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Dive Review of Wind Dancer in
Trinidad and Tobago/Tobago

Wind Dancer, Dec, 2004,

by Martha & Jeff Hubbard, NY, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 1503.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Palau, Fiji, Australia, PNG, Truk, Bonaire, Honduras, Belize, US & BVI, Brazil . . .
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, surge, currents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Follow the leader.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments
Rinse tank on Wave Dancer, none on tenders. Crew is careful. Divemaster CNN very knowledgeable. No computer on ship for downloading (but room to use your own.) There is E-6 processing but nearly everyone was digital!

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Wind Dancer is a pleasant ship a lot more so if you have Cabin 1, with queen bed, instead of a lower-deck cabin with a double lower bunk and a head-bumping upper. There is a nice dive platform with big exit ladders, but you wont get to dive from it. (Pity we had a great time on it 8 years ago.) All the diving is from two tenders, and regrettably, theyre ordinary day-diving six- packs with uncomfortable seats, insecure tank racks, low freeboard and portable exit ladders put over the gunnel when someone wants to board. (Divers remembering the commodious jet-driven tenders of Sun Dancers in Palau will weep.) Since the rides to & from the dive sites are 10-15 minutes each, you spend 2-2.5 wet, bumpy and uncomfortable hours a day on the tenders. Some divers complained that the dives were too close together (much of the surface intervals goes in the tenders) and that the number of dives should be reduced! Happily, when it was pointed out that doing every dive is not mandatory, that idea died. We dove nitrox 32%. Fills nearly always >2950 psi, topped off on request. We rented a (backup) computer because of a threatened malfunction; there are no nitrox-capable computers for rent! Dives are shallow enough and surface intervals long enough that neither air nor nitrox should put you in deco.

There are some rough seas between the Caribbean and Atlantic, so pack your best seasickness remedy. Anchorages were pretty calm.

Every dive is led, but the guides allow for photographers and other slow people. If you like diving on your own (with or without buddy), forget it. The diving, as Peter says, is like the Caribbean used to be. Great topography, corals, and small reef fish, and the biggest angelfish (French, queen, grey) and turtles weve ever seen. NO groupers or other potentially table-size fish theyve all been eaten. We did 22 dives of an available approximately 24, average dive time 53 min. Most were 50-80 ft max, a few in the 95 ft range.

The Peter Hughes secret, which isnt secret, is the crew and Wind Dancer is no exception. Captain Eddie dealt with mechanical problems and the Whiners From Hell with equanimity. First mate Brian did diving, plumbing, photo, whatever, always cheerful. The local divemasters know the sites well and try to please everyone. And chef Yanis, familiar to PHD veterans, keeps the Belizean home cooking coming.

Ray Sloper, Transfer Agent extraordinaire, makes transfers to and from airport as painless as possible, and will take you to the Hilton - good place - to wait or arrange an interesting tour of the island on the last day. He makes you feel that you have a knowledgeable friend, and thats especially important on Tobago. BWIA must have the worst on-time record of any airline since the Iron Curtain came down, but they dont seem to have the miserable baggage attitude that TACA, ALM & c. have. Getting from Trinidad to and from Tobago seems pretty disorganized but worked o.k.

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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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