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Dive Review of Blackbeard's Cruises in
Bahamas/around Bimini

Blackbeard's Cruises, Sep, 2009,

by Carol Sommers, IIllinois, USA (Sr. Reviewer Sr. Reviewer 8 reports with 6 Helpful votes). Report 5113 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling 4 stars
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments Diving with Blackbeard's has been compared to taking a road trip out West with your buddies and this is certainly true. With 18 divers and 5 crew on a 65 foot sloop and sleeping in bunkbeds (which were very comfortable), one certainly becomes a family. We came from all over the country and Canada and had a ball. At 61, I was the senior member of the group, but felt like I was 30. The youngest was a teenager. (There are only ladders on the boat and one must hang on to keep one's footing.) I did have some extra help lifting my tank while getting up the ladder at the end of a dive which was appreciated. They even offered to have me doff my bc in the water.

There were good dive briefings before each dive, including the "fish of the day" and then we went in with a buddy and dived our own profiles, staying in as long as we wanted as long as we came back with a safe psi number (500). This was not verified, as I knew some divers came back with lower numbers. I like to do REEF fish surveys when I dive and did not need to bring a fish identification book since it is available. No divemasters go into the water with you; you must buddy-up with a complete stranger if you come alone. I would have felt more at ease with one of the divemasters. They also should have had one at the ladder at all times once divers went in since I needed to use my dive-alert once when I came back early. That was on a dive I had to abort because there was a strong surface current and the line we were to follow wasn't attached to the buoy with the line to go down. They apologized for it, but I missed the dive as a result. None of the divemasters offered to go down with me and they didn't attach the line so I could go back in.

Blackbeard's publishes a "what to bring" list and one should stick to it, including a complete set of waterproof rain-gear, including pants in case you need to sit on deck during a storm because of seasickness. One needs to pack light for this cruise since there's only a small shelf and hook for your non-diving stuff. On deck, there is plenty of room for your dive gear and towels and wetsuits are hung to dry. The deck is open to the elements, but a tarp is up for shade. When we sailed at night, there were no bright lights topside so one could enjoy the stars, including shooting ones. We listened to music divers had brought on their i-pods. There was a DVD player in the galley which helped pass the time on the one long channel crossing we made. There was no nitrox, but most of the dives were not deep.

The food was superb, prepared by a chef who used to have his own restaurant, but told me it was more fun and less headaches to cook for us divers. We did have a lobster dinner with lobster killed (we were in season) by several divers. I had a bit of a problem with this; it would be like killing the koi swimming in my pond at home and eating them for dinner. But frankly, the grilled lobster was tasty. Anyone who wanted to could also kill lionfish which are a well-known problem.

The value for your money is unbeatable; less than $1,000, even after you include all port fees and 15% tip! This was my second trip with the company and I plan to do more because I saw a large variety of fish, several times counting more than 40 species per dive. Routes are varied so that you do not see the same dive sites as on a previous trip with the company. One can go on two Blackbeard's trips for the price of one at any other resort or liveaboard. This is a call for other seniors to come on board! Fixed incomes don't have to stop your diving!

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Great Barrier Reef, Sea of Cortez, Belize, Cozumel, Grenada, Cayman Brac, Bonaire, freshwater springs in Florida, Florida Keys, Lake Michigan
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Everyone had a buddy and we were asked to return with 500 psi in our tanks although this was not checked.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 1 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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 [None]
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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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