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View Full Version : Caribbean Explorer II Trip Report 11/27 - 12/04



billmosel
December 14th, 2010, 03:29 PM
Air travel: Flew Newark to St. Kitts with absolutely no problems. We were met promptly at the airport and maybe a 10 minute drive to the boat.

The Boat: Our cabin (#2) was smaller than what we have had on past liveaboards. 1 Queen sized bed and a single bunk on top. Every time I turned in the bed I hit my head or my hand on the bunk above. The bathroom facilities were fine with the exception that our room seemed to be the last one in the hot water loop. My showers were luke warm at best (and very quick). A few of the other guests had mentioned this also while others stated they had no problem.

The commons areas were always very clean and orderly.

The dive deck was also very clean and orderly. They had a bin for your mask, fins, booties and whatever else you need for your dive. A special rack to hang your wetsuits up to dry although the boat was full and so was the rack was full which increased drying time (very cramped). There is a hot water shower when you come up from your dive which was nice coming up on a cloudy and windy day. There was also a large dedicated camera table and charging station.

Dive operation: The briefings were outstanding. Very informative with drawings and explanations of the dive. Everyone goes off the boat, single file at the given time. There was 1 entry into the water and sometimes took a while to get off the boat. While the boat was full they should have made for a second entry point.
At least one DM was always in the water and you had the option of following the DM or going on your own. Their rules for the week of diving were simple, no more than 70 minutes come up with at least 500psi and a depth of no more than 130' on air and 110' on nitrox. Nitrox ($150 for the week) was always between 32% and 33% and tanks constantly @3000psi.

The crew really helped make this trip very enjoyable. They were extremely professional and did whatever was in their power to help. They did it all from leading you on a dive, cleaning your cabins and bath and serving and cleaning up after meals. Always with a smile.

The food: Was excellent! Steaks, Wahoo, burgers and hotdogs done on the grill. A turkey dinner, loin of pork just to name a few. Breakfast to order in the AM then buffet style lunch and dinners. Warm sacks after the 1st morning and afternoon dives. You never went hungry. Jane did a fantastic job.

The diving: On this itinerary you do 2 days (10 dives) in St. Kitts and 3 1/2 days (17 dives) In Saba. Then after the morning dive on Friday you head to St. Martin for gassing off and enjoying the land.
Sometimes you hit it right and sometime you don't. This week we hit some conditions that weren't so great. The viz in St. Kitts was poor 30' to 40' at best with the exception of 1 spot. Most all the dives in St. Kitts were wrecks and that is fine with me.
The currents in Saba were pretty strong. A few divers aborted some dives because of the current. On 1 dive my wife and I were trying to duck in-between 2 ledges to get out of the current. I couldn't fin any harder and was just barely able to get over the ledge, (I used my reef stick to help propel me over). It eased a little bit but when we got away from the protection of the ledge we were on our way again. I know that conditions can change in a matter of hours but Saba is known for its currents so maybe a drift dive could be in order at times. The viz in Saba were better but still not any better than 60'. Water temps averaged 77f.
They offer 2 land tours instead of making the 4th dive in St. Kitts and in Saba. We did the Saba tour and was very informative. The Island is just 1 BIG rock. They have the "road that couldn't be built" and the airport that couldn't be built".

In St. Martin on Friday night you are on your own, however the crew reserves a table at the Green House for anyone wanting to eat together. Everyone including the crew was there and made a very nice ending to the trip.

This was my 3rd liveaboard and while I probably will not do this itinerary again, I will use Explorer Ventures in the future. Very professional from the booking to the nice email I received when I got back home.

All in all it was a good week. I had a lot of fun meeting, diving and socializing with new friends and hopefully new dive buddies.

scubamaverick
December 16th, 2010, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the good report. I am doing this itinerary in March.

NetDoc
December 16th, 2010, 11:19 AM
Where are the pics???

drrich2
December 16th, 2010, 01:58 PM
Sounds like a great trip and I hope to do something like that someday. My wife and my buddy are both sea sickness prone, and the wife's not a 'dive all the time' sort, so live-aboards have been a tough sell for me to pitch.

That's interesting about the currents in Saba; hadn't read that before. Good to know.

Richard.

billmosel
December 16th, 2010, 09:01 PM
Here are a few pic's Doc.

Brodydog
December 17th, 2010, 05:23 PM
Great report Bill!

Karloss
December 21st, 2010, 12:22 PM
Sounds just like a trip I was on. On the CEX I giant strides were done from both sides of the boat.

Karloss
December 21st, 2010, 12:36 PM
Nix, cant delelte.

dave2063
January 31st, 2013, 01:54 PM
Hey Bill, tuna here..........any chance you could send me the photo of me at theback of the boat? many thanks

tuna (Dave)

---------- Post added January 31st, 2013 at 01:56 PM ----------

hey Bill, I am chasing you for that photo of me at the back of the boat........

www.davetuna.com - Feel Free to Comment (http://www.davetuna.com) Tuna (cexll) thanks

billmosel
January 31st, 2013, 04:34 PM
Tuna,
Good to hear from you.
how do you want me to send the pic?


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