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Dive Review of Scuba St. Lucia/Anse Chastanet in
St. Lucia

Scuba St. Lucia/Anse Chastanet: "Romantic Getaway, Adequate Diving", Jan, 2016,

by Jeanne Reeder, MO, US (Contributor Contributor 16 reports with 19 Helpful votes). Report 8817 has 3 Helpful votes.

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 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling 2 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments St. Lucia diving was slightly above average for the Caribbean. Good visibility was lower than in many places, 30’-60’, but it was enough to enjoy the variety of coral formations and the heavy coverage of healthy hard corals, sponges, barrel sponges and many groupings of waving 6’ sea plumes. Red algae was not too detracting.

There were not a lot of fish, and certainly a lack of large ones. But I could always depend upon seeing trumpetfish, spotted moray eels of all sizes, and a high number of Caribbean spiny lobsters, most often jammed together in a crevice facing outward. This lobster clustering behavior perhaps serves to ward off attackers, such as the triggerfish (or lobster-divers?) Several good-eating sized crabs were in barrel sponges, others in more traditional hiding spots.

If I can see one amazing ‘thing’ on a dive, then that makes my dive. At the sloping wall of the Pitons, there were two nice surprises: a ½” baby trunkfish bobbing in a crevice, and an 8” lined yellowish brown seahorse curled around a branch in a deep wide crevice. On a few other sites, it was large spotted scorpionfish that caught my attention. A white and brown longlure frogfish at the Pinnacles added interest to the four great seamounts rising to within a few feet of the surface.

All divers must do a shore dive for a checkout dive, showing competency in removing/replacing goggles and regulator in shallow water. A few feet from this aggravating must-do, was a field of 1” sea grass, which was adorned by two 4” black sea horses. I also saw a scorpionfish and spotted moray. Otherwise, vis was low, and there wasn’t much to get excited about. I wonder what I missed, though, as daily there were multiple boats from other resorts bringing divers and snorkelers to this Anse Chastanet shore dive. Night dives were conducted at this site.

Scuba St. Lucia is the on-site PADI dive operation, and a top-notch one. The boat I was on with Capt Garfield, had two large motors, plenty of storage and seating space for 12 divers, and was well maintained. Entry was an easy barely-above-the-water giant stride, and exit was made easy with two sturdy ladders. The divers were divided into two groups, each with a dive master. Mine was Bradley and he was excellent in pointing out the unusual. The other dive master Bernita and boat person Zita were also pleasant and competent. Fresh fruit & sweet breads were available during intervals, as were large towels and drinking water.

Water temperature was a steady 81 degrees. The Caribbean was calm. Usually there was no, or only slight, current, but a nice drift dive of 1k was enjoyed on Pitons. My maximum depths ranged between 45’-74’ (60’ was recommended by Bradley), and time of dives were 47-49 minutes, only a couple minutes over the required 45. My group surfaced together after a required safety stop. Daily temperatures on land was in the low 80’s; evening low temps were 75-77 degrees.

I had injured my shoulders diving a couple months previous to this trip. The boat crew graciously carried my tank to the back, and I sat at the edge while being helped into it…ending in a not too gracious face-plant entry. At the end of the dive I handed my BC/tank/fins to waiting hands.

Having read that snorkeling was very good here, my husband, who is not a diver, joined me on this trip. Our expectations were high, and were immediately dashed in the sampling of four areas from shore at our resort. Visibility was poor, only a couple of feet sometimes, but more usually 20 murky feet. There were not many fish, and terrain was more brown than vivid. We decided to try outside the marked area. Heading around the point, the snorkeling vastly improved, but also the current picked up a bit. Two boats made sweeps past us, shouting to ‘go back’ to the ‘protected’ area. Oh, well, we ‘almost’ found the good snorkeling we had heard raves about.

Mary, co-owner of Capt. Nemo’s dive shop in Columbia, MO, arranged and led this group of divers, many of whom have taken multiple trips with Mary and husband Dwain, and were well acquainted. Mary had gotten us the FAP package, which included all meals and soft drinks. There are many different packages available – so peruse the choices. Divers were not restricted to eat as a group, and most did not. Fifteen dives during the 6 days were offered, including two night dives. Price for one diver for 7 nights was $4039, including airfare, diving, lodging and meals. Non-divers price was $290 less.

Anse Chastanet is a beautiful resort, built on a steep hillside. Accommodations are grand, but the stairs leading to rooms, unless you elected to stay on the beach, are daunting. To get to the fine-dining restaurant in the evenings, and breakfast, one is faced with 130 rather step stairs. My suite was positioned so walking up, then down again part way, was necessary and numbered 300 steps from the beach. Shuttles were available, but not very convenient in number or in time to pick-up for those wanting to avoid the stairs. I would not recommend this lovely resort to anyone having heart or knee problems.

Food was excellent in the open-air Tree House restaurant – a good number of choices, well prepared and attractively plated. Portions are generous. There is a breakfast buffet, but a menu as well. When I ordered crispy bacon each morning, I got about 10 slices! Chocolate croissants were flaky and delicious. Local grapefruit and passion fruit were my favorites among the fresh fruit available. Because it was open-aired, St. Lucia’s Lesser Antillean bullfinches were aggressive and eager to taste our fare. In the casual beach restaurant where we lunched, birds would sit on our glass for a drink, and swooped over our table stealing French fries.

Our very privately situated hillside suite had a view of the ocean far below & flowered trees through the louvered windows which were screened. Other suites faced the Pitons and sunset. The first night there, I lost sleep listening to the night sounds and ocean’s surf – very pleasant. Our king bed was amply covered with mosquito netting, and finding a way out in the middle of the dark night was daunting. Our bathroom contained a huge open shower area, toilet, bidet, and two sinks – and it was up 7 steep stairs. In addition, there was an enclosed walk-in closet with hanging area, shelves, dresser and small fridge. Through another door was a private nicely furnished balcony, open to the air and the birds which visited when we had snacks.

I do not recommend St. Lucia for the diving or the snorkeling if either of those two are the primary purpose of the trip. You can find much better elsewhere in the Caribbean. However, combined with a romantic getaway in a stunning setting, being waited on hand and foot, and having superb cuisine, Anse Chastanet can compete with the best of them.
Websites Scuba St. Lucia   Anse Chastanet

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Sudan, Japan, Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Philippines, Palau, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Raja Ampat, Turkey, Saba, St. Kitts, BVI, Bonaire, Cayman Brac, Cozumel, Turks and Caicos, Statia, Nevis
Closest Airport Hewanorra, St. Lucia Getting There Easy schedule on Delta: St. Louis > Atlanta > St. Lucia

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm
Water Temp 81-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 30-60 Ft/ 9-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions 45 minute dives, buddy diving, and keeping dive master in sight
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 2 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter N/A Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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