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Dive Review of The Dive Shop Ltd./Nautilus Beach Apts. in
Barbados/South Reef

The Dive Shop Ltd./Nautilus Beach Apts., May, 2012,

by David Bader, NC, US (Contributor Contributor 19 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 6578.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Our arrival went without a hitch. Cost of taxi to the apartments was around $25US. Nautilus Beach Apts. is situated right on Carlisle Bay, next door to the Dive Shop. Most stores were closed on Sunday so we ended up buying supplies at the local gas station. If we ever return, we'd stay closer to the restaurants in Oistins specifically St. Lawrence Gap. The apartment was very roomy but only had a small A/c unit in the bedroom. We kept it running all day with the doors closed just to keep one room cool. Apartment had a stove, oven, full size refrigerator but we mostly ate out. Cost of food can be very pricy if you don't go to the smaller mom&pop cafes. Exchange rate was $2B to $1US.

Most dives were on the reef system stretching from South Point Lighthouse to Needham's Point Lighthouse. The exceptions were the wrecks located at Carlisle Bay and the Stavronikita. Getting to the dive boat was an interesting experience. There is no dock so you gear up at the shop, walk down the beach and swim out to the boat. Forget about anything staying dry. I had a mess bag for my gear which made things a little easier. Generally there were only six to eight divers so there was plenty of room. The captain, Michael, and divemaster, Julian, were very personable. All dives were guided as they were one way dives and the group had to stay together. But we did one hour dives as the average depth was only 45-60 feet. The only deep dive was the Stav which is 130 ft. to the prop. The colors of the reef were nice with turtles on almost every dive. At one site called the Boot, we saw no less than 20 turtles during a one hour dive. There were very few large fish, mostly damsels, basslets, spotted drums, and lots of turtles. There were no lionfish seen during my 10 dives. Aside from the unconventional boat loading procedure, I had only one observation that bothered me. One of the divers did not have a timing device but was allowed to dive and told to stay close to their buddy. For 45 ft dives, you can get away with that but the dive on the Stav was to 125ft and included some minor penetration for much longer than the 5 minutes allowed by tables.

I took the last day off for a tour of the island. My wife and I hired a taxi driver, Chris Grant (246-251-3656) for the day at a cost of $240US. It was roughly the same cost as the local tour groups but we could customize the plan and commit as much time as necessary at our chosen sites. Harrison Caves are a must see.

Our return trip did not go as well as our arrival. We flew US Airways and, after a short maintenance delay, were taxiing down the runway when the captain hit the brakes and stopped the plane. He said that numerous warning lights came on as they gained speed and he was not taking the plane up until a full inspection was done. As US Air only flys once a week, there was no replacement aircraft and we had to overnight. We were told that instructions would be provided to the hotel regarding food and pick-ups. Those instructions were not received until 8:30 PM. We were told to eat at the hotel restaurant not to exceed $25US per person. They also said a replacement plane was being flown in and we would all be picked-up at 1PM. Luckily, I went on line to verify the flight schedule and found out we were rebooked on an American flight that was leaving at 2PM. Others in the hotel found out they were rebooked on an 11:30AM flight so missed it. When we complained about the lack of notification, we were told the Barbados US Air office doesn't open until noon! We made our flight and arrived home 36 hours late. Overall, we had a good time and hope to return someday.
Websites The Dive Shop Ltd.   Nautilus Beach Apts.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Pacific Ocean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions None.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 1 stars
UW Photo Comments Boat and shore facilities had no accommodations for camera's. No tables or dedicated rinse buckets. Once I came on board and found my camera sitting in the weight bin. Luckily, I only have a point and shoot camera.
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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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