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Dive Review of Juliet in
Puerto Rico/Mona Island

Juliet: "sail + dive", Dec, 2015,

by Michael Joest, Kehl, DE (Top Contributor Top Contributor 48 reports with 29 Helpful votes). Report 8788.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 1 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Puerto Rico - Juliet to Mona Island Part II
On Saturday I left my rental car at Budget and took a cab to the ferry terminal at Mayaguez to get onto the Juliet. Of her I learned when I was looking for liveaboards running the wreck trek tour down the Florida Keys. Got their newsletter and saw them advertising Mona Island. Where in hell is Mona , never heard of, although I travelled around the world a lot always looking for tempting new dive destinations. Mona they said on the Internet, is the Galapagos of the Caribbean. Well this was exactly what I was looking for, far away from crowds and promising virgin like diving where not too many have been before. My very first impression when I saw Juliet was, ups she surely has seen better days. I booked one of the big cabins with private head, I just feel more comfortable with that instead of sharing facilities. Juliet was not fully booked, so all got a cabin for themselves. We were 8 guests, 7 US 1 European. Dive deck is big, everyone got his own space with his tank and locker behind for your gear. There is hot and cold fresh water right next on the mast, buckets for camera and computer on both sides. For Nitrox they charge an extra of 100 $ for the whole week. Saturday night we sailed or rather motored to Mona. Juliet is rolling a bit strong in deep swells, so sleeping was fighting the movement of the boat. With your bunk running straight to the bow you would nearly fall out of your bed. Staying at right angle to it, you would either hit head or toes with her rolling. First day diving Mona showed similar sites as on Rincon, boulders with scattered sponges and coral, fish life sparse and rather shy, vis nearly endless. It seems even here in a protected area there must me some spearfishing cause the fish did not allow you to get close. They had warned of Mona with often changing currents and big swells it´s not for the beginner. We did not encounter that on our dives. However at her close by sister island Monito the story was completely different. There big surf was waiting and swells pushed us in and out of canyons. To be on the safe side we all had to get ready and hold onto the reeling while the skipper got close to the island. On command we immediately jumped in and grabbed hold of the tag line. Everybody got ready and on a signal we went down together. I thought negative entry would have been the right choice here, the dive instructor disagreed. Jessica our guide gave good briefings and pulled a marker buoy with flag all the time along with her at Monito, this would be a tough job even guys would have a hard time to manage. Lisa the second skipper and marine biologist send us down with the task to find some special fish species. You could then mark „found it“ on board on a FOD paper. The guy with most hits would win a tee shirt at the end of the trip. Vis 50 m plus, huge boulders some nurse sharks, turtles, better fish life around. Dive 2 there took us to some awesome wall with tricky current. We saw huge barrel sponges where you easily could have hidden behind with now one seeing you anymore. On ascend we all assembled on the surface, Juliet approached and each took his/her turn to grab the tag line and then get to the ladder to climb on board. Sometimes this was a damned hard job with the boat riding the swells. They offer 4 dives a day, 3 day dives. All dives start from the mother boat, the inflatable is only used to catch divers, who get caught in a current and swept away from the island. Most days we chose to dive the rugged Monito Island twice than head back for some more shallow dive plus night dive in calmer waters at Mona. Once when we surfaced at Monito I looked up and a frigate bird was hovering right above me, must have been curious to find out what kind of creatures are swimming down there. The last day there we went to a site called „Cul de Sac“ at Mona. It´s a wall dive with some really spectacular coral garden on top. This soon turned out to be the best two dives I did on Mona. Fish life was better here and I just love drop offs. Without this place I would not have given Mona good marks for diving. Being called the Galapagos of the Caribbean, I expected more. We never had big schools of fish around us, pelagics were rare, only once we spotted dolphins on the surface. So I feel Galapagos is a bit far fetched exaggerated and overrated. On our way back to the mainland we stopped for the last dives at Desecheo. There we had our first and only real drift dive in ripping current at Yellow Reef. We tried to swim around huge boulders and through canyons to reach the outer reef and climb across the rocks. There was absolutely no chance. As soon as you stuck your head above the reef edge, current would hit you. It was either hiding in lee of the reef or being rushed back to the Juliet along with current. There you had to hold tight to everything being there either tag line or anchor line and floated like a flag in the wind. I grabbed the safety bar and was pushed to the surface with it, my computer shrieked. Our skipper was happy when all of us safely showed up back on the boat.The staff on board was excellent. Our chef Anna did a magician job in the kitchen. I don´t know how she managed that in the sometimes heavily rolling Juliet. She served good and nourishing meals buffet style. We had Fettuccine Alfedo, various Tacos, Lasagne, top notch sweets, she even managed to prepare some gluten free pancakes and French toast for me. Jessica our dive instructor guide gave really good briefings, we got the chance to brush up our underwater compass skills, as most dives we did on our own risk, level and finding back to Juliet wasn´t always easy in unfamiliar surrounding. She could not quite believe there are experienced divers even in Germany. I guess she did after watching me blowing smoke rings and even hearts up to the surface. Lisa was the cattle drover at the end in line on the dives to make sure we stay together and behave.
Juliet is not the youngest lady anymore, but maybe it´s her charm and attraction which divers let chose her for an awesome vacation. I would join a trip on her again, when they offer some tempting tropical destination.
Websites Juliet   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving worldwide
Closest Airport Mayaguez Getting There via San Juan

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas surge
Water Temp 27-28°C / 81-82°F Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-50 M / 131-164 Ft

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions [Unspecified]
Liveaboard? yes Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 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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