Bermuda, Bahamas, Virgin silands, Fiji, Great Barrier Reef, Thailand

Bermuda no photos

Bermuda is an overseas British territory in the North Atlantic Ocean about 700 miles east of Cape Hatteras.  It has a large banking / finance and tourist based economy and is comprised of many small islands with Bermuda the main island. I traveled to Bermuda back in 1978 to dive, snorkel, play tennis and see the island. Because the island lays in the Gulf Stream it is humid and sub tropical with the most northern reef in the world. Over 200 square miles of coral reef surround Bermuda. Most of which has never been dived. The average depths are between 30ft and 50ft. Lot’s of canyons, over hangs and tunnels are to be found. The bottom slopes gently until it eventually drops off into the abyss at around 300ft.

Bermuda offers some of the best shallow, tropical, reef and wreck diving in the Western Hemisphere. The wrecks are easily reached and for the most part in shallow depths (20ft – 50ft). The wrecks are all REAL sites, most of historical importance. They range in age from the “Sea Venture” in the 1600’s to the 1930’s luxury cruise liner. The wrecks of the Marie Celeste and Montana were confederate blockade-runners that helped in extending the American Civil War by supplying The South with essential arms and supplies. For me I was going to wreck dive the  (if I remember correctly) the Aristo.  The Aristo, a 250 foot long Norwegian Freighter, was carrying a cargo of gasoline drums, a fire engine and a steamroller. The wreck lies in 50 feet of water, with her bow coming within 18 feet of the surface. We left the dive shop at about 10 Am and on our way to the wreck was a waterspout and that was very cool. I remember seeing the inside and smoke stack.  The wreck started at about 20 to 30 feet deep and then went downward.  It was very cool.  After this dive, I went diving from a beach entry site at the Southampton hotel.  It was very nice and I swam / dove to the island off shore.  There was plenty of fish life.  I wish I had more to say but that was 30 years ago.  I would recommend diving Bermuda, playing golf and tennis and just having fun.

Bahamas no photos

I rented a 42 foot Irwin with 5 guys fro a week and we sailed from Key Biscayne to the Bahamas.  We cleared customs at the Island next to Bimini I think it was called Cat Key.  From here we traveled onward to Andros and then Nausea and then onward to some other uninhabited islands.  This was a great trip as I was teaching everyone to dive but none of them did except my cousin.  Wow every day I dove for our supper: lobster, grouper and conch it was great. .  I saw large schools of Barracuda and hammerhead and regular sharks.  We dove to about 100 feet on one occasion but mostly kept it above 60 feet.  Great animal fish life.  What a great time.  I almost sunk this boat in a tropical storm by hitting the reef around Andros.

St. John’s US Virgin Islands – no photos

I have traveled to St. Johns on numerous occasions.  I lived on the island in the National Park for a month in 1971 and Bob Nose was my instructor – a PADI instructor.  He and his wife lived on their sailboat and they had the perfect life.  The last time I visited St John he was still there and volunteered at the Catholic Church.  Wow there was no bleaching then and we dove on numerous occasions including night dives.   This was the halcyon days of diving, as I was young, I had my girl friend with me and the water temperature was a balmy 80 degrees, there was great visibility with tons of plant and fish life. – Life was good.  We dove from the shore and did boat entries on reefs, shoals and other dive sites.  The night dive wigged me out when a fish shot out of a conical cone sponge and knocked my mask off.  The hiking and snorkeling is great here.  If one can afford it I would recommend Caneel Bay Plantation wow this is a spectacular place.  Back then I snuck into a room and spent 3 nights before wigging out and going back to the National Park site.  Later as I matured I did stay there legally and it was spectacular.  The bleaching disease has destroyed quite a bit of coral now.

Hawaii – no photos

I traveled to Maui in about 1985 for business and went on a day’s diving adventure.  It was really fun as we saw really cool things animal life and traveled through tubes of coral.  We went on 2 dives.  One was at a military live fire site as I found many spent casings. We dove through solidified tunnels of lava and went into caves where sharks came flying out.  We had lights and the colors inside the tunnels were amazing with bright red and orange plant or animal life The other dive was closer to shore on a reef nestled in the protected bays at the base of the West Maui Mountains there was a ton of beautiful colorful hard coral that provides nooks and crannies for a spectacular array of marine life. The coral gently slopes from the mountain cliffs and teams with schools of fish. Parrotfish, angelfish, triggerfish, and butterfly fish abound. I saw Turtles, octopus and yellow and brown spotted moray eels it was very very cool.  We had a great time and I would highly recommend this dive.  I did not make this video and I did not see whales or porpoise but this is a very nice video about Maui diving

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AV7yMtvtLmE

 

FIJI

Ok so on our around the world bicycle trip 1989 to 1991 we visited Fiji.  We did little biking but took a boat out to Mana Island.  Here life was relaxed.  We drank the KAVA and out mouth went numb but felt no other effects.  SO on to the diving.  One day I went on a drift dive and later in the day I went diving in a deserted Island near Mana.  Those dives were awesome.  I never saw another person and there was no bleaching at all.  The water was a little cloudy as it was filled with Plankton but I could still see easily to 30 or 40 feet.  Drifting with the boat was cool. We dove on a coral reef and saw all of the life associated with a reef.  Plenty of hard and soft corals.  Again this was 25 years ago so I did not have an underwater camera but I have included some shots from Fiji.  This is not my video but you can see what it is like:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dd-SaD-jVj4

 

Great Barrier Reef A Few Photos

Again, we dove this reef back in 1989 or 1990 so that was a long time ago.  I was a little disappointed because of my expectations.  We left Carnies aboard a 50-foot yacht ad traveled out to the reef.  We did see those huge large clams and tons of fish.  My mom (visiting us) almost died when she freaked out and panicked –to long of a story but I saved her life.  It was cool but I was not overly impressed. So here is a video that shows you what to expect. Very cool

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHsUpvmirp8

 

Thailand

Arrived here in 1990 on that bike trip around the world.  We traveled from the North of Thailand on the Burma border.  I was looking for Kuhn Sa, the heroin war Lord.  After boarding a train in Chang Mai, Arden and I traveled south to Surant Thani and then bordered a boat that took us out to the Ko Phi Phi islands.  Wow this place back then was smoking and it was before they filmed the movie the beach there.  We went on two dives that were rather shallow and numerous snorkeling days.  We were told to watch out for sea snakes and stonefish, which I did.  However, I almost hit a stonefish by putting my hand into a crevasse.  The dive master took me up and blasted me.  He stated that I would die, as a hospital was 2 days away and 70% of the people die.  This was my favorite place as you can see in the photos how clear the water