Diving in St. Maarten (December, 2007)

For Christmas, we went on a Caribbean cruise with Toby, Caleb, Benji, and Ezra, while Providence and SharenRose stayed with Grandma and Granddad. At our third port, I chartered a dive with Toby and Caleb.

The first dive site was referred to as: "HMS Proselyte". In truth, the wreck was so old that it had basically disintegrated to the point that you could barely tell that there was once a ship there. We were told before diving that some canons and other metal objects could still be seen covered in corral. The only sign of a ship we saw was a large metal link (pictured below), and a cannonball that Caleb saw.

The sea was VERY rough, visibility was fairly low, and getting on and off the boat was brutal. Even after reaching the bottom, there were still very strong currents, making these 2 dives some of the most strenuous that I have ever done. Toby and Caleb handled it like professionals.

I accidentally left my dive computer at home (in a carry-on suitcase right by the back door!), so I was stuck with rental gear. It didn't even come with a maximum depth indicator, let alone a bottom timer, so I had to use guide estimates for max depth and bottom time.

All things considered, they were still very fun (and memorable) dives, and I am very glad that we got the opportunity to go.



Some of the typical sights that we saw during these dives.

A remnant of the HMS Proselyte.
You never know what you're going to get when you rely on rented gear. One mishap was Caleb's flooded console (picture below). The biggest, however, was Toby's weight belt. At the beginning of the first dive, before he had realized that the buckle did not work well, his weight belt fell off. He had to frantically swim to the bottom to get it. I then helped him to the anchor line and put it back on. This picture is our guide who then helped to rearrange his weights. For the rest of both dives, he had to keep rebuckling his belt to keep it from falling off.

We saw a pretty large turtle on the second dive. Toby and Caleb saw another small turtle that I missed.
At one point during the second dive, we went through a spot where it was "snowing".
We saw some huge lobsters under some rocks.

This is a picture of Caleb's rented console toward the end of the second dive. As you can see, it has begun flooding at this point. You never know what you are getting when you have to rely on rented gear.
What is happening here? Is Caleb's loving compassionate Dad taking pictures of him throwing up? On the surface, we had up to 5-foot swells. It was so rough that no one felt very good. I am not usually prone to being sea-sick, but even I threw up several times. Toby was the only one of us who did not throw up at all.

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