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Dive Review of Special D Diving/Private Residence in

Special D Diving/Private Residence: "Anguilla Diving Review", Jan, 2016,

by David W DeBoer, TX, US ( 1 report). Report 8795.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation N/A Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Special D is owned and operated by Douglas (Dougie) Carty an Anguillan native who has been diving for 25+ years. He is an accomplished waterman adept both above and below the surface. He uses a 35' Rebel Marine boat adapted for diving. He can take up to 10 divers, but most trips have 6-8. Special D is the only operator that leaves from the dock. Vigilant ferries its divers to the moored boat by dingy. Shoal Bay loads it divers by having them wade to the boat from shore. I have known and dove with both Rob at Vigilant and Dougie on numerous occasions. Both are superior operations, and one cannot go wrong with either. I prefer Special D for a variety reasons: I've known and dove with Dougie for over 20 years. He is by far the best critter finder I've ever seen; both seeing big stuff when no one else has a clue that they're in the area, or finding itty bitty teeny juvenile stuff hidden in the reef. Dougie is excellent with all type of divers from newbies or rusty folks or repeat offenders like me and the host of loyal customers that return year after year. One important thing to remember: Special D is not affiliated with PADI or any other organization. It is simply a charter service that dives in the mornings.To book, just call and arrange. Accordingly you have to be certified to dive. No exceptions! There is no instruction or resort courses. As an aside the absolute best instructor is Rob at Vigilant. He is a former British Royal Marine with advanced training (very much akin to being our Navy Seal) Your training (PADI) will be thorough and by the book and you will emerge well prepared to begin a safe and confident life of diving. I have no first hand knowledge of Shoal Bay Scuba. I tried to book with them once when Dougie and Rob were not available, and the person I called wanted everything but a DNA sample from me in order to begin the process. I declined that foolishness and stayed on the beach for that day. They are a large operation that is 5 Star PADI and appears to take all comers. They cater to the transient tourist trade, so I presume that you will encounter divers with wide range of experience on any given dive. I have heard of no major complaints or issues with them nor have I heard of anyone singing their praises. Given the fact that one will always hears the bad stuff, I would say that Shoal Bay must rate an overall positive. RANKINGS: 1. Special D Diving 1a. Vigilant Divers 3. Shoal Bay Scuba
Websites Special D Diving   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Anguilla (400+ dives) Saba Statia Cozumel Belize St. Croix Grand Turk Providenciales Maui Palm Beach Curaçao Barbados Flower Gardens/Stetson Banks
Closest Airport AXA Getting There Small commuter airlines. Best to go to Sint Maarten and ferry over

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy, dry Seas calm, choppy, surge, currents, no currents
Water Temp 78-84°F / 26-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 20-120 Ft/ 6-37 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

Underwater Photography 1 (worst) - 5 (best):

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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