Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Blackbeard's Recap 1

I actually got to the Bahamas as planned this trip. Was up at 0300 driving in the rain to get to the airport and happily there were no mechanical issues on this flight. Made it to my connecting flight at LaGuardia Airport with no problems and one heckuva long walk between the flights.

Made it in on Friday and stayed at the Bayview Suites on Paradise Island, which is a darn nice hotel. 

At the hotel, I repacked for live-aboard mode as opposed to flying mode so I was ready.

I then had a nice 10-minute walk in the sun to Anthony's restaurant, where I had an outstanding Bahamas style curry and a local beer.

After a good night, I assembled everything and checked out, and waited for my ride to the boat.  In the lobby, I met up with another diver, Jay, who was also heading to Blackbeard's.

We got picked up and were dropped off at the Marina where a large number of divers waited as both  Blackbeard's Morning Star and Sea Explore as well as All Star's Cat Ppalu were getting ready to head out. It was a nice time chatting with a whole bunch of divers.

We then boarded the Morningstar.

I was going to sleep in the Galley cabin whcih has upsides and downsides.


a Bigger bed, twin sized even!

Further upside, the coffee pot was in arms reach from my bunk, which was also a downside as the cook had that thing chunking and burbling along loudly starting at 5:30 am.

I also had a great view of the phone booth from within which the cook made amazing meals.

I claimed and labelled my mug and got to unpacking.

Downside to the galley bunks is that the galley also had the shower, and when the shower was in use, the toiler was unavailable.   It also had less privacy than the other bunk areas so you typically had to change lying down in your bunk with the curtain drawn. 

A further upside is the galley area was one of the two social centers of the ship so there was always something going on and it was a fun bunch of people.  I must say I enjoyed it more than the bow, even with the challenges in changing.

We had a nice cold-cut lunch and after the excellent and thorough boat and dive safety briefings, we headed out to sea.

We had sufficient time to do a checkout dive and the location would be Periwinkle reef, that had been the last dive on the December trip.

Jay and I decided to be dive buddies, and we were a good pairing with similar outlooks on safety and diving in general.

We dove in and found ourselves inside a school of fish:


Quite a neat dive. The Yellow Snappers are always a happy sight.

It was a great first dive. 

Max depth 22.8 feet and 43 minutes.

We then had our first dinner on board, socialized with some after dinner beverages and hit the hay for what would be a big day.  We would start heading to the Eleutheras, as the weather in the Exumas was going to be not as favorable for diving.


Matthew W said...

Did you inquire about helping the pilots?

Aaron said...

MAtthew W: Nah, they're pros and certainly don't need my help.