Diving with… Diane Martino, Lumbadive PADI 5 Star Resort, Carriacou, Grenada

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In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

Diane Martino

What is the name of your business?

Lumbadive PADI 5 Star Resort

What is your role within the business?

Owner, Public relation, Accountant, Instructor, Tour operator.

How long has the business operated for?

Lumbadive has existed since 2000, we purchased it in 2009. We extended it from a 8X10ft office to over 25 x 45ft and added showers, equipment rinsing area and a balcony facing the bay.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

PADI MSDT Instructor, diving since 1986 with more than 6000 dives.

What is your favorite type of diving?

All of them as long as I can take pictures!

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Lumbadive is a very friendly dive operation.  We like to go beyond expectations by offering more than dive services. We take care of everything from the moment your plane lands in Grenada.  Lumbadive staff will take care of you equipment, set up your gear before you arrive in the morning, bring it to the boat, help you to gear up when the dive site is reached and sit on the edge for your roll back or pass it on to you in the water.

On your return, you will be served fresh water or hot chicken broth (night dive) and homemade cookies or cake between the dives. When the boat reaches the dock, we will carry your equipment back to the dive center, rinse it and hang it to dry till your next dive. The water is clear, reefs healthy and there is an array of fish where ever you jump in the water.  Very often we organise pot luck beach BBQs, picnics on a virgin island or mud baths for our guests.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

Sister Rocks is beautiful and brings a lot of pelagics. You will found large gorgonians, sea fans, azur sponge vases, to name a few. Look below, look above your head, check the in blue, you will always see something to amaze you. I also like Tropical Hill, a pinnacle that provides the possibility of doing a lot of marvellous pictures day and night.  The coral offers lots of bioluminescence.  Decorative crabs,  Spanish sleeper lobsters, giant basket stars: these are some of my favourite to shoot out during night dive.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Reef, Wreck, Wall, Drift, Deep, Shallow, macro photo sites.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Introducing someone to the underwater world is an incredible reward. Even a snorkeler doesn’t have the same feeling of this world. I love to see the sparkles in the eyes of people after a dive.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

I’m excited when I found a frogfish as they are so difficult to find. I like to search for small creatures like nudibranch or shrimps, but always amazed by the majestic swim of eagle rays.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Every year we invest in our dive resort. Soon we will open another terrace with a bar so divers can sit and talk about their dives at the end of the day.  Another project is an association with a hotel in construction where we can have a second office to serve their clientele. We have developed many PADI distinctive specialties such as: Introduction to Marine Biology, Aquanaut diver, Sealab Technician and Reef Restoration diver as we believe that many divers are interested to understand how it works down there and do action to keep reefs alive.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Carriacou is a 13 square mile island, part of the three state islands of Grenada. Reaching Carriacou is not always easy. How to get divers to Carriacou is one of the biggest problems. Many of our divers mentioned that reefs surrounding Carriacou are the most healthy of the Caribbean.  Promoting Carriacou as a special diving destination where reefs are still in excellent condition is difficult as most travel agents think about Grenada without mentioning Carriacou or refer it as a ‘hopping island’ during a trip. Carriacou has is own niche; travel agents need to sell it as is.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Beach and shore clean ups are done a minimum twice a year.  Dive site cleanup on every dive. We encourage divers to use the mesh bag we insert in the BCD we rent.  We created coral grow trees in order to transplant coral on reefs who need it. On every dive we bring a pole spear with us in order to control the Lionfish population; we offer our divers the chance to earn their PADI Lionfish tracker c-card. We displace sea urchins in order to keep the coral reef clean and get necessary light to grow again. We sank seven  artificial reef wrecks within the last 3 years.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

More and more divers have all their gear, many sailors own compressors on their sail boat and could dive anywhere without the need for a dive resort. Divers revenue increase and they could afford more remote locations with smaller groups.  Of the 40 dive sites we have, many of them are suitable for snorkeling. Plenty of our non-diver guests opt for two snorkel sites (half day). Sister rocks offers a lovely wall where Free Diving can be practiced. Our on call Free Diving instructor can introduce you to this sport during your holiday. Let us know and we will organise it for you. Our doors are open to anyone who is interested in activity in water, from free Saturday swim classes to local kids and adults to more technical dive courses. LUMBADIVE will be please to meet your satisfaction and go beyond.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Carriacou is a destination that is still off the beaten path.  Although you can find all services it is not yet known as touristic island. No huge all inclusive hotels but lovely laidback cottages, apartments, villas and small hotels (25 rooms and less) in our paradise that can fill your requirements. Many of them are a few steps away from our office. Enjoy pure diving in Carriacou! Reefs, wrecks, drift, wall, macro photo, pelagic, we have it all. Only three dive centers on the Island, so you will see more fish than divers. Although LUMBADIVE PADI 5 STAR can deal with large groups we prefer small groups to which we can provide more personal attention. Carriacou has a very welcoming population. Lime & Dive, Carriacou is the place to be!

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

www.lumbadive.com

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

Skype: lumbadive

Email: dive@lumbadive.com

WhatsApp: 473-457-4539

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