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Dive Review of Dive Fair Helen/Oasis Marigot in
St. Lucia/Marigot Bay

Dive Fair Helen/Oasis Marigot, Feb, 2010,

by Roland and Pam Hebert, MA, US ( 1 report). Report 5422.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bonaire, Aruba, Curacao, Grand Cayman, Hawaii, Tobaggo, St. Croix, Newport R.I. and Lake Mead, NV
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 79 to 82 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dives were generally 50 minutes. No more than 65 feet.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 1 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 2 stars
UW Photo Comments No tub for cameras.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 3 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 3 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments We stayed at the Oasis Marigot resort in Marigot Bay, just outside of Castries. The resort was on the opposite side of the Bay from the connecting roads and stores. We took a small ferry boat back and forth. It was never a problem getting around. Oasis Marigots rooms are split level cabins that are well maintained. Its a time share resort that can be difficult to trade into. The cabs were way too expensive. We finally found out how to take the bus into town, but it required a difficult walk up the hill and down the other side to get to the nearest bus stop. The service at Doolittles restaurant was poor and meals were over priced.

The main dive operator in the Bay is Dive Fair Helen. From other Undercurrent reports we knew what to expect. We booked a 5 day package (5, 2 tank dives) at $355 each. I negotiated a 20% discount on the one day price to add a 6th day. Dive Fair Helen advertises that they are a member of DAN, and they fly a DAN flag on the boat, but we later found out that they havent belonged to DAN for several years.

On the flight from San Juan to St. Lucia one of our bags stayed behind. The next day the volcano on Montserrat erupted and closed down air traffic for three days. Dive Fair Helen let us use their masks and fins at no extra cost until the rest of our gear arrived.

They started late almost every day. The first and third days were the worst. We waited for cruise ship customers until 10:30 and didnt get into the water for our first dive until 11:36 on our first day, and 12:03 on the third day. So we ended up sleeping late most mornings and bringing our books everywhere to make use of the wasted time.

In between dives the operator provided everyone with a full lunch. We had a meat dish like chicken or lamb chops, rice, beans, salad and noodles of some type. One day they served lasagna along with macaroni & cheese. All this food made us heavy for our second dive. Often times burping up the flavors while we were 50 feet down. After a few days we brought plastic containers with us to save most of the food, and brought it back to our rooms. One night we fed four people on Dive Fair Helen leftovers.

The dive crew was very friendly and fun to be with. Dive briefings were short and skimpy, but most of the dives were drift, so it was just follow the leader. It bothered us that most trips had snorkelers on board, so the boat left us to serve the non-divers, and returned to pick us up at the end of our dive. If anyone had a problem and had to surface, there would be no boat around to help a diver in distress.

The St. Lucia marine reserve charges a fee from all divers. We paid the yearly fee to Dive Fair Helen but received no receipt or tag. We asked every day for the tag, but they never had any. We made a fuss about it and finally received our tags in the mail about three weeks later.

The dive sites were great. We did Beehive, Lesleen M. wreck (twice), Anse La Raye (reef and wall), Supermans Flight (twice), Grand Caille, Devils Hole, Rosemon Trench, Coral Gardens and Pinnacles. The first time we did Supermans Flight there was a fast current that literally felt like flying. The second time the current was very mild. We enjoyed the repeat dives because they still had a lot to offer. On the last day we used the faster boat and made it to Coral Gardens and Pinnacles. They were really the highlight dives of the week.

We saw very few large adult fish, but the numbers and variety of smaller fish was plentiful. We found a frog fish on the Lesleen M and spotted scorpionfish at most of the dive sites. Im always looking for small critters, and there were so many spaghetti worms, fire or bristle worms, banded coral shrimp and arrow crabs that I ended up with a ton of pictures of them.

My wife does fish reports to REEF and was pleased to report several rare sightings. We found Sargassum Triggerfish at Grand Caille, Purplemouth Moray at Anse La Raye, Redspotted Hawkfish at more than 5 sites, and a field of Rosy Razonfish at Coral Gardens.
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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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