Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes

Dive Review of Scbaqua in
St. Eustatius/Caribbean

Scbaqua: "Undeveloped island with good diving", Dec, 2018,

by Dorothy McDonald, OH, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 22 reports with 12 Helpful votes). Report 10802 has 1 Helpful vote.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was a group trip organized by Dave Haas and Bob Newman for about 31 divers and 3 non-diving spouses. Working with the folks from Scubaqua and The Old Gin House they arranged a well-run and fun trip on an island that rarely sees such a large group of people at one time.
Scubaqua sent us important information about the island in advance so that we knew things like the electrical current would be the same as in the US, Winair’s baggage limitations and extra fees, many of the local businesses do not accept credit cards and that although there are 2 ATMs on the island it is a good idea to bring some US cash.
Scubaqua has 2 dive boats – one is larger and has shade, a head, and a water bucket for cameras. We were on the smaller boat without any of the above; however, this was not a problem – all the dive sites were a short ride away and returning to shore facilities between dives seemed like an advantage compared to sitting on a rocking boat. Our dive briefings were given on shore while fresh tanks were loaded onto the boat. This was valet diving with the crew doing all the heavy lifting and setting up everyone’s gear unless a diver said that they preferred to handle/set up their own gear. Divers put on their wet suits and booties before boarding the boat and wore them back to the shop, with everyone rinsing their own suits and boots. The dive staff unloaded the boat and rinsed our other gear. There was also a tank for rinsing cameras. I had a problem with a leaking octopus which the dive staff pointed out and offered to fix for me. They let me borrow one of their regulators for a dive while they repaired mine. When I returned from the dive my regulator was ready to go and the person who repaired it even explained to me what he had done.
There were 12 divers on our boat – divided into two groups of 6 with the same guide for the week. Our guide, Stacy, pointed out unusual critters, and discreetly kept her eye on everyone in her group. The two boats never went to the same dive site at the same time and the two dive groups on our boat went in opposite directions around dive sites, so overcrowding was not an issue during the dives. It would have been helpful if the second group to enter the water would wait a little longer before entering in order to eliminate divers waiting in the water to get back into the boat after a dive – but this was the only thing that seemed to need a little better organization. The rungs on the small boat’s ladder seem narrow and there was only one “rail” to hold onto when climbing the ladder to get back into the boat, which made the ladder a little awkward for some of us – but divers could take their gear off in the water, hand it up and then climb the ladder. The crew was there to assist and made everything as easy as possible for everyone. All dives were within the marine park, no gloves allowed (except when holding onto the mooring lines when descending or ascending). There were some strong surface currents during our visit.
All the dives were between about 50’ and 100’ and were usually around 70’ – diving Nitrox is a big advantage (and Scubaqua offers it for free to Nitrox certified divers). There were lots of large barrel corals and lots of sting rays. We also saw a single reef shark, several nurse sharks (including a baby nurse shark that still had spots and stripes!), barracudas, jacks, many turtles, a seahorse, lots of lobsters, several eagle rays – and a large variety of other tropical marine life. This is also a great location for those who enjoy heavily encrusted wrecks and/or who like to see old artifacts. Besides wrecks there are old anchors (circa 1700s) as well as bits of pottery, cannons and even human bones. Since dives are within a marine park there is a strict hands-off policy.
We enjoyed the historic and cozy feel of The Old Gin House, but we are also very glad that we upgraded to the ocean view suite. Not only was it more spacious and had a great view, but we slept soundly – waves were the only thing we ever heard at night. Our fellow travelers complained of being woken up throughout the night every night because of roosters crowing and also lots of street noise. The extra we paid was worthwhile just for a good night’s sleep. The chef at The Old Gin House is superb – everything we had was delicious. There are also other good restaurants within easy walking distance to The Old Gin House; the Boardwalk Café, Harbor Club, and Blue Bead were also excellent choices for lunch or dinner (when they are open).
Statia is a small, undeveloped island where you won’t see many other tourists but you’ll enjoy good food and good Caribbean diving with a well-organized and helpful dive operator!

Websites Scbaqua   [same]The Old Gin House

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Philippines, Caribbean, Indonesia, South Pacific, Maldives, Florida
Closest Airport St. Maarten Getting There We flew to St. Maarten then took Winair to St. Eustatius - about a 15-20 minute flight.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 79-81°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 25-85 Ft/ 8-26 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Statia's Marine Park requires that all divers be with a local guide. The guide asked that we keep her within sight and that buddies ascend together.
Liveaboard? no 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 4 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments Depending on which boat you're on there may or may not be fresh water for cameras. There is a camera rinse tank at the dive shop and the water always looked clean. There is also a wooden table where you can set your camera between dives.
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 1 Helpful vote
Leave a comment (Subscribers only -- 200 words max)
Subscribers can comment here

Subscribe Now
Subscribers can post comments, ask the reviewer questions, as well as getting immediate and complete access to ALL 58 dive reviews of St. Eustatius and all other dive destinations. Complete access to all issues and Chapbooks is also included.


Want to assemble your own collection of St. Eustatius reports in one place?
Use the Mini Chapbook Facility to create your personalized collection.

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.

Undercurrent Home

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2023 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.

Page computed and displayed in 0.09 seconds