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Dive Review of Blue Island Divers/Palm Cottage, Water Island in
Virgin Islands/Crown Bay

Blue Island Divers/Palm Cottage, Water Island, Dec, 2013,

by Mark Winnett, PA, US ( 1 report). Report 7470.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 2 stars
Snorkeling 1 stars
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments Excellent dive operation in terms of customer service, safety, local know how, boat ops, and location for the western side of St. Thomas. Good instructors/DM: focused, careful, but not officious. Decent rental gear (basic ScubaPro mostly). Boat is the Barefoot Diver; holds 12 plus 3 crew, which can feel crowded if many novices or jerks--not too bad if everyone is cooperative and careful. 4-6 experienced divers is perfect. Stern ladder. No head on board, showers on shore. Staff takes care of all the gear so just leave it with them. I had some personal gear issues and they were very helpful to solve them.

Wreck dives were good, but visibility and current were marginal on our trip--in better conditions these might be excellent sites. Near shore was too murky to enjoy. Reef looks a bit beat up, not as many fish as I've seen in other spots, but turtles are common and unafraid. On shore, Crown Bay Marina has good services and transportation, close to airport, but can get crowded when the cruise ships dock (and there can be >6 big ones in high season). It's a working harbor, so lots of noise when the container ships unload. Friendly locals, no security concerns. Restaurant meals are very expensive ($40-50 for lunch or dinner) but you can buy almost anything at the Pueblo Market if you have a kitchen. Gourmet Gallery caters to the yacht crowd, but if you want something special, very convenient. Overall, a very enjoyable trip despite the less than perfect diving conditions. Much better than diving last year out of Farjado, Puerto Rico. I highly recommend both Palm Cottage for rental accommodations and Blue Island Divers for your dive shack.
Websites Blue Island Divers   Palm Cottage, Water Island

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving The Keys, St. Lucia, Tofino, Victoria, Bermuda, Barbados, Dominican Rep., Puerto Rico, St. Thomas
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy Seas choppy, currents
Water Temp 80-83°F / 27-28°C Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 5-50 Ft/ 2-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with group, time limits, 15ft safety stop, no collecting
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 1 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments rinse bucket on board, no special arrangements on shore, but staff is very accommodating.
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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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