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Alright guys, I'm not sure really where to start. I guess I'll start by saying that this was one incredible trip and for those of you who missed it, you really missed it!:)

Everything was beyond great....the diving, the accommodations, the food, the watches, the weather, the camaraderie...absolutely everything.:-!

Like I said in my last post, when we arrived in GC, we hit the ground running. The very first night we had a night dive planned. THOR and Whse made the dive but my plane was delayed, so I missed it. All I could do is stand on the dock and watch the lights of the dive boat in the distance. It worked out well, since it gave me time to unpack the gifts that DOXA sent and unwind a bit from the day's busy travels.

Speaking of unwinding, Ocean Frontiers had everything ready to. The gear baskets were brought up and once you give them your gear, you don't have to worry about it until you leave. It's waiting on the boat for you in the morning, all set and ready to go. When the diving is over for the day, they take it, wash it and hang it to dry for the next morning. Next morning, same thing...all ready to go and all you have to do is go diving!! They really know how to take care of their guests!:-!

Oh, and did I mention the DOXA gifts? Well, the DOXA team really came through for us, setting us up with the orange cap, a watch roll and the new DOXA Sub patch! Thanks, thanks and thanks to all at DOXA who were more than generous for this truly pioneering event. You guys rock!!:-!


As soon as the dive boat returned to the mooring, I went down to meet the returning divers. The first skiff returned but no THOR or Whse, so I waited. The the next boat arrived, "Is there a THOR or Whse aboard?" I asked. The divers just shuffled past, not saying much. Then I hear "You need to know the time?" "No, I'm looking for...." my words were cut short by a dive light illuminating a bright orange, T-Graph Pro! I can't think of a better way to make an into. than with a DOXA! That was great!!:)

Alright, so now that we'd met, it was time to talk watches. There was a great representation of the Sub line. Whse brought his 300T reissue Divingstar, T-Graph Pro, Caribbean GMT and 750T Pro. THOR had his 600T Pro and I had my COSC 750T "Double R" Carribbean. That's another cool thing about meets like this, you get to see DOXAs that you may have never seen before. Until then, I'd never seen anything but regular 750Ts.

Well, after talking watches and swapping diving stories, we decided to call it a night. I went back to my room and crashed knowing that the morning would come early and the day would be maxed-out diving, relaxing and generally having a blast.:-!

DAY TWO

Boy, the morning did come early. I woke up around 04:00 hrs, unable to sleep...excited as a kid on Christmas morning. We met at the dock at 07:45 to begin the adventure. Here we are ready to go, The few, the bold, the "Searaiders"!!:-d (Left to Right) Myself, Whse (warehouse) and THOR.


Dive #1 took us to a wall dive called "3 Sisters". The wall is absolutely awesome. A sheer face of coral that drops straight down to 6000 ft. You look down and it's nothing but deep blue...totally unreal:-!

After we splashed in and dropped down the mooring line, we started out on top of the wall and dropped into a crack at 65 ft. The crack turned into a tunnel-like cave, the dive masters call a swim-through. The swim-through goes for about 25 yards and then opens up at 100 ft right on the side of the wall. Here's a shot of Warehouse and THOR doing a camera check and hanging out in the "Big ol' Blue":)


Dive #2 took us to a reef site called "Ironshore Gardens". The Gardens were a series of massive coral heads and out-croppings, loaded with fish, lobster and a green moray eel or two. Here we are exploring the Gardens...


Warehouse on the left and THOR on the right, dropping in.....


Now, to show those DOXAs in their natural element. Warehouse proudly displaying the T-Graph and THOR with his 600T.:-!


Another good shot of the T-Graph....


After the morning dives, we grabbed a bite to eat and rested a bit knowing the diving wasn't over for the day. Our next dive was a trip to "Stingray City". Stingray City, for those who don't know, is a spot where masses of stingrays live and feed. Once we splashed in, it didn't take long until the welcoming party arrived. "Welcome to Stingray City, Boys!!!":-!


Warehouse and his "new friend"


Let's see those DOXAs!!


Here's the resident Green Moray Eel......


THOR with his new buddy "Ray":-d


Come to find out, ol' Ray likes DOXAs too. Here he comes in to check out the 600T.


During the feeding, I'd put my camera down from time to time. Here THOR picked it up and took a shot of me proudly sporting the Double R.|>


After the Stingrays filled up on squid, we started to explore the coral heads around "the city". This guy came as a total surprise, especially since it was the middle of the day.


He couldn't sit still, so it wasn't long before he moved off to find his burrow.


Well, now it's time to go. "Hey Warehouse....where's the boat?"


Oh yea, that's right. THOR found it.:-d


After all that diving, to say that we were hungry would have been an understatement. We were starved, and looking for some good eats. We didn't have to look far. The Lighthouse was right down the beach from Ocean Frontiers, and the food was incredible.:-!


After an unbelievable meal of conch chowder, broiled Caribbean lobster, shrimp and fish, it was time to relax with a good drink. Nothing like a Mojito to help finish off the day.;-)


With the first day of diving under our belts, we were tired, sun drenched but full of excitement for what lie ahead. It was the first full day of diving but what a day, a perfect day...diving, dining and hanging out with good friends. Trust me guys, it doesn't get any better than this...or maybe it does? Stay close for the next two installments of "Searaider 2007". You don't want to miss it!!:-!:-!:-!
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Ty,
GREAT Pics!! Thanks so much for the update. Noticed that you guys were fairly "garbed" up. Was the water temp cold? Just curious.

I love the pic of the Octopus. What a lucky stroke to see one during the day. He looked to be a fairly big one for the caribbean.

Thanks again for the in-depth description of your trip. I will be waiting patiently for the next installment:-!

BTW, Absolutely LOVE the patch. Haven't seen one of those yet. I think that one would look great sewn to the front of a cap like the NUMA cap I just got.
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Nice write-up Ty! As awesome as the photos are, they still can't do the actual diving justice. As you saw (and will see) this was the most incredible experience possible. The deluxe accodomations, the fabulous dining, the awe-inspiring diving, the scintillating Doxa banter - well, I could go on with adjectives all day. In short, send me back anytime!!! How about right now?

It's really too bad that subkrawler missed the night dive. It was almost a surreal event - with a turtle spotting as a highlight.

The water was a constant 82 degrees, but the wetsuits were there to protect one from the occasional coral encounter. As you'll see, some divers on the boat went down in swim gear - and came back with a bleeding scrape or two...

Once again - fabulous photos! The octopus and eel shots belong in a diving magazine! I've no doubt that next year we'll fill the boat with Doxa wearers. (maybe two boats) ;-)

Is it time to go back yet?
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Wow, looks like a fantastic time was had by all! Wish I coulda been there. I haven't been back to GC since '98, great place to stay and to dive. Your pics are wonderful, good watch shots and wildlife shots. Did you by any chance dive Hammerhead Point? When we did we didn't see any sharks but got to pet the resident 90lb grouper who hangs around there. b-)

Looking forward to more pics!

Paul
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Great pics, looks like an awesome time! Looking forward to the next two installments.

Hey, what's that black thing..... under the patch and watch roll? :roll:
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

The water was a constant 82 degrees, but the wetsuits were there to protect one from the occasional coral encounter. As you'll see, some divers on the boat went down in swim gear - and came back with a bleeding scrape or two...
Thought that might be it as well. I typically dive in very little protection, and I know that is not very smart. Rarely have I had any problems, but it is better to be safe than sorry:-!
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Doh! o|

Thought it might be a T Shirt! :-d
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Ty,
GREAT Pics!! Thanks so much for the update. Noticed that you guys were fairly "garbed" up. Was the water temp cold? Just curious.

I love the pic of the Octopus. What a lucky stroke to see one during the day. He looked to be a fairly big one for the caribbean.

Thanks again for the in-depth description of your trip. I will be waiting patiently for the next installment:-!

BTW, Absolutely LOVE the patch. Haven't seen one of those yet. I think that one would look great sewn to the front of a cap like the NUMA cap I just got.
Jason,

No problem with the update.;-) My original plan was to post pics. and updates each night during the event. We were so busy diving and having fun knocking around the island, I couldn't find the time to pull it all together. I guess that's a good problem to have.:-d

Like THOR said below, the water was warm at 82 degrees but the full suits did come in handy as rash guards. Some of the swim-throughs get rather narrow and it's nearly impossible, not to brush up against the jagged sides. The hood I wear is a spandex-type material, lined with a light layer of polar fleece. It insulates a little bit, but I got more in the habit of wearing it for my Florida diving, where there are a lot of jellyfish in the water. Now it goes on all of my dives and also keeps the mask strap from pulling out my hair.:)

The octo. was about 14 inches across from web to web. Of course he wasn't too sure about me and I got to watch his color changing routine. To me that's always amazing. Octos are by far, one of my favorite creatures of the sea. Highly intelligent, like a dog but cool and aloof like a cat...they're awesome.|>

The patch is absolutely brand new and we were the first to get one. I'd been working with Jim @ DOXA on the idea, ever since the trip started to materialize months ago. They really came through and it looks killer on the right arm of my wetsuit. Now to be able to buy a few more.;-)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Nice write-up Ty! As awesome as the photos are, they still can't do the actual diving justice. As you saw (and will see) this was the most incredible experience possible. The deluxe accodomations, the fabulous dining, the awe-inspiring diving, the scintillating Doxa banter - well, I could go on with adjectives all day. In short, send me back anytime!!! How about right now?

It's really too bad that subkrawler missed the night dive. It was almost a surreal event - with a turtle spotting as a highlight.

The water was a constant 82 degrees, but the wetsuits were there to protect one from the occasional coral encounter. As you'll see, some divers on the boat went down in swim gear - and came back with a bleeding scrape or two...

Once again - fabulous photos! The octopus and eel shots belong in a diving magazine! I've no doubt that next year we'll fill the boat with Doxa wearers. (maybe two boats) ;-)

Is it time to go back yet?
Hey man, thanks regarding the photos.:-! You're absolutely right, nothing compares to actually being there. To be suspended in liquid space staring down into the abyss, watching Tarpon and Jacks darting and dashing feeding on silver sides right inside a swim-through, or to peer into a hole and see a big spiny lobster looking back at you...just can't accurately be described with words. You've got to experience it.|>|>

I'm kicking myself that I missed that night dive. To see that turtle come gliding out of the night, must have been beyond awesome. Well, there's always next year.;-)

I'm with you, I'd go back right now and stay twice as long. How many days now until "Searaider 2008"?:-d
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Wow, looks like a fantastic time was had by all! Wish I coulda been there. I haven't been back to GC since '98, great place to stay and to dive. Your pics are wonderful, good watch shots and wildlife shots. Did you by any chance dive Hammerhead Point? When we did we didn't see any sharks but got to pet the resident 90lb grouper who hangs around there. b-)

Looking forward to more pics!

Paul
Paul,

We wish you could have been there too. I'm not sure what the island looked like back in '98, but I'm sure it's changed a little since then. Hurricane Ivan had a bit to do with that.;-)

We didn't dive Hammerhead Point, in fact that site isn't ringing familiar. There's a Hammerhead Hill on the North side of the island close to Rum Point, and a Hammerhead Hole over on the West side, just South of the turtle farm. We were diving on the SE side of the island, except for our trip to Stingray City.

Speaking of Hammerheads, though.....I'd loved to have seen a 15 footer like Greg Bottle saw a little while ago.:-!
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Paul,

We wish you could have been there too. I'm not sure what the island looked like back in '98, but I'm sure it's changed a little since then. Hurricane Ivan had a bit to do with that.;-)

We didn't dive Hammerhead Point, in fact that site isn't ringing familiar. There's a Hammerhead Hill on the North side of the island close to Rum Point, and a Hammerhead Hole over on the West side, just South of the turtle farm. We were diving on the SE side of the island, except for our trip to Stingray City.

Speaking of Hammerheads, though.....I'd loved to have seen a 15 footer like Greg Bottle saw a little while ago.:-!
Ty, it was Hammerhead Hill. When we were there we stayed on the north shore in a rental house, right on the water. We used a dive outfit out of Rum Point, as we were only a few miles from there. Plus we did a lot of shore diving, and night snorkelling with spears for lobster-catching (shhhh!). ;-)

Paul
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

Ty, it was Hammerhead Hill. When we were there we stayed on the north shore in a rental house, right on the water. We used a dive outfit out of Rum Point, as we were only a few miles from there. Plus we did a lot of shore diving, and night snorkelling with spears for lobster-catching (shhhh!). ;-)

Paul
Hammerhead Hill, that sounds more like it.:)

Yea, I guess things have changed a bit on the island since '89. Now if you're caught with a lobster, the penalty is $5,000 per bug. If you can't pay...no probation, no warning, they immediately lock you in the pokey until you can pay or rot. Whichever comes first.;-)

I tell you what though, it sure is hard looking at those Spinys and not think about hot, drawn garlic butter.:p:-d
 

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Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

NICE!

I wish San Diego had water that clear, you can actually see more then 10 feet; wow, that must be different!
 
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