Caribbean Reef Buddy

Program Reviews

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Jack
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I learned to dive in Australia a few years ago. I enjoyed the experience, but was not wowed by it. I didn't know what I was looking at TBH. I joined CRB to learn more about the marine environment and to dive a lot more too. I planned to do my DM whilst here too. Which was fab!.
The team here are very passionate about the marine environment, but in a practical way. Not in a tree-huggy way. The activities we got involved in were informative, helpful and very insightful. Its easy to really start to fall in love with the ocean when you're part of it every day and have these guys to tell you what it is your seeing and why its so amazing.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I'll be honest. When I signed up for the program I thought it was quite expensive, but the time you added flights etc to it. But I spend 8 weeks in one of the best spots in the Caribbean with some amazing people and I learned so much. The 8 weeks went by in a flash, and as I left I felt that the experience was worth every single penny... Well, except from the Jack Iron hangover!
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Mark
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I was one of the lucky few who managed to get away to this program in 2020 during the pandemic. The UK unlocked and we managed to make it all work. I planned to come to Carriacou for a month, but ended up staying 4 due to flight cancellations and lockdowns. During my time there, I had an amazing experience with the crew and became part of the family. I also worked towards and got my divemaster certification too.

I am to come back again in 2021 to work with the crew again and create a new coral nursery, and to see how the babies I planted last year are growing....

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Bonita
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

It was the best experience I have genuinely ever had. Everyone there was lovely and helped make the experience as good as it was. The accommodation is good and you are certainly well fed. I believe these guys are genuinely interested in marine conservation and these are not just tick box exercises for them. Great to go away with so much knowledge that I can pass on to others.

All of the teaching be it diving or the various speciality subjects such as Reef watch, underwater photography etc were brilliant. I struggled a bit with diving for the first few days but the instructors were patient and soon I forgot the struggles I had originally had. I may well return there and If I don’t I will certainly be diving more and gaining more PADI certificates.

Thoroughly recommend these guys and would still be there if I didn’t have a job to return to, and mortgage, dogs etc!

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ELizabeth
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had the most amazing time in Carriacou and am hoping to return in the next few years. Everyone was so welcoming and friendly, I loved that most of the volunteers stayed at the same hotel; on our first Sunday one of the group, who had already been there for 4 weeks, came and knocked on our door to see if we all wanted to go to the beach which was a lovely thing to do.

The diving was amazing and I learned so many new things and want to continue to do so. I also learned a lot on a personal level too, seeing a huge increase in confidence as a person. Everyone back at home know how much of a great experience it was because I don’t shut up about it and still talk about it regularly. In short, the best thing I have done so far!

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
Getting in the water for the first time with scuba. Its all so heavy and I'm really small. Once in the water the weight just goes away and its brilliant
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Harry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The project was great. I booked with my dad to come for 2 weeks as I didn't know what to expect as I was only 17 at the time. I stayed an extra 2 weeks because of how well it was going. Everyone was really friendly and the project itself was really fun and overall a great experience. There was plenty of activity to do, both during the day and in the evening too, but no pressure to get lairy. Having the accommodation in a hotel was a proper bonus, as it meant all our food was prepared for us, as I probably can only boil an egg! I loved it so much I'm coming back and will do my Divemaster in 2020.

What was the most unfamiliar thing you ate?
Lambi! I thought it was a lamb, and got a bit of a shock to find it was conch!
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Mike
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I came here thinking about changing what I do in life, as I knew I needed to change something. Diving appealed to me, as too did getting more involved in marine conservation.

Coming here has been a revelation! These guys really know what they're doing and have a programme which is structured perfectly to prepare you to become a divemaster. They're thorough, diligent and very very professional. I came away knowing that I needed to continue in this direction because diving is the career choice for me.

While I was here not only did I learn about being a dive pro, but also about coral reef restoration, invasive species and monitoring techniques. I was also able to learn to dive bubble free on their CCR units too - WOW, what a difference that made! I now have some amazing memories and amazing experiences to remember

They offer training using the SSI agency. I'd never heard of them before I came here and was a little bit unsure versus PADI. The guys explain the differences all the way through, and again leave you very well informed. If you want to pay a little bit extra, they were able to certify you as PADI instead, but for the most part no one took up that option.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
There was a group of divemasters on a new site 'down south' moving through some narrow canyons. The dive leader stopped and got us all the drop down closer to the rocks and he pointed up as a Caribbean Reef Shark was patrolling just above us. I thought my heart was going to explode out of my chest it was so exciting!
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Mackenzie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I got to Carriacou. Nervous, not knowing what to expect. This may have been because it was my first time doing something like this alone.

But once I arrived at Deefer diving all of the nerves instantly vanished. As I see myself as fairly shy before I get to know people, going to Deefer was perfect for me as I was made to feel so welcome by everyone as soon as I got there. This would’ve been because of the amazing staff! They were incredible to work with, helping me have one of my best experiences ever as well as pushing me to succeed. The staff also do so well to bring everyone into one group, creating a family feel whilst you’re there. This is one of the things that I liked so much about Deefer as it makes you’re time there so unique.

The atmosphere of Deefer paired with the beautiful culture of the island makes it a perfect environment to learn as well as enjoy.

Not only did I learn so much about Marine conservation and Scuba diving, I had so much fun as well as making some great friends and memories.

Because of how much I enjoyed my time at Deefer I’ve been back several times and always have the same awesome experience.

So, coming from a young guy traveling alone. I would 10000% recommend to anybody really. To anyone having doubts about going. Do it! You won’t regret it!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
To make Gary do an elegant flip off the boat, it’s something he’s been practicing for years. Trust me... you don’t want to miss it!
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Logan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Caribbean Reef Buddy have created the perfect programme for anyone interested in marine conservation, understanding the local eco system and providing the tools and skills necessary to reduce the impact we’re having on oceans.

My wife and I came to Carriacou in 2018 for 8 weeks to work on the conservations projects they run here (there a several projects running in parallel) and earn our Divemaster qualifications. The island is a slice of paradise, it is removed from the resort style living that’s conjured when one thinks of the Caribbean and is instead blessed with pristine long beaches, lush green forests and some of the most spectacular diving sites in the world.

The staff at Deefer Diving (where CRB is based) are professional, experienced and courteous. They are also amazing fun and can teach anyone to get in the water and enjoy themselves while also learning about the environment. You arrive thinking of them as your instructors and leave with friends you will keep forever.

I’ve already returned to Carriacou to dive with the team again and I know that this is a place I will continue to come back to, anyone interested in conservation, diving, learning and having an amazing time should do the same.

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
I knew I was a few points short on my watermanship skills and thought I was going to fail out of my divemaster certification. My instructor jokingly agreed and then let re take the missing points (an 800m timed swim) with him acting as the pace setter. Suffice to say I was freaking out but at the end of it I posted a 4 point swim and passed. The support that the guys provide is absolutely incredible.
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Andy
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I came to Carriacou with an desire to learn more about our oceans following watching Blue Planet at the like. I didn't know much about what was going on or what we could do to make a difference. I do now! Wow, what an amazing 8 weeks with the team. In that time I learnt to dive, learnt about reef monitoring and learnt about coral reef regeneration. On top of this I became an SSI Divemaster and have gained so much confidence in and around the water, and now have the qualifications and experience to lead other divers in this amazing underwater world... I'll be coming back!

What would you improve about this program?
Remove garlic bread from the breakfast menu! Seriously though, everything was awesome...
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NORA
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

From the moment I read about this program, I knew it was the right fit for me and for what I was looking for.
It combined the perfect amount of volunteering in marine conservation (coral nursery, coral watch, reef check, invasive lionfish containment) and dive training (from OW to Dive Master) and what made it better were both the staff working on CRB, the professional team from Deefer Diving, and the scenario provided by the lovely island of Carriacou.
I absolutely loved everything about this place, so much in fact, that I ended up spending 2 more months as a Dive Master intern at the dive shop, which made me realise how much I love doing this, so I decided to make it a life style and I applied for a job and came back to work now as part of the staff at Deefer.