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If you would have a choice which one would you choose and why? Just wondering if you would have recommendation about these two dive destination. Pro and Cons, who to dive with?
Never been there and was wondering also when would be the best time of year?
Any feedback of divers that have been to either on liveaboard would be greatly appreciated.
If I had a choice I would chose T&C. I did the Saba trip in 09. Saba has good diving and if they spent the week there it would be great. Their boat is to big for some of the moorings, they don't have access to all the dive sites so they cant spend the whole week on Saba . Statia has a healthy reef with lots of fish, but there's no walls, just platform reef. It's not very exciting to dive on IMO. I like walls. St. Kitts is just plain boring, a few wrecks with no real reef, just sand. The crew were great, the food was good and my dive buddy was a pleasant surprise, so I did have fun. But I would never do that trip again. Its just not my kind of diving.
I dove T&C from land. We stayed for two weeks and I did 21 dives on West Caicos. we saw one of the two liveaboards every time we went out. I dove with Caicos Adventures, we never did make it to french cay. And thats why I want to go back. When I do go back I will do it by liveaboard this time and go with Explorer Ventures.
T&C has better diving IMO, but as for the scenery, Saba blows it away. There's not much to look at on West Caicos or French cay.
I have covered both of these as liveaboards in the last two years. I have a buddy who likes setting up trips; this year we're going to Roatan.
As the previous poster said if you like wall diving you won't find much of it at Saba-St. Kitts. We did spend two and a half days at French Cay in T&C. Lots of wall dive opportunities where we saw spotted eagle rays and reef sharks in abundance.
I wouldn't go so far as to write off returning to Saba-St. Kitts. Having dove Little Cayman and Bermuda prior to Saba, I was surprised at the size and variety of the marine life to be seen there. An octopus was spotted on the first dive and the fish we saw were half again as large as similar species I had seen before. I saw free swimming morays on three different occasions, one of which snagged a meal right in front of me. We also got to experience volcanic sands, orange spots on the bottom that are noticably hotter than the surrounding water.
On both trips we were guests on older but well maintained boats. As the Saba-St. Kitts run reverses itself every other week I would say that ending in St. Kitts is preferable to starting there. We had to stay local the first few days in T&C while one of our couples fixed a passport issue that held them up. Both crews were very accommodating throughout the trips.
I have posted complete reports of both trips and I would go back to each but for different reasons.
Saba is nice but..... I did the trip with Explorer Venturers and we really were limited to about 5 or 600 meters of shore line. Weather wasn't super coopertive but still I didn't get the impression that we would have gone to any other side of the Island even if the weather was good.
Also if you do do...skip the land tours....IMHO they need a crew to run suicide watch on those trips there so boaring. That being said I think some people liked them...I think?
Waterford,Wi, about 25 miles from the Milwaukee Harbor
500 - 999
My husband will never go back to the same island twice and I'm running out of Carib islands. I have never experienced a live aboard. I have vacation scheduled for 12-4 to 12-11-10. I'm interested in Explorer Venture Live Aboard. They dive in St Maarten, St Kitts, Saba, and Statia. The reason I picked this live aboard is cost. I know you get what you pay for. All I want is a clean state room with private bathroom, plain ordinary food, good crew, and plenty of diving. I want a crew that shows interest in the divers. I want filled tanks when I need them and plenty of opportunity to use them. Help out of the water is nice in rough seas, and I want a dive operation that will wait a reasonable length of time for a flight to get in. Will
I be disappointed? Is early December a good time to go?
I have done the Saba-Statia-St Kitts trip.
This was my first (and only) experience of diving in the Carribean. I did enjoy it, as it is very different from diving in the Red Sea or South-East Asia.
I found most of the dives really interesting, not spectacular, but still beautiful and with enough fish.
I have done several of the land tours. Unlike Kleppta, I would suggest to do them. It gives you an opportunity to see something else than the underwater and the view of the coast from the boat... Again, this was my first time in this part of the world, and I found it interesting to discover a bit of the islands.
Regarding the boat, I found it was well arranged for diving, except for going in the water. You have to jump from higher than I like (maybe 5 feet).
The crew was friendly and the whole operation is run efficiently. You can do up to 4 dives (including the night one) every day.
Regarding the dive guides (they must have changed since two years ago), I would have liked them to be more attentive to the divers (we were all not very experienced divers). Also, they were more showing us the way than showing fish and different creatures... Again, maybe I have been spoiled by diving in Indonesia or the Philippines where the guides I had were showing me 10 creatures for one that I could spotted myself ...
To Jandee: I did this trip in December 2008, it was a bit rainy and the sea could have been calmer: we could not do the Pinnacles in Saba because the sea was too rough. But besides this, weather did not have a big impact on the diving.
Would I do this trip again? I think I would go back to Statia and but would stay on the island itself and choose a good operation with excellent guides. Or, funnily enough, I would try the Turks and Caicos trip because I was also hesitating between these 2 before finally choosing the Netherlands Carribean.
I personally prefer walls whenever I can get them, and have tended toward T&C for that reason. The Saba/St. Kitts trip seemed to me like it might be less my kind of diving, and the air travel arrangements were more cumbersome anway so I've never gone. Based on the helpful info in this thread, I think I'll keep spending my diving dollars elsewhere.
We did Turks & Caicos in the summer of 2009, and St. Kitts/Saba in September of 2010, both on Explorer Ventures boats. It's not an easy call to declare one better than he other as there are pros and cons to each.
As far as the islands go, the very unspoiled and geographically dramatic St. Kitts and Saba have it all over the flat, boring and tourism-infested Providenciales, the island you start from and return to at T&C. The land tours on St. Kitts and Saba are terrific and make the trip worthwhile almost by themselves.
Of the boats, I prefer the TC Explorer over the Caribbean Explorer. The TC Explorer is larger, roomier and more comfortable. The cabins seem a bit larger, there's more stowing and storing, and there's much more lounging space. The TC Explorer is also not as loud and has better A/C. Both boats, though, are uniquely suited for diving, and the dive operations are flawless.
As for diving, it often depends on the weather.
We had decent weather on the TC boat, and the diving off Providenciales, West Caicos and French Caye was enjoyable. Lots of cool walls there, though the reefs still recover from some fairly major past hurricane damage. Great place for seeing lots of sharks.
The aftermath of hurricane Igor, which didn't hit St. Kitts/Saba but still churned up the water, made diving there challenging, with often poor viz and much current. So we missed several sites, or didn't see much. What we did see was often dramatic and I can only imagine how cool it'd be in good water conditions.