Blackbeard’s 2013 by Troop 10

My eldest son put together the presentation for the Troop.  Great Job Jeremy!!!

Special Thanks to everyone who contributed!!!

  • Spencer & Steve
  • Greg, Tim & Sean
  • Ben & Brian
  • Todd & Kyle
  • Hunter & Harrison
  • Brandon!!
  • Chris & John
  • Cameron & Rob
  • Jeremy, Sean, Rob
  • Nick  & Chris
  • Maurice!!!

I can’t wait to go back.  Everyone on our Crew made this trip worth remembering!!!!!

Thanks to the crew too!!! on the Pirate’s Lady.  Nate, Byron, Sam, Wenis, & Carlos!!!

 

This was SUCH a wonderful trip.  I truly can’t wait to plan something new, sometime soon.

 

 

Link

Blue holes are thought to be sink holes.  These can occur on the floor of the ocean or even on islands.  Over eons, new reefs or caves are created over the sink hole.  Still evident are venting bubbles gurgling up gasses.

National Geographic has done several episodes on Blue holes.  Because of their “undisturbed” nature, they can be a look-back in time for geologic events, prior inhabiting species and serve as a window for available plant species and food sources of creatures inhabiting the seas and islands in the Bahamas.

 

For more information on Blue holes:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_hole

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/08/bahamas-caves/todhunter-text

http://www.bahamascaves.com/blueholes.html

Graffiti is Everywhere

On Iguana island, just inside the belt of trees, Sean and his buddies found several decaying buildings.  Large concrete structures that once was a house or out buildings.

DSCF3063You couldn’t really see the buildings from our side of the beach. In his words, people had painted all over the crumbling walls.  “it looked kind of cool, so I some took pictures”.

Cool indeed.  Great photo’s Sean!!

DSCF3053 DSCF3055 DSCF3056I wish I was born a bird instead.  I wish we were all born birds instead.

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Need some Lime with that Coconut

After exploring Iguana Island in the Exuma’s, several scouts brought coconuts back to the boat.  Between the shells and the coconuts, they were extremely proud of their haul.

Sometime after dinner, the shenanigans started.  First, secure an extra butter knife from the serving area.  Second get caught by an observant adult and making scouts return said knife.  Third, “borrow” larger knife from main galley.  Fourth, return knife and bring back chef to help crack the coconut.

Nothing tastes as good as fresh coconut milk and eating the tender meat!!

Mission accomplished.

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Moonlit Night in the Exuma’s

Aside

A lot of the newer and more experienced divers did transition (dusk to dark) and night (completely dark) dives.

Beyond the “duh” it’s dark dummy, night dives are more complex than day diving.  Yes it is dark, but you also have a harder time navigating from here to there.  Proper equipment is a MUST not just a suggested option.

Equipment:

  • A small tank light.  This is attached to your tank or back.  It is a small flashing red light.  In case the diver becomes incapacitated or his main lights go out, other divers and potentially rescue persons have a better chance in finding you. tank lights
  • A large hand held pistol grip light.  This larger light lets you see where you are going.  It helps to illuminate the fish and the corals.  Most of the lights are white light so the critters tend to avoid you if you have one.  To overcome this, divers have begun to use blue bulbs to be less invasive.  They even make filters for your goggles so that the diver sees only the illuminated area.  Pretty slick.  Check out Brian.  He has a light on his hand and the filter on his mask
  • A back up Light.  Yes divers have redundant systems.  Don’t go in the water with all your systems working.

IMG_2523Watching the divers go into the water is fun no mater the time of day.  They drop off the boat, give the OK safety signal and down the go!

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Most dives last 30-60 minutes.  Once the sunlight escapes the sky, the divers glowing orbs appear under water as they search for critters.  Often, divers will loose sight / touch of each other, so you see the lights spinning around as they do a 360 search for their buddy.

With the moon light and the glowing balls of light below, the water dances and looks alive.

DSCF3104 DSCF3105The moon light through the clouds is beautiful.

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Scary Plane – Bahama’s

as promised . . .

Before every dive, Sam gives her dive briefings.  Day 2 put us at Scary Plane.

Sam - Dive Master

We were anchored next to a crashed, 80’s era, drug plane.  Story goes, that the pilots were in the process of getting help (read caught), so they quickly dropped to a low altitude and dumped their cargo. When they were pulling back up, a wing clipped the water surface, the plane cartwheeled and found a watery grave.

The general location of the plane was noted, but in the wild open big blue, it is hard to pin point wreck sites.  Several previous crew members spent months looking for the site and when they founded it they recorded the GPS coordinates.  Now Blackbeard’s uses the site as one of their novice dive sites.  On one side of our anchorage, there is nothing but grassy bottom.  Go 10 degrees off the bow and you get Scary Plane.

Just like normal teenagers, the Scouts were most interested in what type of drugs were lost and if there were still any dead body parts stuck in the plane.  Sam, not skipping a beat, declared that the drugs were “the bad kind and that all body parts not originally picked up by the coast guard were already eaten by the local inhabitants.”  Go Sam!!

All us open water trainee’s completed our certification at this site!  Go Team!

For all you geeks that want the stats . . . Depth 20 feet;  bottom time 31 minutes; Water Temperature 79 deg

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Nassau starts the Adventure

I have been working to organize my pictures and thoughts of our Blackbeard’s Scuba trip.  Off the map and onto the water, The Bahama’s are quite large.  Our Captain, Nate, said that if we were going to visit each Island, it would probably take minimum of 3 weeks!  That is quite remarkable once you think about how long it took to motor from one island/cay to another.

Our Trip centered around only a small part of the Exuma Cay’s.  The entire Exumas chain are an archipelago of about 365 cays (small islands) beginning about 35 miles South East of Nassau.  I found this map online that gives the view of most of our trip on the Pirate’s Lady.

AquacatMap1

Arrival Nassau

After clearing immigration and customs (no, we don’t have any tobacco, alcohol or drugs thank you), Our group took a chartered shuttle from the airport to the marina. All of us piled into one shuttle and the luggage was tossed into a shabby /rusty hollowed out minivan. We zoomed down the left side of narrow streets towards the center of town.

Nassau was still decked out with bunting and banners celebrating their 40th year as a country.  Small compound residences were tucked behind white washed walls.  The tree foliage was much lower to the ground than I had imagined.  While there were some large flowering trees, most of the plants seemed more scrub like in nature.  They dotted the road side, low and gangly to the ground.

As we got to the main center of town, through the tiny streets, you could see the large Cruise ships at the main docks.  These massive structures towered above Nassau’s colorful buildings.  Shops selling shirts, shells and rum cakes lined the streets with bars and restaurants promising the best (and cheapest) conch fritters and drinks available. Bahama’s finest, decked out in snappy uniforms & white pith hats, chatted up the local ladies as they directed traffic around the congested corners of Bay Street.

After getting settled onto our boat, Pirate’s Lady, we left the dock and headed out to sea.  The sun was setting to the west of us.  You can see the large bridge that goes from Nassau to Paradise Island (where Atlantis Hotel is).  Hotels, condo’s and mansions lined the water-way as we headed out to sea.

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There is a bit of wind a chop as we left port.  Our goal for the evening was to get across and anchor in the lee of Highbourne Cay for the night.  It took about 4 hours to make it across the distance. We got settled for the night about 10pm at night.

More tomorrow from Highbourne Cay!