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Dive Review of Dive Dominica/Castle Comfort Dive Lodge in

Dive Dominica/Castle Comfort Dive Lodge, Apr, 2006,

by David Reubush, VA, USA (Top Contributor Top Contributor 62 reports with 30 Helpful votes). Report 2436.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was my second trip to Castle Comfort/Dive Dominica, the first being 5 years ago. I will return again, probably in less than another 5 years. My wife (her first trip) really enjoyed the diving and Dominica in general. The diving is generally easy with a current on only one dive and the coral generally healthy. Dominica is a relatively poor island with considerable subsistance fishing which results in almost no large fish. However, it is a small critter paradise. There are loads of Bristle Worms, Anenomes with Anenome Crabs and Shrimp, juvenile Spotted Drum, Golden Morays, etc.. (Five years ago there were abundant Frog Fish and Sea Horses. The Frog Fish are gone and we only saw 3 Sea Horses all week.) There are also lots of Urchins, Crinoids of various colors, Spotted Morays (We saw several free-swimming in the daytime.), adult Spotted Drum, Yellow-spotted Snake Eels, and a host of other small tropical fish. We saw 3 of the largest Hawksbill Turtles I have ever seen. There are whales in the area and we saw several Humpbacks after one day's diving. The boat captain delayed returning to Castle Comfort and moved the boat to the area of where the whales had been spotted and we ended up with 2 of them right next to the boat. A really neat experience. There are tanks available 24/7 for shore diving. The shore diving is in 15 - 20 ft. of water over a boulder bottom, but the rocks are full of life. We stayed down for 90 minutes on one dive and I would have stayed down longer, but my wife was ready to get out. Deeper beyond the rocks is sand with some of the largest Garden Eels I have ever seen.

The dive masters and boat crew are all very friendly and helpful. Several were working there 5 years ago. The longevity means they really know the dive sites and take you the best route to see the most. While following the dive masters was encouraged, there was never a problem for anyone (mainly photographers) to go off on their own. The surface interval was generally almost an hour which was good as a safety measure. The max dive time was never rigidly enforced, but peer pressure encouraged not stretching things out as many people came back, showered, ate lunch, and went on an afternoon tour.

One of the great things about Dominica is the above-the-water things that you can do. The island is mountainous with numerous waterfalls and other beautiful scenery. We toured every afternoon we did not do a shore dive and thoroughly enjoyed all of them.

The food at Castle Comfort is good. There is a menu for breakfast and lunch (lunch costs extra), but, particularly for breakfast, they will make just about anything you want (if they have it). At dinner you typically would have a choice of two entrees. A lot of the dinner side dishes were island food and were not recognizable to most Americans, but were all good.

The only thing I really wish to change about Castle Comfort is the mattresses. The beds were past their prime. Otherwise we were very happy. The only other thing to be aware of is that it is not easy to get to Dominica. We flew through San Juan and found that 2 hours is not enough time to make connections. Going down we missed our connection and had to spend the night in San Juan courtesy of US Airways, but we lost a day of diving. Coming back we missed our connection and got upgraded to first class on the next 2 flights courtesy of Caribbean Sun Airlines, but our bags did not get home for another 24 hours.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving North Carolina, Belize, Bimini, Bonaire, Curacao, Turks & Caicos, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Great Barrier Reef, Galapagos, Red Sea
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas choppy
Water Temp 82-83°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-70 Ft/ 18-21 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Return with 500 psi, Asked to stay above 100 ft. for 1st dive and 60 ft. for 2nd dive, but not enforced in any way. I hit 122 on a 1st dive and 80 on a 2nd dive.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales >2
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 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments The crew members were very good about handing you your camera at the beginning of a dive and taking the camera from you and placing it in the rinse tank after every dive. However, there were no camera tables on any of the boats that we used so that nobody attempted any work on the cameras during the surface intervals. While they advertise a 110 volt outlet for battery charging in every room the only 110 outlet I found was in the bathroom and was intended for shavers. I used it for charging my batteries, but it required a 2 round prong adapter like that used in Europe. The rest of the 220 volt receptacles in the room were of the 3 flat prong variety.
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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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