Scuba Dive Review: St. Vincent
Disclaimer: Gary and I were hosted on a Windstar cruise that took us to St. Vincent. Our diving was not hosted. All opinions are my own.
Life is good anytime we have the opportunity to do a scuba dive review, so let’s jump right in.
We recently had the opportunity to sail on the Wind Star with Windstar Cruises and found diving in St. Vincent and The Grenadines to be a fabulous choice for the cruise. Cruise ship scuba diving can be hectic, and getting the best dive experience often requires extra planning before your cruise. We found that diving in St. Vincent was as easy as 1-2-3.
- Email Serenity Dive. A couple of quick advance emails with owner Vaughn Martin was all it took to have us signed up for a one-tank dive on the morning we planned to be in port in St. Vincent. A deposit was charged to the credit card we provided via a secure form, with the balance scheduled to be charged on our dive day.
- Walk the pier. One of the often-over-looked bonuses about sailing on a small-ship cruise like the yachts of Windstar, is that everything proceeds faster. Docking is a quick process, as is clearing the ship with officials in the port. Departing the ship carrying heavy scuba gear did involve walking down the steps of the Wind Star’s gangway, but then it was a short walk down the pier, through the small cruise terminal, then a few steps farther to Vaughn’s boat docked at the pier.
- Enjoy a short and scenic boat ride with Vaughn and dive master Harvey. Vaughn explained that diving around the island is great in so many places, including a few wrecks near the cruise port in Kingstown. To maximize bottom time since we only had time for a one-tank trip, Vaughn took us to a wall next to the shipyard. Five minutes from the ship by boat, and we were gearing up and jumping in.
How was the dive?
Harvey took us down to around 50 feet and checked the current. He had advised us that if the current was stiff we would simply drift with it along the wall and Vaughn would meet us with the boat, which is exactly what we did. Harvey brought along his lionfish hunting gear and we all proceeded to look for pan-sized red lions for Harvey to eliminate from the reef.
The reef was healthy and full of life.The water was clear and we would definitely dive here again. Because we were the only two divers on the boat that day, we enjoyed maximum bottom time and the fun of watching Harvey fill his lionfish bucket. We did not encounter anything large or unusual, but it was a nice dive, nonetheless.
Apparently St. Vincent has some prime muck diving sites, with all that those usually include, like stargazers, flying gunards, and seahorses. We saved those for our next visit.
Vaughn recommended that if we were able to dive during the ship’s stop on Bequia, we should choose Dive Bequia. Our stop there was not only short, but was the last day of the cruise, which meant early flights out the next morning. We opted not to dive there but snorkeled instead. The water was crystal clear and teeming with fish.
Would we go here again to dive?
This is what a scuba dive review always boils down to, right? There is no question that we would cruise again with Windstar. Also no question about whether we would choose an itinerary that included St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Having said that, I think a trip to fully explore all the dive possibilities of these islands and the reefs that surround them, although challenging from a travel point of view, would be an adventure worth considering. I would plan a day or two at each of these: St. Vincent, Bequia, and Petite St. Vincent.