Rick and Debbie are to be commended for running such a friendly dive lodge. The lodge is overlooks Conception Bay which gets better weather than St. John's. It's about 25 minutes from the airport and they charge $60 each way for the airport transport---same as a cab. Albert, Rick's father, often does pick up duty and always has a smile on his face and a kind word. His lessons on life are filled with wisdom..
They have five rooms in the main house and 4 in the spa annex which is also where everyone, including the owners, enjoy a family style breakfast together in the large living room. They will cook you what you want--try Debbie's wonderful cooked overnight porridge for a healthy start to your day. For divers breakfast is at 7:30 AM and the van leaving to the boat dock leaves at 8:30 AM. You have the run of the kitchen and can cook your own food or barbecue on the deck overlooking the ocean. There are some nearby greasy spoon type restaurants, but if you want to avoid an expensive taxi ride into St. John's and want to eat more healthily, there's an excellent supermarket a 20 minute walk from the lodge. (They sell fresh ready made salads, fruits, cheeses etc. but you will need to buy alcohol elsewhere.) When we were there Debbie and Rick invited us for a lobster dinner they cooked.
The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable with flat screen TVs and a super fast free WIFI connection. Note that the rooms are not serviced during your stay. This is the one negative comment I have--it would be nice if the trash was emptied daily and you got clean towels, although there is a cupboard you can get clean towels from so this is no big deal. You can use the washing machine and dryer downstairs which is handy if your dry suit leaks! Note, however, that the spa is very busy so you might have to wait a long time until they have washed all the sheets they need for the lodge and spa first.
They have a large and well stocked dive shop run the super efficient and very pleasant Rob. Holly, the daughter, takes care of the billing. They do rent dry suits but they are mostly membrane suits (White's) and the seals are likely to be big if you are female. Water was 5C at the bottom end of June--brr! . It stays pretty constant throughout the year except on the surface where it is about 9C and gets a bit warmer in autumn (but then you also get the plankton bloom reducing viz.). The dive boat is a comfortable, spacious wooden boat with an enclosed cabin and a marine toilet. Bill, the captain, is a salt of the earth man and cooks a fresh soup very day from scratch for his divers. (He has Whole Foods type ready made veggie soups too.) That, a few buns and all the coffee or hot chocolate you want will keep you going during your to dives. Most dives are wreck dives off the boat unless the weather is bad in which case you do shore dives, such as the one to see whale bones at Dildo (seriously) town.
This is world class diving and the water clarity can equal 100 meters. In addition to wrecks, there are also icebergs and whales to see. Jacques Cousteau's former camer man was filming the whales eating the caplin and David Doubilet, the famous National Geographic photographer was there at the same time for the same reason.
If you want to enjoy high quality dives at an affordable price surrounded by super pleasant people who make you feel like family rather than a paying guest, this is the place!
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