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Dive Review of Wind Dancer in
Trinidad and Tobago/Tobago

May, 2005, an Instant Reader Report by Edith and John Summey, IL, USA
Report Number 2112
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
Over 1000 dives
Where else diving
naire,Belize,Mexico)Pacific(Socorro,CocosIsland ,Galapagos,Tahiti,Truk
Lagoon,Palau,Yap,Sipadan,Bali,N.Sulawesi,Phuket,Burma,PNG) Australia,
Antartica, Mediterranean (Costa Brava, S. France, Corsica, Sardina, Italy),
Red Sea
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, rainy, cloudy  
Water Temp
80   to 0    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
The diving was treated as drift diving even though there was little
current. Divers were herded down the reef as a group and not allowed to do
their own dives. Very unsatisfactory!  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
3 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
3 stars  
Boat Facilities
3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Camera table on dive deck was adequate with air pressure supplied and rinse
buckets. But, dive policies were not photo-friendly in that rushing divers
down the reef was not conducive to photographic activity.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
4 stars
4 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
2 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
     My husband and I scheduled diving together for the first week and I
remained on the boat for a second week of diving. Week one was OK to a
degree, but problems were becoming apparent. Our primary interest was video
and still photography. Yet, the arrangement was for "drift"
diving whereby we were expected to keep up with the group. Perhaps at times
there is enough current to warrant drift diving, but during the two weeks I
was there, there was not enough current to affect diving. Yet the other
divers swam higher over the reef and sped down the reef not allowing any
time for photography. 
     During the first week my husband and I managed to do our own dives
most of the time, but during the second week, I faced a problem because
even though I am a certified solo diver with my own redundant air supply
and signed applicable waivers, I was told to drag a safety sausage
throughout the dive. That would have been dangerous since it would have
become entangled on the coral and would have interfered with my camera
     I had great difficulty trying to chase after the group. Furthermore,
frequently my air was not pumped to working pressure causing delay and
argument about what was acceptable. Lynn, the dive director, seemed to
delight in finding fault and fabricating policies such as stating that it
is a Peter Hughes policy not to shampoo hair on the dive deck. (Other Peter
Hughes boats even provide the shampoo on the dive deck!) There was a
general attitude on the boat to prevent problems by restriction rather than
by solutions. The answer was not how to do something safely, the answer was
to not do it at all. 
     In general, these factors were frustrating and/or unpleasant:
Bad weather, rain, poor light
Terrible visibility on many dives, runoff from river
Exhaustion from almost constant hard swimming to keep up
Rapid use of air supply due to swimming complicated by the challenge of
getting a full fill to 3000 psi
Dive sites inconsistent in terms of quality ranging from nice structure
with plenty of coral and variety to devastated coral patches overturned
from the hurricane, piles of junk and old tires and worn down, sediment
covered coral rubble. 
Warnings about strong currents as the reason for group drift diving yet
they never materialized.  
Often the group drifted up over the reef in what current existed so that
they were carried along and were kicking as well, while I, down closer to
the reef to take the photos of fish and other features, was out of any
current and thus really left behind.
     The last straw was a severe admonishment from Lynn over a couple of
empty shells I picked up off of the sand. She claimed that collecting
shells violated the law of Tobago, export of shells was prohibited, and
having shells was punishable by fine. Furthermore, she announced that the
Peter Hughes policy forbade picking up anything from the sea.  In fact,
there is no such Tobago law at all and the written Peter Hughes
preservation of nature clause restricts the taking of "any live
animal, shellfish, fish, coral..." There is nothing about seashells.
If you like dive director aggression and dictatorship, the Wind Dancer is
the liveaboard for you.
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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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