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Creature of the night
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<font color='#000080'>Hi All,

just got back yesterday after a 2 week break in the DR staying at the Casa del mar in Bayahibe.

The hotel is supposed to be 5* but I would say 4 it has its own coral reef [that snorkellers spent most of their holiday standing on] and the food and drink are availiable 24 hours a day.

The locals are the friendliest people you could hope to meet
and their poverty is humbling.

Onwards to the diving, firstly I was under orders from my better half that diving must take second place behind an excess of cocktails [I reluctantly agreed]

The hotel has it's own dive centre scuba - caribe but to be honest I was not very impressed that they had a 25m depth limit on all dives and could not fill my pony cylinder due to their insurance.

I chose to dive with Scubafun in Bayahibe, a German outfit but very relaxed and quietly proffesional.

I won't bore you with the dives but they were fantastic, on day one I dived with one of the dive guides and apart from the boat handler we were the only people on the boat.

The corals were a close second to the Red sea and although the life was not as prolific, the fact that I never saw another diver that was not on our boat on any of my dives more than made up for that.

I saw sharks for the first time in open water, huge rays, puffer fish, Barracuda and more "pretty fish" than I could ever hope to name.

Being a wreckie though the highlight was The Saint George a freighter that was sunk as a reef [after being mortally wounded by hurricane George] the top of the smoke stack is at 16m the top of the deck is at 28m and the sea bed is at 44ish.

The guide asked if we were all comfortable to enter her as it is a fantastic swim through.

We entered the hold from the side and could see the top bottom, sides and almost the entire length of the holds, it reminded me a bit of the Tabarka at Scapa but on a larger scale, it was almost like a cathedral in size, we swam nearly the entire length of the holds some 60-70m and down to a max depth of 42m, a truly memorable dive.

I would have no hesitation in recommending the hotel or dive centre and if you can stand being eaten by bugs that do not even try to hide the fact that they want your blood then this is the place for you.

Safe diving,
Steve.
 
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