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Dive Review of Blue Island Divers/Marriott Frenchman's Reef in
Virgin Islands/St. Thomas

Blue Island Divers/Marriott Frenchman's Reef, Jun, 2003,

by David E. Reubush, VA, USA . Report 533.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Little Cayman, Grand Cayman, Belize, Galapagos, Red Sea, Dominica, Turks & Caicos (Provo & Grand Turk), Bimini, Bonaire, Curacao
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather windy, cloudy Seas choppy
Water Temp 85 to 92 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 80 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Return with 500 psi
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 2 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Told them upfront that I had a camera. No camera table on the boat and rinse bucket was forgotten most days. When they brought it it was a big dishpan and camera and strobe would not really fit.

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The boat was small, with no head and, when you reach a certain age, a head is a welcome relief after each dive. (I was told a new boat is in the works so this may not be a problem in the future.) However, a great and agreeable staff made up for any shortcomings. We delivered the gear (except for the camera gear) to the dive shop the day before we started diving and the crew put it on the boat for us and picked us up at the hotel dock. They changed BC's and regulators to the new tanks after each initial dive and took the gear back to the shop and hung it up after each day's diving. The boat did not have a ladder so you had to swim up to the back of the boat and take off your weight belt and BC which were lifted into the boat by a crew member. Then you had to kick up onto the swim platform and climb the rest of the way into the boat. This got interesting when the boat was rocking and rolling early in the week. The wind had been blowing for about a week before our first day's diving. As a result, the boat could not go very far out and the visibility was only about 30 ft. because of all the particulates in the water. Things calmed down later in the week and we were able to go further out where the visibility was up to about 80 ft. and the dives were much more enjoyable. While St. Thomas is not Little Cayman there was plenty to see, including some interesting (and large) wrecks. I will probably return to St. Thomas (There was lots of shopping to make my wife happy.) and will definitely dive with Blue Island Divers again. The clincher occurred when we settled up with Aitch at the end of the week. We had paid for 5 days of diving for myself and 3 days for my wife. Because of the poor conditions at the beginning of the week I cut back to 4 days and my wife to only one. Aitch refunded the difference with ABSOLUTELY NO HASSLE. He can also hook you up with a local car rental that cost about half of the going rate for one of the majors. The two things that I wished I had known before I left home were the water temperature (I didn't bring enough neoprene.) and visibility. (I would not have bothered to haul the camera gear.)
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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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