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Dive Review of Caribbean Explorer II in
Caribbean (General)/Saba, St. Kitts

Caribbean Explorer II, Mar, 2011,

by Carol D Cox, FL, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 1 Helpful vote). Report 6006.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Florida, North Carolina, Guam, Truk, Palau, Turks & Caicos, Caymans, Honduras, Bahamas, Cozumel, Turkey, Cyprus, Red Sea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 79 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions 110 feet on Nitrox, 500 psi at boat, 70 minutes max
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Camera table adequate with our small group of 5 photogs, but would be crowded with a full boat. Same for rinse tanks. Separate buckets for masks and cameras a plus. Camera gear only on camera table briefed and enforced.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Just finished a week on the Caribbean Explorer II. Our trip left out of St. Maarten, visiting Saba and St. Kitts. We werent able to leave on Saturday night as planned due to flight and luggage problems for one passenger. Out of our small group of five divers two had missing luggagepack your carryon carefully. We missed our first dive on St. Kitts, but that was made up later in the week with an early morning dive at 0600. Our trip was blessed with relatively calm seas and gentle currents, not always the norm for this tour. The wind did make me chilly when wet, but the captain kept us in seas that were easy to manage. Our crew of 6 worked together like a well-oiled machine and you could feel the comraderie. The captain, Ian, kept us well informed on our schedule and conditions. Polly the Purser made it her mission to locate and deliver lost luggage for our two passengers. Jane the Cook, I hate you for putting two pounds on me despite doing 26 dives. She supplied us with delicious home-cooked meals: steak, fried chicken breasts, ribs, shrimp and enough sides to satisfy any diet whether it be low-carb, high-carb, or vegetarian. Robert, our engineer, quietly kept everything running behind the scenes. Then there were our dive guides, Brett and Lynn. Brett had a great sense of humor and was excellent at guiding the dives and pointing out interesting critters. Lynn, was an out-of-air-emergency waiting to happen--I say that fondly because she had such a great eye for spotting unusual creatures for my camera it would be easy for me to lose track of my bottom time while taking photos. I came back with photos of 7 different kinds of shrimp and 5 different sea slugs, along with a few nice photos of an orange sea horse and a squid. We saw the usual damsels and butterflies, along with jacks, hamlets, barracuda, a number of turtles, trunkfish, trumpetfish, coneys, stingrays, wrasse, lizardfish, filefish, crabs, and lots and lots of nurse sharks. The two shore excursions were nice and much needed to help us off-gas some of our O2 loading. They were worked in so we only had to miss one repeat dive on a reef. This was the first trip Ive ever been on where I had to shorten my dives near the end because my computer was warning me of over-loading on O2. If I did it again, I would switch to Air for some of the shallow dives. The boat had just come out of dry-dock and the crew were still making some finishing touches, but this was all done without impacting the guests. The boat has been in service for years (I did the same boat many years ago as the Sea Dancer in the Turks and Caicos) and isnt fancy, but everything worked well and there was plenty of hot water. I loved the hot shower on the dive deck, the soapy wet suit water barrel, and the separate mask and camera rinse buckets.
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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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