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Dive Review of Riding Rock Resort and Marina/Riding Rock Inn in
Bahamas/San Salvador

Riding Rock Resort and Marina/Riding Rock Inn, Jun, 2008,

by Bob Abraham, MA, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports). Report 4211.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Curacao, Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Bonaire, Grand Turk, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather dry Seas calm
Water Temp 81 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 75 to 175 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions back on the boat in one hour, with 500 psi, no depth limit
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera barrel on the boat with clean water, limited dry flat space

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments We traveled out to RRI via Nassau on AA & Bahamas Air. No flight issues but an overnight was required on the way out. We'd avoid Orange Hill next time, its run down. RRI was a pleasant surprise. The facility was well kept inside and out, freshly painted and major maintenance had taken place in the last two years. Rooms in the two story were fresh with comfy beds, adequate air conditioning, and plenty of hot water. Food was good and plentiful, breakfasts were to die for! Special requests were accommodated. The RRI staff was first rate, they were friendly, very accommodating, and eager to have you enjoy your stay.
The island itself is fairly large, actually a desert island with brackish inland lakes. Michelles Friday island tour was fun and informative, dont miss the lighthouse. We were there at the start of the rainy season and I think it sprinkled twice. Air temperature and humidity were bearable even during the heat of the day. We were able to leave the sliders open at night and fall asleep to the waves
The dive operation is a short walk from the rooms. We had 4 to 9 divers each day on a boat that could probably take 12 comfortably. A second boat was available but never used. The boat is in good condition with a full set of equipment including oxygen. Lots of space to sit and relax. The crew had the operation down pat, dive briefings were thorough and accurate, headcounts, bottom time and max depth were recorded every dive. Divers sat on a wide step on the back of the boat and the crew brought tanks and bcs to don while sitting. You put your fins on and then two steps and off the boat, very nice! No worries about tipsy divers tripping while wearing all that gear. Boarding was the reverse. You never had to touch your tank (steel 90s) bc or reg for the week. There were freshwater rinse tanks for suits, showers and a locked storage area to dry things overnight. We booked 17 dives we could use flexibly during our 9 day stay and added a couple. An optional afternoon dive was always available.
The dive sites were varied, primarily deep reef tops 35-65ft some swim thrus with excellent walls going well beyond recreational depths. The crew mixed in some second dive sites with sand chutes. Travel time varied from 10 to 45 minutes depending on the site. Divers were allowed to do their own profile and some tech divers chose to do very deep, short dives. You need to be seasoned divers with good time management skills to enjoy these deep sites. Depending on the tide and currents visibility was very good to stunning. We only had a few dives with heavy current mostly at the southern end of the island where it ripped. The southern sites had the healthiest reefs by far.
The balance of the fish life was somewhat unexpected, sharks were seen on every dive by at least one group of divers, mostly Reef some Hammerheads which was cool. "Sponge Bob" the Grouper will accompany you on your dive at Runway. We saw large specimens that allowed relatively close approaches; Groupers, Snappers, huge Permit, Barracuda, Horse Eyed Jacks, Angelfish, File fish lots of Indigo and Barred Hamlets but very few of the usual smaller reef fish or juveniles. It may have been the depth of the sites, the rubble inshore was crawling with small specimens. Macro life was hard to find, few shrimp, arrow crabs, gobies, blennies etc although the reefs were perfect for them. We saw multiple Lionfish of various sizes on every dive site except those with current. Beautiful and calm these fish were excellent photo subjects and held their ground when approached, which didn't always work in their favor. The dive master spent quite a bit of his time spearing Lionfish so we avoided swimming with him. Given the numbers I dont see how he can make a dent in the population. If you are squeamish about this or want the dive master to show you around this isnt the place for you. But it did bring in the sharks.
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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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