2002: Turks & Caicos

On the Sea Dancer

May

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Our first live-aboard diving adventure was on the Sea Dancer, based in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands, in the Caribbean. The Peter Hughes folks know how to pamper their guests; the crew and service were great, and while the food wasn't to my particular liking, there was plenty of it and the cook did his best to accommodate "special orders".

Peter Hughes' Sea Dancer.

We had a fine week diving the waters between Provo and French Caye, a wonderful spot where the eagle rays are plentiful and the size of small calves! The other divers were a friendly bunch, and we enjoyed five days of good if not great diving. We learned that diving on a live-aboard is less strenous than land-based, and that nitrox is MUCH less exhausting than plain compressed air.

The whole group. Cheers!

One of the best parts of the live-aboard experience was sharing five uninterrupted days of great diving with other divers. Of course, when you're stuck on a 100-foot boat for a week with the same 24 people 24 hours a day, it could be, well, interesting. Fortunately we had an absolutely terrific crew and a great bunch of compatible passengers. (Except for Strange Neil, of course. Well, you can't win 'em all.)

Floating on an endlessly blue and beautiful ocean for a week, far from our various busy lives and worries, our routines became simple and elemental. We did a lot of.....

Clowning
Carolyn spoofs Ian. Good for a laugh!

The boat crew was great at organizing shipboard fun. We had silly games, a funny slideshow of pictures made by the crew while divers were underwater, and a hilarious fashion show. On the last night aboard, I dived into the deep end (so to speak), using my acting experience to spoof Captain Alan's deadpan dive briefings, complete with his South African accent and ubiquitous sunglasses. The audience seemed receptive.

What happens during dives. Enjoying the show. Who knew diving was funny?
We're supposed to get out of this?!? Now what? Caroline has a theory. Gerry gives it a try. We give up!