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Dive Review of Blue Reed Divers in

Blue Reed Divers, Apr, 2003,

by J Kelley, Ma, USA . Report 467.

No photos available at this time

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 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars

Last fall my best friend, a non-diver, and I went to a charity auction. We bid on and won two American Airline tickets to anywhere in the Caribbean, for $550, a great deal. When we called American to get reservations, in November for an April vacation, we were told that the only island that was available for our ticket category and travel dates was Barbados. Given the choice of Barbados or Barbados we took Barbados. It wasnít on our long list of choices but a trip to warm air and water is always a delight.

After reading my Undercurrent chapbooks, which pretty much panned Barbados as a dive destination, I was really thinking about not packing my dive gear and not diving on Barbados. Heresy you say? Well wouldnít it be wonderful to just take a light carry on bag rather than lugging that huge, heavy, unwieldy bag which is jammed with gear?

Then I turned to Rodaleís Scuba Diving Diver to Diver Forum and had a change of heart. From the comments there I gleaned that Barbados diving was average for the Caribbean and while it was not electric it was worth diving. Also several divers recommended John Moore who operates Blue Reef Divers. This was a fortuitous happenstance as I took this advice and I have never had a better experience with a dive shop and I have almost 300 dives at many locations in the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.

We arrived on Barbados a day late because American Airlines over booked the flight from San Juan to Barbados and we were bumped involuntarily. It was April 2003. The weather was great for the week we were there. It was sunny, hot and there were occasional clouds and a rain shower or two. The seas were calm on the west side of the island where I dove. The viz was about 50 feet and the water temp hovered around 82f.

Mary and John Moore own and operate Blue Reef Divers on the west coast in Mt Standfast, which is just north of Holetown. The shop is right on the beach. Mary provides free transportation to and from your hotel. As I was staying on the South coast of Barbados, this was a fabulous bit of luck for me. Even though the ride was 40 to 60 minutes each way, depending on the rush hour traffic, Mary arrived each morning with a smile and an affable attitude. The rides were a treat as I got to see the island and Maryís island commentary and conversation were great fun.

While Mary is in charge of the transportation and managing the dive shop John handles the diving end of the operation. John is the dive master while a lifelong Bajan named Bob steers the boat and changes over your equipment between dives. The boat is small so the dive group is limited to a maximum of six. This makes for great diving as the group is small. And there was plenty of space on the boat for the group size.

The dive sites were varied and we did a few drift dives with mild current. The dive that most people like best is the wreck of the freighter Stavronika, which at its deepest point is in about 120 to 130ft of water. John lead the group through some remarkably small swim throughs that I wouldnít have tried on my own but with Johnís leadership and knowledge of the freighter were perfectly safe and fun. The morning we dove the Stavronika we left a little early to be the first ones to the site as it is popular. There are other wreck sites and we dove another one which was shallower with lots of fish life although I canít remember the name of it just now.

Overall I found the reefs to be in good health with hard and soft coral with gorgonians and sponges. At most dive sites there were plenty of smaller fish, but larger fish were in shorter supply. Barbados had more turtles than Iíve ever seen on any other island. I did ten dives and saw large Hawksbill turtles on nine of them. Usually we saw several turtles and on one dive I saw five of them. And no it wasnít one turtle circling me five times. Many of the turtles in Bajan waters are tagged. I usually saw at least one spotted eel and there were quite a few multiple sightings. There was even one huge green moray at the Stavronika who rivals Chester at the Habitat Curacao house reef in size.

John was remarkably personable and very good at striking up conversations he took a real interest in the people with whom he was diving. Both John and Mary are amiable, easy going and good-natured. I really felt I was diving with friends.

Although the diving on Barbados isnít rip-snorting, itís fine. There are a lot of things to do topside including a tour of rum distilleries and a brewery. A visit to the wild and less populated east side of the island was at the top of my friendís favorite activities. The island is loaded with pretty beaches and activities so this might be a good vacation for a couple where only one of the partners is a diver. The people were friendly and easy going and very helpful in getting us to and from our destinations. Barbados has a good and cheap transportation system (although some of the small van rides can be hairy) so we didnít bother with a car and driving on the left side of the road.

You can contact Blue Reef Divers at

Website Ė
E-mail Ė

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Many Atlantic and Pacific locations
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-0°F / 28--18°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 0-50 Ft/ 0-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Don't dive alone
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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 There wasn't a dunk tank on board.
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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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