Sunday, December 10, 2023

Getting There Can Be More Than Half The Fun

Had my first ever dive live-aboard experience last week.

I went with Blackbeard's and sailed the Exumas in the Bahamas on the mighty Morning Star.

Blackbeard's has been described as camping at sea, and the company touts itself as offering twice the fun at half the cost - and they're right.

The Morning Star is a 65 foot motor-sailboat, and with 22 divers and 6 crew on board, space is at a premium.  Since everyone involved understands this and its  a bunch of like-minded diving enthusiasts, it works out.

But first I had to get there.

I hoped on the plane at DTW that would take be to Atlanta and then on to the Bahamas. A couple hour layover in Atlanta gave plenty of time to get the connecting flight.

Not so much.

As we taxi'd out of the gate, the pilot informed us that one of three generatgors on baord was showing as failed, and while we could fly like that just fine, we had to have a mechanic check it off.

So we went back to the gate.  And waited for a marshaller to take us back in.  Then we waited for a sky-bridge operator. That done, we were ready to go and still in good time.

But no.  Next we had to get 1,200 pounds more fuel as we had burned off too much waiting around. So we waited for that.

Then we had to wait for a sky-bridge operator to move the damn sky-bridge away from the plane ans the prior one had apparently wandered off. So we waited for that too. Time kept on ticking away.

We spent more time at the gate than the actual flight time to Atlanta, and I arrived there 8 minutes after the flight to the Bahamas had left.

Welp, good thing I had planned to arrive a day before the departure.

I got put up in a hotel in Atalanta and they put me on the earliest flight out the next day which would be tight, but do-able, but not how I had planned to get there. I had to cancel my hotel in Nassau and re-arrange ground transport to the ship. I also lost the opportunity to re-shuffle my bags as they were packed for weight and lithium battery issues rather than how I wanted them on the ship.   Ah well, flexibility is important when traveling.

So, when unexpectedly stuck in Atlanta, contact MrGarabaldi.

We got together, along with his heir, and he took me to the Dwarf House for dinner. I did not know what the Dwarf House was exactly until we got there.

It turns out, The Dwarf House is the original location of Chik Fil A.


It has a larger menu than the typical Chik Fil A, including fried pickles and hamburgers!

So I had to try both, and both were great. They really need to put those fried pickles on the regular menu.

It was fun catching up with MrGarabaldi and Heir, and we had a nice time. Real nice folks, and it is always good to see them.

Then in the morning I got up, checked out and figured out how to get to the international terminal from the hotel which was a short hop from the domestic terminal.   I then waited in the security line for awhile and then got to the gate for my plane.

Soon I was on the flight to the Bahamas and ready to go and we taxi'd to the runway after only a slight delay.

It was a pleasant flight, and we soon had the blue water of the Caribbean below the plane.

We landed and then went through Bahamian immigration.

 I then retrieved my checked bag with all the dive gear that had made it, and went through customs which was very simple and got waived through and out to the pick-up area where I met the shuttle that would take us to the boat.

Quite a few people were there for the shuttle with one other for Blackbeard's and 4 others for the  Aqua Cat, the more spacious and luxurious live-aboard. We all chatted excitedly about our upcoming trip and Jeff, my fellow Morning Star passenger and I decided we would buddy up for the dives.

So we departed the airport and headed off to the boat.


juvat said...

Sounds like a great time (once you arrived of course)!

pigpen51 said...

Mr. Garibaldi once helped me out with a Mauser action I had. He is a very kind gentleman and I am glad you were able to spend time with him.
Safe travels and fun times diving.

Aaron said...

juvat: That it was.

pigpen51: He is indeed a great guy.