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Dive Review of Cane Bay Dive Center/Cane Bay Reef Club in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

Cane Bay Dive Center/Cane Bay Reef Club, Sep, 2005,

by Gary Welna, NE, USA . Report 2070.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving All over the Caribbean, Florida, Galapagos Is.; Lakes & Sand pits in the Midwest
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm, choppy
Water Temp 85 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 30 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions All dives accompanied by a Dive Guide.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 2 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments Rinse tank at the Dive shop for cameras only. Staff would store camera in their office for security, if asked. Boats are small inflateables for 4-6 divers. Recommend you hold the camera during boat trips. Boat trips were very short, not a problem. Boat captain would hand camera to divers when they were situated in the water; and retrieve them 1st think upon returning to the boat. Entries & exits were extremely easy.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments There are two types of Dive operators on St. Croix. One is your typical "Cattle Boat" diving. The other is 4-6 diver inflatable rafts.

We opted for the small rafts. We figured less divers, less chance of getting stuck with beginners, and more personalized service. The other factor is that almost ALL diving is within a few minutes of shore. Believe me, these "pangas" are not comfortable. But for the most a 15 minute boat trip to the dive sites was certainly bearable. On the plus side, these "pangas" had a zippered floor in the bow (front). You sat on the floor in the middle of the boat, the dive guide helped you suit up. You slipped into the water, and started diving. On exit, you surface inside the boat, the boat captain takes your BC/tank. You scoot onto the boat, and take off your fins.

Water temp was 85 deg., very little current, and 1-3' waves. Visibility ranged from 30-50', probably due to all the tropical storms in the Atlantic and Caribbean this year.

You go down the mooring line, and follow the guides over the wall, go east or west until down to 1500 psi, then turn back towards the mooring line on top of the reef. The walls start between 40-60' from the survace. Back at the mooring line, you were free to look around until you were down to 500-600 psi, to do your safety stop.

The coral and sponges were the healthiest I've seen in 15 years of diving. Adult (large) fish life was practically non-existant. Juvenile fish was plentiful with more species than than I've seen almost anywhere else.

There are three main dive areas on St. Croix. The West end (Fredrickstead, North Center (Cane Bay), and West of Christianstead (Salt River). Cane Bay and Salt River are very similar. Cane Bay is the easiest to dive from the pangas. It also has the easiest shore diving. The reefs are about 100 yards from shore. (Cane Bay also has one of the nicest sand beaches. There is a dive operator and resturant within walking distance.

Cane bay has 20 or more moored dive sites. However, between three choices, they are essentially ALL the same!

First, straight out from Cane Bay beach, is a sand flat, with lots of small to med. coral bommies. Thats where the dive guides will show you several sea horses. This is always a shore dive; and the night dive.

West of Cane Bay beach is a wall with lots of canyons; and is generally deeper than to the east.

East of Cane Bay beach are several dive sites, which are essentially all the same, with the exception of pinnicles and a couple of trenches.

Cane Bay Dive Center is right across the street from Cane Bay beach. My experience with them was great! From talking with other divers who had dove with other dive operators, they all said they'd only dive with Cane Bay from then on. Cane Bay Dive Center will dive all three dive areas on St. Croix. On the west end, and Salt River, they take the pangas to the dive area, and take the divers to meet them in a van. Easy, and comfortable. Dive sites are within 5-15 minutes from shore. The dive center is not a modern large retail center; however, they have just about everything you could need. We stored our dive gear in their class room/locker room every night. Gear prices and T-shirt prices were reasonable to good. Service was excellent. Cameraderie after a day of diving - well, we had a good time every evening, at the Dive shop, and at Cane Bay Reef Club, where we were staying.

The resturant/bar at Cane Bay Reef Club seemed to be one of the more popular night spots. Food was excellent, and very reasonable. ($20.00 lobster dinners).

The condo units at Cane Bay Reef Club were large and comfortable. Each and satelite/cable TV, with lots of channels. The units could use some renovation. Ants were in the bathroom and kitchen. The air conditioners were good in one unit, but not adequate in the end units. The end units are considerably larger than the inside units.

Other than a place to eat/sleep, there is not much else to do at Cane Bay Reef Club. However, it is the most convenient to Cane Bay diving, and central to Frederickstead, Christianstead, the Airport, and touristing at the Cruzan Rum factory, Botanical gardens, and Plantation museums.

For luxury accomodations with similar location convenience, stay at Carambola Golf & Tennis resort, (at twice the price).

We were disappointed in the "run down" condition of most of the island, and the crime warnings about theft and assaults. Prices on the other hand, were more comparable to the states, than any other island I've visited.
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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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