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Dive Review of Explorer Ventures/Caribbean Explorer II in
Bahamas

Explorer Ventures/Caribbean Explorer II, Aug, 2009,

by Lynda Durfee, VA, USA (Top Contributor Top Contributor 41 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 5158.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Hawaii, Aruba, Saba, Statia, St. Kitts, Florida, Lake Tahoe
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82 to 84 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Come up with 500 psi remaining. Dive your own profile.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
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 I didn't use camera, but there were designated tanks for camera, large camera platform, separate towels and charging stations.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 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 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was an exporatory trip, as the boat was repositioning from Great Exuma to Freeport, so many of the sites had not been previously explored by the CE II crew, and were hit and miss. Along the Exumas, it's obvious that the fish population has been depleted. Saw lots of lionfish, at least 1 or 2 on every dive. Along the Exumas, some nice walls and swimthroughs to explore, but nothing to write home about. One highlight was the "Thunderball Grotto" on Staniel Cay, done first as a snorkel trip, then with SCUBA. This has to be done during slack tide, so we went to another small caye to see the "swimming pigs" while we waited. Also dove a big blue hole. Had 1 1/2 days of diving at Nassau and two dives (including the Theo) at Freeport. Because the boat was moving towards Freeport, we only got in one night dive, though we did a morning dive in lieu of a night dive the day before. Crew was friendly and helpful: Capt. Dave, cook Jane, purser Elisa, DMs Demi and Rachel; dolphin expert Gene, who was preparing for the dolphin dives near Freeport for the following weeks' itineerary. Food was plentiful and tasty, despite limitations on supplies on Exuma (port we departed from and where boat had been for several months). Alcoholic beverages are included, but no diving after your first drink of the day! Accomodations are comfortable (with private shower/toilet/sink in each cabin), if not 5-star, and clean. Entered water from side of boat (about 8-10 feet above water), come out via ladders at back, with short set from platform to dive deck. NITROX available at $150 for the week, but since it only got up to 30% during the week, we got a $50 discount. CEII has arrangements with cab drivers at arrival/departure (not included in price). This was my second trip on the CEII (first was in January to NE Caribbean, Saba/Statia/St.Kitts) and I've already booked for the NE trip next January. Good value for the money. If you're traveling solo and the boat isn't full, you will get your own cabin (I did both times).
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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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