Trip Report Aqua Cat- May 15-22 2021

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Hoag

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SW Ontario - Just outside of the GTHA
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Sorry Hoag, I did look through the library, and even exchanged one of my books for one of theirs, but I cannot say for certain whether that book was there or not. There were maybe 40-50 books total.
No worries. Thanks. I was just curious.
 

Redfoot

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Detroit, Michigan
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How was coming back to the US with regards to covid testing?

The testing was very easy. Once we docked back in Nassau on Friday afternoon, a nurse came aboard and administered COVID tests to anyone who needed one. Results were instant, and we received a printed copy before she left the boat.

The Delta representative took the negative test result when I checked in at the airport, and I was good to go.
 
Messages
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Location
Huntington Beach
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Great detailed report - my husband and i leave in 2 weeks on the Aqua Cat.

I have a few questions. In 2019 we did the Cat Ppalu which was exactly perfect for us - only 12 divers/4 staff, we wernt excited to do the Aqua Cat iniitally bc we think it may be a little too luxurious for us but was only option we could get for this July (and still a little nervous as we are more pensione/agriturismo type travelers - not fancy hotel types haha) but your review help me relax a bit about it.

DRYING CLOTHES: on the cat ppalu we hung our clothes/towels to dry on the boat line deck secured with clips... is that okay on the aqua cat? should i pack my clips?

ARRIVAL TIME: says the boat says board at 6pm- when should we arrive 4pm? 3pm? we're arriving friday am and staying at the Towne hotel friday night/hopefully dinner at Brother Eddies (funky hidden gem in the fish fry area) which we loved last time so can be there whatever time saturday.

ATTIRE: On the Cat Ppalu we were basically in swim suits, t's, sleep/loungewear... very relaxed, no makeup, no one dressed up. I had one sundress and fit all my gear/clothes in my xs scuba carryon bag, warm water fins strapped to my backpack, very simple, no need to check anything. Is this the same on the Aqua Cat? what can i expect?

Thanks for the additional recon in advance - greatly appreciated.
 

Hoag

Contributor
Messages
2,017
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Location
SW Ontario - Just outside of the GTHA
# of dives
200 - 499
Great detailed report - my husband and i leave in 2 weeks on the Aqua Cat.

I have a few questions. In 2019 we did the Cat Ppalu which was exactly perfect for us - only 12 divers/4 staff, we wernt excited to do the Aqua Cat iniitally bc we think it may be a little too luxurious for us but was only option we could get for this July (and still a little nervous as we are more pensione/agriturismo type travelers - not fancy hotel types haha) but your review help me relax a bit about it.

DRYING CLOTHES: on the cat ppalu we hung our clothes/towels to dry on the boat line deck secured with clips... is that okay on the aqua cat? should i pack my clips?

ARRIVAL TIME: says the boat says board at 6pm- when should we arrive 4pm? 3pm? we're arriving friday am and staying at the Towne hotel friday night/hopefully dinner at Brother Eddies (funky hidden gem in the fish fry area) which we loved last time so can be there whatever time saturday.

ATTIRE: On the Cat Ppalu we were basically in swim suits, t's, sleep/loungewear... very relaxed, no makeup, no one dressed up. I had one sundress and fit all my gear/clothes in my xs scuba carryon bag, warm water fins strapped to my backpack, very simple, no need to check anything. Is this the same on the Aqua Cat? what can i expect?

Thanks for the additional recon in advance - greatly appreciated.
@Itsabeachthing I hope you don't mind if I take this. I have been on the Aquacat 5 times (so far).

While very comfortable, the Aquacat is not terribly luxurious. Think Holiday Inn Express, not Hyatt Regency. Having said that, the rooms are big with ample closet space and even a mini fridge. With regards to drying clothes, I usually hung my wet swimsuits up in the bathroom (head) in my cabin. That way I didn't need to worry about if it rained. There will be a spot on the dive deck to hang your wetsuits. If you want to bring your clips then I would say bring them. You can use them to clip your towel on the rope above your dive station.

Screen Shot 2021-07-07 at 6.52.54 PM.png

The Main Salon


As for arrival, when you get there, you get there. Since you will be staying in town the night before, you could ask for a late check out & head to the Aquacat in the early afternoon. Around 2-3 would be fine. You will be welcome to bring your luggage on to the boat and drop it off on the dive deck. (The dive deck is the only part of the boat that you will have access to before 6pm.) There is also a head on the dive deck that you are free to use. Once you drop off your luggage, the afternoon is yours to spend how you want. Atlantis Resort & Casino is a short (5-10 minute) walk away. What I have found though is that most people just hang out at a restaurant/bar right next to the Aquacat's berth called the Green Parrot.

Screen Shot 2021-07-07 at 6.50.48 PM.png


ATTIRE: Shorts & t's are perfectly acceptable. The indoor common areas are considered "Dry Areas" so swimsuits, especially wet ones are frowned on, I think you will find that it will be very much how you described the Cat PPalau as far as attire goes. After dinner, it is not uncommon to see someone watching a movie in the main salon in their "Jammies".

I hope this helps.
 
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Location
Huntington Beach
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Amazingly quick reply - THANK YOU - saved me research time . Im new to this site and theres soooo much info... really is a great resource.
 

Skeptic14

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Va
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Overall, the reefs in the Exumas and Eleuthera are not in the best shape. Mostly very small juvenile fish when there was fish life, but some sites had more than others. The usual suspects were present (angelfish, grunts, parrotfish, some snapper and grouper) but the numbers were really sad. The corals, especially on shallow sites, were bleached, burnt, broken and covered in algae

We did see sharks, stingrays and barracuda on most dives, and probably 10-15 turtles throughout the week, a mix of loggerhead, green and hawksbill.

Eleuthera was beautiful, and we got to dive some very nice deep walls, which most of the newer divers struggled with, so it limited our options (trouble equalizing, currents, air consumption, buoyancy, etc). We did a few sites 2-3 times.

The night dives were all good, I especially liked Jake's Hole and Cannonball Reef. Tons of crabs, lobsters, eels and a really cool octopus encounter.

Good trip report!

You mention overall the reefs didn't seem to be in good shape, what other diving have you done where you'd consider the reefs to be in better shape with better fish life?

What types of sharks did you see and how long/close were the sightings, strictly speaking outside of the feeding dive.

What type of dive profiles was pretty typical for the week and what bottom times?
 

living4experiences

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Tigard, Oregon
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To @Itsabeachthing, I've been on the Aqua Cat a few times and most recently earlier this year and their boat has moved to a new location and is no longer near Atlantis. The former dock is being rebuilt to accommodate luxury yachts. The Green Parrot opened another location at the new dock. They have great food and drinks. I wrote a trip report, but I don't know how to hyperlink it. If you search for "AquaCat Liveaboard Jan. 23-Feb 6" under my user name, you'll find it.

Aqua Cat supplies clothespins on the dive deck to hang swimsuits and such on the rope, but I brought my heavy clips to hang the neoprene. There's lots of railing space to hang your gear throughout the boat. The cabin walls are made of metal, so I also bring magnetic hooks for hanging more stuff in the room.
 
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