Jamaica:

 

International Airports: 

            Kingston:  Airport Code: KIN
            Montego Bay:  Airport Code: MBJ
            Ocho Rios:  Airport Code: OCJ

Currency:  Jamaica’s currency is the Jamaican dollar, not to be confused with the US dollar.  The value of the Jamaican dollar fluctuates but in January 2011 it was approximately J$85 US$1.  US currency is widely accepted.

Climate: Regardless of when you visit, you’re almost always assured of short-sleeve weather, balmy trade winds and plenty of sun. Temperatures vary only about 10° between summer and winter. The hottest months are July and August, when temperatures top out at 85 to 90°; the coolest month is February, when highs can reach 86-90° and nighttime can dip as low as the mid-60s.

Water Temperature:  Water temperatures dip slightly during the winter months, when they average 80°. During the summer, the waters warm to about 84°, a balmy bath-like temperature that makes wet suits strictly optional.

Language:  The official language of Jamaica is English. Jamaicans primarily speak an English-African Creole language known as Jamaican Patois, which has become known widely through the spread of Reggae music. Jamaican Patois was formed from a base of mainly English words with elements of re-formed grammar, together with a little vocabulary from African languages and Native American words.

Signature Dive Sites: 

Montego Bay:

Sergeant Major:  Ideal for shallow divers (DSD, PSD & OW) with lots of sergeant major fish and is a recommended fish feeding site.  Max Depth 40 Ft.

Airport Reef:  Swim through caverns. This reef is for DSD divers. And some things to see are Southern Stingrays, Mutton Snappers, Basket and Flying Gurnard.  Max Depth 40 Ft.

Sting Ray City:  There’s a frequent sighting of school of stingrays and is ideal for DSD divers.  Max Depth 40 Ft.

Spanish Anchor:  Wall with cavern and also consists of 2 old Spanish anchors, which are ideal for Advanced divers.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Basket Reef:  Lovely basket sponges, gorgonian, school of creed wrasses and yellow tail snappers, especially when the current is flowing northeast. Ideal for Open Water and higher certifications.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Widow Maker Cave:  Filled with black coral and other soft corals hanging on the wall. Open water divers may dive at the top, while advanced divers can go deeper.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

The Arch:  Sloping swim through areas where open water divers may dive at the top, while advanced divers can dive on the wall.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

The Wreck:  Fuselage of old DC3 plane lying at 80ft with soft corals, Black Durgons and ideal for Advanced divers.  Max Depth 60 Ft.

Chub Reef:  Filled with lots of big chubs.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Point:  Filled with nice soft corral basket sponges where there’s sighting of reef sharks, turtles, eagle rays. Open water divers may dive at the top, while advanced divers can go deeper.  Max Depth 130 Ft.

Ocho Rios: 

Sandals Reef:  Staghorn coral, star coral, brain coral, sea fans and many more coral fish. Mountainous coral extending up to 10 ft-15 ft.  Max Depth 40 Ft.

Maffessanti Reef:  Close to resort. This is a flat reef system and a shallow dive for beginners. You will also find Barrel Sponges and Sea Fans.  Max Depth 40 Ft.

Fish Reef:  Just 3 minutes from the resort. Some things you might see are Green Moray Eel, Eagle Ray, Puffer Fish (Porcupine Fish), Barrel Sponges and Sea Fans.  Max Depth 60 Ft.

Middle Reef:  This is a flat reef just 3 minutes from the resort. Some things you might see are Scorpion Fish, Sting Ray, Lobster, Eagle Ray, Star Fish, Barrel Sponges and Sea Fans.  Max depth 60 Ft.

Middle East:  Just 3 minutes from the resort and this reef is filled with Barrel Sponges and Sea Fans.  Max depth 40 Ft.

Ship Wreck (The Catherine or The Kathryn-Caverns):  Just 10 minutes this is an old minesweeper, which was sunk in 50 ft. of water some time in the 1980s along a cavernous reef system. The ship is approximately 120ft in length. From the surface to the upper most part of the ship, it is 20ft. Filled with Barrel Sponges and Sea Fans. Some things you might see: Sting Ray, Sergeant Major, Flaming Scallop, Nurse Shark, Caverns, Lobster, Eel, Sea Snake, Hamlets, Snapper.  Max Depth 50 Ft.

Ocho Rios Wall:  A wall dive in nature. Boasts a variety of corals and marine life. However, due to the presence of fresh water in the vicinity, there are a number of seaports in this area. Snappers, butterfish, etc along an occasional sea horse are a small amount of the different varieties found here. Other things to see: eels, turtles, sea fans, barrel sponges and gorgonians.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Barracuda Reef:  Things to See: barracudas, eels, nurse sharks, snappers, lobsters, crabs, barrel sponges, sea fans  Max Depth 100 Ft,

Jamaica Wall:  A French-like reef at 60ft. Things to See: Atlantic spade fish, chubs, turtles, sharks, barrel sponges, sea fans, gorgonians.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Dickies Reef:  This reef is relatively flat, however it tapers off very gently down to 60ft. Things to See: barracuda, lionfish, sting rays, crabs, lobsters, parrotfish, butterfly fish, chromis, damsels, barrel sponges, sea fans. Good for night dives.  Max Depth 80 Ft.

Dunn:  Just 10 minutes in front of Dunns River. And you’ll find Barrel Sponges, Sea Fans and Gorgonians.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Devils Reef:  Just 3 minutes from the resort. Some things to see are Turtles, Atlantic Spades, Eels, Jacks, Nurse Sharks. Barrel Sponges, Sea Fans and Gorgonians.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Dunn’s Deep:  10 minutes in front of Dunn’s River filled with Barrel Sponges, Sea Fans and Gorgonians.  Max Depth 100 Ft.

Negril:

Middle Shoal Reef (Beginner):  One of the most frequently visited 30′ dive sites. Used mainly for our PADI introductory (Resort) Scuba Course dive #1. Nice coral reef to 30′ sand bed. Very large aggregation of French grunts at cleaning stations on coral heads. Squirrel fish aggregations at other cleaning sites. Turtles often seen on the edge of a sand bed. Many blue chromis, creole wrans, parrots, etc.  Max Depth 60 Ft.

Gallery:  Interesting overhangs and ledges. Coral reef with lots of places to explore. Large crabs, turtles, nurse sharks, sting rays, morays, black coral and the occasional Sea Horse are often seen here.  Max Depth 70 Ft.

Arches:  We often combine the shallow plane with this 33′ dive. There are many overhangs and ledges. Nurse sharks and very large sting rays are common. Swim through the arches and notice the purple and yellow fairy bassets. They align themselves to the substratum and are upside down on the ceilings of the arches and caverns. Resort divers stay at the reef around 30ft. 45ft distance to sand bottom.  Max Depth 45 Ft.

Booby Cay:  The island has been almost surrounded with mooring buoys installed by the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society with the help of Reef Relief from Florida, Sandals Negril and many more. Weather dictates which side of the island to use. The North West side has some healthy Elk Horn Coral near the surface and a lot of very large Bloody Bay coral heads.  Max Depth 40 Ft.

Shallow Plane:  Wreck dive of a Cessna 152 Airplane resting next to a beautifully overhanging reef. Look for Queen Angelfish, Spotted Drum Fish, and the occasional dolphin at this site. This dive is an extension of Arches reef dive.  Max Depth 60 Ft.

Throne Room:  Enter through a hole in reef at 40ft into a cave. Exit at 60ft.  Max Depth 60 Ft.

Sands Club:  Features coral reef and overhangs.  Max Depth 70 Ft.

Surprise Reef:  Reef.  Max Depth 70 Ft.

Fish Pond: Coral reef.  Max Depth 30 Ft.

Shark’s Reef:  Follow the coral reef and overhangs down to a sandy bottom sloping seaward at 75′. Nurse sharks and large sting rays are seen here often. Note: This dive site is not commonly used.  Max Depth 80 Ft.

Frenchman Hole:  A dive located directly offshore from Orange River – many ledges. A cave very similar to the Throne Room, known for nurse sharks and the odd hammerhead. Morays, groupers, etc. This site is seldom used.  Max Depth 70 Ft,

Tug Boat:  This wreck was sunk in 1993 to provide the sealife with an artificial reef. Settled on a sandy patch, the reef in this area is worth checking out as well. Look for Barracuda, Scrawled File Fish, and the occasional Eagle Ray passing through the area. Swim in through the boat and out into beautiful coral. The tug boat is 55ft in length.  Max Depth 90 Ft.

Deep Plane:  This is where our Divemasters love to hang. Small plane sunk to provide reef. Frequented by turtles, Barracuda, Spade Fish, and the territorial Ocean Trigger Fish. Drift along the outer edge before the Caribbean drops off to the deep.  Max Depth 90 Ft.

King Fish Point:  Coral reef with a small wall.  Max Depth 90 Ft.

Chinese Reef:  Reef.  Max Depth 70 Ft.

Middle Shoal Reef (Advanced):  There is a small single engine plane located at this site at a depth of 90′. This dive is known for spade fish and barracuda. Beautiful coral, barrel, sponge, gorgonians, etc. Farther out, there is drop-off up to 200′.  Max Depth 90 Ft.

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