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

Homer Callowy, Aug, 2010,

by Joe Bean, IL, US ( 2 reports). Report 5656.

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

Weather sunny Seas calm
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.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 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 N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments [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 Club
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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