alaskamusher

alaskamusher

My Dive Map

Reviews (9)

Puerto Vallarta (PV) Sea Dive

4
4
5
4

Not a dive shop, just a tour operator. Comfortable 36' panga with easy entry/exit. Great captain. PV Sea Dive staff very helpful and very, very careful. You really feel like just a bunch of folks going diving, not a tour. Sue took some great pictures. The actual diving was pretty bad. April is not a good time for diving in Puerto Vallarta. I recommend Late May to November. Far more critters to see and much, much better visibility.

It was funny, my dive partner and I are from Alaska where we dive often. A 3mm wet suit was just perfect. The lead guide had on 4 layers of wet suit. One tourist had on a 5mm plus dive shirt and had to lay in the sun after each dive.

Good value for some easy resort diving.

Visited on 04/2014 - Submitted on 04/29/2014

MANTA Scuba Cabo

5
5
5
3

Manta is a PADI Dive Resort. I'm not sure what that means exactly but this is strictly a gear rental, dive trip shop. This would be an ideal dive resort for someone who took the classroom/pool portion somewhere cold and wanted to do open water work somewhere the diving was phenomenal.

Staff is extremely helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. They helped me recover some photos and video I ham-handed trying to save. Very attentive in or above the water, maybe a bit overbearing for an experienced diver. Explained the dive sites very well and allowed for excellent dive planning.

The boats are a bit on the small size for my liking, but I'm 60 years old and not as spry as I was a few years ago. Excellent dive sites were just minutes from the marina. DO take their whale shark trip. Absolutely do their whale shark trip. You can add a dive with really friendly sea lions which was absolutely great. The sea lion portion is a long boat ride (sea above).

I checked out 5 or 6 Cabo dive sites and this is my favorite by far. I will be back to Cabo and I will dive with Manta again.

Visited on 11/2013 - Submitted on 03/22/2014
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Florida Keys Dive Center, Islamaroda, Florida

3
3
4
4

Nice selection of gear and reasonably friendly staff. Wonderful dive boats that are truly a couple steps from the shop. The down side? They don't seem to understand that divers have many, many choices in dive shops in the Keys. Boat trips are on a "pay your money and takes your chances" basis. Our boat stopped on 2 very shallow reefs in 5-6" seas. Students refused to enter water a second time and snorkelers had to be rescued. No refunds, no rain checks. You have many dive shops to chose from in the Keys. This would not be my first choice.

Visited on 03/2013 - Submitted on 03/22/2014

Dive Alaska, Anchorage, Alaska

5
5
5
5

I'm a 40 year diver and extremely picky about the dive shop I deal with. The shop needs a very solid balance of services, gear, & training choices along with knowledge and experience with local diving and a balance of personal & business inter-action. When I walk in a shop I measure the "I love diving and I need to make a living" feel for the place first. Dive Alaska rates a 5 star ranking.

I spent time and money at all 5 of the Anchorage area dive shops and after about a year I chose Dive Alaska, even though I drive by 3 other shops and over 50 miles to get there.

Dive Alaska offers PADI, TDI (only one in Alaska), GUE (only one in Alaska) and ERDI training. They also offer Nitrox and Tri-mix. They are also the only shop in Alaska with their own dive boat.

The shop runs trips on Resurrection Bay, Prince William Sound and the waters around the islands of the pan handle (Juneau, Ketchikan, Sitka). They sell ScubaPro, Atomic and Halcyon gear primarily. They also have knowledgeable staff on underwater photography, tech diving, cave diving and wreck diving. The shop organizes at least one international trip each year.

I'm not a paid employee or have any financial interest in Dive Alaska. It's just where I go when I need gear, a dive buddy or just want to talk diving. If you are a local or visitor to Alaska, Dive Alaska is really the only shop I would deal with.

Visited on 03/2014 - Submitted on 03/22/2014

Alaska

4
3
5
5

Alaska is the best kept diving experience secret on the planet. I gave it 3 stars for conditions because in the winter, topside conditions can be challenging.

Places like Seward, Whittier, Sitka, Juneau, Ketchikan and Kodiak offers a different dive experience from what you are probably used to. Yes it is cold water diving year 'round and dry suit qualifications are a must. But if you would like to try some challenging and exciting diving you might give Alaska a try.

Yes we dive year round in Alaska and no it is not always under ice. Water temps are around 40F in the winter and can reach 60F in the summer. And if you want some under ice diving well that can be found year round also.

There are available trips around the state such as a challenging trip to Ketchikan in February of 2014, salmon shark adventures and trips to Prince William Sound and Sitka.

Look at the pictures to see the variety of diving experiences. Wrecks, caverns, octopus, sea lions, orcas and a broad spectrum of smaller sea life.

The easiest and least expensive way to try some Alaska diving is to come to Anchorage. Dive Alaska in Anchorage, The SCUBA Tank in Juneau and the Deep Six Dive Center in Ketchikan are fine shops. Be very careful at any others. Some cater to commercial divers and some only want to separate you from your money.

Diving in Alaska is worth the trip. You can see moose, elk, musk ox and bears when you are topside.

Visited on 04/2012 - Submitted on 03/10/2014
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Compass Point Dive Resort

5
5
5
4

Compass Point Dive Resort - This excellent dive resort is on the far east tip of Grand Cayman island. The CPD resort offers excellent packages for dive vacations. Most even include a rental car. The only down here (topside 4 stars) is it is away from the nightlife of Georgetown. But if all you want to do is dive and have a few drinks in the evening, and you don't want to rough it, you will be well served with Compass Point Dive resort. When I run a group trip that wants Caymen this is the place I go.
You get 4 dives a day plus a night dive on Wednesday (with most packages) in some truely spectacular dive sites. There are reefs a short boat ride away and there are big animals a little further out. There is a very long wall and you can kill lionfish to your heart's content. The dive boat is roomy, comfortable and fast. You can do some beach dives if you like also. CPD resort also as a real life dive shop. Not a resort shop that only sells T-shirts and bumper stickers.
In the evening there are BBQs and plenty of chances to socialize with other divers. And they will cook your lionfish for you. There are also a couple of bars nearby. Take the rental car and drive to Hell, about half way between Georgetown and CPD.
This place is great for a group or a couple that don't want to venture to the outer islands. Excellent diving, smaller crowds and some nightlife. Compass Point also has a place on the north side of Grand Caymen but I have never been there. My guess is they are similiar customer service wise.

Visited on 04/2011 - Submitted on 02/27/2014
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Sea of Cortez

5
4
5
5

REVIEW OF CABO SAN LUCAS

Cabo San Lucas. It's Cabo. The topside activities and food is superb. If you are a geezer like me don't go at Christmas or Spring Break. But go to Cabo.

The diving ranges from very simple to fairly challenging. I want to rave about the easy snorkeling and diving less than 5 minutes by boat from the marina (the marina is the starting point for pretty much everything). Pack a small cooler, sun tan lotion and mask fins snorkel. Catch a Panga ($10 round trip) to Lover's Beach. Tell the panga driver when you want to be picked up and he will be there. As soon as you hit the water you see critters. Snorkel about 100 feet and you come to some rocks with one large primary rock.

Snorkel around this rock and the sea life changes every 20 feet or so laterally as well as vertically. Completely different sea life in each area. Sea horses, to turtles. Blinney's to Lumphead Parrot fish. The area is roped off so boats can't get any closer than about 30 feet. A beginer photographer's dream.

You can get out of the water and walk up to the "arch." From there you can walk from the Sea of Cortez to the Pacific Ocean on a sand beach. Lots of caves and rock formations to look through too.

If you want the easiest dive of your life, visit Manta Dive Shop and have them take you to the Arch and pinnacle rock. (You can rent gear and hire a panga but then you have to lug every thing around). Pinnacle rock is much like the snorkel rock mentioned above just far less traffic. And the sea lions will check you out. The rock sits in about 80' with a sand bottom and the environment changes at every depth depending if you are on the Pacific side or the Cortez side. You can start at 60' and just corkscrew around and up the rock. When we were there a school of wahoo swam by and the sea lion pups followed us most of the dive. Saw barracuda and a small shark.

You can not ask for an easier dive. Manta is the shop in Cabo to do your open water dives after doing your classroom/pool stuff somewhere cold. I have been diving since the '70's (yes I am 60 years old) and I am very selective of my dive shop. Checked them all and Manta was the best. Not really a shop per se as a resort gear rental-trip shop. Though they do have a training pool upstairs over the shop.

I gave conditions only 4 stars and it has nothing to do with the diving. From the minute you set foot, and I mean literally, when you walk out of customs into the airport someone is trying to sell you something. Everywhere you go, everything you do, someone is trying to sell you some craft or hat or beads.

Most all hotels/resorts are an easy walk to the marina. All directions are based on "from the marina you go...."
I really like Cabo for a lot of reasons. Chief among them is the diverse diving options.

Visited on 10/2013 - Submitted on 02/25/2014
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Bahamas

5
5
5
4

San Salvadore, the Bahamas. A dive heaven. dives from 30 foot fish dives to bottomless wall dives with large sharks and rare corals. Night dives are spectacular. There is not a lot of beach diving but the great diving is only minutes from the dock. This is the ideal "take classes in cold USA and open-water dives in paradise. Just great diving.
The Riding Rock Inn is a bit old but exceptionally comfortable. Great bar and restaurant. You must try their Bahama Mama, best drink in the Caribbean. Not a lot else to do on the island. I guided group trips here in the 70's and still in the 2010's it is a dive paradise. when on the east coast it is my go-to dive site.

Visited on 02/2014 - Submitted on 02/22/2014
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Sea of Cortez

5
4
5
5

WHALE SHARK EXCURSION, LA PAZ

Whale shark trip out of La Paz. WOW! what can I say but WOW!. 5 minute boat ride from the beach to the nearest site. There we found "baby" whale sharks, only 25' long. The animals were very approachable and seemed completely unaware of our presence. Very calm water and easy to approach the animals. The only down was that these were in very shallow water near the beach so visibility was limited. This made things exciting because all of a sudden this behemoth would appear out of the silty water.

Bigger whale sharks were available further offshore. You could SCUBA with these. Clear water allowed photo/video from many angles. Animals were easy to approach but shunned contact.

Did I mention WOW! Diving with whale sharks must be on every diver's bucket list. I can't believe I waited 40 years to do it.

SEA LION ADVENTURE, LA PAZ

Wonderful dive for beginners or someone who has never been up close and personal with friendly sea lions. 40ft - 80ft sand bottom with a rounded rock wall barrier. Excellent visibility, slight current on surface and shortie dive most of year. Broad range of sea life on wall and various rocks. Excellent photo and video opportunity of sea lion pups and young adults. These animals will nuzzle with you if you let them. No snorkels, the sea lions try to steal them.

The sea lion colony was an add on to a whale shark snorkel. This trip did not get 5 stars solely because of the long, small boat ride from La Paz to the colony. I'm too old for that kind of excitement. But even so the scenery is breathtaking on the way. La Paz is a beautiful town with lots of things to do and access to a broad range of diving.

Highly recommend visiting the sea lion colony.

Visited on 11/2013 - Submitted on 02/22/2014
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