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Dive Review of Scubaqua/Old Gin House in
St. Eustatius

Scubaqua/Old Gin House: "Pleasant Dive Trip Made Quirky With COVID Protocols", Oct, 2021,

by Rik Pavlescak, FL, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 23 reports with 18 Helpful votes). Report 11711 has 2 Helpful votes.

Photos Submitted with this Report

Click on an image to see an enlarged version and captions

Octopus Porcupine fish Squid Turtle Stingray
Pikeblenny Goby

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

Accommodations For Subscribers Only Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude For Subscribers Only Environmental Sensitivity For Subscribers Only
Dive Operation For Subscribers Only Shore Diving For Subscribers Only
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ For Subscribers Only
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced For Subscribers Only
Comments Diving in the time of COVID can be a challenge and travel is no longer particularly enjoyable. Being in a new place is, though, so if the benefits outweigh the costs for you, go ahead and follow the process. Flights to Saint Eustatius transit through St. Maarten which requires even transit passengers to have a COVID test with 48 hours of arriving and then submitting documentation through their EHAS portal and getting a pre-approval prior to flying into St. Maarten. Fortunately, their processing time is relatively fast--I had my pre-approval back within 2 hours of uploading the paperwork. The same was true for St. Eustatius' portal--very similar to the St. Maarten requirements.

Traveling through St. Maarten requires going through a long line where all COVID documentation is reviewed; going through immigration, and then retrieving your baggage and rechecking it in on your flight, clearing security again as well (no TSA pre-check here, so be mindful not to bury your liquid ziplocks, electronics, etc. Shoes also must come off here.)

Once on Saint Eustatius, depending on what level of "threat" your country represents, you are under a "COVID Protocol". For US residents this requires masking and social distancing for 5 days--in the dive shop, on the boat before and after dives, and eating only at outdoor restaurants. On the fifth day, you receive a follow-up COVID test (rapid antigen) and, assuming it is negative, you are no longer under the protocol--so masking is not required for your final day of diving (assuming a one week trip). The antigen test can be used for documentation requirements to get back into the US as well.

This trip was organized by RU4Scuba out of Rochester, New York. Jim did an ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Websites Scubaqua   Old Gin House

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Costa Brava, Roatan, Key West, Cozumel, Key Largo, West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, Cayman Brac, Bonaire, Philippines, Bali, North Sulawesi, St. John, St. Croix, Curacao
Closest Airport St.Eustatius Getting There Miami to St. Maarten and connect to St. Eustatius via Winair

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82-84°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-100 Ft/ 12-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Signal dive master when at 700 psi and start up the line. If one buddy goes up the line, they'll try to pair the remaining one with someone still down--or the dive master so that they can continue the dive until they get low on air.
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 For Subscribers Only
Small Critters For Subscribers Only Large Fish For Subscribers Only
Large Pelagics For Subscribers Only

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

Subject Matter For Subscribers Only Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's For Subscribers Only Shore Facilities For Subscribers Only
UW Photo Comments Dive shop has a small rinse tank for cameras and provides some shelves for storing cameras between dives. Yellow Boat did not have a camera table and a rinse bin was ... Subscribe to get the full story. For Subscribers Only  Active subscribers continue reading here
Was this report helpful to you?
Report currently has 2 Helpful votes

Subscriber's Comments

By Burton Schuler in FL, US at Jan 12, 2022 20:50 EST  
Thanks for this detailed report, I really appreciate it. I was supposed to go for a week to old Gin House and Suba aqua starting on 1/19 but cancelled due to C 19. But i did rescheduled for July, but being 71 i am not thrilled about getting in and out of the boat as you described. I have been spoiled by Capt. Don's in Bonaire where i just roll down to the boat and they take care of everything else. But i must admit i still want to go Statius. Thanks Burt Schuler, panama City Fl
By report author: Rik Pavlescak in FL, US at Jan 13, 2022 07:09 EST  
I definitely enjoyed the diving in Sint Eustatius, but it was some work. Our group ranged in age from the 30s to late 60s (possibly early 70s) with no injuries--the crew will assist. They also have two boats--we were on the smaller of the two. I'm not sure how entries/exits are off of the larger boat. Enjoy your trip!
By Burton Schuler in FL, US at Jan 13, 2022 15:12 EST  
Thanks again, by any chance have you been to Saba ?
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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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