Bottom Time E-Mail News Archives

Dec. 21, 2007

Edition 22

Happy Holidays to all.   Enjoyed visiting with those that came into Christmas shopping.   I have some more information on the 2009 trip and hoping all of you will take the time to look at it and if interested give me a call or send me an email if you need more info. on the trip.  Sometime after the first of the year we will have confirmed dates and prices.

Travel with Tri-State Diving on Eastern Puerto Rico (PR) and St. Croix trip and see what the Caribbean has to offer, all without leaving American waters.
You will join the Nekton Rorqual as it departs from Fajardo, PR and travel to Vieques or "Isla Nena", Puerto Rico's little sister island. Vieques is a sleepy island just 7 miles east of the mainland of Puerto Rico. Christopher Columbus first sighted Vieques in 1493 and since then it has remained a jewel of these tropical waters. Over the years it has been the heated center stage between the US Navy and island residents. In 2003 the US Navy relinquished all the lands to the Fish and Wildlife Administration.
Because the US Navy controlled most of the island until recently, most of the land is unexplored as well as the waters. The majority of reefs and dive sites have never been seen by others and the island has some of the last remaining "virgin reefs" in the Caribbean. While diving Vieques you will experience a forest of massive sea fans, giant sea whip plumes, and a plethora of dense soft corals.
Some of the best diving in the USVI can be found in St. Croix. The North Shore is home to "The Wall" which runs parallel along the island for about 7 miles. The North Shore has a very diverse underwater environment including classic spur and groove reefs, beautiful coral gardens, and spectacular walls that plummet to depths of 3,200 feet.
Saturday You will fly into San Juan Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico (airport code SJU). From San Juan, you'll need to make your way to Puerto Del Rey Marina near Fajardo, about 35 miles from San Juan. One may rent a car, arrange for a private transfer, or ride in a shared van with other Nekton guests. (Please note that the shared shuttle may require a wait as other Nekton guests arrive.) Once at the marina, you may enjoy dinner ashore on your own at the marina's pizzeria, delicatessen or international cuisine restaurant specializing in lobster. Embarkation begins at 8:00 pm with the Captain' briefing about 9:00. The boat will depart in time to get you diving the first thing Sunday morning.
Sunday Wake up at the first dive site of the trip. Explore the unspoiled reefs off Esperenza in Vieques, PR. Immediately after breakfast, you will attend the site briefing and then the dive deck will be open until lunch. During lunch, the boat will move to a new site. Following your site briefing, the dive deck will be open for a full afternoon of diving. After dinner, the night dive will be on the same site as you dived in the afternoon, so you know the site and can focus on the nocturnal critters.
Sunday Night Off to the USVI, the Rorqual will make the overnight passage to St. Croix. (Crossing weather dependant.)
Monday Wake up to some of the best diving in the USVI -- all on St. Croix's beautiful North Shore Wall. The wall starts around 30 ft and reaches depths of 3,200 feet and has a great variety of reef fish, nurse sharks, eagle rays and turtles.
Tuesday You'll continue diving great sites along the North Shore of St. Croix; whether it's Salt River Canyon, Little Cozumel, or Blue Chute, you will be sure to get your fill of bottom time.
Wednesday AM More wall diving or possibly some coral gardens are up for grabs as you wake to another fabulous day in paradise.
Wednesday PM This afternoon gives you time to off-gas and explore St. Croix. Frederiksted has a tropical Rain Forest and Whim Greathouse, a plantation restored to the way it was in the 1700s, there is also a fair amount of shops to peruse at your leisure. This mandatory time off the boat is an opportunity to experience this remote Caribbean island or to dive the pier.
Thursday Another chance to dive St. Croix. New and different dive sites for some of the greatest diving this island has to offer!
Friday Overnight, the boat makes the passage back to Vieques. You will have the chance to dive Viequesâ remote dive sites one last time. Be sure to take advantage of the shore excursion and visit the spectacular Bioluminescent Bay (Bio Bay)!
Saturday The boat has arrived back at the dock. Disembarkation is at 8:00am. We will transport you and your gear back to the airport or a local hotel.
Rough Seas Alternate Route As with all of Nekton's destinations, the intinerary is subject to change due to weather and sea conditions. While the design of the Nekton dive vessels greatly minimizes the effects of heavy sea conditions, the captain at his discretion may choose an alternate route if the open crossings to St. Croix are too rough. When such conditions occur, the itinerary will change to more diverse diving in Vieques or possibly Culebra, Puerto Rico.
Now is the time to plan for this trip and start putting money aside for it.

Sea on the Bottom