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Dive Review of Aqatic Safaris in
The Continental USA/Wilmington, NC

August, 2008, an Instant Reader Report by Tim, MD, USA
Reviewer   (3 reports)
Report Number 4273
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
26-50 dives
Where else diving
FL, Mexico
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, currents  
Water Temp
81   to 72    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Deep & Wreck dives associated with AOW PADI certification. Had to stay
with group of 8 for part of each dive, but then use personal dive computer
profile for rest of dive.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  1 stars
Tropical Fish
1 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
4 stars  
Large Pelagics
  4 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
Boat Facilities
Overall rating for UWP's  
Shore Facilities  
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
3 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
3 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars   
4 stars    
My son and I made special advance arrangements (3 months ahead) with
Aquatic Safaris in Wilmington, NC to complete the 5 required dives for our
PADI Advanced Open Water certification. The owner, Paul Gregory, was very
accommodating for our needs. They ended up getting a group of 8 including
us for this class during our 5 day visit. This dive operator typically has
2 boats going during the season, but the 48ft dive boat was down for
maintenance while we were there. However, they made the 30ft ASII available
for our deep and wreck dives. We dived on the John Gill wreck as our deep
dive at 95 ft. This ship was torpedoed by German U-Boat during WWII. No
current on bottom and very good vis. (for NC) 25 miles off the coast. Lots
of local reef fish and a couple of large grouper. The wreck dive was on the
Hyde. Ripping current on the bottom (est. 2 kts). Lots of sand tiger sharks
(4-7 ft.) all around the wreck, especially on the bow. Also lots of large
barracudas. We were able to go down into an open hold to get out of the
current a bit - otherwise you are constantly swimming into it or holding on
to the wreck.

Aquatic Safaris is one of the larger dive operators in Wilmington. Boats
are a short 2 minute ride from the dive shop - plenty of parking and access
at both. Our instructor - Andre Nel - was super. Very knowledgeable and
enthusiastic for your participation and fun. The dive boat we were on was
their smallest. But it was well run, clean and comfortable. 

This was our first dive trip to NC, but we will return annually now. There
are so many wrecks to dive, including U-352 which was also sunk during
WWII. There are tons of hotels and restaurants in Wilmington and
Wrightsville Beach. And it's a fairly easy commute by car from Maryland.
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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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