Those of you who know me have probably heard that I’m teaching a little less this year and fun diving a little more. Well DWF started his fun diving with a bang this year with a week aboard the Sea Explorer LiveAboard on a Blackbeard’s Cruise out of Nassau, Bahamas from January 21st-26th, 2017.
Just imagine turning off everything and disconnecting from the Internet for the week. Cell service was intermittent, so all of us (20 passengers plus 5 crew actually had to…gasp…keep off our smart phones and talk to each other). We had a great group of people on the boat which definitely helped. It had been a long time since I’d enjoyed sunrises and sunsets.
Once we got back to land I think my fellow passenger Erik described it best, “Ya know none of those notifications I got was very important.”
The group had divers from all over the world. We had people from the US (obviously), a group of 8 from Nova Scotia (Canada), Germany, Sweden, and some of the crew was from South Africa. Doing a week on a liveaboard doesn’t require being some super-duper advanced diver either. We had divers of all different skill levels…and several of those side mount guys too 🙂 The only commitment was to having a good time.
With hundreds of dives under my belt I had never been to the Caribbean! Well this last week surely made up for some of that. I was able to complete 18 dives during my trip.
For me the diving is the thing and Blackbeard’s definitely didn’t disappoint. We did reef dives, wreck dives, wall dives, deep dives, shark feeds, night dives, and even a blue hole dive…and for me, every dive was a photo dive. The trip basically offered any flavor of dive you might want to try.
So, what did I see? Innumerable corals and reef fish, lobsters, lion fish, eels, reef sharks, nurse sharks, rays, and (finally) turtles..and one BFT (I’ll let you figure that one out).
I will let a lot of the photos speak to the dives, but it was an amazing time. My dive buddy Bob will spend the next month or so trying to pry the smile off his face. I also met some really nice people and almost certainly some future dive trip companions.
In addition to all the diving, we caught a couple of fish to augment our already tasty meals, did a little (unsuccessful, but fun) free diving/spearfishing and took a little excursion to one of the Exuma Cay beaches.
The Sea Explorer was a boat built in the late 70s, specifically as a dive boat. Quarters were small, but totally adequate. I’ve heard diving on a Blackbeard’s Cruise referred to as “camping as sea”. Sure, I’ll go with that. I think that means 3 things….we sleep on bunks, we use marine heads (tiny toilet with a gear shift), and we take salt water showers (with 30 seconds of fresh water per day).
The crew was fantastic. Consisting of Captain Chris; First Mate Jim; Engineer Breezy; Divemaster/Instructor Jared; and last but certainly not least…Chef Tristan! I specifically wanted to give kudos to the whole crew for salvaging Monday. A small storm blew through the area and we could have feasibly scrubbed diving for the whole day. The crew weathered the storm and we only lost ONE dive.
I can’t think of a single thing the crew could have done to make this trip better. They know their stuff.
You literally can’t beat this price with a stick. At roughly $1000 for a week of diving, including room,
board, air (to breathe), and booze (should you choose to partake) it’s the best deal I’ve seen so far.
I WILL BE BACK! And I’ll be bringing as many of you with me as possible! If you’re interested in joining me, contact DWF and let’s make it happen!!!
Whatever videos DiveWithFrank decides to share. All of these were either taken by me…or I’m in them. The latest batch is from a recent Blackbeard’s Cruise …