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Dive Review of Ocean Explorers Dive Center/Divi Little Bay in
St. Maarten/south coast

Ocean Explorers Dive Center/Divi Little Bay: "Ocean Explorers, great dive shop", Jan, 2017,

by George Lynch, MA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 9453.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments A small operation with first class service. Very close to the airport, a little inconspicuous from the road as it is on the far side of a small parking lot, but bustling in the morning and around noon. Small groups, fairly small boats, slightly rough in January (at least while I was there) so take something to prevent seasickness if you are prone to it.
I was amazed at how good the service was. I have dived with numerous shops and this was probably the best service I have had in over 30 years. Always pleasant, cheerful, and helpful, the dive guides somehow manage to get all your gear on the boat, remember whose gear is whose, remember your weight amount - and which is your BC - from day to day, find the unmarked sites, assist you into the water (they use a unique entry) after putting your BC on your back, then lead the dive and take excellent pictures of you to boot. I honestly don't know how they manage it all. They also don't pester you underwater, or do that annoying tank-banging thing one endures all too often with so many operators. They are very good at pointing out creatures and assisting those who, inevitably, require it.
We saw lots of Caribbean reef sharks, turtles, morays, stingrays, lobsters, occasional spotted eagle rays, and a fair assortment of the usual Caribbean reef fish, plus several wrecks.
We tended to go slowly and not cover a lot of territory, which some divers may like less than others. There did not appear to be any mechanism for picking up divers at their respective hotels, as far as I could tell, but getting there in a rental car from the Philipsburg area was a simple matter and a short trip in the morning. Late afternoon traffic was surprisingly bad, but we were always back for a two tank dive by around 11:30 AM and traffic was not an issue then. We didn't make any afternoon dives, though these were available. They have one weekly night dive if there is sufficient interest. Lastly, the sites generally were not far away, less than 30 minutes, often much less.
Overall, an excellent shop, highly recommended. Diving quality fairly good by Caribbean standards.
Websites Ocean Explorers Dive Center   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Egypt Red Sea, Taveuni and Ringgold Islands Fiji, Palau, Sipadan Island, Kenya, Zanzibar, Hawaii (Big Island), Grand Cayman, Cayman Brac, Little Cayman, Cayos Cochinos and Roatan Honduras, Belize, Phuket Thailand, Akumal and Cozumel and Cabo San Lucas Mexico, Sangalakhi Island Indonesia, Costa Rica
Closest Airport Princess Juliana International Airport Getting There direct flights from Boston

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, surge
Water Temp 78-80°F / 26-27°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 40-60 Ft/ 12-18 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Dived in small groups, guide taking photos and pointing out creatures. They seemed to want the group to stay at least loosely together but were not at all pushy about it. Don't know how they'd feel about people going off completely on their own, but suspect this would be discouraged.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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 I didn't take UW photos, so can't comment on this subject.
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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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