Sunday, February 28, 2016


We arrived in Tortola nice and early in the morning of what was to be a beautiful day - sunny, warm and and with calm winds and waves.

After a quick breakfast before the rest of the family was even awake, I had packed my gear and headed to the meeting point on the ship for my port adventure.

It was dive time. The kids and Tash were heading out later to snorkel and explore Treasure Island by catamaran.

At the meeting area, there was a diver waiting and a few more came in as the time to depart grew nearer. I chatted with him and he was a very nice guy named Roberto from Panama and we talked about diving as we waited for more people to arrive.

Another diver arrived, his name was Ron and it turned out that not only was he from Toronto but he was also a private pilot (I was wearing my AOPA hat which got that conversation going. Very nice guys indeed and it promised to be quite a good group of divers going on the trip.

Disney had booked the port adventure with Sail Caribbean Divers and it was a most excellent choice. Sail Caribbean is probably the most professional and organized dive operation I've seen yet in the Caribbean. In no time we, along with a group that was doing a discover scuba diving adventure were checked in, issued gear and on our way. The DSD group was dropped of for instruction and we certified divers headed out to Dive 1.

Dive 1 was to be Thumb Rock, a reef that promised lots of fish.

While the water wasn't crystal clear, it offered a nice easy dive in t-shirt and swim trunks, which beats a wetsuit any day.

While the surface was a bit choppy and had a light current, making for a bit of work to swim from the back of the boat to the down line at the front, we then easily descended down to the reef.

There were fish there, including this big one that swam by that was as large as a person's head:

What's that over there hidding under a rock by the coral?

That's a lobster.

Actually there was a whole bunch of lobster hiding there. We counted ten all together and our divemasters noted that was the most they've seen together in one spot so that was a neat find. The divemasters were very good at pointing out marine life that we otherwise would have missed.

Here's Rob pointing out an item of interest on the reef.

It was a lionfish. These interlopers from the Pacific are aggressively expanding their presence in the Caribbean.

There were some interesting coral formations like this perfect bowl-shaped one.

There were also many very blue-colored fish swimming around.

There was also a small green eel that was popping vertically out of its hole and flashing its jaws and baring its teeth at us. Sadly the photo of it didn't turn out.

It was a very nice dive indeed with a lot of interesting fish to see.

Max depth 55 feet, 32 minutes and 79 degree water.

During our surface interval, after being carefully checked back in on board the dive boat and our dive profiles recorded, we headed off to pickup the DSD divers for their scuba diving experience and for Dive 2 for us. Dive 2 promised to be even better than the first.

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