Puerto Rico

2 Responses to “Puerto Rico”

  1. Snagel says:

    Eastern Caribbean trip report.
    Original Post by NavyHmc on ScubaToys Forum

    Well, back from a great trip with some great dives. I was able to do 2-tank dives in St. Maarten, St. Lucia and Puerto Rico:

    St. Maarten I dove with Scuba Fun out of Phillipsburg – within sight of the cruise port. They have a pretty good operation going, the gear is in good shape and they are well organized as they had a cruise charter from our ship as well as a MSC ship at the same time and they were able to get us out and diving quickly without crowding any of the dive sites. We had 7 divers on our boat and they split us into 2 groups more experienced and newer divers which made it a bit more enjoyable and a longer dive for us.

    The first dive was at a site called Tiebold: A combo wreck and reef dive as there was the remains of an old ship that was pretty battered by a few hurricanes as all that was left was the bottom of the hull and a few ribs with engine components.Visibility was around 150’-170’ which I was told was good for St. Maarten. There was a fair amount of life on the reef with all your usual suspects of French Angels, Sergeant Majors, Wrasse of various types etc. We had 2-3 Caribbean Reef Sharks follow us the entire dive – one was named Captain Hook for the two hooks in the right corner of his jaw. We had a few overheads to swim through that were fun, one was about 50’ long and included a right hand bend to navigate.

    The second dive was Carib Cargot: A 200’ long barge that sank in a hurricane ( I’m noticing a trend here…) it was on a level sand field at 70’ and was intact except for the head house which was ripped off by a fishing boat. For sea life, there was a lot of “The usual” with a few sting rays in the sand along with a hawksbill eating nearby sea grass. Only one shark on this dive and little did I know that this would be the last shark I would see in all my dives. In the overturned head house and along the bottom of the stern were about 150 Spiny Lobsters-couldn’t snag any as we were in a marine preserve.

    The only detractor to the dive was our short surface interval; it was only 30 minutes long which made for some close depth/time management towards the end of the seconds dive. I was about 3 minutes from deco several times before I went a little shallower to compensate. Add to that the typical 3′-4′ St. Maarten seas that made getting back in the boat interesting. I was about the only on NOT sea sick for the trip back to the shop.

    Next was St. Lucia and Scuba Steve’s. They were a little less organized as you had to get with them ahead of time with gear and weight needs. We met the boat at the local ferry jetty and it was only then that they realized they left all the paperwork at the shop so we had a 45 minute delay/wait on the boat while they brought the paperwork to give to us. The boat was a little crowded as there were 8 of us on a 10 pax. We also had to sit in specific spots to make sure the boat had good balance to hit the waves. Though, we did make it to the dives spots quickly with twin 200hp outboards.

    Dive one: Superman’s Flight – this is where they filmed the underwater scene from Superman 2 (the one with Christopher Reeves)It was right under Petit Piton and was everything Scubadiver888 said it would be (Thanks 888!!!) A lot of life to be sure, the vis was a little disappointing:80’-100’ (yeah, I know a DDCN diver complaining about 100’ vis…LOL). The current was fast 2 knots so a definite current dive. This is the first dive I used my DC-1400 sea life on and there was definitely a learning curve, not a lot of photos were good. Unfortunately the ones I really wanted to turn out, well, didn’t. I had a good view of a Cuttlefish but couldn’t get a good photo.

    Dive two was a little North of Petite Piton around a point and is called Fairyland. A lot of color and lot of different fish. I was taking a photo of a stone fish and looked just a little to the left and had a great shot of a Yellow Sea Horse. The hard deck was to have been 60’ on the second dive but I was trying to get a good photo of a Hawksbill Turtle and found myself rapidly at 75’ so had to make a quick ascent after the shots. Fairyland started out as a wall dive but ended in some great coral fields with a lot of bowls and a couple of swim throughs. The most interesting part of dive 2 was that it was about 1400 yards north of the first one and there was minimal current an hour later.
    The best part is we got back to the cruise ship in time to board, even with the hiccup at the start. Those outboards came in real handy for the trip back, and to think, some folks paid big bucks for an open water speed boat ride!

    After we got back to Puerto Rico, I had booked a 2-tank dive with Sea Ventures out of Puerto Del Rey. Good dives, but a little disappointing as there were a total of 12 divers on the boat and only 3 of us were not students. This meant that the dive sites were more intended for students than experienced divers. Not that I have a huge problem, but the sites were far more favorable to instructing. Granted, I would have loved this site for my OW check outs!
    Dive one was at a site called “The Sand Slide”, just south of Isla Palominos. The bottom was at 15’ under the boat with a moderate sandy slope that went to 65’ with a reef that rose to about 25’.Normal sea life abounded, but not a whole lot of color. We did find a few Green Morays, but I was unable to get a good shot of them. I also tried my hand at some macro on a nudibranch, with minimal success.

    The last dive of the trip was Cayo Diablo: A small Island about 2 miles East of Isla Palominos. The bottom was 35’ below the boat with a gradual slope to 60’there was a huge sea grass plane extending west from the reef where we were able to see a few Hawksbill Turtles, there was a chance for some Eagle Rays, but they decided to play elsewhere today. On top of that, there were a few Spotted Morays as well as a few lobsters. We tried to get a few crabs to come out and crawl around, but they were, well, crabby and wouldn’t cooperate.

    I did get a few good shots that I will post as I go through them. All in all, a great time was had!

  2. admin says:

    Original Post by ScubDiver888 on ScubaToys

    Like everywhere, the diving today isn’t as nice as it was 27 years ago. All the good diving in PR is on the south and south east side of the island. If you look hard you can find dive ops on the north side, around San Juan, but you might as well be diving the Hudson. Dirty, nasty and no visibility.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.