The currency here is the East Caribbean Dollar (XCD). The conversion rate is approx. $2.70 USD to the EC dollar. The great majority vendors in Carriacou will accept USD.
You will need sufficient funds to pay for lunches ($15 XCD) and evening refreshments etc. Local beer is approx $5 XCD, soft drinks $4 XCD.
There are 2 banks with ATM machines in Hillsborough, the town in which volunteers will be based. The ATM charges $5 USD per withdrawal.
Carriacou Island falls within the sub-tropics, and the weather is always warm. Between the months of June-August the average temperature is 28°C (82°F), and the average rainfall is between 220-228 mm (8.7-9 in). The weather is almost always sunny and clear, and if there is any rain it usually falls in short bursts and clears very quickly!
We recommend that all volunteers take out travel and dive insurance, this is relatively inexpensive but very worth while.
Breakfast will be provided at John's Unique. Evening meals are also served there, and consist of a tailored-menu for our volunteer program. Meals will be simple and large, focusing on getting volunteers the nutrients and energy they need to perform in our daily diving and conservation activities. Spaghetti Bolognese, Chili Con Carne, and other simple but tasty meals can be expected on a regular basis. A vegetarian option is available upon request. Please let us know in advance if you have any special dietary requirements, so that the cook can source appropriate ingredients and plan a nice menu!
Wireless internet access is available in the volunteer living quarters, and is included in the accommodation fees.
Of course! We have packages designed specifically for people without any dive qualifications, in which the PADI Open Water and PADI Advanced Open Water courses are included in the fees listed. Reef Buddy staff will ensure that you’ve reached the level of skill and comfort needed before you participate in the surveys and specialities that we offer here!
Please check with your doctor to make sure there is nothing preventing you from coming diving with us. We advise you to print and fill in the RSTC Medical Statement (download here) and ask your doctor to complete the reverse of the form. A medical statement can be signed off by a doctor on the island, however, it's better to get it done in advance to avoid disappointment. The doctor's fee is XCD $60.00.
All of our volunteers must be certified to PADI Advanced Open Water or equivalent in order to participate in science dives. Please contact us and speak with a team member to check your qualification level if you have been certified with a different agency.
We understand that not everyone is lucky enough to dive every day, and so, if it's been a little while since your last dive, you may want to do a quick refresher dive with one of our friendly staff members, before you start your program. Email us if you have any questions.
Our trips are flexible and comprehensive, and they cover scientists and non-scientists, and experienced and novice divers alike. You don’t need to be a scientist to perform the fun and easy reef surveys. As long as you have a passion for diving and have an interest in conservation and reef ecology, you can have a wonderful experience with any of the programs we offer!