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Dive Review of Low Key Water Sports/Gallows Point in
Virgin Islands/St. John

Low Key Water Sports/Gallows Point, Aug, 2005,

by Peter & Robin Jordan, AZ, USA . Report 1942.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 5 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 2 stars Shore Diving 1 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 5 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments St. John, one of the USVIs is a lush and lovely island with approximately 4,000 residents. It is a short ferry ride from the hustle and bustle of St. Thomas. There is no commercial airport on the island. Three-quarters of the island is National Park land thanks to the contribution of the Rockefeller family in the 1950s. St. John is not a "diving only destination" but rather a wonderful location for those who enjoy hiking and exploring unpsoiled beaches as well. There are two major dive operators on St. John, Cruz Bay Watersports and Low Key Divers. Since Low Key Divers was a 5 minute walk from our "home away from home", we decided to dive with them the first day (and subsequent days). Ellen is the dive shop manager as well as a divemaster. She is very outgoing and pleasant. Bob and Sue are the owners of the business. Bob is the captain of one of the 36' dive boats. The dive shop uses aluminum 80s which were filled to 3,000 psi on a consistent basis. Since the dive sites were no longer than a 15 minute ride from base camp, most of our 2-tank dives were completed early and we returned to the dive shop by 11:30 AM. Since many of the reef dives were shallow, surface intervals times were minimized. The dive group was comprised of student as well as experienced divers. Fortunately or unfortunately, all dives were guided. Since Ellen was one of the dive masters on the boat our last two days, she permitted us to dive on our own, as long as we were not too far behind the guide group. It appeared that Low Key preferred to have everyone surface at the same time. Being back on the boat with 1,500 psi is not our idea of quality bottom time. Little St. James was one site where we observed turtles, and a 4 foot barracuda. The visibilty was 100 ft. Calf Rock had beautiful purple coral as well as lobsters, large puffers, fairy damsels and parrotfish. At Stephen Cay, a lone nurse shark was snoozing under an overhang. Our deepest dive was the wreck of the General Rogers. The 150 ft. freighter was sitting in the sand at 65'while entertaining the company of a 3ft. puffer and many queen angels. A very large crab would not come out to say hello. One of the better dives we encountered was Two Brothers. The overhangs were beautiful with many puffers, trunk fish, barracudas, blue tangs and staghorn coral. The current was minimal. On the last day of diving, Low Key Divers gave us credit for our previous multiple dives. This was nice since we did not have to initially pay upfront for a dive package. We were able to dive when we wanted and still receive a discount. This also enabled us to do our hiking and exploring on off days. Since there are so many locations to explore in the Bahamas and Caribbean, we have never gone back to the same location twice. St. John is an exception. We have already booked for next year. Next year we may take a ferry to Tortola (British Virgins) and make a few dives there. Our accommodations at Gallows Point were exceptional. These condominiums have full kitchens which gave us an opportunity to cook-in rather and relax when we wanted. The views are spectacular. Other than a few island power outages we were able to see the lights of St. Thomas. These units are a 5 minute walk to town. One recommendation we do have is Cafe Roma. For those fans of Italian food, this is the place. Prices are moderate (by island standards)and their lasagna is one of the best we have had! There are other choices of accommodations including villas for groups. Since we were so close to town, we rented a car for only one day to explore. Our bags are packed for next year!

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Grand Cayman, Bonaire, San Salvador, Saba, St. Kitts, St. Lucia, Roatan, Cozumel, Bermuda, Turks/Caicos
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas calm
Water Temp 82-85°F / 28-29°C Wetsuit Thickness 0
Water Visibility 50-100 Ft/ 15-30 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Guided dives except General Rogers wreck and last day of diving
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 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 2 stars
Large Pelagics 2 stars

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

Subject Matter 3 stars Boat Facilities 4 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities N/A
UW Photo Comments [None]
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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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