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Dive Review of Golden Rock Dive Center/The Old Gin House in
St. Eustatius

Golden Rock Dive Center/The Old Gin House, Mar, 2014,

by Mark F Ward, OR, US ( 1 report). Report 7560.

No photos available at this time

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 $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was our first visit to St. Eustatius (Statia for short). Statia is probably a lot like the rest of the Caribbean was 50 years ago: No cruise ships, almost no shopping, 1 grocery store, and a few restaurants, all within walking distance of the hotels in Lower Town.
Of course, it was all about the diving for us, and Golden Rock did not disappoint. They donít just say it is ďall about what you want,Ē they really do make it all about the guests. All dives are a short boat trip away, out in the bay. We always had a captain driving the boat and a guide tying off to one of the many buoys that are there just for divers. The captain and the guide both dove with us. On all but one dive, there were two guides and 4 divers. Nice ratio. They needed to see us put on our gear once, but after that they set up everything for us and washed it and dried at it the shop at the end of each day. We truly enjoyed Kris, Karrina, Ben and Glenn. All are fun, smart, totally into the diving, safe but not excessively so, and great guides.
Golden Rock normally goes out for a dive at 9:00 am and another at 11:30 am. But, they flex with what the guests want to do. They can do afternoon or night dives by request. There is another dive operation on the island, which gets more traffic because it is right in town (Golden Rock is at the pier, another 1/4 mile on but almost at the end of the road). We saw their groups go by, sitting in the back of a pickup-type vehicle. There were always 8-12 of them. We liked the smaller groups with Golden Rock.
The coral off St. Eustatius is in beautiful shape. It has great color and variety, which attracts some nice fish life. We saw turtles, lobsters (big ones!), tons of sting rays, a few sharks, puffer fish to name some of the sea creatures you donít see every day. There are a few interesting wrecks, most of which are in water that isnít too deep, some as shallow as 60 feet. Glenn actually captained the sinking of one wreck, the Charlie Brown, about 10 years ago. The life forming on it is pretty cool.
The Old Gin House sits on the shore, with large rooms, cleaned daily. Our package included a generous breakfast each morning. On the day we hiked up the volcano, they actually offered to make us a breakfast that we picked up the evening before. The staff was always friendly and helpful. Importantly, the AC always worked great.
If you want glitzy shopping, 6:00 am boat dives, cruise ships, etc., donít go to Statia. But, if you like a spot where you can do some interesting, relaxed diving with fun people and get a nice meal after, Statia is your place.
Websites Golden Rock Dive Center   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Australia, Hawaii, Roatan, Bonaire, Cozumel, Belize, Florida Keys
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 80-80°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 20-100 Ft/ 6-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions None, Golden Rock is all about what we want
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 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 5 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments The boat trips were so short, it hardly mattered, but Golden Rock had a large water bin just for the one camera on board
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Subscriber's Comments

By Lyman Duryea in KY, US at Apr 14, 2014 11:43 EST  
What's with the ratings?????
By Donn Ellerbrock in OH, US at Apr 14, 2014 15:30 EST  
Does one believe the rating or the commentary?
By Dave Eagleray in Ubud, ID at Apr 16, 2014 02:17 EST  
Ratings were entered incorrectly -- I was asked to correct them. They're correct now -- Dave Eagleray.
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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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