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Liveaboard in my backyard


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#1 cor

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 05:49 AM

I was quite surprised to see a liveaboard park itself on St Croix recently. The Nekton has made it a destination on its itinerary, diving the sites that we normally dive from shore. To my surprise I just saw an article in the paper that they had a serious DCI incident and had to evacuate someone by plane to Puerto Rico. I hope that diver is ok. I suppose it's not that difficult to get bend here, as the nicer dives are on vertical walls that go down into the deep.

nekton.jpg

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#2 Scuba_SI

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 06:00 AM

Such a beautiful ship! Must be wonderful to wake up to that on your doorstep!

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#3 pakman

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:33 AM

LOL... no kiddin... what an eyesore!

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#4 jeremypayne

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:40 AM

I was quite surprised to see a liveaboard park itself on St Croix recently. The Nekton has made it a destination on its itinerary, diving the sites that we normally dive from shore. To my surprise I just saw an article in the paper that they had a serious DCI incident and had to evacuate someone by plane to Puerto Rico. I hope that diver is ok. I suppose it's not that difficult to get bend here, as the nicer dives are on vertical walls that go down into the deep.

nekton.jpg

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Link to DCI story

Says they expect a full recovery ...
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#5 Giles

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 08:57 AM

That looks like the one that was here .. trying ot be a live aboard ..

it failed miserably even when offering $600 for a week !

I wonder who is running it down there an dif the Cayman guys have anything to do with it now.
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#6 loftus

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 09:03 AM

I've heard they're a bit of a cattle boat; anyone on this forum been on it?
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#7 pakman

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 09:08 AM

Those Nekton boats sure could win the world's ugliest dive liveaboard award...

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Loftus, seeing a number of negative trip reports on their Belize boat over on scubaboard lately...

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#8 Photofantasea

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 06:57 PM

I must admit my first reaction was to not say a thing in answer to loftus question in this thread “I've heard they're a bit of a cattle boat; anyone on this forum been on it?”

It is not a comfortable position to be associated with the "ugly" boat that is an “eyesore” in St Croix waters that people won't even board for $600.00 a week as described by others. Particularly when related to a diver DCI story. (I do hope the report the diver will recover fully is accurate as this is truly the most important thing surrounding this unfortunate event)

I will take it on face value that Loftus is asking the question in the spirit of wondering what the diving experience is like on a Nekton live aboard.

My wife and I have been on both the Rorqual and Pilot on more than one occasion at multiple locations in the Caribbean. We enjoyed each of our trips with them, the accommodations were spacious and comfortable, the crew accommodating, the food tasty and diving as good as the location had to offer weather permitting.

I do “get” the perception they are a cattle boat since the number of passengers comparatively is quite high. It is my opinion the dive deck is set up to handle the quantity of divers served and have had no more issues with entering and exiting the water with Nekton than with other live a board’s we’ve sailed.

I would not hesitate recommending the Nekton cruises to my closest dive buddies….that being said … we have also dived with Aggressor, Explorer, and the Bilikiki all over the world and not had a bad experience yet.

#9 Scuba_SI

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Posted 17 January 2008 - 07:20 PM

Those Nekton boats sure could win the world's ugliest dive liveaboard award...

Posted Image

Loftus, seeing a number of negative trip reports on their Belize boat over on scubaboard lately...


I like the way they took the fenders off and cleaned the aft section behind ventilation cover for the publicity shot.

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#10 cor

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 03:59 AM

Just to make it clear, I dont care if its an eyesore :) Im just surprised to see it here, and hope it stays. The island can do with some more tourists, although unfortunately they dont really do much on shore. I do hope they're careful with the reefs. And im glad to get some facts, because locals here are making up the weirdest rumors about it.

We dont get many DCI incidents on St Croix, so if one happens it's big news.

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#11 pakman

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Posted 18 January 2008 - 09:15 PM

I like the way they took the fenders off and cleaned the aft section behind ventilation cover for the publicity shot.


yeah, those boat bumpers that high are really handy on the high seas... just in case you rub up against some tanker... :)

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#12 RickM

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 06:36 AM

I've also done one of the Nekton boats (as well as other liveaboards) and while they do have a higher number of divers onboard than most, it never seemed crowded. I think it's due to the nature of their operation.

The boat (oil platform looking thing) anchors at a site for several hours. Divers don't all cram onto the dive platform all at once since there is plenty of time for a couple dives before the boat moves on to another location. I guess since everyone sort of filters into the water at their own pace it just never seems crowded.

While it may well be the ugliest liveaboard on the planet, I thought it was fairly well run and certainly go on one of their trips again.

#13 rtrski

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Posted 20 January 2008 - 07:37 AM

I can't find the negative comments on Scubaboard someone mentioned, aside from the posts about the lost employee and the policies that allowed it to happen. Like Rick I was under the impression they didn't have distinct "dive times" so how that makes for a cattle chute type event, I'm not sure.

Of course, I've dove the Flower Gardens on the Spree and Fling, which can be a bit crowded (less so on the Spree since their refit cut the passenger count) and do have limited gate open times (no limit on down time, but they usually confine entry to a half hour window or so to try and prevent pushing back later dives since they have a minimum surface interval rule). For Rig dives they even do it 'paratrooper style', meaning they WANT you in as fast as (safely) possible without giant-striding onto the diver ahead of you. Ends up being part of the fun. I can see if I get my better camera housed though that I'll want less and less of that sort of 'fun'.

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#14 seastar

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 05:22 PM

I too have been on the Nekton, twice. My husband and I did the Rorqual Cay Lobos in June 2004 for our honeymoon. The diving was great for me since I was still a beginner. Food was excellent and the room was just fine and cozy for us. I did so well not getting seasick that we did the Pilot's Northwest Bahama in August 2005. Again the diving was great, the food very good, and the room just fine for us. I was trying to get on the Rorqual Cayman Island last June, but was late with making the reservations and the boat was full.

I would recomend this liveaboard to people, in fact I hope to do another trip with Nekton in 2008 and have my brother with us.