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Dive Review of Homer Callowy in
Virgin Islands/St. Thomas

August, 2010, an Instant Reader Report by Joe Bean, IL, US (2 reports)
Report Number 5656
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
Throughout the caribbean...from Bonaire to Turks and Caicos to Cayman
Islands to Bahamas; some california diving
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

Water Temp
81   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 50    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
C-card inspection prior to rental; max depth 45 feet; diver doing final
open water dive was one of three of us diving.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  3 stars
Tropical Fish
2 stars  
Small Critters
  2 stars
Large Fish
2 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):
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
4 stars
Dive Operation
4 stars  
Shore Diving  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
4 stars    
5 stars   
3 stars    
[None]My diving companion was certified three years ago, and aside from one
disastrous dive in Belize two years ago, when the divemaster left us in the
water and boarded the dive boat -- she has not been in the water since. 
She was apprehensive  -- an understatement to be sure  but she was willing
to give it another go.  

Through a friend, I was put in touch with Homer Calloway, who runs Homers
Scuba and Snorkel Tours, a dive operation (url above) at Bluebeard's Beach
Wyndham Vacation Ownership on St. Thomas and another shop at Megans Bay,
on the north side of St. Thomas.   In our initial phone call, I explained
our situation to Homer:  Im an experienced diver (certified in the 70s and
active since) but my companion was not, and I thought a calm, no-stress,
relatively shallow dive would be our best choice.  If we couldnt do that,
I said, we probably shouldnt be on his boat.

Homer agreed, and told me he was taking a new diver out for her final
certification dive.  This would be an excellent opportunity, he saidcalm,
no stress, no long boat ride (two minutes or less in his dinghy, he
promised) and a max depth of about 40 feet.  Sounded perfect.  And it was.

Homer, a 29-year veteran of St. Thomas diving, is soft spoken, calm,
totally reassuring  and honest.  He said he loved working with beginning
divers, and it showed.  My companion told him she wanted to be treated as a
beginner, and he gracefully obliged. He took her through a quick but
thorough review of hand signals.  Showed her how the BCD works without
hurrying.  Did a nice pre-dive. Assembled her equipment and made sure
everything fit and worked before we left the dive shop.  And he took along
an extra regulator and weights, just in case either might be needed. 
Nice touch:  He told my companion that if her weights werent right, he
would adjust them underwater.  If she needed more, he would put them in the
pocket of her BCD.  No need to worry.   That was smart, I thought  explain
what might happen before were in the water, rather than try to solve a
beginners buoyancy problem underwater with hand signals.  Her weights were
fine, however.  Once youre in the water, Homer wants you to show him your
pressure gauge rather than use hand signals.   Made sense to me.  As he
said, different divers use different signals, and the most effective way
for him to be sure about each divers air supply was to look at each
divers gauge.

The three of us took a two-minute ride (maybe three?) in Homers
Zodiac-style dinghy (as he called it) into Megans bay and anchored.  
Homer calmly and methodically made sure each of us had our gear on
correctly (that beginning diver focus, again) before giving us the order in
which we would enter the water.  My companion went last; I was first.  That
was smart, too.  She told me she felt comfortable that I was in the water
first, and said she was reassured that Homer was paying full attention to
her and her gear before she back-rolled into the water.  

Once in the water, Homer led the dive, showing us a seven-foot tall
pinnacle coral and guiding us around the reef at a comfortable but steady
pace.  We stopped to see a sea turtle swim past and to get a glimpse of a
spiny lobster.  

Water temp was 83;  the visibility about 40 feet.  The reef  named Homers
Reef in honor of and by you-know-you  was alive with coral.  We didnt see
a lot of fish, although a plate-sized French Angelfish that kept a close
watch on us wasnt too shy.

We spent a little more than 45 minutes in the water, never hurrying or
feeling that Homer was hurrying us.  I lagged behind, taking photos of the
brain, boulder and starlet coral, along with a nice variety of gorgonians. 
 Every time I checked, Homer always had me and my dive buddy in sight, if
not in close but never intruding proximity.  

The new diver checked out fine, and when we returned to the shop 
literally steps away from the public beach  Homer assiduously took care of
all her paperwork before she left.  

Best part of the dive?  My reluctant companion told me later in the
afternoon that she wished we had more time  to make another dive!  Thank
you, Homer. 

Highly recommend Homer for beginning and new divers.  Our dive site was
tame, but that was exactly what we needed.  Did we see lots and lots of
fish and corals and sharks and everything we hope to see on every dive? 
Certainly not. But did we (my companion especially) relax in the water, see
things she'd not seen on an earlier dive or two, and enjoy being underwater
enough to want to do it again? Absolutely.  And that made this dive a great
dive.   Like my dive companion, Id like to dive again with Homer
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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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