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mantastrip1 mantastrip2 mantastrip3 Manta Ray - Flower Gardens, Gulf of Mexico 2000 dutchwestindies From Arkansas to the Dutch West Indies 2007 miscstrip1 Misc Strip 2 Misc strip 3 Misc strip 4 All images Copyright 2009 Michael Tierney


Swimming in liquid topaz

Dive Log 3: The British West Indies continued
Maryeau: Wreck of the Purina
Petite Saint Vincent
Callicois: Sandy Island Reef Wall

The fun on the Yankee Clipper continued the next day, with a visit to the British West Indies island of Maryeau.

I didn't actually step foot on the island. Instead, I caught a dive boat and headed off to a shipwreck.

Maryeau: Wreck of the Purina

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The wreck of the Coast Guard Cutter, the Purina, lies in about 40 feet of water.

The crew of the Purina had spotted a drug runner and gave chase, never seeing the reef that ripped out of the bottom of their ship. The engines sit on the bottom, still upright and rusting. The whole wreck has become an animal habitat filled with life.

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I did a 50 minute exploration of the Purina, and saw a Spotted Coral Eel, Blue Tuna, Barracuda (which you see on just about every dive), Snapper and a Nurse Shark.

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But the greatest fun about the dive were the massive schools of fish. They were everywhere. This was easily my best dive so far.

It was also my first underwater sighting of a shark.

Diving with sharks would become a key focus in the future.

Petite Saint Vincent


The next day I did a dive off Petite Saint Vincent. Went down to a depth of 76 feet with a bottom time of 45 minutes.

It wasn't a particularly lively reef.


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Did some snorkling on a dying reff off Carriacou. The visibility wasn't very good and there really wasn't much to see other than urchins eating up what was left of the reef.

Callicois: Sandy Island Reef Wall

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The last dive of the trip was to Sandy Island reef just off Callicois, to a depth of 60 feet with a bottom time of 53 minutes. Sandy Island was really just a speck of a sand dune with nothing on it, but it had a reef wall that dropped down quite a ways.

It was just me, the local divemaster, and one other diver on this trip. Since it was the other diver's first open water experience, I was pretty much on my own.

The best shots of the trip came after the divemaster had already surfaced with the other diver, since he'd quickly hyperventilated all his air. This left me alone with the reef, and I went lower down the wall than my log indicates.

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It's rare to get a full view shot of an eel like this. Usually you just get a piece of tail or the head sticking out, like I did on the wreck of the Purina.

Yankee Clipper 3

Diving was just one aspect of my Yankee Clipper cruise. Another great thing about the trip was sailing shallow waters far off the beaten paths. There were none of the tourist traps that line your every step during a holiday on the big cruise ships, where if you even want a chair to sit on the beach, it'll cost you extra. On this cruise, they dropped you off on deserted beaches where you had the whole place to yourself.

It was the most relaxing, and fun vacation that I'd ever had!

Miami Customs -- VIP Treatment

After BIWI airlines delivered me back to Miami, I stopped for a minute, looking at the hundreds of other travelers crowding into lines at customs and remembering the difficulties of my return from Jamaica. When a couple of the women from the Yankee Clipper stopped to chat, a customs officer walked over, pointed at a guarded elevator shaft in the middle of the floor, and said:

"You three can use that elevator."

We looked at each other with little trepidation, but got in, and next found ourselves delivered to the ticket counters on the main concourse! It was a full hour before any of our shipmates arrived, shocked to discover us relaxing at the bar.

My passport doesn't show that I ever returned home from this trip.

Bimini Strip 4

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