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Dive Review of Cabrits Dive Center/Nature Island Divers in
Dominica/North and South

Cabrits Dive Center/Nature Island Divers, Nov, 2007,

by C Vernon Hartline Jr, TX, USA (Reviewer Reviewer 5 reports). Report 3753.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 0-25 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Red Sea, Eastern Pacific, Hawaii, Mexico(both coasts), Belize, Indonesa, Tahiti, Coco Island, Panama , Texas etc
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather dry Seas calm, noCurrents
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions return with 500psi - all dives had divemaster in the water
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 3 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments crew helped with cameras
Cabrits didn't have their larger boat in the water so it may have been different. Nature Island did not have a rinse tank but had a large table to put cameras

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Impressive island both above and below the water. We were very impressed with diving in Portsmith and Helen and Peter at Cabrits Dive Center run a fun and classy operation. For the surface interval between dives, Helen brought us hot tea and "biscuits" (cookies). Portsmith is in the north closest to the airport in Mellvill Hall. The roads are narrow and "twisty". They were a british colony so driving is on the left and was truly "an adventure" driving around the island. We rented a Rav 4 via the internet from Courtesty Car Rental at the airport. Also at Helen's suggestion we stayed at the Pitcard Cottages (where the crew of "Pirates of the Caribbean" movie stayed.The cottages were basic but had a small kitchen and a/c. We had a beachfront cottage on a black sand beach. These cottages are next to Ross Medical School - were there are tons of USA students - who I suspect failed to get accepted into a USA medical school. Lots of very small but interesting dining establishments in town. We enjoyed Big Papa's and the Purple Turtle. John the dive guide was very good and handled all levels of diving skill effectively. Dominica is an island not to be missed and there are a ton of things to see on the surface - waterfalls , drive thru volcanos , hiking trails ,lookouts from 4,700' mountains, bubbling lakes etc. Lots of healthy coral but only small fish. The best dive we had was under the new cruise ship pier - we asked to do it the next day as well. We spent 3 full days in Portsmith. We spent 4 days in the South, in Rousau, the largest city on the island, where the local scene is very different. We stayed at the Evergreen Hotel (we got the Honeymoon Hut)in Castle Comfort and drove to Nature Island Dive Center every dive day (about 30 minutes). One dive day in the South - it was blowing and strong currents and diving was difficult. The most famous dive in the South is "champagne" where in 15' of water bubbles are everywhere. Neither site offered big fish and we saw lots of "fish pots". Diving in the South is around a collapsed volcano at lands' end and offers walls/dropoffs we didn't see in the North. We returned to shore between dives, Nature Island took care of gear each diving day. Night dives are also offered. Several divers took off to go whale watching offered by the larger operations in Rousau (Dive Dominica) and saw a dozen or so whales. Problem with the larger operations is the cruise boat divers. As many as 3 cruise boats are in port in Rousau on any given day. Tourism in Dominica is equated to cruise boat passengers - several sites were closed on Saturday because there were no cruise boats. The "nicest" hotel in Rousau in Fort Young which has a close up view of the lastest boat to dock. We had several good meals there but not sure that's where I'd want to stay. I also enjoyed the Saturday market along the waterfront in Rousau where all kinds of farmers have their produce for sale. Dominica suffered an earthquake last week that was 7.3. I have not heard of much damage but that is a powerful quake. A hurricane went thru last July and resulted in the loss of most of the banana crop used in export. Interesting history to the island and friendly people. There is no Ritz Carlton or even a Hilton. Only KFC and Subway were the only "chains" we saw on the island. Have to overnight from the middle of the country (we stayed in San Juan) both coming and going. I'd go bakc in a heartbeat.
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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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