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Dive Review of Aqua Cat Cruises in
Bahamas/Exuma, Eleuthera

Aqua Cat Cruises, Jun, 2012,

by Anna Flynn, MA, US ( 1 report). Report 6597.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Just spent a week on the Aqua Cat. Very comfortable, well provisioned, well kept boat; plenty of great food; excellent crew (skilled, friendly, helpful without hovering, safety-conscious, adventurous); some sites heavy on algae but majority had healthy coral heads and variety of critters. Very good!
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp to Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Max depth 130 ft; no decompression diving; specific yet ample "pool" times. Drift dives well controlled for safety without sacrificing fun.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Excellent dive deck camera table and rinse tanks. Plenty of charging ability in rooms and on dive deck. Access to power in salon for setting up digital photo-editing spots on dining or other tables in short supply (we were lucky there weren't a lot of hard-core photographers wanting to set up between each dive or it would have been awkward). Yes, plenty of power in rooms if you're willing to work on your lap in bed, but its much nicer to be able to work at a table in a more social setting.
Re. subject matter -- I said "lots" of sharks were encountered because the Aqua Cat does an organized "chumsickle" dive. Aside from that, there were a few sightings of nurse sharks over the course of the week. We did dive the blue hole at a time when small schooling sharks were reportedly congregating but the viz was not great in the hole and I didn't venture below 85 ft., so I didn't see them.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Captain Ron did an excellent job of adjusting the itinerary to avoid storms and overly-lumpy seas without wimping out and sticking only to a couple of ultra-flat, easy sites. There was a wide range of experience among the divers on the boat, from one person who more than doubled his total dives while on the trip to another who logged his 1,400th dive. Everyone enjoyed themselves and got along -- crew and passengers alike. Serving as First Mate, Captain Bill was on board and provided multiple shore excursion options and even a fishing opportunity for folks who wanted or needed to take a break from diving. Overall, this trip was a great experience and I highly recommend the Aqua Cat.
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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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