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Dive Review of Blackbeard Cruises/Morning Star in
Bahamas/Bahamas/Bimini/Grand Bahama

Blackbeard Cruises/Morning Star, Oct, 2002,

by William Ungerman, California, Unite States of America (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 24 reports with 2 Helpful votes). Report 250.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Pacific and Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents, noCurrents
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 30 to 110 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recreational dive limits suggested. Dive buddy system
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 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 2 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments No table. Pretty primitive for a serious photographer.

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments If you are used to the comparative luxury of the Peter Hughes and Aggressor Fleet style of relative pampered diving, Blackbeard's may come as a bit of a shock. As often before mentioned by other Undercurrent commentators, it is like camping at sea. There is little or no privacy. The bunks are separated by a curtain and no one makes up the bed and leaves a rose on your pillow with a breath mint. Well, at least you don't have to "hot bunk." I was in the Marines, so I can live with it. With a full complement of 24 guests, it's crowded, but the crew handled it well. There are no secrets kept here nor available retreats. It's like one big family picnic and you should be prepared for that. If you are unperturbed and so far unphased, let me say the diving offered was as good as anything I've experienced in the tropical Atlantic or Caribbean. Altough the reefs were typically shrouded in a lot of algae, they were otherwise in great shape. Plus, Captain Jay spared no expense in seeing to it that his divers saw the best sites, weather permitting. We dove around Bimini and then treked to the Gingerbread Grounds and on into and around Grand Bahama. Who else burns that much fuel? (Yes, they motored, using the sails only for stabilization). Best of all, we NEVER sat ona site for three dives (not even two, except by request). Eighteen dives offered and sixteen sites visited.

The crossing over from Miami to Bimini was a little rough (The Gulf Stream) but no Bermuda Triangle anomalies at least. Late overnight in Bimini and a half day and overnight in port at Port Lucaya on Grand Bahama. Freeport is so crime ridden, it is declared unsafe. There were 18 dives offered during the five days of diving, including drift, wreck, wall, reef, night and twilight adventures. Bring towels and clothspins and plenty of SPF 30. A windbreaker is a good idea also. Dramamine is a definite must for most. An unknown flu-like bug or other phenomonon hit both cast and crew the week I was on board and layed all but three or four low. Can't call it as to origin and no one was speculating. Get to the weights early inasmuch as they ran out. I was unable to dive my 3 millimeter suit because there wearn't any more weights. So it was polartec and a 1 millimeter.

Blackbeard Cruises has a great home office, ("Beth") and the Morning Star (at least) had an accomodating, hard working crew. If you don't mind a bare-bones platform and living accomodation, you cannot beat the price. However, if you are looking for luxury, pampering and deluxe, keep moving. Economy minded, hard core divers... this is your home.
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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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