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Dive Review of Scuba West, Scuba Shack, Cane Bay Divers in
Virgin Islands/St. Croix

Scuba West, Scuba Shack, Cane Bay Divers, Sep, 2006,

by Gabriel I. Peñagarícano, PR, Puerto Rico . Report 2743.

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving All over.
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny Seas choppy, noCurrents
Water Temp 84 to 86 Fahrenheit Wetsuit Thickness 3
Water Visibility 40 to 60 Feet

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Recommended 80 ft. but not enforced.
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 5 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters 3 stars Large Fish 1 stars
Large Pelagics 1 stars

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 3 stars Food 3 stars
Service and Attitude 3 stars Environmental Sensitivity N/A
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving 3 stars
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ N/A
Beginners 3 stars
Advanced 3 stars
Comments I had made prior arrangements with Scuba West to dive from Frederickstead on two days. I specified that my son and I wanted to dive Northstar and Vertigo, and was assured that, weather permitting, this could be done. When we arrived for the first dive, the divemaster and part owner of Scuba West, Chris, immediately began to paint a doomsday scenario about conditons on the northwest shore, where Vertigo and Northstar are located. He even said that the following day we might not be able to dive because of conditions that he forecast would be prevalent due to hurricane Florence, at that time about 800 miles away and heading for Bermuda. We sensed that he had something more important than his clients to tend to on the following morning and that he was setting the stage for a disappearing act. After two dives on wrecks and an unremarkable patch coral reef, we changed into dry clothing and drove to Cane Bay. There were shore divers galore going out to the Cane Bay Wall and the conditions were nowhere what our weatherman/divemaster had divined. Suspicions confirmed. On the following morning we showed up at the appointed time and were met dockside by Chris who palmed us off to Scuba Shack who had some guests they were taking out. The two dives were again nothing to write home to mother about but the operators of Scuba Shack, as well as their boat, were a welcome improvement over Chris, his attitude and his boat. He had used an 28 foot all aluminium boat which was designed and intended for many uses, but diving was certainly not one of them. During the afternoon we went to Cane Bay and dove Cane Bay Wall with Cane Bay divers on their unique inflatable with a zippered bow floor. It is perhaps the easiest vessel, all 18 feet of it, for entering and exiting the ocean. Visibility was not great but the area is alive with healthy corals and plentiful reef denizens. Conclusion: when diving the Frederickstead area avoid Scuba West like the plague and patronize Scuba Shack. Cane Bay Divers is rudimentary but the only game in town when diving that area. What they lack in amenities they more than make up for in enthusiasm.
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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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