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Dive Review of Dive Experience/The Buccaneer in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

Dive Experience/The Buccaneer: "St. Croix has some of the best Carribean diving", Dec, 2015,

by Harvey S. Cohen, NJ, US (Sr. Contributor Sr. Contributor 25 reports with 18 Helpful votes). Report 8799.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 5 stars
Service and Attitude 5 stars Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 5 stars
Comments The dive operator I used on previous trips no longer seemed like a good idea ([ link]). Fortunately, a buddy here in NJ recently made friends with Michelle Pugh on an Antarctic (!) dive trip. Michelle is in the Women Divers Hall of Fame and runs Dive Experience in St. Croix. It is a great operation-- well-organized, well-staffed, and with a dive boat that is large, fast, and stable. If there's room on the boat, Skeeter the dog will come along and entertain during the surface interval by fetching his toy from the water.
Many good dive sites are a short ride from the dock, so the morning 2-tank dive typically left between 8:30 and 9:00 and returned between 12:00 and 12:30. They do a Wednesday afternoon 1-tank lionfish hunt, and night dives at the wonderful Frederiksted pier on request.It's very easy diving.
For the Caribbean, the diving is quite good. There are lots of big fish and critters, and reefs are reasonably fishy and healthy. I saw several octopuses, including a really big one that just sat out in daylight and calmly let us get within arms length and take pictures. Many different seahorses, lots of turtles, several big green morays out hunting in daylight, eagle rays, dolphins, stingrays, etc.
One of the dive masters, Sam Halvorson, does expert video every morning, edits it in the afternoon, and posts it on the shop's Web site. It's a treat to get on the Web each evening and see some highlights of your day's dive. I also posted a few of my pics and video clips at [ link] .
We normally stay at the Buccaneer and use a rental car to drive the 2 miles to the dock in downtown Christensted, but there are also several very nice hotels within walking distance of the dock.
Websites Dive Experience   The Buccaneer

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Bali, Komodo, Raja Ampat, Banda Sea, Fiji, Coral Sea, Galapagos, many Caribbean locations, New Jersey, Florida, Gulf of Eilat, National Aquarium, Dutch Springs
Closest Airport STX Getting There From the U.S., via Miami, San Juan, or St. Thomas. St. Thomas is just 40 miles from St. Croix; you can take a regular connecting flight or try the excellent seaplane service.

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, windy, rainy, cloudy Seas calm, choppy, surge, no currents
Water Temp 80-81°F / 27-27°C Wetsuit Thickness 5
Water Visibility 40-80 Ft/ 12-24 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Most divers stay with one of the DMs, because they point out interesting stuff. But they don't seem to mind if buddy pairs of qualified divers go off on their own. I wandered off with two friends on one dive, and nobody said we shouldn't. If you're not sure, ask.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks Lots Mantas None
Dolphins Schools Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 4 stars
Large Pelagics 4 stars

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities N/A
Overall rating for UWP's 4 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments Dedicated camera bucket on boat. Dive masters do a lot of UWP and like to help guests do their UWP.
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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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