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Dive Review of Ocean Encounters/Lions's dive in

Ocean Encounters/Lions's dive, Oct, 2006,

by Patricia, Fl, USA (Top Contributor Top Contributor 31 reports with 10 Helpful votes). Report 3102.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments CURACAO, October, 2006
We arrived on the island of Curacao at 7:45 PM . After going through customs and getting our luggage we picked up our rental car for the week. Note to self: never rent a car on a strange island again!
We got directions from the rental agency from the airport to the Lions’ Den Resort (go over the BIG BRIDGE, etc.) Well, it was dark, who could see if the bridge was the big one or not? After driving around for 3 hours, and mostly in circles, we finally located a Domino’s Pizza, went in for directions…surely they would know how to get there. They did! They gave us directions (at the Burger King turn left, go down and turn left, then go down and turn right…) One little problem, the Burger King is closed, no longer has a sign on it. Anyway, those directions did not help, so came time for drastic measures…we went back to Domino’s ordered a pizza to be delivered to Lion’s Dive and then FOLLOWED the driver to the resort. It was the ONLY way.
Now we are at the resort, things should be better. NO. I go to check in, and they have no record of my reservation (which was made in June.) Ok, after much checking they found the reservation, on paper next to the desktop computer. They have no room (so, it is 11:30 PM, pizza in rent car getting cold, and no place to sleep or eat the pizza. JUST GREAT!) By 12:30 AM, they had finally found a room for us, on the third floor, no elevator, just nice NARROW stairway. The next morning I awoke and realized that the room was beautiful, it looked out over the resort toward the ocean, had a nice little balcony, two really large queen beds, nice restroom, sliding glass door onto walkway in back. Rooms very well kept and clean. Who could ask for anything more, other than it would be great if it were not 3 flights up! I decided running up and down stairs would be good for me…not sure about hubby, however, he finally consented to climb stairs rather than move rooms (thank goodness for small favors.)
On to the diving – Ocean Encounters tries very hard to be a safety first shop. They require that you do a checkout dive before you go out on a boat dive. Checkout dive – you get a tank, and go in at the pier and check your buoyancy. No DM, no one at all from the shop is there to see if you really get wet or not. What is the point??? But they REQUIRE this

First real dive of the trip was the TUGBOAT, this is a reef dive, along the shallow ledge/wall for a ways, then back to the Tugboat wreck (20 ft) where you do the safety stop and check out the fish all around the wreck. They tend to feed the fish at this site, so most of the fish here are not afraid of divers. There were some huge terminal phase blue parrots here as well as the usual yellowtail snappers, grunts, trumpetfish, stoplight parrotfish and others. For an added bonus, if you looked in the right place on the tugboat, there was a octopus hiding in it’s hole, and blennies (black with orange fins and lips, don’t know the variety) were everywhere. Orange cup corals were growing on the tug and this would make a nice shallow night dive, I think.

Second day – we made the first two dives in the morning. First Dive was Gill’s Finger, max depth 65, time was 1:01. Second dive was Cornelius Bight, depth 60, time was 1:02.

Third day: First Dive, Diver’s Leap, depth: 57, time: 1:00. Second dive, Shipwreck Point, depth 50, time: 1:01. The Pier, depth 50, time, 1:10. With the light filtering through the piers from above it was etherial in nature. Unfortunately, there is monofilament everywhere here, and if this site were cleaned up (removal of bottles and other trash) it would be absolutely awe inspiring. However, for now, take a dive knife with you on this one, entanglement could happen easily here.

Fourth day: First dive, Care Pile, depth 101, time 44 minutes. This dive (from the viewpoint of the wreck itself) is not one I would do ever again. Second dive, Misha’s Mischief, depth 55, time 1:03.

Fifth day: First dive, Jan Thief, depth 53, time 1:02. Second dive, the Tugboat, depth 50, time 1:04. Night dive: Coral spawning dive, depth 30, time: 1:15. Cost was $90.00 per person. 20+ people on the dive boat plus 4 dive masters in the water with the group. I did saw 3 different heads of coral spawn, and it was an amazing sight. Was it worth the $90.00 per person cost - No. Was it worth seeing at least once in a life time - Yes.

Sixth day: First dive, Shipwreck Point, depth 53, time 58 minutes. Second dive, The Tugboat, depth 50, time 52 minutes.
Total number of dives this vacation: 11
Total bottom time this vacation: 10 hours and 32 minutes

Breakfast was part of the package, so we ate at Nemo’s daily.
Lunch: We generally ate at Hemingway’s next to the dive shop between the morning dives and the afternoon dive. Service was VERY slow. Food most often delivered to the table cold or cool.
Dinner: We ate once at Hemigway’s, and the dinner fare was better than the lunch fare. Service was better than during the lunch hour.
Bottom line, I would do this trip again

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving St Eustatius, Grand Cayman, Bimini, Cozumel, Jamaica, Forida Keys, Roatan, Honduras
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, dry Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 82-90°F / 28-32°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50-75 Ft/ 15-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Must follow dm
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 4 stars
UW Photo Comments Nice Photo Opportunites on several reefs, but most especially at the Tugboat and the Pier,
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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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