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Dive Review of Mermaid Sport Divers/N/A in

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Mermaid Sport Divers/N/A, Feb, 2005,

by Jack Kelly, FL, USA . Report 2048.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I have been going to Aruba for 16 years (time-share owners at Playa Linda Beach Resort on the stip at Palm Beach) and diving it for 6. It always seems to get short shrift in the Chapbook for its diving, with reports saying the diving is a pleasant diversion from the night life, bars, casinos, etc. While Aruba definitely has all that (and some recent less than stellar publicity), the diving is underrated as I and those I know see it. The wrecks get the most press. The Antilla (a German WW II freighter intentionally sunk by its German crew on the high-rise hotel side of the island) is a great site, good for easy penetration and home to many large and occasionally free-swimming green morays as well as many, many smaller spotted morays. Visability can be a bit spotty -- poor to good. Another wreck on this side of the island is the Pedernales, sunk in about 30 feet. Vis is usually quite good and the surrounding reef and fish are always interesting.

The Jane Sea wreck on the South Shore is fairly deep -- 95 to the sand by the stern -- and very easy to penetrate. The twin plane wrecks by the Sonesta reef are a blast. The newer one is intact; you enter the rear of the plane and swim through the fuselage - all seats removed - up towards the cockpit, which has all of the controls and pilot seats intact. You can almost picture the skeleton people from Pirates of the Caribbean sitting at the controls! You then exit at the side of the plane by the cockpit. Cool.

What seems to be a secret is the reef diving in Aruba. Depending on the site, the corals and sponges can be surprisingly healthy. "Fingers," a deep reef dive can drop to 130 feet, though most dive op's will keep you well above that. Tire Reef, Mango Halto and Sonesta are all medium depth reef-drift dives with interesting critters. Squid, shrimp, HUGE lobster, numerous large green morays and occasional (very) reef sharks, turtles and occasional sea horses.

I have dove with practically all of the op's in Aruba and Mermaid Sport Divers is by far the best. They are located near the high-rise hotels and Carlos, the owner, will pick you up from any of the resorts and take you back after the dives. Their boat is at the main town pier in Oranjested (which saves a long boat ride from the resort-strip to the South Shore dive sites). They drive you there in their van. Tito, the boat captain, is an authentic Aruba legend whose talents include everything from stunt-motorcycle riding to steel-drum playing. He sometimes, depending on the number of divers (usually less than 10), accompanies the main divemaster, Bero, who is really what keeps me coming back year after year! Bero is one of those rare individuals who is always happy! From newbie novice to veterans with thousands of dives, Bero's goal is to assure a safe, memorable dive for everyone - and he always succeeds, making everyone feel like a part of his family. He's uncanny at finding all sorts of critters, large and small. A true professional and a compassionate, caring person, he takes the cake as the divemaster extraordinaire. As for profiles and freedom, if they are familiar with your skill level, they'll let you dive your own profile. You won't want to wander too far away from Bero, though -- you'll miss too much! Find a seahorse, show the divemaster, and get a free dive.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean. Cozumel. Bermuda. Florida and Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas choppy
Water Temp 80-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 35-70 Ft/ 11-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile ?
Enforced diving restrictions Based on your experience. Usually, they want to keep you around 100 ft. but there are a couple of reefs, one notably (Fingers), that can go to 120 and beyond.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 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 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Seperate rinse tanks both at the shop and on the boat. Overall good photo opportunities for both macro and normal shots.
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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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