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Dive Review of Underwater Boat Services [UBS]/ Island Hideaways Villa Rental in
Virgin Islands/Tortola, BVI

June, 2004, an Instant Reader Report by Robin A. Masson, NY, USA
Report Number 1162
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Reporter and Travel
Dive Experience
101-250 dives
Where else diving
All over Caribbean, Great Barrier Reef, Andaman Sea, Sea of Cortez
Closest Airport
Getting There


Dive Conditions

sunny, windy  
calm, choppy  
Water Temp
81   to 83    Fahrenheit  
Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility
40   to 60    Feet  
Dive Policy
Dive own profile
Enforced diving restrictions  
No restrictions.  We had a private boat with dive master and the four in
our party.  We stayed as long as we wanted, many dives more than an hour
Nitrox Available?
What I saw
1 or 2 
Whale Sharks
> 2 
Ratings 1 (worst)- 5 (best):
  4 stars
Tropical Fish
4 stars  
Small Critters
  4 stars
Large Fish
3 stars  
Large Pelagics
  2 stars
Underwater Photography  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
Subject Matter
5 stars  
Boat Facilities
4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's  
4 stars  
Shore Facilities  
4 stars  
Our small boat had a big bucket for cameras, large enough for a housed
Nikon and a Nikonos V with strobes-- that's all we needed.  A dry area for
changing film.  The island has 24 hour print processing and e-6 processing
available for those who want them.
Ratings and Overall Comments  1 (worst)- 5 (best):
5 stars
3 stars
Service and Attitude
5 stars
Environmental Sensitivity  
Dive Operation
5 stars  
Shore Diving  
1 stars  

Overall Rating

Value for $$
5 stars   
5 stars    
UBS is a great operation.  Their boat is fast, and comfortably holds 4
divers and captain/DM. You hire the boat for your party.  With three divers
you pay the same as you'd pay for three to go on a cattle boat;  with 4
divers, it's cheaper for 2-tank dives. You set your schedule and decide
with the DM/captain where you'll go for the day, given the conditions.  DMs
are very enthusiastic and knowledgable about sites, critters, fish,
behavior, etc.  Equipment is in good shape and there are 60cf tanks for
short people who don't suck the air [like me].  Since this is a private
dive, you can stay down as long as you like.  We decided, since we were on
vacation, to start diving at 10AM, do one dive before lunch, go over to one
of the neighboring islands for lunch, and then another dive in the
afternoon.  A couple of days, we did a late afternoon dive, had a surface
interval while watching the sun go down, and then a night dive.  Late
dinner at Fat Hog Bob's, just down the road where we had awesome BBQ
overlooking the water, watching the full moon shimmer on the surface.  The
Wreck of the Rhone is a fabulous site -- bow and stern are two separate
dives, throbbing with fish life and encrusted with corals and sponges.  We
did both day and night dives at this site.  Other good sites at other
islands in the BVI chain are all within 20 minutes by boat, depending on
weather.  Diving is generally 80 feet or less, with little current.  Viz
was only so-so, due to daily storms;  it's usually better, but this was the
end of June, beginning of July and the start of the stormy season.
Tortola is a great island.  Safe, clean, friendly people, varied terrain
[need 4-wheel drive for most roads -- consider it an adventure!], and
beautiful uncrowded beaches.  Cruise ships come in once or twice a week,
but with little impact on the island outside of "downtown" --
spend those days diving and you won't even know they're there!  I recommend
renting a villa from one of the many villa rental agencies on the internet
-- we used Island Hideaways and they arranged airport pickup and jeep
rental for us too.  Good supermarkets allow you to cook at home and save $
or just be more relaxed than having to go out for all meals if you choose. 
If you want to go out, there are lots of very good restaurants of all kinds
and prices.
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Other dive reports on UBS Dive Center

All Virgin Islands Dive Reviews and Reports
Diving Guide to Virgin Islands
Diving Reviews for All Dive Destinations

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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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