full nights in port, which was disappointing. The rationale was to keep it calm for dinner, but I would have rather steamed ahead to our destination earlier.

The Wind Dancer is a different type of boat, and could benefit from some stabilizers this is not a boat for people who are looking for smooth calm water the whole trip. The benefit of this was good easy drift dives, and lush marine life.

The best way to view the pictures is by picking the folder, and utilizing the slideshow option.

I always look forward to comments and feedback on the pics. I used a Sea and Sea 3.1M total underwater Digital Camera with two Sea and Sea Auto Strobes for this 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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