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Dive Review of Scuba West, Scuba Shack, Cane Bay Divers in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

September, 2006, an Instant Reader Report by Gabriel I. Peñagarícano, PR, Puerto Rico
Report Number 2743
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
501-1000 dives
Where else diving
All over.
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

choppy, noCurrents  
Water Temp
84   to 86    ° Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
Recommended 80 ft. but not enforced.  
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
Whale Sharks
1 or 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  5 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  3 stars
Large Fish
1 stars  
Large Pelagics
  1 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
3 stars  
Shore Diving  
3 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
3 stars   
3 stars    
I had made prior arrangements with Scuba West to dive from Frederickstead
on two days. I specified that my son and I wanted to dive Northstar and
Vertigo, and was assured that, weather permitting, this could be done. When
we arrived for the first dive, the divemaster and part owner of Scuba West,
Chris, immediately began to paint a doomsday scenario about conditons on
the northwest shore, where Vertigo and Northstar are located. He even said
that the following day we might not be able to dive because of conditions
that he forecast would be prevalent due to hurricane Florence, at that time
about 800 miles away and heading for Bermuda. We sensed that he had
something more important than his clients to tend to on the following
morning and that he was setting the stage for a disappearing act. After two
dives on wrecks and an unremarkable patch coral reef, we changed into dry
clothing and drove to Cane Bay. There were shore divers galore going out to
the Cane Bay Wall and the conditions were nowhere what our
weatherman/divemaster had divined. Suspicions confirmed. On the following
morning we showed up at the appointed time and were met dockside by Chris
who palmed us off to Scuba Shack who had some guests they were taking out.
The two dives were again nothing to write home to mother about but the
operators of Scuba Shack, as well as their boat, were a welcome improvement
over Chris, his attitude and his boat. He had used an 28 foot all aluminium
boat which was designed and intended for many uses, but diving was
certainly not one of them. During the afternoon we went to Cane Bay and
dove Cane Bay Wall with Cane Bay divers on their unique inflatable with a
zippered bow floor. It is perhaps the easiest vessel, all 18 feet of it,
for entering and exiting the ocean. Visibility was not great but the area
is alive with healthy corals and plentiful reef denizens. Conclusion: when
diving the Frederickstead area avoid Scuba West like the plague and
patronize Scuba Shack. Cane Bay Divers is rudimentary but the only game in
town when diving that area. What they lack in amenities they more than make
up for in enthusiasm.
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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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