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Don in Colorado

St. Lucia

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My wife and I will soon be going to St. Lucia. I haven't heard much about it. I'd like to know if there are any dive sites that are recommended for casual diving.

 

Elaine and I like big things, like turtles and sponges and nice scenery. Not interested in muck diving or wrecks. A nice wall would be wonderful, as I prefer to dive the top of walls. This less rubble, the better.

 

Any sites to recommend, or just as important, any sites to avoid?

 

Thanks in advance for your advice.

 

PS Any topside activities to recommend or to avoid?

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Don,

 

My wife and I went on our honeymoon to St. Lucia in 2002. So I am not sure how helpful this is. We stayed at the Sandals resort at La Toc. Great Resort, fantastic food. Best resort we have been to. St Lucia, imo, is not much of a dive destination the diving was maybe a 4 out of 10. I don't remember the names of the dives, but I do remember the best one we went on was the one right in front of the Anse Chastanet resort. It was really quite good. The rest of the dives were rubble, patches of reef, or wrecks. Keep in mind, I don't know if the Sandals dive operation is to blame for that, or if that is really all St Lucia has to offer. Because they are all inclusive diving was included. We did only 6 dives. If I were to go for the diving, is seems that Anse Chastanet is the most known for their dive services. But if you are looking for a mellow vacation with your wife, and get in a little diving, Sandals is great. Also, we didn't see anything bigger than a green moray eel. You aren't going to see big stuff in St. Lucia unless you are very lucky.

 

As far as activities, we did a catamaran cruise down to the pitons. Beautiful scenery. Wasn't much for the snorkeling they offered but the boat ride was fun. they took us to a restaurant overlooking the pitons for lunch and then drove us thru town. The other activity we did was a 4x4 tour. That was pretty fun. You go to the volcano, thru rivers, and thru the banana plantation. And you have the chance to buy banana ketchup. which is interesting.

 

The best thing about St Lucia is the scenery and the resort we stayed at. As long as diving isn't your main priority, you should have a great time.

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My impression of the diving in St Lucia was that it is typical Caribbean diving with not a lot of fish. We stayed at Jade Mountain which is part of Anse Chastanet. Jade Mt was wonderful, your room had a view of the twin pitons and your own endless pool. Dives like "Superman" were drift dives and were good. In fact most dives are drift. There is a marine park in front of Anse Chastanet, but the locals don't honor it and set large cage traps a night. We came across these traps on most dives. There is no muck diving.

The island is very mountainous and most roads are dirt, they are like the US Forestry dirt roads in the San Juan Mountains, a good rain washes them out. The island is very lush and scenic.

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Thank you both for your thoughtful replies.

 

I have been watching youtube videos about St. Lucia, and have come to the conclusion that the diving will be adequate, but not anything to get too excited about. Therefore, the main attraction on this trip (for me) will be the above water scenery and rest and relaxation.

 

I was thinking about housing my D7000 for this trip, but it appears to be overkill for the type of photo ops available. I'll bring my housed Olympus 5050, which gives me perfectly acceptable shots.

 

We will be staying at the Anse Chastane resort. It looks wonderful, and just laying on the hammock on the beach probably beats the diving. I am looking forward to it.

 

Thanks again,

 

Don

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As I said the diving is good, Superman is a great drift dive. We enjoyed our time there. You need to eat at the restaurant at the top of Jade Mountain. Great view and wonderful sunset. Be prepared to hike up and down, it is hilly and somewhat like Machu Picchu. I would take your D7000, there are some nice seahorses to take pics of.

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My wife and I will soon be going to St. Lucia. PS Any topside activities to recommend or to avoid?

 

In reference to the later situation and from one of my St. Lucia experiences some years ago, avoid any local (green) beer. It might be hot, humid, and you might be thirsty, but... :dance:

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Thanks again for your replies,

 

Superman does look like a nice dive. I have watched it on youtube. Jade Mountain looks fantastic, and we will definitely check it out for dinner, and sunset views.

 

Seahorse are cool, but I have decided to leave the D7000 at home. I will bring take my Olympus 5050, and my Sony pocket camera, a TR5, which takes great pictures, and is tiny. I'll also bring along either a Sony HX9V or a Sony HX100V. It will be a vacation without a DSLR.

 

Thanks for tip on the local green beer. I appreciate it. Sometimes a little restraint on trying the local food and drink is advisable. We'll bring along some antibiotics as a caution. I think I'll try to avoid all green fluids :(

 

Here is something off topic.

 

I am getting tried of lugging the DSLR's around even for land pictures. You can't stick them in you pocket, and you can't leave them alone, because someone will steal them. I am tried of baby sitting these cameras. The new Sony point and shoot camera's take excellent pictures, and in many cases are just as good as my SLR pictures. The only thing the small cameras can't match is the bokah of an DSLR. To get great bokah on an DSLR, you are talking really expensive lenses, except for macro shots. (Macro lenses on DSLR's are not crazy priced. A 24-70 Nikon lens is crazy priced and heavy.) But the camera that takes the best shots is the one you have with you. For me, that is not a DSLR. I can (kinda) see myself not even owning a DSLR in the future. They are too expensive for what a non pro gets out of them.

 

A bridge camera like the Sony HX100V, looks like a camera that does just about everything, and is $450 dollars. It isn't pocketable, but it isn't huge either.

 

A pocketable camera that does just about everything is the Sony HX9V, for $350. Both of these cameras look really nice, and can do photos that are pretty darn good.

 

I think small cameras are the future, and DSLR's will be soon be relics that only pro's will be using.

 

Of course, YMMV :dance:

Edited by Don in Colorado

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