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Dive Review of Castle Comfort Lodge in
Dominica

Castle Comfort Lodge, May, 2013,

by G. Tripp Jones MD, SC, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 64 reports with 18 Helpful votes). Report 6989.

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 4 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was the first time our dive shop (Wateree Dive Center in Columbia, SC) has been to Dominica. We flew from Charlotte to St. Martin, then took an 18 seater (BVI Airways) to Dominica, about an hour away. The airport is on the NE side of the island and Roseau is on SW end. We landed just before dark and took a bus over the mountains (1 3/4 hours) on some pretty scary roads. There is a lot of construction going on and with all the rain in the mountains, there are washouts and construction delays. Some of the bridges are single lane and without much in terms of guard rails between you and several hundred feet below. It's exciting, but we made it.

Roseau is a densely populated capital city, and we were about a mile (south) from the market at city center. Castle Comfort is clean, with only 14 rooms. They are very basic, but fine for us divers. Bring your own shampoo. There is a small pool on site, but we were allowed to go next door to the Evergreen Hotel and use their big pool.The boutique is very small with little to choose from.

Breakfast was included in our package at 7:30 am. It was very good, cooked to order with awesome fresh fruit such as bananas, pineapple, and mangoes. Banana pancakes are great.

Diving is by Dive Dominica and is certainly adequate. The dive masters and captains were helpful, friendly and overall very good. I have only good things to say about them. We did 2 boat dives each morning, leaving the dock about 8:15-8:30 and returning about 12:30-12:45 pm. Lunch was usually at the onsite patio restaurant, with very good sandwiches. Dinner was also served here and was quite good each night. We went into town by local bus ($1) and visited the market, shops, etc. There are two grocery stores in downtown area to get soft drinks, rum, snacks, etc. We ate at the Garage for lunch one day and it was ok. I really did not get into going into town for dinner since Castle Comfort was quite good. Prices are in EC dollars, and seem to be reasonable.

The first dive was great, with 3 frogfish found by the divemaster, Imron. The coral was extremely healthy with very little bleaching. The small fish were plentiful and we saw occasional turtles, but no sharks, and only a few barracuda. The water is somewhat dark because of the volcanic sand and in the shadows of the mountains which tower over some of the dive sites. The water was pretty clear with very good viz just about all the time. I was really impressed by the pristine nature of the coral in the marine park. Champagne Reef is pretty with gas bubbles from volcanic activity simulating the bubbles of a bottle of champagne.

Dive Dominica doesn't take roll calls and that could be improved, but they were very efficient, and other wise safety conscious.

We did two days of whale watching, about 3 hours Sunday and Wednesday afternoons, and saw schools of dolphin, but no whales, although the captain really tried. Next time, I would go out only once.

One afternoon, we went to the Clemson University Tropical Research Center ( The Archbold Center) on Springfield Plantation, about 35 minutes by bus from Castle Comfort. It is a breathtakingly beautiful place and a perfect site for tropical research work.

On leaving, we had to make a return trip over the mountains, this time in daylight. It is absolutely beautiful,but that road is something else. I wish there was an airport on the western side of the island, but there is hardly any flat land in Dominica.

We plan to return and I would do more shore diving. I don't need to go into downtown Roseau more than 1-2 times. People are very friendly, and the majority are educated and proud of their country. It is the second poorest country in the Caribbean, but I really enjoyed the diving, hotel, dive operation and the people. We plan to return again.
Websites Castle Comfort Lodge   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Truk, Australia, all over Caribbean, Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, cloudy, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 81-82°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 20-100 Ft/ 6-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back to boat with 500#
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments My wife, the photographer, felt the boat was adequate, but little else to speak of.
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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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