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Dive Review of Saba Divers/Scout's Place in
Saba

Saba Divers/Scout's Place, Jan, 2008,

by Kevin Klocek, pa, USA ( 1 report). Report 3792.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Curacao, Caymans, USVI, NY, NJ, Palau, Dominica, FL
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy
Water Temp 78 to 80 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive time 60 minutes with a depth not to exceed your Max. Operating Depth of your EaNx mixture.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Crew was considerate of photographers and equipment. Boats lacked a fresh water rinse tank, but adequate facilities were provided at the dock. Photo equipment was well segregated from the rest of the gear on the boats.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Winair from St. Martin offers frequent flights to Saba, and gives you a generous 44kg per person allowance if they know you are divers. This allowed us to bring all of our own gear, including camera housing, strobes, and lights, plus hiking boots and clothes. However, because the planes are small and the runway is short (Saba has the shortest commercial runway), don't overpack. Flight is a memorable 12 minutes. Aerophobes can take the 1hr, 45 min ferry.

We stayed at the Pirate's Cottage at Scout's place, a 2-bedroom, 1-bath cottage. Accomodations were newer (remodeled in early 2007), clean, and comfortable. Daily maid service was great, and two grocery stores were within walking distance for us to stock the kitchen with snacks and beverages. Air conditioning was not needed -- the steady cool breeze was more than enough to keep cool (we needed sweatshirts at night). We had wireless internet, but it worked best in the restaurant.

The staff a Scout's was very attentive to all of our needs and making sure everything ran smoothly. They handled all of the transportation to and from the airport and dive shop, and were quick to address any problems.

We ate most of our meals at Scout's. The menu was varied and all of the food was good, generous, and reasonably priced. Other restaurants in Windwardside are in easy walking distance -- Swinging Door Saloon has a $16 steak night, and their ribs are great too. Brigadoon has good seafood.

The dive staff at Saba Divers was friendly and professional, and allowed us to run longer profiles when we had more air and bottom time than the guides. Nitrox was free for the entire week, which we used since many of the dives required profiles in the 80-100 foot range.

They took great pains to separate the groups based on ability and interests, even when the total number of divers could have fit in one boat. There can be deep dives in Saba, but there are also shallower sandy bottom dives to be had as well. On three separate days my group of four people had our own boat to tackle some of the more challenging sites, while another boat stayed in to shallower waters.

On the second day of diving we came across 5 gray reef sharks out in the blue near the pinnacle known as the "Needle." This was a welcome sight in the wild without having to feed or chum the waters. Other dives sites varied and included deep pinnacles, walls, patch reefs, and sandy bottoms. We saw turtles and sting rays on nearly every dive. Currents could be strong in some locations, but conditions varied by the hour and day.

While the coral and fish life is better in Bonaire, Saba offers more variety both topside and underwater. As an island, it is pretty comparable to Dominica (lush jungles for hiking, and pretty good diving for the Caribbean), but Saba is much cleaner and friendlier, and the food is much better. For a quiet vacation in a friendly, small community with plenty of diving and hiking, Saba is the place to go. If you are the Beach and Casino type, go somewhere else.
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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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