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Dive Review of Aqua Cat in
Bahamas/Exuma

Aqua Cat, May, 2003,

by Gerald Canning, Nevada, United States . Report 492.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Caribbean, Cozumel, Florida Keys and Northern California
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78 to 83 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 75 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Get back on board with air in the tank.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was a dedicated table for cameras with a dry air hose set up for drying cameral equipment before putting it back on the camera table. Divemasters would hand you your camera in the water, and take it back and put it in a dedicated rinse tank as you exited the water. There was a dry charging area with a lot of outlets -- with about ten cameras aboard, there never was a problem getting an 110v outlet.

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 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This was a first class dive boat -- in the words of the many divers who had taken other liveaboard trips on the Agressor and Hughes fleets -- it was the nicest boat they had ever seen. The rooms were spaceous, either two twin beds or a king sized bed, bathroom and shower, large closets and a mini-refrigerator. The dive deck was well laid out with plenty of room. 32-33% Nitrox was available for an added package price of $100 for the whole week (26-27 dives are possible in a week). Tanks were available as 100, 80, 63 or 50 cu feet -- your choice, and you could dive until you exhaused your tank!! There were fresh water shower stalls on the dive deck -- 4 or 5 showers a day were common, with 3 fresh water makers, running out was not a problem. The main deck was well laid out. The lounge area was big enough to accomodate the dining area as well as a separate seating area with couches, TV, DVD and VSH equipment.

Chief Jim was awesome. We can hardly wait for his cookbook to be published.

The Captain and crew were hard working, friendly and truly working to make this a great dive experience. I had difficulty with my regulator, and they went out of their way to loan me bits and pieces to that I could make it through the week.

All diving was done from the Aqua Cat -- even though we had a shore boat which could carry about 25 and a safety craft in the water at all times. Its an impressive site to do a drift dive from a 105' cat, at night and have the captain nimble enough to pick us up with no additional effort on our part. Obviously, he had a well trained dive team. Safety was key --during the dives there always was a divemaster on the front of the boat, two on the rear deck and one in the water.

We had some great wall dives, a teriffic shark feeding dive and some shallow dives. We saw Southern Rays, Yellow Rays, Spotted Eagle rays, Caribbean Reef Sharks, Silky sharks, large lobster and all of the usual reef fish.

The only problem with the whole week is the relative scarcity of fish. We all saw at least one of everything you would expect to see -- but we didn't see the big quantities of fish I expect to see -- particularly since we were diving in a marine park.

While I can not praise the boat and the crew enough, it wasn't in their power to find us large groupings of fish. I'm glad I went and I greatly enjoyed the trip -- but I doubt that I will go back.
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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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