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Dive Review of Dive Adventures/Pelican Bay Resort in
St. Maarten/Simpson Bay

Dive Adventures/Pelican Bay Resort, Sep, 2005,

by Bruce Wallace, IN, USA . Report 1994.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience Over 1000 dives
Where else diving Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Cancun, Cayman, Cuba, Florida, Greece, Guadeloupe, Hawaii, St. Barths, Saba, Turkey, USVI
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, surge
Water Temp 84 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 80 to 120 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Don't come back on board with less than 500 psi and try to stay out of decompression.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas 1 or 2
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 5 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments Small "cameras only" tub. Computer in shop available for edit. Cyber cafes all over Simpson Bay and Phillipsburg. Very friendly photo dive operator.

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 2 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments St. Maarten has not received great ratings or numerous reviews. I would say - GREAT! That leaves a fantastic reef unspoiled with little or no damage for those of us who want virgin diving.

The colors are as good as anywhere; there is well over 300 species of fish identified; Saba has lots of large pelagics and the famous pinnacles; St. Barths is ALIVE with excellent corals; wrecks abound around St. Maarten and St. Martin (if that's what you want); deep coral valleys, swimthroughs, tunnels and sandy flats are everywhere; all the folks speak English and take American dollars; food is excellent and very low cost; casinos are all over the island and there is a good nightlife.

My favorite dive was Mike's Maze which was groove diving at its best - narrow alleys through coral which were filled with sponges, fans, rope and various typical Caribbean hard and soft corals. Barracuda and bait fish everywhere inside the Maze. Enough sunlight from time to time so you didn't think you were in a cave. Ledge hanging lobsters (both Spanish and Caribbean) everywhere. This is the best 60 minutes in my dive log.

Of the 14 dives, the average bottom time was 61 minutes with an average depth of 57 feet. No dive deeper than 90 feet. DM in the water with divers who wanted guided critter tours, otherwise buddies were on their own after first checkout dive. Dive Adventures' Vinnie is shop manager and kick-butt operator with an outstanding staff of locals. Very laid back operation with no pressures other than choosing the daily dive sites by group agreement in the morning.

Aqua Mania is an incredible booking agent right at the Pelican Resort. Their discounts for multi activities (tours, Saba/St. Barths dive trips and dinner cruise) were the best on the island. Thrifty Car Rental had newer Toyota Corollas for $115 per week. Lotrie Farm's "Fly Zone" is the best non-diving activity with 22 transfer stations in the rain forest trees to test your zip line abilities (save this for last day). Go to Coz, Cay and Bonaire - we want St. Maarten for ourselves.
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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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