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Dive Review of Chris Sawyer Diving Center/Marriott Morning Star Beach in
Virgin Islands/St. Thomas

Chris Sawyer Diving Center/Marriott Morning Star Beach, Feb, 2004,

by Eric Frick, IL, USA (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 29 reports with 9 Helpful votes). Report 927.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 101-250 dives
Where else diving Great Lakes, Hawaii, Florida, Cozumel, various Caribbean
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas surge
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 2
Water Visibility 35 to 50 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Stay with the divemaster (DM). Advise DM when you were @ 1500 p.s.i. Return with no less than 500 p.s.i.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

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

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

Subject Matter 2 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments There was a bucket aboard for cameras but it was not large. No camera table.

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 4 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments The reservation process via e-mail through their website (www.sawyerdive.vi) was easy. I was contacted via phone message a few days before the trip to advise that the 1st 2-tank would depart at 9:30 instead of 8:30. I think the more advanced trip they might have planned was being consolidated onto their larger boat with their usual itinerary. Their boat the SeaBiscuit is 42' long and a nice boat from which to dive. Capacity is 18 divers with bench seating running the length of the deck on both sides of the boat leaving the center of the deck open.

My first 2-tank trip was lead by Chris himself. We had 10 divers plus a crew of 3. The onboard ice chest was full with jugs of water. Towels were provided. Fruit slices were passed around between dives. The briefings were complete and professionally done. O2 & first aid kits are aboard. Visibility was fine but not up to the 80 to 120 feet featured in their brochure. Divers were divided into 2 groups & each group was lead by a DM.

My second 2-tank trip was lead by members of Chris' staff. We had 4 divers plus a crew of 2. No ice, water, towels or fruit this time but a fine trip anyway.

St. Thomas & the surrounding waters might not merit a trip for just diving but there is plenty to do once you are done diving. I would say it was worth the trouble of bringing along my scuba equipment.

One thing that should not be missed is a chartered daysailing trip with Chris' wife Maxine aboard her 41' sailboat the "Lou" (www.sailwithcaptainmax.com).

The Marriott is a very nice hotel but, like many other things in this part of the world, not cheap. If you decide to stay here, consider staying at the Morning Star Beach area vs. the Frenchman's Reef part of the hotel. Morning Star is down on the beach and features nicer rooms. The ride from the hotel to Chris' dive dock is at least 20 minutes.
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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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