Posted by: divetravelspecialist | August 30, 2016

Diving the New “Lady Luck” Artificial Reef

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The “Lady Luck” is the newest artificial reef in the Pompano Beach area.  Formally known as the “Newtown Creek”, this 324′ vessel was intentionally sunk on July 23 2016, to become a haven for marine life and divers 1-1/2 miles from the shore.  She is part of the “Shipwreck Park” dive site, with as many as 16 other wrecks nearby.  This ship was built in 1967 as a tanker, and had a storied life.  She was decommissioned in 2014, and bought by Ship Wreck Park Foundation of Pompano Beach in 2016.  The purchase and clean-up was made possible by donations from the City of Pompano Beach, and Isle Casino Racing, so she was renamed “Lady Luck.”  A local artist, Dennis MacDonald, was commissioned to create casino theme displays throughout the deck of the ship.  Right now, the wreck is brand new, and minimal marine life has grown on it yet, so these displays are fun and photographic.

A group of us, “Aqua Escapes” were lucky enough to dive the Lady Luck on August 7th, with Scubatyme Dive Charters.  We booked this trip in advance and hoped for good conditions for dive day.  Come Sunday morning, our Divemaster, Doug, braced us for the possibility of a “Plan B.”  Apparently, he and many of the local dive professionals in the area, have been unable to dive the Lady Luck since it went down, due to bad currents and rough seas.  He briefed us to not get our hopes up.  Our boat left the dock, went out the cut, into the open ocean and our seas were flat calm.  We were the first commercial boat at the Lady Luck,  and we didn’t see much of a surface current.  We all suited up, and waited as Doug dove in first to set the dive ball.  We waited for him to return.  We waited.  We continued to wait, all suited up, ready to go.  Some of us thought maybe Doug was having a problem, and were concerned.  Some of us figured he was finally diving this wreck and enjoying it!   Doug returned back to our boat all smiles – there was minimal current on the wreck!  Let’s Dive – Dive – Dive

You’ll see in the video that the bright white of the Lady Luck becomes quite visible just a few feet below the surface.  She sits upright and is quite accessible.  While there is not much growth on it yet, a Manta Ray was at the bow and gave divers a great show!  (I was at the stern and didn’t see it, but it was caught on another diver’s video!).  Many schooling fish are hanging about too.

I personally love to dive wrecks shortly after they are set to rest. Then I like to go back annually (hopefully) and compare how they’re progressing along on the sea floor.  This was a fun dive, and definitely on the agenda for a return!

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More information:  Shipwreck Park Pompano

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Aqua Escapes

Oldsmar, FL
1,175 Scuba Divers

The Aqua Escapes group (f/n/a Tampa Scubadiving) is a meeting place for certified divers to meet other divers and plan dives & trips. We offer a relaxed diving environment wit…

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Posted by: divetravelspecialist | June 20, 2016

West Palm Beach Diving June 2016

Diving with friends – what can be better?  We had calm seas, sunny skies and cooperative currents June 18 & 19 2016.  Vis was less than the usual 50+ feet, and the temperature was surprisingly cold for June!  Mid-70s on the bottom!  But we put layers on and went diving!  Hint:  a hoodie makes a world of a difference!

The first day was the usual northbound current for “Flower Garden” and “7 Windows” dive sites.  These sites offer plenty of schooling fish, and numerous turtles.  The loggerheads were larger than me!  Sunday had an unusual southbound current for diving on Larsen’s Valley and Nunn’s Reef.  The current wasn’t strong, but the Gulf Stream rarely reverses.  Most be something about the full moon and the summer solstice!  Enjoy my little video with turtles, angels, eels & more!

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | October 20, 2014

Florida Diving Summer 2014

Living in Florida, surrounded by water on three sides, is almost like living on an island.  I have the joy of diving regularly, and for me, that’s pretty much from April through to November.  Here is a short film about a normal day of diving!  Think “Kokomo.”

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | March 18, 2012

Beqa Lagoon Resort & Spa – March 2012

Shark Dive!

 

After a wonderful week of diving at Beqa Lagoon, we added their famous “shark dive” on the last day. We don’t normally do “shark dives” (I call them “rodeos”) as I prefer to see sharks normally on dives and often do. But my clients say this is a “must do.”

It is very organized and not intimidating. They even lay concrete pavers on the bottom to keep prevent the bottom from stirring up too much. The area is roped off and diving stay behind the rope. They bring down huge bucket of chum, and feed the sharks individually. All is done very well and in full control.

We had the joy of numerous nurse, sand sharks and lemon sharks. We were hoping for Bull Sharks, and not only did they come, but a Tiger Shark came too! Actually, it was funny, the other sharks disappeared, we didn’t know why, then in came this Tiger Shark! An amazing site! Watch and Enjoy!

For Fabulous Dive Travel, contact me! Rita @ 800-327-6709 X-232.

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | November 9, 2010

Turks and Caicos Potcakes!

In July 2009, my husband and I took a quick trip to the Turks & Caicos to do a little diving.

The Sands at Grace Bay were having their 10th anniversary, and all their rooms were greatly discounted.   This is a wonderful beachfront property in Providenciales a/k/a Provo.   We had an ocean view 1-bedroom suite with all the comforts of home:  large full kitchen, living room, dining room, and balcony overlooking the beach.

Sands at Grace Bay 1bdrm condo

After a wonderful week of diving, and exploring the island, it ended with us taking home a very unusual “souvenir” – a Potcake!

When you visit the islands, you notice numerous stray dogs running around. These dogs have been roaming the islands for decades, and have become affectionately known as “potcakes.” They get their name by how they cozy up to people, who toss them their leftover food in the pots.  There is a group of volunteers in Provo who take in these strays, nourish them to good health, and try to get them adopted out to loving families.

After a day of diving, my husband took a nap, and I was watching the TV. It was a local station showing all the sights and activities of the island. Along with restaurants and shops, they mentioned the “Potcake Place.” It was a wonderful program about these rescued puppies. When John woke from his nap, I surprised him with an appointment at Jane’s house to see a puppy! John had been researching getting a dog – comparing breeds and behavior. Of course, he was only gonna’ get a pure breed, and would not consider a “mix.”   This research has been going on for over a year now.

When we went to the house and met all the adorable puppies, it was love at first sight.  We chose “Turk” because he was already twice the size of his brother, now 17 lbs.  The Potcake Place volunteers will make reservations for vacationers to take the puppies back on the plane with them, but the dogs must weigh less than 20lbs. Jane made sure Turk got all his shots and health certificate, and the next day we met at the airport and took our new puppy home.

Turk is a full-bred Potcake, and a very loving and loyal dog.

You can have a potcake too – visit: http://www.potcakeplace.com/

For dive-travel stories and specials, visit:

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http://www.madurodive.com/ Call Rita @ X-232

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | August 3, 2010

Cayman Islands on Sale!

Cayman Islands on Sale !  Hurry!

Sunset House Grand Cayman – must book before August 15th for travel August 1 – December 21, 2010.  Includes:
Accommodations in a Courtyard view room
Daily 2-tank boat dives
Unlimited Shore Dives
Breakfast from menu daily
Transfers, welcome cocktail, welcome gift
$40 per person voucher to spend on incidental charges at the resort
Taxes

$1089.45/ppdo for 7 nights / 6 days diving
$761.25/ppdo for 5 nights / 4 days diving

Sunset House has been rated “One of the Top 5 dive Resorts in the Caribbean” by Frommers.  It is located about a mile south of town, with a beautiful “house” reef in their backyard.  Great for shore diving, and easily accessible.  They have a in-house full service dive shop with boats right there.  Their water-side bar is a favorite with hotel guests and the locals.  The famous underwater photographer, Cathy Church, has her studio and shop located at this resort.  The owners and staff are extremely hospitable.

Cayman Airways is offering airfare for $142++taxes/fees round trip from Tampa.  Cayman Airways is nonstop from/to Tampa on Thursday through Monday each week.  Their airfare special is from Sept 1st to November 7th only, limited seats available.

Call Rita

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | August 3, 2010

Bonaire

Bonaire is having a Summer Sale!

Must Book before August 31st, and travel completed by December 23, 2010

7 nights Divi Flamingo Beach Resort & Casino, “Summer Sale”
6 days 1-tank boat dive
Unlimited tanks for shore dives on boat dive days

$766.92 per diver Standard Room
$877.48 per diver Deluxe Room
$907.25 per diver Studio Room

Meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner) can be added for an additional $83.00 per person per day.

Call Rita



Posted by: divetravelspecialist | May 27, 2010

Happy Anniversary to the Vandenberg Artificial Reef

Happy Anniversary to the Vandenberg Artificial Reef in Key West!

This magnificent ship was laid to rest on the ocean floor on May 27 2009.  We dove it on Aug 30th 2009,  and enjoyed every minute.  Our max depths were 95′ and were able to stay down  for 37-39 minutes (with computer).  The currents were kicking!  But I still got great photos!  The radars, antennas, dishes, and other structures are great to explore.

We dove a “double dip” with a dive boat that only took a handful of skilled divers out.  The other divers on our boat had dove the Vandenberg many times.  One guy was from up North and this was his second vacation in Key West, specifically to dive this wreck.  It’s a long drive from Key Largo (with all the fabulous wrecks there), so we were all happy there is finally something worth diving in Key West!

For the saga on this ship, click:  http://www.fla-keys.com/diving/vandenberg.cfm

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | April 19, 2010

Norwegian Cruise Line is coming to Tampa, October 2011

Norwegian Cruise Line is coming to Tampa, October 2011 !!
Our Agency has Group Rates available for this inaugural cruise directly from Tampa to the Western Caribbean.  No need to book airline tickets, just get on the Ship right here in Tampa.  Then you can book your scuba diving in Roatan, Belize and Cozumel!
NCL is
Freestyle Cruising which is all about giving you the freedom of choice to have your style of vacation. Relax or be adventurous. Eat a burger or filet. Dress up or go casual. And never have a fixed schedule or restriction to slow you down. It’s your vacation, so make sure it’s exactly what you’ve been daydreaming about.
This is a 7-day cruise on the Norwegian Star,
departing Sunday, October 16, 2011

This is the ship to choose when you cruise Alaska or the Caribbean.  Whether it’s margaritas or mushing a dog sled, the Norwegian Star has it all, with 16 distinct dining options, 12 bars and lounges, a sprawling spa and always-exciting casino, plus a wide range of staterooms, suites and villas. For kids, the ship’s Splash Down Kid’s Pool, Planet Kids children’s center, Video Zone video arcade, sports court, golf driving nets and movie theater will keep them very well entertained when they’re not having the time of their lives on a Shore Excursion.

Inside staterooms from $489/ppdo

Oceanview staterooms from $629/ppdo

Balcony staterooms from $759/ppdo

Just add $103.91/pp for taxes & fees.  Your scubadiving is an optional shore excursion expense.

Get in on the fun, and bring the Family!
It’s not too early to book next year’s vacation!

Call the office at 813-962-1901 and ask for Tanya!

Must book and deposit before May 15, 2010

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | April 16, 2010

Don’t Miss Cavalia!

Don’t Miss Cavalia!

If you’ve ever seen a Cirque Du Soleil production, you know it’s mesmerizing.  Now, just add horses!  It’s a beautiful interaction of humans and horses performing acrobatics, agility and strength.

The show’s Program says it best:  “About 10 years ago, Normand Latourelle was working on a production in Quebec, and noticed the spectators’ fascination for horses.  This is when the idea of creating a show in which horses could express themselves on stage in all their beauty, their nobleness, their agility and their power, was born.  He started by studying the horse and the place he had occupied in the evolution of mankind.  He then traveled the world, in search of experts capable of associating their equestrian knowledge and experience with his technical and artistic knowledge of large scale productions.  The Cavalia project finally came to life after a fortunate encounter between Frederic Pignon, Magali Delgado and Normand Latourelle…  Cavalia explores the relationship between man and horse and combines acrobatic and equestrian disciplines, such as dressage at liberty, Haute Ecole and Trick Riding….”

See for yourself:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmzZhK9RLeE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=np8WJ_2TbLA

Posted by: divetravelspecialist | February 26, 2010

Hello world!

G’Day Divers —

I’ve just opened this blog, and I’m working hard to get started.  I plan to tell you all about my dive travels, submit photos, and get you interested in “getting wet” too.  To book your next great dive trip, call me at 888-266-2209 x-103.

More info to come shortly!

In the meantime, Happy Diving!

~~ Rita ~~

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