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Dive Review of Admiralty Dive Center/Bluebeard's Castle, Pirates Pension in
Virgin Islands/St Thomas

Admiralty Dive Center/Bluebeard's Castle, Pirates Pension: "great divemaster, mediocre diving", Jun, 2015,

by John E. Keith, UT, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 27 reports with 5 Helpful votes). Report 8275.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments My wife and I dove 4 days with Admiralty. We chose them after reading reviews on TripAdvisor, Undercurrents, and ScubaBoard, and because they were the only dive shop that answered our questions in detail. We had an RCI exchange burning a hole in our pockets, and Bluebeard's Castle, St. Thomas came up. I wouldn't call St. Thomas a super dive destination - it has mediocre Caribbean diving, although the corals appeared to be in pretty good shape. Visibility varied from pretty good to lousy(25 ft or so), depending on rain and wind. However, Duane and the Admiralty Dive Center were outstanding. They limit the number of divers they take (our trips were with 2, 2, 4, and 5). Besides being a very safe and conscientious dive master/operator, Duane has an encyclopedic knowledge of the local corals, fish, and critters, and he shares that both above and below the water. His crew - Brent and Jerry - are fun and very competent, but Duane is pretty outstanding in our mind. He noted the endangered corals and fish for us, as well as nudis, shrimps, etc. We dove two (really three) wrecks - the Kennedy and the two Navy Barges. Saw a few octopi, nurse sharks, a turtle or two, and several eels, but the stars of the show were the corals that Duane pointed out. I'd say Duane is one the best DMs we've been with. I'm giving the diving a high rating because of him.
We stayed at one of the Pirates Pensions in a penthouse, which was very comfortable, well appointed, well-maintained, and clean, if a little old. Lots of stairs to climb and descend, though. Staff were helpful and cheerful. On-site restaurants (Banana Tree in particular) were quite good, if a little pricey. Ate at the Green House in town several times - very tasty. Rented a car and for divers, I think that is a necessity.
Websites Admiralty Dive Center   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Egypt, Florida, California, Caribbean, Mexico, Hawaii, Australia
Closest Airport St Thomas Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 82-82°F / 28-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 1
Water Visibility 25-75 Ft/ 8-23 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Surface with 500 lb or more
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles 1 or 2 Whales None
Corals 5 stars Tropical Fish 3 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's N/A Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments no rinse bucket on board for cameras but the crew took care of the cameras to prevent any problems.
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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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