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Dive Review of Dive Experience/Chenay Bay Beacg in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

Dive Experience/Chenay Bay Beacg, Feb, 2009,

by Ted Shieh, IL, United States ( 2 reports). Report 4640.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving S. Pacific, Micronesia, Hawaii, California, US Midwest, Carolinas, Florida, most of Caribbean, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Thailand, Indonesia, Australia
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, no currents
Water Temp 77 to 79 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 30 to 100 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions must stay within view of DM, otherwise, none.
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 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 5 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 5 stars Shore Facilities 5 stars
UW Photo Comments all the DMs were excellent at spotting interesting animal life and at finding subjects for my camera; Sam, the Capt/DM even would choose dive sites based on optimal lighting conditions for u/w photography. Rinse bucket for cameras is available on the boat, and staff understands the need of the UWP.

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

Accommodations 2 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving 4 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments Booked a 6 tank package w/ Dive Experience at the advice of a local St. Croix resident. Their name sums up the operation; and a lot of the other divers I met on the boat are local residents. The crew are all very experienced, and know how to give you just what you need respectfully. Gear is included in the standard price; therefore I left 1/2 of my dive gear at home. Their gear were in excellent condition, and were the right stuff. You meet at the dive shop before each dive, which is in downtown Christiansted, then walk 2 blocks to the boat/docks/storage area, where your gear will be cared for and stored until your dive vacation ends. The crew handles, sets up, cleans all the gear. Sam, the DM/Capt./gear guru made sure consistent and full service was delivered with a relaxed attitude. I had an old regulator serviced by Sam, between dive days, and it came back working better than I've ever remembered, and cheaper than anyone charges here in Chicago. Sam, as were all the other DMs, was excellent at spotting interesting animal life, and at finding subjects for my camera. Rinse bucket for cameras is available. Between dives, water and hard candies are available; so bring a snack if you need a snack between dives. No time limits on the dives; DMs seem to know who needs and who doesn't need individual attention; buddy system not enforced, but DMs kept a head count throughout the dives. There were never more than 7 divers on the boat. Vis ranged from 100+ to 30 ft. No current (which is the norm there) Reefs were above average in health, with large healthy sponges, surprisingly good variety of corals (but not always well-covered), and a descent representation of Caribbean reef life. Lots of Southern Stingray sightings & Green Morays. Night diving on the Fredricksted cruise ship pier is available twice a week (on no-cruise ship days); you gown up your scuba gear on the street, and walk the entire length of the pier, and jump off the end of the pier, and dive/swim back to shore. Descent nocturnal critter sightings, but can be disorienting as dozens of other divers may be there as well. Overall, solid, first-rate dive op; would not hesitate to go back to St. Croix knowing I could dive w/ Dive Experience.

Chenay Bay is 8 minutes east of Christiansted has horribly maintained cottages in one of the most beautiful settings. The staff was friendly (though several are poorly trained, and at times inept); restaurant and bar served up descent food and drinks; the quiet beach was in a secluded bay with calm waters-next to a turtle nesting sanctuary; kayaks, sail boats, etc were available for use; the pool was nicely maintained. But management and maintenance of the cottages need a lot of work. Not much to see snorkeling in the bay (shallow with mostly turtle grass). No working outdoor shower when we were there, though there seems to be a slow project ongoing to build one. The cottages have a small kitchenette, but we had to move twice due to major problems we found in the rooms that made the stay unbearable (cracks in the tub, AC malfunctioning, numerous missing items in the room, no maid service). Some cottages were in better shape than others.
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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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