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Dive Review of Bubbles Below,/Islander on the Beach in

Bubbles Below,/Islander on the Beach, Oct, 2011,

by Michael Habib, CA, US ( 1 report). Report 6253.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 2 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments This is a no frills dive operation but a good one at that. I knew they were decent based on previous reviews. In all honesty though, my first choice was to visit the Fathom Five dive shop where I had originally booked a twilight dive as their day dives were full(I should have known better to book much opposed to the day before !). But I was feeling a little uneasy about a night dive given my absence from diving for so long. I then remembered that Bubbles Below also had a good reputation based on several positive reviews. So I went ahead and called them to see if they had any scheduled outings the next morning as I had a very narrow window given my departure in a few days. After a few calls back and forth between Sterling and Travis they had enough people for a second boat that next morning (yeah !). So I was quite pleased with that. Showed up at the little boat harbor in Port Allen where Amber (Linda Marsh's daughter) was there to greet us and get all of the paper work (liability forms) out of the way. The boat we were on, the Sea Rocket arrived around 7:45. When speaking to both Travis and Sterling the day before I had specified that I had all my gear except a BC which I needed to rent. There was a slight mix up where when I arrived; they had a regulator for me instead....thankfully they had an extra BC although I little on the small I was a little miiffed by this at first...but it worked nonetheless. We were 6 passengers, the DM (Amber) and the captain (Peter). Both were great to be with...very expereienced and knowledgable. The boat was comfortable as far as capacity (in fact I beleieve it is capable of transporting 8 - 9), not state of the art by any means but fully functional with a small head on board. We were given a boat safety briefing by captain Peter and then a dive briefing by Amber. Our first dive was at Shawna's Shelves: saw spiny lobster, helmet crab, porcupine fish, schools of small fish, Ok dive. Corals were in good shape. I like the way Amber brought along her slate and wrote down what we were seeing. She is a very knowledgable DM and excellent diver. She asked everyone where we would like to dive next...she gave us options of where we might go based on what we might find there. We settled on Hale O honu (house of turtles). On the way there we spotted a pod of spinner dolphins. Pretty cool. On the second dive we saw several turtles, a few trumpet fish, fan fish and a lion fish. Also a nice relaxing dive. We were back at the harbor by about 12:00, just as they had predicted. I am glad I was able to rent 100ft3 tanks from them, nice option to extend bottom time as I am a little rusty from being absent from diving for so long. First dive was about 45 minutes with max depth of 80 ft. and second dive lasted 54 minutes with 65 ft vis. Safety stops at 20 ft for 3 mins. Snacks on board were a little on the "light" side including mini chocolate bars, cookies and granola bars along with sodas and water in stainless steel bottles. So in summary, I enjoyed my two dives with Bubbles Below,and so glad they were ale to accomodate me with my narrow diving window. So if you want a no frills but safe operation don't hesitate to dive with them, they know many of the great dive spots. They are also the only dive operation that I know of, that will take you out to the Island of Nihue year round, depending on conditions of course. Other operators stop going out there by the end of September. I heard that diving there is really incredible (3 tank dive)....but the boat ride can be brutal. So check in with them first to see if they are planning to head out there.
Websites Bubbles Below,   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 51-100 dives
Where else diving Eastern Canada, Atlantic, Florida Keys, Turks & Caicos Islands.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 76-79°F / 24-26°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 50-65 Ft/ 15-20 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Follow the divemaster...but not necessarily right at her fins.
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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