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Dive Review of Zeppelin Sail and Dive in

Zeppelin Sail and Dive: "Don't lock me in!", Oct, 2018,

by Sandra Maruszak, NH, US (Reviewer Reviewer 4 reports with 4 Helpful votes). Report 11096.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 3 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I didnít write a review initially for this trip as I wanted time to appreciate how wonderful the trip was and not concentrate on the parts that were less than excellent. But in light of the disaster that occurred with the dive boat in CA (boat caught on fire and 34 divers died), Iím posting the following, just in case the owners continue to use a padlock, blocking the only way off the boat.

Wayne and Ellie are the owners of a 47 foot sailboat that you can charter with them cooking/cleaning/sailing/guiding. Overall the trip was good--I was able to experience life aboard a 47 foot boat, with experienced sailors guiding it. I know they worked hard to make the trip enjoyable for us. I read many positive reviews about their services on Trip Advisor before I booked the trip, and the issues that I present below did not appear to be an issue with others.

A major concern I had during the trip, was they used a padlock to lock the hatch at night to make sure no one from outside could gain entrance into the boat. I was very concerned that in an emergency I would not be able to get out. The key to the lock sat on the counter, but I knew that if the key could not be found, the only way off that boat was locked and given how sturdy the hatch door was, I did not think I could break it down manually. The windows are covered with bars (also for security) and there is no other way to get out. In looking back, I should have demanded they use something else to close the hatch (like a biner), as I knew what a safety risk it was, but I didnít want to be ďdifficult.Ē Iím lucky it didnít cost me my life.

Wayne was great communicating by email and when I mentioned my goal of diving as much as possible, (the website noted up to 3 dives a day), he let me know if we were travelling between islands I would not dive that much, but otherwise we could do 3/day. I understood those logistics and noted that I would prefer to fit in as many dives as we could.

Ellie customizes the menu to your taste, which is wonderful. She is a fantastic cook and every day we were delighted by her culinary skills. She prepared 5 amazing meals a day. What was less delightful, was the fact that she plated the food for you and expected you to eat everything on it. While my husband met this challenge, I could not. Rather than eat more than I wanted, I left food on the plate, which clearly hurt her feelings. I tried to assure her that it was not that I did not like the food, I just could not eat so much. The following meal my plate was almost empty, and I finished hungry. She told me that since I had mentioned I had a such a small appetite, she had given me less. The question if I would get enough food (but not too much, since I knew I had to clean it to keep her happy) made mealtimes unpleasant for me.

Wayne and Ellie are experienced sailors, and clearly love their boat. They have so much emotion tied up in their boat, however, it is hard for them to have outsiders use it. There is a copper sink in the guest bathroom, which Ellie wants to keep dry so it doesnít corrode. Since the tap drips a bit, she puts a towel in the sink basin and changes the towel daily to keep the sink dry. I diligently dried the sink after each use and placed the washcloth under the spout to catch any drips, but in the middle of the night, I often forgot the (black) towel was in the sink and I would turn on the water to wash my hands before remembering it was there. I was chastised for this several times, which also added more stress.

The website emphasizes the rooms get a great cross breeze, but for someone accustomed to sleeping in cooler temperatures, it was HOT. The generator is next to the guest bedroom, which makes that room particularly hot. Even with the fans running, Iíd estimate it was 90 F or more. Also, common for people used to sailboats, the portholes were directly over the bed and toilet. Not a problem for the uninhibited, but if youíre shy, it might be disconcerting to have someone washing the window over your head while you attempt to do your business.

Iíve only done live aboards, and never a smaller sailboat, so some of what is probably obvious to sailors was new to me. Iím only 5í4 and 120 lbs, but I imagine larger people might have a challenge fitting onto the toilet comfortably. My husband noted his hips just fit into the space for the toilet and heís 6í and 170 lbs. Wayne and Ellie did note that they advise larger people might not be comfortable on the boat. Iím not sure this advice is made abundantly clear before booking. The bed is very close to the ceilingómy fingers could touch the ceiling when I was laying flat on my back. Anyone with physical limitations such as climbing up onto the platform bed or problems with their backs could find the boat uncomfortable. The bench seats, even at the young age of 43, made my back ache after hours of sitting on them.

The diving was great, and they knew the best places to go. While I was prepared for limited diving on days we were travelling between islands, I had expected to dive 3 dives on days when we werenít. While they advertised 3 dives/day, it seems this is not their habit. Despite the fact that we had discussed my dive plan prior to booking, Wayne let me know that it really taxed them to do three dives in a day. I also thought we would sail during the week, but we ended up motoring as Wayne noted it was easier.

The trip was $3460 for 4 nights, 2 people. Since Iíve never spent time on a smaller boat, it was great to be able to go with such experienced guides and see what life on a boat would be like. I realize the above information may come off as more negative than positive, and while there were certainly moments of frustration, fear, and discomfort, in looking back I also remember some amazing food and beautiful diving. Iím happy I had the experience (and happy there wasnít a fire) and hope that in writing this evaluation, I can help others decide if itís something they want to embark on.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Belize, Bonaire, Cozumel, DR, Keys, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Cayman Islands, Honduras, Costa Rica.
Closest Airport Roatan Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 60-80 Ft/ 18-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

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

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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