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Dive Review of Aqua Cat Cruises in
Bahamas/Mostly Exumas

Aqua Cat Cruises, Apr, 2003,

by Linda Bellofatto, CT, USA . Report 527.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Cozumel, Caymans, Florida, Bonaire, Turks and Caicos, San Salvador (Bahamas), other Bahamas liveaboard.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales >2
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments We did video, and there were a couple of TVs where you could watch what you'd filmed. Nice dedicated photo tables on the dive deck. They have two illuminated tables in the lounge for slide viewing.

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 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Trip was April 26-May 3, 2003. Fabulous boat. Best liveaboard we've been on. Largest (for a liveaboard) rooms that we've seen, with plenty of cabinet space and full-length closet. Showers in bathroom not the greatest idea - no stalls - just a curtain and water gets all over the floor. However, there are shower stalls on the dive deck and you'll tend to use those most of the time. You shower off right after your dive and use the showers also to rinse your gear while you're in there. Terrific cook, friendly, extremely competent crew. Nice shore excursions as well. Bring binoculars.
We saw pilot whales the first day. They stuck around the boat and many were able to jump in and snorkel with them. They do a shark dive with a "chumsicle." Nitrox is available but at additional charge to trip fee.
Vis was mostly less than 100 feet, but that may be time of year. Certainly clear enough to see lots of good stuff. One of the owners of the boat was on board that week, and said that something killed off sea urchins, so there is a lot of algae on the reefs - but this is not limited just to this area, but is all over the Bahamas. He has been involved in monitoring coral reefs. The Marine Conservancy and NOAA sponsor this program called RECON. The crew also does REEF studies throughout the year.
Bottom line - even though the fish life is good, it is not as good as some other places, but I recommend this trip anyway because everything else is superb. This is a good trip for a non-diver (who at least snorkels) paired with a diver, because there is plenty for the non-diver to do, and both can snorkel together. You will still see plenty of fish with sharks guaranteed on the shark dive (and we saw some at other times as well).
Even though this is a catamaran, it is not a SWATH like the Nekton boats. If you are even slightly prone to seasickness, bring remedies. I tend to get sick on just the first day of a liveaboard trip (even taking OTC meds) and am then fine the rest of the week. But next trip I'm going to try the patch as I don't like missing those first day dives. But we did hit a storm later in the week, and it got pretty rough. Even those who normally don't get sick weren't feeling very good that day. So be prepared.
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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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