I’m so excited. Although I’m 45 years old, I’m giggling like a school girl today. I have registered, funded, and payment has been received for one more item on my bucket list!
I have been a certified SCUBA diver since 2009. Although I enjoy each and every dive I have done (some more than others), all of my dives have been land based. Land based dives are not a bad thing as any day underwater blowing bubbles is a good day! I have been in several springs, a quarry or two, and a couple of rivers. I even spent a week in the Florida Keys making day trips out to various locations. I just prefer salt water dives as the wildlife is more colorful and varied and I have always wanted to do a “liveaboard” dive trip. This is where you travel on a boat for multiple days making numerous dives. Often you are able to go places that are inaccessible as a land based day trip because of distance and/or multiple locations in a short time.
I am traveling/diving with my Father-in-Law and one of his friends that I have dove (dived?) with on numerous occasions. One of the benefits from this arrangement is that both of them have been diving for longer than I have been alive so they are VERY experienced. Alan (my Father-in-Laws friend) is a professional photographer who bring his camera with him so we have super duper pictures of our travels. As an added bonus, we all get along quite well – which is important considering the tight living conditions….
While there are many companies that offer this, I am using the M/V Spree (http://www.spreeexpeditions.com/). The M/V Spree is a 100ft aluminum crew boat refit for open-ocean diving. It is powered by 3 diesel engines and runs at a top speed of 16 knots and has 2 large generators for lights and the air compressors. Our particular trip is the “Wreck Trek” where we will dive on featured wrecks of the Florida Keys Wreck Trek in one week. The Spiegel Grove and Vandenberg are scheduled dives as well as many others. In one week, one can dive on all nine of the Wreck Trek dives using the M/V Spree.
I will travel down to my Father-in-Laws house in Florida on Wednesday and continue to Key West where we will board on Thursday night. Dives will be conducted on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. After MANY dives, we will disembark Tuesday morning by 9am and reverse the process to return home. As you can see from the schedule, this is a dive centered trip. Although this is my first liveaboard, I have heard this is the general schedule: Morning dive, breakfast (boat moves to new location), mid morning dive, snack (boat moves to new location), mid day dive, lunch (boat moves to new location),mid afternoon dive, snack (boat moves to new location), night dive, dinner (boat moves to new location). Of course, you can sit out any dive if desired.
When you consider what is included in the price, it is a really affordable trip. You will spend 4 full and two partial days and 5 nights on a boat including room and board. This means all meals, snacks and beverages are included – any several meals are very fresh – like just-out-of-the-water fresh! Also included are unlimited tank refills (including Nitrox). After the dive, you take off your gear and while you are eating/resting the tank is topped off, reassembled if needed, and ready for diving. There are approximately 20 possible dives on this trip of various depths and features.
So, please pardon me for being giddy. I may even start a countdown calendar, who knows??