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Trip report: Montego Bay, Jamaica

Discussion in 'Greater Antilles' started by shark_tamer, Oct 17, 2008.

  1. shark_tamer

    shark_tamer Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    754
    3
    I was in Montego Bay Jamaica, from October 5th to October 12th 2008.

    I was staying at the Royal Decameron hotel. Small resort with 139 rooms, with very good food.

    I chose this particular resort because the resort has a PADI 5 star center named Resort Divers Ltd right on the premisses.

    During my 1 week staying, I did 18 dives, and most of them I was alone with the DM/instructor… low season. If you are planning to go there, you’ll be probably enjoy diving with him : Asha Pasmore.

    Last september, hurricane Gustav did some damages on the ocean’s reef and on most dives shalower than 15 meters, corals and reefs were roughly 75% broken …. Not a pretty sight !!! On one dive, I saw what they call a coral farm to try rebuild the ocean’s marine life.

    Here’s a list of all 18 boat dive sites, depth and water temperature and my appreciation of that dive.

    - Airport wall , 22,5 meters, 29oC – Good dive
    - Airport reef, 11,1 meters, 27oC – Average dive
    - The point, 28,2 meters, 29oC – Good dive
    - Widow maker garden, 15,9 meters, 29oC – Average dive
    - Sandal’s reef, 12,9 meters, 28oC – Average dive
    - Basket reef, 16,6 meters, 29oC – Good dive
    - Dead end garden, 13,6 meters, 28oC – Good dive
    - Decameron garden, 10,9 meters, 29oC – Average dive
    - Fire station wall, 36,1 meters, 29oC – Awesome dive :wink:
    - Breezes garden, 15,0 meters, 29oC – Good dive
    - Dead end reef , 14,7 meters, 29oC – Good dive
    - Widow maker wall, 29,6 meters, 29oC – Very good dive
    - Whitehouse reef, 15,4 meters, 29oC – Average dive
    - Hole in da wall, 22,2 meters, 29oC – Very good dive
    - Basket wall, 27,4 meters, 29oC – Very good dive
    - Buccaneer reef, 14,1 meters, 29oC – Average dive
    - Sandal cavern, 11,8 meters, 29oC – Awesome dive ( THE dive of the week ) :wink:


    No sharks or barracudas encountered.

    Most fish seen : parrotfish, squirellfish, surgeonfish, grunts, blue chormis, some angelfish, some snappers, some black durgons and 3 eaglerays.
     
  2. DiverDebbie

    DiverDebbie Instructor, Scuba

    420
    8
    Nice review :)
    We stayed at the same resort in 2006/2007 (over New Years) and really liked it there. We also dove through the resort op and every single time it was just the 2 of us and our DM (except once when another guest we talked to decided to join us). I don't recall Asha working there at the time. We dove with Vincent. Was he still there? ...middle aged, really nice guy.
    It's a real shame about the coral damage, and the over fishing in the area, but we still enjoyed our dives there, especially going out for a dive on New Year's day :)
     
  3. shark_tamer

    shark_tamer Photographer

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Montreal, Canada
    754
    3
    Hi DiverDebbie,

    I'm happy you liked my review ... I hope it reminded you about the diving there :wink:

    Nobody by the name of Vincent while I was there !!!
     
  4. parrotheadpilot

    parrotheadpilot Guest

    # of Dives: 0 - 24
    Location: RENO
    3
    0
    Im Glad to hear, im planning a trip to Montego bay in Dec...

    Any info on water temperature, and crows during that time?
     
  5. JStinger

    JStinger Registered

    # of Dives:
    Location: Memphis, Tennessee
    6
    0
    Asha Pasmore is still there and still fun to dive with. we went out several times the water was rough but once you down it was still 60 to 100 ft vis. enjoyed our diving more that our hotel Breezes is not the same sice they built a retaining wall. between them and the beach.
     
  6. WaterWolf

    WaterWolf Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Wisconsin
    145
    2
    I did my ow certification there in 2002 with a guy named Ruud and his girlfriend Tonya. Back then the dive op was called Jamaqua. I've been thinking about going back. Glad to hear they are still diving. They always had small groups back then too. Seeing the list of dive sites brings back some great memories. Thanks for report.

    WW
     
  7. seascaper

    seascaper Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: I just don't log dives
    Location: Montego Bay, Jamaica
    57
    3
    The "coral farm" was some of my research nurseries. Nice to hear a mention. Those trials were quite successful, though we lost some material in in H-Paloma and have yet to get back to repair.
    Hoping to expand that project this summer to a few thousand fragments.... fingers crossed for funding.

    You'd never know it, but MoBay is a Marine Park. Chronic developing country funding dramas keep enforcement wishy-washy, thus still no fish. Check out the park's website (mbmp.org) Site's a little dated (2005), but most of the info is still good.
     
  8. CompuDude

    CompuDude Divemaster

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Studio City, CA, USA
    4,238
    4
    Shame to hear about the storm damage to the MoBay reefs!

    I had a GREAT dive at Airport Reef a couple years ago... definitely a fond memory! I hope the reef recovers quickly.

    YouTube - Jamaican Reef Video from my dive
     

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