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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Scuba Diving Grenada: The Guide

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Best time to go: Seasons in Grenada are split into two - dry and wet. Go any time between October/November and May. June is okay but depending on rainy weather elsewhere, viz could be impacted. Mid June saw viz down to between five and ten metres and green water. Some said it was down to the Orinoco Flow - water flooding up from Venezuela bringing with in all sorts of muck, others blamed an algae bloom. Go earlier to avoid.
Where to dive: Dived with Dive Grenada at the Flamboyant, Eco Dive at the Coyaba and Devotion 2 Ocean at the Grenadian and would happily recommend all three. My wife preferred Eco because of excellent guide Marvin Wolf and liked the set up at Devotion. I found Phil who runs Dive Grenada to be a knowledgeable and excellent host
Best Dive Sites:Bianca C for the amazing site of seeing an ocean liner resting on the ocean floor, the Underwater Sculpture Park because it is so unique and happy valley for it's amazing diversity of marine life. I didn't get chance to dive the Atlantic side but that offers some interesting experiences as well.
Biggest gripe:Can't really think of one. Walking up the steps to the Flamboyant but that is stretching it a bit
What suit to take: Sea was like jumping into bath water, routinely had 27/28C so a 3mm will do, particularly if you are planning to do the wrecks.
Where to Stay: We stayed at Flamboyant Hotel and True Blue Bay, both had dive centres on site. Flamboyant was perched on the side of a cliff overlooking Grand Anse Beach. With anything offering such fantastic views you know there is a steep walk up and down. Resort had that typically Caribbean chic with good sized rooms. Food in the restaurant was good but needed air con to take the humidity out when dining. Same can be said of the beach bar - although after a few cool beer quenchers you will soon forget. You do get a nice corner of a fantastic beach to yourselves though (probably because no one can be bothered to walk this far). True Blue Bay was tremendous with beautiful rooms. The Dodgy Dock bar and restaurant overlooking the bay was beautiful and a great place to relax. Only downsides, no beach and bar shut at 11pm when we were there.
Miscellaneous dive info: Three dive centres we used all launched from the beach so take a dry bag to keep stuff dry and be prepared for a walk through the sea with your kit. Aquanauts at True Blue Bay launches from a jetty
Guidebook: Couldn't find one. The Caribbean really needs a good guidebook.
Other info: Where to eat and what to do. I don't care what people say about Patrick's Homestyle Cooking, we had a fabulous meal there. Imagine Caribbean tapas and that is what it is like. Food was gorgeous. Gouyave Fish Friday is a great experience and interesting to try the freshest local catch with great music in the background. At the other end, eat at the Spice Island Resort, as fine dining goes, this was sumptuous and a meal to savour the taste buds for a long time. Get out around the island as well. Swimming the water falls was refreshing, savouring the smell of the River Antoine Rum Distillery (they do a 150 proof bottle that will burn your insides) was interesting, and listening to our host at the Boucan lovingly talk about spices with a knowledge gleaned over years was truly interesting.
Worth going: Absolutely

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