We dove with Ocean Encounters. They really did a great job all week. The boat was comfortable and only for just our group. The crew was very good on every dive. Except for the first dive (we only had 5) we had two divemaster in the water at all times. They briefed the plan and recommended max depth but didn’t ride heard on everyone. Go ahead and go deeper, wander off a little, it’s all ok. Though it was smart to stay with the DMs as they knew where the critters hid out.
We decided to do a shore dive to get things sorted out. Suffice to say, our navigation was not at its peak on this dive. We had horrible visibility (5~6 feet) and no fish. After wandering around and seeing nothing I called the dive and we surfaced. Low and behold, we never got out of the swimming area. To make things worse, there was a nearby water aerobics course, the instructor started calling for us to do jumping jacks. A quick heading check and back underwater to escape to the ocean. Once out into the ocean things were better.
Our first boat dive was to the Tugboat and Directors Bay. The tugboat was interesting but the rest was just “OK”. Director’s Bay was a better indicator of what was to come. A very pretty reef with lots of fish and healthy corals. During the week we visited Eel Valley & Sandy Plateau, Double Reef & Shipwreck Point, New Port & Jan Theil, finishing with Small Wall & Beacon Point. We also did a night shore dive on Wednesday seeing some sleeping parrot fish and some huge Lion Fish.
Since some of the group arrived later (again thanks to American Airlines) Ocean Encounters gave them the option of doing extra afternoon dives or adding dives on for Friday at no charge. It seemed to be an even split between Friday diving and extra afternoon dives.