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St. Thomas recommendation requested.

Discussion in 'Lesser Antilles' started by DeputyDan, Sep 5, 2019.

  1. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
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    Background: I take all of my nieces/nephews on a dive trip when they are 14/15 years old and have them become certified. At least those who want to and whose parents allow it. Anyhow the family of one of these nieces will be going to St. Thomas on holiday next spring.

    The parents are ok with her diving there, but no one in the family besides her has a clue about the diving world.
    I have recommended to them that they hire a dive master to dive as her buddy for the times she will dive. She will be 16 years old and her dive history after the certification dives is about 10 shore dives with me on Bonaire.

    My Scubaboard request is for a recommendation for a dive shop on St. Thomas to refer her to as well as a dive master to use. They are staying at the Wyndham Margaritaville Vacation Club (in case location matters).

    I have never been to St. Thomas and have no personal experience to share with them.

    Thanks.

    DeputyDan
     
  2. caydiver

    caydiver Manta Ray

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    Many years ago we were there for a wedding and stayed at Secret Harbour. The gentleman who ran (owned the shop they were affiliated with) was excellent. Ex-NASA. Our daughter was certified and 16 at the time. He is probably long gone but the overall experience was good. Diving near Cow and Calf mostly. Very rocky entry. I had given up my booties for warm water fins and was jealous of those who had them walking to am from the boat. I know — wimpy!!!
     
  3. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
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    The Wyndham is on the East End. There's several dive operations in the area but I don't believe any on-site. Probably the closest easy shore diving is at Coki Beach with Coki Dive. They also have a smaller boat.

    A little farther south in Red Hook, I like Red Hook Dive Center - just about everybody that works there is an instructor. Two good sized boats moored just out back.

    Oddly enough, they often dive Thatch Cay which is off the Wyndham property but too far out to shore dive. It's pretty shallow, we did a long drift there in the 40-50' range and that was the bottom.

    Other suitable dives for a 16 yr old are Cow/Calf rocks and sites off Grass or Congo Cays. There's also some sites they dive off St. John since it's nearby. IDK them.

    I looked at the Wyndham website and they mention diving in the Beyond the Resort section but no mention of a shop. If a family member is taking her, Red Hook also has shops/restaurants to browse while they wait. It's also where you can take the car ferry to St. John.

    Aqua Action is the shop at Secret Harbor ^ which I believe is close to the Wyndham.I've read good reviews but have no personal exp.
     
  4. Jersey

    Jersey Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE PA/ Southern NJ
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    Will they have a car? Coki can be a beach dive but the site is meeehhh, never went boat diving with Coki. Red Hook is a few minutes further down the road. Good safe op, safety is a priority, sites usually determined by experience of guests and weather conditions. Guided diving. Guessing they could wrangle a guide/buddy for your niece. Saw plenty of Cow and Calf as well as Ledges but always enjoyable. Saw sharks most every dive - nurse and Caribbean Reef. Post dive there are plenty of good restaurants in Red Hook for eats. I was working on island for about a year and got out as often as possible.
     
  5. diversteve

    diversteve Technical Admin

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location:
    26,257
    5,831
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    I agree but what else is better (shore dive) in the area? I thought it was OK past Coral World.
     
  6. Jersey

    Jersey Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE PA/ Southern NJ
    1,021
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    No other shore dives. I didn’t read into DD request that shore diving was a requirement. Rather his nieces experience was shore diving on Bonaire. Sapphire Beach did have a dive op onsite at one point, but until you swim out to the middle of the channel it’s 30 feet, plus boats (private and commercial) coming and going. Coki got better by Coral World and seeing the hard helmet Coral World tourists walking across the bottom was always a laugh. But always saw more and better stuff off the boats. Plus the currents around Coral World could kick up
     
  7. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    4,155
    463
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    Thanks for the replies.
    Shore diving is not a requirement - just looking for an operator to point them to.
     
  8. Ryangh24

    Ryangh24 Garibaldi

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: Lancaster, Pa
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    My girlfriend and I dove with St. Thomas Diving Club in January. She was getting certified, I was fun diving. I don't know if they always put a DM in the water or not, but her instructor was a nice laid back guy. Same goes for the Captain. We dove at and around Buck Island. Lots of fish, what was left of a small wreck, and plenty of sharks and turtles.
     
  9. Jersey

    Jersey Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: SE PA/ Southern NJ
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    Ryan - are they still based in Bolongo? That would be a further drive than either Coki or Red Hook from the area they are staying (Margaritaville). And up, over and around some really fun roads. Talked to them a couple times, knew some people who went out there and liked it.
     
  10. DeputyDan

    DeputyDan Great White

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: North Carolina
    4,155
    463
    83
    I am going to suggest that she do her AOW with Coki Dive.
    They are located within walking distance and by doing a class it would be less expensive that hiring a DM.
    And she gets her AOW card while her parents are still footing the bill :)
     

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