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Dive Review of Sea Saba/Julianas] in

Sea Saba/Julianas], Jul, 2010,

by G. Tripp Jones MD, SC, US (Top Contributor Top Contributor 71 reports with 27 Helpful votes). Report 5645.

No photos available at this time

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

Accommodations 4 stars Food 4 stars
Service and Attitude 4 stars Environmental Sensitivity 4 stars
Dive Operation 3 stars Shore Diving N/A
Snorkeling N/A
Value for $$ 4 stars
Beginners 2 stars
Advanced 4 stars
Comments This was our dive shop's (Wateree Dive Center in Columbia, SC) 3rd biannual "mystery" trip. We were given clues and not given the final destination until one week prior to the trip. We flew from Charlotte to St. Maarten and transferred by Winair to Saba. This is a short 20 minute flight, but the landing on the "postage stamp" runway (1440 feet) is hard to describe, but leaves you breathless. The road over the mountain took 20 years to build and is an engineering marvel. The view is indescribable and is breathtaking. The hotel, Juliana's, is simple, but more than adequate. We asked for and got a fan to help with the warmth. Not all rooms in the hotel are airconditioned and most of the time, was not a problem. The onsite restaurant is very good and the food is really better than the usual fare. We had breakfast every morning and left by taxi for a 20 minute ride to the "harbor" where the dive boat is moored. Sea Saba has a shop in town (Windwardside) and 2 boats moored in the harbor. The briefings were adequate and the staff seemed good. Amy is a sweetheart and good divemaster. We were told that all 17 of us would be one one boat, but this was not the case on the morning of the first dive or thereafter. Nitrox was available and the readings were consistent. All dives were led down the bowline to the mooring.

The diving is good and the water was fairly clear and "green". Most of the dives were good, with fairly good viz with good fish life. The pinnacles were dived one day and was a good dive. All dives were led and if you got ahead of the leader, you could be chastised.

The worst dive was Diamond Rocks. The boat is moored to a block at 85 feet and you follow the bowline down to the block and swim over to the pinnacle. The currents were varied and at times very brisk. Two divers had to return early due to low air and others ran low. The currents became very brisk, and the viz dropped. There was not a lot of coordination among the staff and 2 divers ran out of air on the ladder.Several divers notified the divemaster of low air, but did not feel like they were acknowledged. It was not a good situation, and our group was experienced, not rookies. Recommendations to the staff were given, but not necessarily accepted as constructive recommendations. This was not a good second dive of the day. With poor viz, they need a line from the pinnacle to the mooring block with possibly a buoy at 20 feet or so attached to the line so to make it easier to get to the block. All dives were down the bowline to the mooring, and we were instructed to stay at 20 feet and descend together, which is a problem with that many people at that depth.

The people of Saba are warm and the island is beautiful. I really enjoyed the trip and our group enjoyed the entire trip, except for the one dive at Diamond Rocks. Saba is a special place with wonderful people and unbelievable views. Just don't get any little bit in front of the leader. You could get your fin pulled just as you were taking a picture, as happened to my wife. All in all, this was a good trip.
Websites Sea Saba   

Reporter and Travel

Dive Experience 501-1000 dives
Where else diving Caymans, Truk, Bonaire, St. Lucia, Belize, Grenada, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Australia, Roatan, etc
Closest Airport Getting There

Dive Conditions

Weather sunny, dry Seas calm, choppy, currents
Water Temp 81-84°F / 27-29°C Wetsuit Thickness
Water Visibility 30-50 Ft/ 9-15 M

Dive Policy

Dive own profile yes
Enforced diving restrictions Back on boat 500 psi.
Liveaboard? no Nitrox Available? yes

What I Saw

Sharks 1 or 2 Mantas None
Dolphins 1 or 2 Whale Sharks None
Turtles > 2 Whales None
Corals 4 stars Tropical Fish 4 stars
Small Critters N/A Large Fish N/A
Large Pelagics N/A

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

Subject Matter 4 stars Boat Facilities 3 stars
Overall rating for UWP's 3 stars Shore Facilities 3 stars
UW Photo Comments OK
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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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