Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

0 Neutral

About sailfish86

  • Rank
  • Birthday 03/15/1964

Contact Methods

  • Website URL

Profile Information

  • Location

Additional Info

  • Camera Model & Brand
    Canon Powershot IS 800
  • Camera Housing
  • Strobe/Lighting Model & Brand
    Ikelite DS 50
  1. How easy/difficult would it be to live/dive in Palau for 6 months on a budget? Anyone acquainted with renting a small house/living arrangement? Is a car a necessity? Any ideas on minimal budget needed? We are 2 PADI current/experienced instructors with extensive dive/teaching/boating skills.
  2. Yo, I've lived in the BVI for nearly 20 years and captained a live aboard here for 4 of them with lots of trips done out of St. Martin... 1) Don't dive St. Martin - not worth any money to dive there. Shallow and murky all around. They have one sight they dive with sharks, though. 2) If you think any Caribbean island is pretty, then St. Martin might be considered pretty. Otherwise, the Dutch side is a pig sty and the French side is the place to go. 3) If you want a fantastically gorgeous French Caribbean island with great diving, then go to St. Barths (certainly more expensive) 4) If you just want the best diving in this end of the Caribbean, then go to Saba and bring books b/c there's nothing else to do except dive and read (excepting the single time you might walk up to the top of the mountain). 5) If you want to go to the USVI, then the diving off St. Croix's wall is the best. St. John would be the nicest to stay on and dive with St. Thomas being last for staying on. For absolutely phenomenal island experience, very, very good diving, friendly island, and cheap accommodations, go to Dominica (not Dominican Republic) For most numerous, quality dive sites, gorgeous island for activities, and fairly expensive, then BVI it is.
  3. OK! Let me start by sincerely apologizing if anyone misconstrued the intent of my posts under "BVI: Tiger Sharks". I got so excited by the event, I decided to join Wet Pixel's forum and try to open up a dialogue... Anyway, please post here if you have any thoughts on diving in the BVI, want any local info, etc.
  4. Wow, so many hard feelings out there. Can I see a show of hands from the posters who recommend dive professionals "taking it up with your employer" re: how much they get paid, how many of you have worked in the dive business? Sounds a lot like the opening scene from "Reservoir Dogs"... Anyone want to guess the going rate of pay for Dive Instructor in the BVI? ($70-80/day). How about Saba? ($45/day the last I heard). Want to guess how much our tip was for the Christmas week? $103. How about the week including New Year's? $79. Those were good weeks with averaging 25 divers/day. I totally agree that showing your appreciation should be based on what kind of service you receive. The problem is, most people don't know good service when they get it. I've worked in the same place for the past 5 years and there's not one other instructor/guide that's been there the whole time. It's pretty difficult to pland for the future on less than $20,000 annually. And this in a place where a 12 pack of toilet paper is $18 at the bulk package store! Of course, we could go back to using our hands... Sure, you want more money, no one's forcing you to stay in the business. But what if you love it? What if it's your passion? Maybe the business is better left to a constantly rotating crop of new instructors who can't tell the difference b/t one fish and another. Maybe you'd rather trust your 10 year old (PADI allows 10 year olds to learn to dive) to a 20 year old instructor with the minimum requisite dives (100) rather than a dedicated, passionate professional. How many of you have over 20 years experience in your fields and find yourselves being paid the same as an 18 year old without any field experience? I agree the pay scale should be way higher without the tips, but that's just not the way it works. The dive business is notoriously unprofitable (a 46' Newton dive boat is $275,000 bare bones - that's a lot of divers at $100 per two tank dive). Since 1991, Blue Water Divers in the BVI is the only dive operator still operated by its original owners; every other dive op has either been sold or gone under. Personally, I don't look for tips. The excitement people get after a great dive is what gets me off. That said, the service we provide (ours are all guided dives) is PERSONAL service. Trust me when I say it's a rarity that I'm not dragging someone around by the BC, sharing my air, giving up my lead for a floater, etc. And, yes, these are all certified divers. I'm not one of those who refuses a tip but I'm also not one who is offended by not getting a tip. As someone posted earlier, tip if you want, don't tip if you don't want.
  5. Tip, tip, tip! As a professional dive instructor in the BVI (see BVI Tiger Sharks) that caters to the well traveled, I am constantly amazed by the number of people of all persuasions/nationalities that say "Thanks" with out leaving a tip. Yes, I'm an American and tipping is part of our culture. So maybe this post is aimed at Americans... Do you tip the pizza delivery guy? Do you tip the hotel redcap for carrying your luggage? Do you tip the valet for parking your car? Do you tip your waiter/waitress? Then, WTF? You DON'T tip the dive guy who carried your tanks, your gear, set your sh*t up, broke it down, rinsed it, helped you into AND out of the water, guided you around for 50 minutes (twice!) while pointing out the wicked cool marine life it took 25 years to get to know and who still finds it thrilling to show people? If this is you, please, DO NOT COME TO THE BVI! I was fortunate enough to get to "Lammer Law" in the Galapagos a couple of times. On one trip, my partner and I were approached at the end of the trip by a self-appointed guest tip-collector. He had an envelope in his hand and said he was "taking a collection for the tip". We politely declined to pool our tip with the rest of the 16 guests. He was curious as to how much we were leaving. When I told him we were leaving 10% of the cost of the trip each, he nearly had a heart attack. His response was, "they're Ecuadorean, that's too much". My thought was, they're people just like me, they busted their ass*s to make my trip memorable, and maybe, just maybe, my leaving a tip that's way out of proportion to their pay scale/standard of living/national average, will enable them achieve a dream they might have...one that doesn't entail working 7 days/week, 18 hours/day... By the way, as a veteran of the live-aboard industry, the anonymous "tip-collection" envelope is a pathetic way of hiding how cheap you are by ganging the tips together. If you're man enough to leave a low tip, then be man enough (woman) to put your name to it.
  6. Hey, Rick... I apologize if my post seemed like an attempt to exploit the family's plight. Not intended as such. Anyway, yes the dive was just to the north of the cut b/t Green Cay and Little Jost. I've been diving there dozens of times and never had the current you may have experienced. My feeling was the vis was low and the surge from the north swell (minor on that day, but present) made this an advanced dive that day. Too bad you never caught up with any sharks! The north side is marginally better than the south for chances to see a shark. That said, at Angel Fish Reef (west end of Norman Island) we had a fantastic shark sighting today: 2 reef sharks together, one smallish (less than 4 feet) and one LARGE (at least 7 feet verified by another dive instructor with 4,000 dives and several of our weekend local/regular divers). Together with a turtle, southern rays, an eagle ray, and a burr fish, Angel Fish Reef was happening today. At Kelly's Cove (small bay outside the Bight), the Golden Phase Coney still lingers. Two Spotted Morays and 5 out of our 7 Hamlets... I'd like to keep this forum open for anyone with BVI diving questions, comments.
  7. 6:00 pm local time, British Virgin Islands, 20 December 2007. The remnants of man who went diving with his immediate family yesterday were found today. When members of VISAR arrived on scene today, they came upon a man's body missing the arms. Shortly thereafter, all that was recovered was a leg... Two 15' Tiger Sharks were interrupted by the searchers as attempts were made to recover the father's body. Initial reports are thus: While diving at Green Cay, BVI (some 100 yards to the east of Little Jost Van Dyck), the 4 family members became separated, the two teenage children returned to the boat where they could see the father on the surface attempting to make his way back. He was then lost from sight. As details are just coming apparent, today's search turned up just the man's leg and the report of the sharks. No other news is available as yet. Tiger sharks are known to be prevalent in BVI waters but in deeper water lying north and south of the main islands. PS, for answers to questions regarding diving in the BVI, post here... I have been diving/sailing/captaining in BVI since 1991 and will try to help/answer the best way I can. Edited for inappropriate content by Moderator
  • Create New...