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Dive Review of Dive St Vincent/Rosewood Apartment Hotel in
St. Vincent and the Grenadines/St Vincent

Dive St Vincent/Rosewood Apartment Hotel, Mar, 2010,

by David J Inman, PA, US (Reviewer Reviewer 6 reports with 3 Helpful votes). Report 5413.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Fiji, Papau New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Raja Ampat, various Caribbean destinations
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, no currents
Water Temp 79 to 81 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Dive your own profile
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? no

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles None Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 5 stars Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 5 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments I dove with Bill Tewes, the owner of Dive St Vincent, for a total of ten dive days (two days lost due to ear problems and travel delays). Bill was on the boat every day and on every dive, he pointed out the strange and unusual critters that have made St Vincent diving famous. For all of the press he gets about being crotchety, Bill Tewes makes you a better diver. He teaches you to shed weight, slow down, observe, and take decent photos without unnecessarily disturbing the marine life. He is a staunch defender of the marine habitat and clearly loves his little island. He has made such a contribution to the islands tourism industry that his image actually adorns a St Vincent postage stamp. It is not an exaggeration to say that Bill is a local legend.

St Vincent is diving not for everyone. There are no big fish, no sharks, no drift dives, and only a few luxury resorts. Yet on just about every dive we saw unusual fish and critters. Among the fish were: Longlure and Striated Frogfish, Goldentail, Spotted and Viper Morays, Reef and Mushroom Scorpionfish, Goldspotted Eels, Roughback Batfish, Cherubfish, Blue Bar Jawfish, Queen Triggerfish, and numerous Lined Seahorses. The critters included: Fingerprint Cyphoma, Porcelain Crab, Flaming Reef Lobster, Golden Coral Shrimp, Scarlet Striped Cleaning Shrimp, Squat Anemone Shrimp, Spotted Cleaner Shrimp, Sun Anemone Shrimp, Bumblebee Shrimp, Thorny Mud Crab, Berried Anemone, and Beaded Sea Cucumber.

Bill particularly relishes finding critters that are NIB (Not In Book)and despite his extensive knowledge of the local fauna, he often sends photos of unknown species to experts to be identified. Although the coral life was healthy, often the more interesting dives were in the muck, sand or grass beds which attract juvenile fish species and unusual critters. We were an experienced group of divers and most of our dives lasted from 60 to 90 minutes.

I stayed at the Rosewood Hotel and Apartments, a short walk from the dive shop. The accommodations are clean and pleasant, boasting air conditioning, a kitchenette, and a balcony with a spectacular view. Being high on a hill overlooking the harbor, the apartments get a fairly constant sea breeze. However with the breeze comes the cacophony of life on St Vincent - road noise, barking dogs, bleating goats, crowing roosters, etc. - so closing the balcony door and keeping the AC running is often a better option.

There were only a few good restaurants within reasonable walking distance from my apartment, and I found the easiest and most economical choice was to eat in my kitchenette for both breakfast and lunch. There is a local grocery store five minutes away by car or bus and a larger one in Kingstown (about 15 minutes by car). If you embrace this eat in strategy, be sure to ask Rosewood to provide you with a microwave and a coffee maker.

Mariners Hotel houses the closest good restaurant but the dinner menu is a bit pricey. A more economical option is to order from the lunch menu which is served any time - adequate portions, simpler fare, and better prices. For the adventurous, there are a few local restaurants in the area which vary both in distance and quality of food. Nearby Young Island Resort is an upscale hotel on its own island, catering to well-heeled travelers and the yachting crowd

Air travel to St Vincent can be a challenge. There are no direct flights from the US and one has to connect through either San Juan, Miami, or Barbados. Although I have always come through San Juan, some frequent travelers recommend connecting in Barbados if you can find a direct flight from the States. Due to overweighting problems, LIAT, the local carrier, will leave behind one of your bags if the flight is full. When you check in with LIAT, you will be asked to choose the bag with which you want to travel and the remaining bag may arrive a day or so later. The good news is that Dive St Vincent will provide rental gear free of charge if you do not have your own. Of course, luggage is subject to overweight baggage fees from both US and local airlines.

When you travel to a small, developing country, you have the best experience if you accept it for what it is. You cannot expect the service and amenities that we have become accustomed to in the States. If this bothers you, I suggest you find a different destination. However if you are looking for a unique diving experience in a quirky little corner of the Caribbean, St Vincent might be the place for you.
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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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