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Dive Review of N2 the Blue in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

N2 the Blue, Oct, 2009,

by Marty Roberts, Texas, USA ( 2 reports). Report 5213.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 251-500 dives
Where else diving Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Gulf of Mexico (Texas, Louisiana, Alabama)
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, rainy, cloudy Seas choppy, currents, no currents
Water Temp 85 to 88 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 50 to 150 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile no
Enforced diving restrictions Depth Limits Advised. Time Limits per Computer (NDL).
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? N/A

What I Saw

Sharks None Mantas None
Dolphins None Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 3 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 4 stars Large Fish 3 stars
Large Pelagics N/A

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

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

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

Accommodations N/A Food N/A
Service and Attitude N/A Environmental Sensitivity 5 stars
Dive Operation 5 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 5 stars
Beginners 4 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was my first trip to St. Croix. I have a good friend Darby - who lives and works on the island, so I had no need for a hotel. Since my buddy had to work on Friday and Monday, I made my own arrangements for diving with another operator on those two days. But on Saturday and Sunday, he made plans for us to dive with N2 the Blue.

Derrick Hill (N2 the Blue owner, along with this wife Anne) was the boat captain on both days. He runs a wonderful, personalized dive operation on the west end of the island, just north of Frederiksted Pier. They specialize in catering to smaller groups, and will make you feel like you are one of the gang.

The small shop sits right on the beach, and is immediately next door to "Coconuts on the Beach", where you can enjoy great burgers, steaks, music, and beautiful sunsets.

The 27' center-console N2 the Blue boat will easily haul 6 divers (max) and has a custom gate on the port side near the stern for EASY entries / exits.

N2 will haul you and your gear the short distance from the shop to Frederiksted pier, where the boat departs.

Tim Blanchette was our DM on both days, and Steve Medford (Shop Manager / DM) accompanied us on Sunday as well. Tim did a very nice job on both days with his pre-dive meetings, explaining the history (if applicable) of each site, what we could expect to see, and the suggested profiles. I appreciated the suggested max depths, and allowing everyone to dive their own computers and air supplies within the suggested envelopes. Basically, as Derrick had told us, they want their divers to get their moneys worth.

On Saturday, we first dove the North Star site (on Cane Bay Wall), and then moved back to the west end and dove the Shallow Wrecks in Butler Bay. On Sunday, we dove Armageddon on the west end for our first dive, which is a huge pile of concrete, rebar, structural steel, and road sections that had previously been the old Frederiksted Pier before it was destroyed by a hurricane. That was an awesome dive, and we caught a glimpse of an African Pompano, in addition to a very nice turtle.

For the second dive on Sunday, the original plan was to dive Butler Ledge, which was closer to the shore. But when we anchored there, the current was so strong adjacent to the shoreline that Derrick and Tim decided to make it a drift dive. It was a good decision, because the current was pretty strong, moving north to south. It turned into a great ride, and we drifted for well over a mile from our starting point! Along the way, we saw lots of reef fish, and spotted a very large green turtle hanging out under a ledge. I expect the big fellow was over 300 pounds.

Our third dive on Sunday was supposed to be the Swirling Reef of Death. Supposedly, the reef does not deserve the name, but I was still looking forward to diving there, just so I could qualify to buy the T-Shirt from N2! But a small thunderstorm had moved over that site, so Derrick had to make another decision on-the-fly. We moved over to Sprat Hole, which turned out to be a nice, flat reef dive. Much to my disappointment however, Derrick informed me that he did not have any T-Shirts that said I survived Sprat Hole. But we had fun with the conversation anyway.

On Sunday night (our fourth dive of the day), we rented tanks from N2 and dove the Frederiksted Pier with the infamous "Cowboy Night Divers". The Cowboys are a private club, made up of N2 the Blue patrons and friends. I was able to join them, because my friend Darby knew them. It turned out to be the best time I have had diving in a LONG time. Thanks to Will, James, Paul, and Jenny Keith (who takes great U/W photos and is the primary instructor for N2 the Blue). And special thanks to Jenny for helping me retrieve my regulator, which was locked up at the shop.

If there is one dive you make on St. Croix, be sure to make the Pier dive, and preferably at night. We saw countless creatures, including the well known large green moray, a 30-inch porcupine, an octopus with a death-grip on a spiny lobster, squid, and much more. It was a memorable occasion. To make the pier dive, just get with the folks at N2 the Blue and they can set you up and give you proper guidance.

Overall, I was surprised (and excited) to find the diving as good as it was on St. Croix. There is much diversity to be found between the different sites (wrecks, walls, reefs, rubble piles, and the pier), and the marine life was tremendous. The visibility (and weather) varied from day to day, but when I dove the Deep Wrecks I was able to see from one end of the 180 foot-long Rosamaria to the other (she sits in 110 ft of water). On the other days, the viz was less than 100 feet, but still very nice. I saw more turtles than I have ever seen, as well as sea horses, sand divers, barracuda, octopus, flounder, lobster, toadfish, and much more. It was awesome to see old Danish anchors that have been embedded in the coral for over 250 years.

St. Croix is definitely on my Return List, and N2 the Blue will be my first choice as a dive operator. Thanks to Derrick and the N2 gang for a great diving weekend.
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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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