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Dive Review of Hawk's Nest/Hawk's Nest Resort and Marina in
Bahamas/Cat Island

Hawk's Nest/Hawk's Nest Resort and Marina, Jun, 2004,

by Chuck and Nancy Anson, CA, USA . Report 1218.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Sonora Bay Mexico, Loreto Mexico, Bonaire, Roatan, Belize, San Salvador, Grand Turk, St. Croix, St. Vincent, Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Fiji, Carriacou, Cozumel, Nassau,
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 60 to 200 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 130max depth, no decompression diving, back in boat with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments A water cooler with clean water was provided for our cameras but we were the only 2 photographers during our stay. The DM was professional with photo equipment handling. The boat is small and no specific dry camera area available.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Hawks Nest Resort is located at the south end of Cat Island. It is a 45 minute taxi ride from the airport. Our package included transfers, room, meals, diving, taxes, and gratuity. The package price is a bargain over the ala cart pricing. Everything is included except drinks, which are available at their very nice honor bar. This is an up scale Resort and Marina with a dirt landing strip for private planes. They cater to a mixed group of customers. The air strip brings private pilots and small planes and the marina brings fishermen, sea faring travelers and small yachts. Then there are the vacationers just looking for a quiet get away. And finally there are the divers looking for something new. The diving was super good with visibility at 150+ on the remote walls. There were caves, swim throughs, cuts, grooves, pinnacles, vertical drops with spectacular views and good healthy coral, sponge, and sea fan growth on the walls, most as good as Cozumel. At a site called The Trench we were guided down an open trench about 8 wide to a cathedral like cave about 40 long and 30 high, encrusted with beautiful coral and sponge growth, that opened into the deep blue water at 105 to a wall that was covered with plate coral, huge barrel sponges, and large healthy gorgonians. There were large clusters of black coral under ledges and schools of Horse Eyed Jacks, Bermuda Chub, Permit, Ocean Trigger, and Yellow Stripped Jacks. Shark encounters were limited to two, one Caribbean reef and a nurse shark. The shallower dives were good for fish life, large schools of the usual Caribbean tropicals and small critters in crevices and coral mounds but vis dropped to 60-80 and the flat bottom areas had the now new plague of algae. The dive operation is well run for a 2 person shop. Randy, the DM and boat captain, and wife JR handle the diving, as well as helping to manage the resort. The dive boat is a 28 fiberglass Merc Panga powered by twin Mercury outboard engines with speed enough to get to remote sites quickly. There is no head but it is covered and rides comfortably. Aluminum 80s, with fills of 3000+, were racked in the center of the boat with seating along both sides. With 6 or more divers this will be difficult when moving around and gearing up. All safety gear, DAN oxygen, and radio were aboard. Radio calls to the resort prior to each dive with location and estimated time back on board, and another call when everyone was back was standard procedure. Randy has the dive sites on GPS and knows them well and he leads a good dive. He also lets you do your own thing once he knows your ability. Entries were back roll and exits were by sturdy aluminum ladder. If needed, you could hand up your gear before boarding the boat. Randy tells a good tale and has some very funny experiences that he will share if you encourage him just a little bit. He enjoys his work and it reflects in seeing that everyone has a great experience. The food at the resort was very, very good with a varied menu for all three meals. At breakfast they take your lunch and dinner orders so meals were on time and cooked as you liked them. The staff gets to know you quickly and were friendly and efficient. The pool next to the dinning room and bar area was always a refreshing place to go after a day of diving. The rooms were large and comfortable, with tile floors, air conditioning, king sized bed, plenty of closet and drawer space, sliding door to a patio with a view of the ocean, nice sized bathroom with beautiful tile work, and plenty of hot water. The rooms had recently been refinished and everything was new. Bicycles were the mode of transportation from the resort to the marina, where the dive boat was located, which was about a half mile. So pick out a good bike on your first day because it is two trips per day for all dive days. Tools are available for adjustments to seats and handlebars and there is air for the tires. The value is good for the quality of the resort and the diving is well worth it but it does require agility for the bikes and at the dock getting on and off the dive boat, especially at low tide. Its not valet diving, except that Randy does help with gearing up and exiting the water after the dive.
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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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