Scuba diving, scuba diving
equipment, scuba diving vacation, Hawaii scuba
diving, scuba diving gear, scuba.
Scuba diving Boat
The world above the water is reason enough to go boating.
Getting away from it all to sheltered coves that no four
wheel drive vehicle can ever reach feeling the rhythm of the
water dancing against your hull even the adrenaline rush
that comes from experiencing a sudden thunders from
experiencing a sudden thunderstorm from under a canvas
dodger are all unique to the boating life.
But for many boaters this world only skims the surface.
Some 55,000 Boat U.S. members are among the 3 million
Americans who are certified scuba divers.
Once you get a glimpse of what's down there, they
say, your perspective of the "real" world is forever
Scuba diving is at its most fascinating -- not to
mention most comfortable -- in warm waters full of
coral reefs and marine life, and both the eastern and
western Caribbean fill this bill. While there are literally
hundreds of land-based resorts from which you can dive -- or
learn to dive -- many divers opt to stay on a boat. In the
eastern Caribbean, these boats are generally crewed charter
boats; in the western Caribbean, they're live-aboard dive
a other great tropical diving site in Thailand, its around
Phi Phi Islands and the
Scuba diving corals Andaman sea
Sea snake scuba diving Andaman Sea
What's so great about taking a dive vacation on a boat?
Maybe into the Andaman
Sea to explore the great coral diversity.
First, the crews are scuba diving
professionals. Many are scuba diving
instructors, so you can get certified if you
need to, or get checked out if it's been
awhile since you last dived.
The charter captains know all the most
popular dive spots and have a few
not-so-well-known favorites of their own.
Second, all of the boats have dive equipment
on board and most have compressors to keep
the dive tanks full.
Scuba Diving searching for fish shoals
In addition, while land-based vacationers may have to
travel in a small open boat for an hour or
more to get to a dive site, you're
already there in a charter or dive boat, and
you aren't limited to a certain area.
On a crewed charter boat in the eastern
Caribbean, you can dive from one island
one day and another the next -- all you have
to do is head on over. On a live-aboard dive
boat, you'll travel more than 100 miles over
the water during
A great dive site
a typical seven-day trip
Finally, depending on the dive boat and the number of
it's often less expensive to charter -- with food and drinks
included -- than to stay in a hotel or resort.
The "little" extras that hotels usually bill you -- like
rental fees for snorkel gear, windsurfers, fishing rods and
scuba equipment - are almost always included in the dive
boat charter fee.
Scuba dive boat
Learn Scuba Diving
There are a number of scuba training and
certifying groups to teach you the sport -- PADI,
NAUI and the YMCA are the largest. Open Water
certification, which includes classroom sessions, a
pool dive where you learn to use the scuba
equipment, and four open-water dives, can be
obtained in as little as four or five days, but
that's really pushing it.
Instead, consider this increasingly popular certification
Take the classroom portion and pool instruction at
home , and then have your instructor write a letter
of referral to a dive instructor in the
right place to learn scuba diving
Doing this, says Marty Rayman, owner and PADI course
director of Aquatic Adventures in Alexandria, VA,
means you get the best of both worlds.
"You get all the time you need to learn about the science
of the sport and to get your questions answered in class,
and then practice using the equipment in a pool until you're
comfortable," Rayman said. "Once you have that knowledge
under your belt, you'll be prepared to do your four
open-water certifying dives in tropical waters."
Diving in the Eastern Caribbean
In the eastern Caribbean, especially the U.S. and British
Virgin Islands, there are at least 40 yachts available
with a certified diving instructor so you can learn right on
board, and another 75 or so with a dive-master aboard (divemasters
are diving experts but they aren't yet certified to teach).
The kinds of boats available range from 80-foot motor
and sprawling catamarans to
Wreck scuba diving photo by cwhiting
smaller sailboats that cater to couples. And while
each boat and crew is different, they all have one
thing in common - they want their clients to have a
Don't worry if everyone in your party isn't prepared
to take the scuba plunge, or is just too young (you
have to be at least 10 for PADI certification).
Snorkeling is a wonderful way to get a window on
what's below. In St. John, USVI, there's a terrific
marked snorkeling trail in Trunk Bay maintained by
the U.S. National Park Service.
In the British Virgin Islands, probably the most popular
diving site is the 1867 wreck of the 310-foot
mail ship R.M.S. Rhone, which broke in half during a
hurricane. Snorkelers can have a grand time floating
just 30 feet above the stern, watching the divers
below and the thousands of fish that live in the
One more benefit of crewed charters is the ability to
dive after the sun goes down. Since 80% of all marine
life emerge only at night, consider a night dive. With
underwater flashlights, you'll see colors you'd hardly
notice in the daylight shining forth in the dark like neon
Coral polyps extend tentacles from their protective
cups as they feed on planktons, lobsters scoot across the
bottom and gorgeous parrot fish that surrounded you during
the day snooze in their mucus cocoons at night. Shy and
beautiful moray eels, mostly hidden in coral nooks and
crannies in daylight, slither about the reefs in search of a
When you're through with your night dive, staying on board
means all you need to do is hop back aboard, perhaps
enjoying a nightcap in the cockpit before heading to your
Diving in the Western Caribbean
especially Belize and Honduras' Bay Islands -- is
less crowded and more pristine than the eastern Caribbean.
And like that area, there are dives to suit every taste,
from wall dives, where you literally dive up and down a rock
wall teeming with different kinds of marine life at
different levels, to drift dives, where you start in one
place and let the current carry you along until you
resurface to meet your boat.
Night, cave and wreck dives are equally popular. No
diver would ever complain about the clarity of the water or
the diversity of the sites in this part of the Caribbean.
Scuba diving corals
Scuba diving antenna fire fish
Scuba diving crab over coral
Scuba diving difficult to eat
Scuba diving sea horses
Scuba Diving Whale Shark
However, the boating is a bit different. Instead of a
variety of charter boats in all sizes, boats are
limited to what are known as "live-aboard dive
vessels." In the western Caribbean, these boats
range from 80 to 120 feet, and they are definitely
odd looking. Built on twin hulls modeled on the same
technology used to build offshore oil platforms, the
boats are very stable.
Live-aboard dive boats have private cabins equipped
with individual heads and showers. With the
increasing popularity of diving, most accommodations
have evolved from "spartan" to "really comfortable."
Most boats go out for a week at a time, carrying 20
to 30 passengers. You can get fully scuba-certified
or upgrade from one level of certification to the
next. While truly avid divers can go below four to
six times a day, there's abundant snorkeling,
jacuzzis, sun decks and other entertainment for
non-divers. Almost all live-aboard dive boats have
nightly education presentations and underwater
photography labs to process your film daily.
In Belize, you'll be diving mostly off two coral atolls
Turnieffe Islands and Lighthouse Reef -- staying each night
on moorings right above your dive site. You'll have a chance
to dive the Blue Hole -- the world's largest -- made famous
by Jacques Cousteau.
This dive begins at 110 feet, which means you'll have
much less time on the bottom than you would at 50 feet.
However, it's worth it: Exploring this collapsed underground
cavern and swimming among its remaining stalagtites is an
unforgettable diving experience.
Rays spottet on a Live-aboard dive
Great views during a live aboard scuba diving trip
Scuba diving shark watching
Caribbean Scuba Diving
Live-aboard dive vessel operators say you're four
times more likely to see large marine animals like
manta rays, dolphins and whales than if you stay at
a land-based resort. That makes sense, because once
you get out on the water, trips to shore are rare.
And while you'll have your own cabin, the
privacy of a crewed charter yacht isn't there --
recreational and dining areas are shared by all. If
you feel like staying up and partying all night,
chances are you'll be greeted with glares from
aboard dive vessel
your fellow passengers in the morning.
But, like crewed charter boats, you'll
probably wind up paying less, not more, than you
would at a resort -- even a dive resort.
Prices generally include all meals and
snacks, soft drinks, beer and wine and, of course,
the diving: equipment, tanks, air and divemasters
(instruction may be extra, depending on the boat).
Most live-aboard dive boats offer discounts for
passengers who don't dive.
Caribbean Scuba Diving Corals
Beyond the Caribbean, there are almost as
many charter and live-aboard dive boats around the
world as there are beautiful places to explore
Some more excellent scuba diving regions
are the South Pacific, the Maldives Islands and
Thailand all beckon. A bit closer to home are
Panama's San Blas Islands and the Galapagos Islands,
600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.
Crewed charter boat
Thailand Diving around Similans
Caribbean Scuba Diving catch the fish
If you want more information on scuba diving,
you don't have to go too deep. For a start, check
out the NAUI, PADI and YMCA Web sites at
www.naui.org, www.padi.com, and www.ymcascuba.org.
Learn about Divers Alert Network (DAN), an insurance
and medical program for divers, at
www.diversalertnetwork.org. An excellent site for
all-around information on scuba diving is
Once you decide to take the plunge, so to speak, the term
"sea change" will take on a whole new meaning for you.
COPYRIGHT Boat Owners Association - COPYRIGHT Gale Group
scuba diving equipment,
diving vacation, Hawaii
scuba diving gear,
scuba diving lesson,
grand Cayman scuba diving,
Bahamas scuba diving, Florida