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“Nice & Easy!”

Aquatic Safaris SCUBA Center
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Attraction details
Owner description: Aquatic Safaris has specialized in SCUBA diving charters, instruction, gear sales, repair, and travel in Wilmington, NC since 1988. We are constantly striving to improve our shop and our service. Aquatic Safaris operates two USCG certified custom dive boats, a 30' and a 48'. Our boats run daily dive charters to wrecks and ledges off Wrightsville Beach. We are a full service facility, including on the spot nitrox fills up to 100% O2 and Trimix.
Reviewed September 13, 2013

Very easy to make a dive charter reservation! They provided all equipment necessary at a reasonable rate. This was my first ocean dive and everything went very smoothly! Will definitely use again!

1  Thank Jenny M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (45)
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Reviewed September 9, 2013

Friday morning at 7:30am we entered the dive shop, just a 1/10 of a mile from the draw bridge out to Wrightsville. They had all the rental equipment we needed already bagged up for us, due to our phone call from a day before. We packed up our bag and tanks and drove a 1/10 of a mile to the dock and boarded their very nice boat. Hint: If you get there early, you can pick your seats in front under cover : )

It was an hour boat ride out to the Hyde. I think it is 235 feet long and about 35 feet tall and there are places to swim into the hull. Flashlight is helpful. Lots of wonderful little corals and fish. The barracudas love to hang out. We saw crabs, lots of fish and schools and two 7 - 8ft nurse sharks.
Visibility was about 35 feet.

We were supposed to boat over to the Markam for our second dive, but it started getting rougher and the currents at the Markam can make it more difficult due to the way it lies, so we did our second dive on the Hyde again. Not to worry, there is plenty to see and investigate. The sand is at 82 feet and they have a 20 foot rod dropped over the side of the boat at 20 feet to help with the 3 minute safety stop.

The captain and crew are very kind and helpful. They are happy to help you set up your gear should you need a refresher course. You are on your own on this dive. You can have a dive master guide you around for another $35. We opted not to as there were plenty of people going down. Our first solo and it was fine. (Boat crew only works for tips)

Back at the dock we loaded up our gear and tanks and returned to the dive shop and of course found a few goodies to buy. What? Another dive shop t-shirt?? We will certainly use them again!

2  Thank Rob B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 4, 2013

I dove "The Hyde" yesterday and had a good time. The crew was friendly and attentive though not in your "Caribbean vacation" way. I don't mean this as a criticism but it was a bit different. The site was supposed to be "overrun" by sharks but only a very experienced diver saw a very young shark. Again this isn't necessarily a criticism as they can't control what you see but just a point of view as their website does mention seeing sharks on this dive. I would definitely dive with them again.

3  Thank chris w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

I dove with this "dive operation" on Memorial Day weekend. I say "dive operation" because they are not worthy of the term dive operation. A dive operation is expected to have competence, professionalism, and customer service which Aquatic Safaris and Diver Emporium does not possess. Competence: Cut the surface interval so short on the Hyde dive that my group was a few minutes away from deco diving with a half tank of air remaining and only being down around 22 minutes. 30 minute surface intervals are not appropriate for the depths and a full tank of air to dive. Unbelievable. Professionalism: Strongly discouraged the use of the onboard bathroom to the point of really refusing to let it be used. Only when one of my dive partners was about to have an emergency experience involving well, not urine, did they grudgingly relent and let him use it. Unbelievable. Customer service: While a member of another dive group was in mid vomit he was basically man handled and pushed off the back of the boat. If that had been me being manhandled in mid vomit I dare think I might have thrown a punch. Unbelieveable. When returning to the shop, the shop staff was disinterested, bored, and couldn't get around to a tank fill for an hour (or so they stated). An annoyance that was my last straw. I have dove in Korea, Philippines, and all over the United States and this is the absolute worst, bottom of the barrel operation that I have ever dove with. In fact, if this was my only choice to go diving with in the world, I would sell all my equipment and just give up scuba diving. And I happen to live to dive. Enjoy your experience...lol. But seriously, I dove with a different dive operation in North Carolina on the same weekend and they were awesome to say the least. I am not going to name names because the purpose of this review is ensure that you don't get taken for the money you work hard for by this "dive operation."

11  Thank oek736
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 30, 2013

Just completed two days of diving with Aquatic Safaris. Our group had the trip planned since early in the year and was hoping the weather would be good. The Hyde/Markham and the Dredge/Stone Tug were the trips we chose. Not sure what happened to the sharks, but only saw one on the four dives. I was hoping to show the others some big sharks, but they must have been camera shy... lol.

Captain Paul was driving and the reset of the crew did and excellent job on both days. I have been diving and seen the sharks and wanted my friends to see the experience. Not sure what has changed but you don't get the pinapple between dives like in the past. We had lots of bottle water and others brought snacks ( recommend doing that ). We were on the ASII and lots of room to get ready and relax some. The crew didn't rush us and said to take our time so we had a good hour surface interval between dives.

Lots of fish and only one 7 ft shark, but did see two 4 ft rays in sand. Made some good pictures and lots to talk about to our friends. I suggest looking at Aquatic if you plan to dive the Wilmington area. They do a good job and take good care of their customers. Check the website for dates and prices to suite your trip.

3  Thank Lee G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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