from 1 reviews
PADI 5 Star Dive Resort
5th May 2012 by Meldrew101uk
Carriacou & Deefer Diving - Loved it!!
Visit Date: April 2012
I’d booked a quiet relaxing holiday in the Caribbean on a small island called Carriacou, one of the Grenadines just off of Grenada. The islands name apparently means Land of Reefs in Indian, so whilst I was there I decided to take the plunge and do my Open Water course.
My only previous experience was on an introductory dive in Cyprus too many years ago to remember. I am also not a very confident swimmer, so needed to feel 110% comfortable that I was in safe hands! After reviewing the 3 dive shops located on the island, I settled on Deefer Diving (formerly Carriacou Silver Diving, which has just undergone a change of ownership). Why? Initially their website was fresh, modern, they had a Facebook site and I was impressed by what I saw. I made contact with them, and felt really comfortable with their approach to this not-so-confident swimmer……
I wasn’t disappointed when I got to the island. Carriacou is a beautiful, laid-back gem of the Caribbean and probably best described as “old Grenada”. I got great view of the island on the small plane ride from Grenada to Carriacou (booked with SVG, who come well recommended). Walking down the street, the locals are friendly and I had to smile with envy at how happy and relaxed everyone was! 9-5 working life back in the UK suddenly seemed very dull.
The dive shop is very conveniently located to both the dock (literally a short walk away) and Lauriston Airport (about 5 mins away by taxi) and more importantly the hotel I stayed in. When I got to the dive shop, I was greeted by a pretty location, friendly faces and a warm hand-shake. Gary and Alex, the new English owners, were very welcoming and made me feel like an old friend. I felt comfortable and assured I was in good hands.
After doing my theory work under the calming guidance of Alex, I was ready for my first confined water dives the following day. These were conducted off the beach in the calm shallows of the Caribbean Sea, slightly better than a hotel pool or a pool back home! Aside from the amazing setting, the drills were conducted in a way that made me feel both confident and safe and I soon forgot my lack of confidence in the water. The theory work I did with Alex was well ingrained in my mind and I was pleased with how much I remembered. OK, so I ‘ballsed up’ a couple of the drills, but who doesn’t and that’s part of the fun of learning (I certainly gave my instructor something to laugh at!). After some further coaching and reassurance, I was back on the drills right away and I was making big steps forward in my confidence under water.
Following the day in confined water, we headed out the next day for my first open water dive and more drills (drat!). The setting was fantastic, diving off “Jack-a-Dan”, an island just a short boat-ride from the beach. The boat captain, the very aptly named Patrick Stewart (sadly not Jean-Luc Picard from the Starship Enterprise, but just as cool), kept a good eye on everything going on above the water to ensure we were all happy and safe.
The open water dives were fantastic, 2 days of underwater activity around “Jack-a-Dan” and Sandy island Lighthouse (look them up on Deefer’s website!) that left me beaming with excitement after sighting a Southern Stingray on my final training dive. The next morning, I went on my first “fun” dive as a newly qualified diver and was rewarded with the sighting of a nurse shark, resting around the coral off Mabouya. Words fail to describe this majestic sight. I was buzzing and I think I’m now hooked too.
After each dive, Alex was really great in helping me to look up the fish I’d seen (doing a great job in interpreting my bad descriptions!) and it was nice to be able to record the sights I’d seen in my first dive logs.
In all, a fantastic experience and one that will have me returning to the Caribbean – and in particular Carriacou – again. I’d wholly recommend Deefer Diving, very pleased with the entire team there, They made me feel safe and unpressured, and made the whole experience fun. Everyone contributed to a very enjoyable experience and one that I would recommend you try yourself.