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View Full Version : St. Croix-Nekton 10-2 thru 10-11-09



Travelnsj
10-13-2009, 09:24
My trip began in Old San Juan which I planned a night and day to visit the city before I was to go on the Nekton. I stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan a convenient place to access the Old city. When I arrived at 10pm on Friday night I had about 3 hours sleep in the last 24. So I did about a 30 minute walk around the Old Town. On Saturday I got up early to do a walking tour, went to both of the old forts plus one of the oldest cathedrals in the western hemisphere. The Castillo San Cristobal and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro forts were built in the 1500ís incredible places to visit and see the history how the Spaniards defended Puerto Rico from the Dutch and English and then losing to the USA in the Spanish American war. I am a history nut and loved this. The Cathedral was as beautiful as many I had seen in Europe. Old San Juan is a unique and quaint city.

After spending the day in San Juan, I then headed back to the Airport to meet the Shuttle that takes me and another four people to the dock (about an hour away) to meet the Nekton Rorqual. I found the boat to be pretty much what I expected. It was not going to be one of the nicer Aggressor boats and not like that old Mike Ball Supersport Iíve been on. The Rorqual was nothing fancy, needed some carpet, painting done etc. but overall a nice functional boat. The crew was great with Captain Brice in command, the chef Renee along with DMís; Melissa, Scarlett, Brian etc were all great. The food was very good with snacks after every dive, usually in the morningís fresh cookies and afternoons various hot appetizers. Renee (chef) would say if you do not put on weight after this trip, I have not done my job. I had my own room, (thank God as the rooms would of been a bit crowded with two people) as there were only 22 on board. The dive deck did seem a bit tight when everyone was gearing up. I would dive 3 to 5 dives a day including a night dive. One major disappointment was the week before they took off their 95 tanks and switched to 80ís for a air hog like myself I wish the 95ís would have been there. Overall the water was calm just the crossing from Puerto Rico to St. Croix was a bit rough. One thing when tipping do not put it on a credit card bring cash, I did talk to a couple of employees who verified that was a point of contention with management that they do not get their tips when put on a Credit Card.

The diving: Water temperatures ranged 83 to 85 degrees and the weather was perfect for the week. We dove Cane Bay, Pavilions, Deep wrecks, Butler Bay etc. I did enjoy the diving at Frederiksted but not the great muck diving I thought, never saw the Batfish. Northstar was probably the best diving which was done on the last day. I was not to overly optimistic about the diving thus I was not let down. Saw an Octopus here and there along with Queen Angels, assorted Snappers (mostly yellow tailed), Wrasses, a few Barracuda and Jacks, Pufferfish, Flounders, a couple of Turtles, Aero Crabs, Banded Shrimp, some Morayís, normal aquarium fish etc. One person saw an Eagle Ray and a Reef Shark. The Nekton does have someone on the Dive deck to lead a dive or an insta buddy. Unfortunately the dive guides were unfamiliar with the sites thus we did not get as much out of the dives. I did pass on a couple of night dives and afternoon dives as there was just not much to see. One distraction on a couple of the sites was the fish traps. What little Marine life they have they trap. I saw one I wanted to open but in our dive briefing, we were told No touching the traps!

Overall I had a great time on the boat, got 23 dives in and the diving was OK. I also wanted to try out some new equipment before I head to Indonesia next month. I dive mostly the Indo Pacific region thus a bit spoiled when it comes to marine life. Fun time overall!

DevilDiver
10-13-2009, 09:37
Ya know.... a trip report without pictures is like a diver without a log book. If I can't see it it didn't happen.......

Just Kidding...... any photos would be nice though. I really don't trust the ones in the scuba mags, they seem to be selling destinations more than reporting.

Great report though, thanks for taking the time! How much of a hassle was the flight(s) and getting in and out?

Travelnsj
10-13-2009, 09:44
Pics?....LOL...wanna see some Aero Crabs an Octo or two or a Ray....LOL...not like looking at a Hairy frogfish or a Woebegone Shark...perhaps when I have a chance!

Flights were no problem getting into San Juan....just coming from the West Coast long layovers in Atlanta.

DevilDiver
10-13-2009, 09:53
Thanks!

That's what I like about you..... your funny. :smiley5:

jet126
10-13-2009, 09:57
Thanks for the report! 22 already seems crowded: what is a full boat?!?

Tekdivr
10-13-2009, 11:07
Nice report. Thanks for sharing! :smiley32:

Travelnsj
10-13-2009, 11:15
Thanks for the report! 22 already seems crowded: what is a full boat?!?

I think it would be a full boat at 32 or 34....that would of been crowded especially on the dive deck.

Vercingetorix
10-13-2009, 11:16
I've considered the Nekton cruises. I thought they would b roomier than Agressor fleet. I guess not. Or did I read your report incorrectly?

Regardless, thanks fo the report.

Travelnsj
10-13-2009, 11:22
I've considered the Nekton cruises. I thought they would b roomier than Agressor fleet. I guess not. Or did I read your report incorrectly?

Reardless, thanks fo the report.

Read the report incorrectly....I am talking about the quality of the LOB the Galapagos aggressor is very nice....the Nekton is a bit more budget and much bigger and roomier with 22 guests...32 or 34 would of been tight!....But I have known people who have done some of the older Aggressors and heard horror stories.

dkh6070
10-13-2009, 11:49
Great report. How was the dive partners you had to pair up with? I have never dove with any other partner other than my wife. I was thinking of taking a LOB trip alone. I would hate to get stuck with someone not the same outlook as myself.

Travelnsj
10-13-2009, 12:47
Great report. How was the dive partners you had to pair up with? I have never dove with any other partner other than my wife. I was thinking of taking a LOB trip alone. I would hate to get stuck with someone not the same outlook as myself.
Never a problem finding a dive buddy or go with one of the DM's.

Desert_Diver
10-13-2009, 19:25
Thanks!

That's what I like about you..... your funny. :smiley5:

I am assuming that you are using that in the context of "weird", right? :smilie39:

Art

Desert_Diver
10-13-2009, 19:26
Thanks for the report.

Did you encounter any significant current/rough water?

Art

Travelnsj
10-13-2009, 19:56
Thanks for the report.

Did you encounter any significant current/rough water?

Art

Nope...nada....perhaps a 1/2 to 1 knot current on a dive or two....the water overall was calm.

mrm777
10-13-2009, 20:22
Thanks for taking the time to post. Nekton is always a good "in between" trip for us as the once-a-year ones to more remote locations can be kind of expensive. I just wish they'd go back to Belize.........really enjoyed the Pilot there.

mitsuguy
10-13-2009, 21:18
The Nekton does have someone on the Dive deck to lead a dive or an insta buddy. Unfortunately the dive guides were unfamiliar with the sites thus we did not get as much out of the dives.

I think that, more than anything, probably was the biggest disservice... A proper DM that was familiar with the dive sites could have done a lot better I believe... Also, there are sooooo many more, and interesting sites than what you named? I've always thought the Nekton's made it to most of the sites, but never get a chance to see them on each one... There are a few quite unique sites around St. Croix...

I could take you directly to at least one frogfish on the wrecks, and I've always been real good at finding them under the pier as well... Did they show you any of the old anchors that are all around the island even? Hopefully you saw a dozen or so turtles??? I see at least 2 a day and have seen as many as 7 on one dive... Including a giant leatherback one of the days you all were out there...

One of these days, I'll take the camera on a dive or two and show you what they should have shown you...

Travelnsj
10-13-2009, 21:49
Cody I have no doubt with a proper guide I would of gotten much more out of the diving. The Nekton had people from the Pilot who had never done the St. Croix itinerary. They tried hard though and their dive briefings came out of a book...LOL....I did see two or three turtles not a leatherback, there were a couple of people on the boat who saw them.

I have no doubt diving land based and guided by you I would of seen two or three times as much. I did see a little black Frogfish at the pier a couple of times:smiley20:...but as I said I am a bit Jaded diving the Indo-Pacific region.