Our first full day on Statia – exploration under the water and into the mountains.
For the rest of the photos and video, and daily summaries, be sure to read the Sailing the Leeward Islands Trip Summary
Photos on Flickr (Slideshow)
Video on YouTube
– Woke up early at 7:30 and dinghyd over to the diving dock to meet up with Golden Rock Divers. Our first dive of the day was supposed to be on a reef area – however, as we were starting the dive, Evelyn mysteriously floated away and out of sight. Before we could even begin the dive, we had to end it, and all got back on the boat to search for Evelyn. When we finally spotted her, she was a couple hundred yards away from the boat – nobody understood how she got so far away from the boat so quickly. Since there were still divers from the other group on their dive under the moored boat, we couldn’t simply drop the mooring and go get Evelyn. We had to wait another 30 for all of the other divers to get back on the boat, as Evelyn floated farther and farther out to sea.
We had Evelyn in sight, but didnt know her condition – she could have had a dive accident, or worse – she wasnt swimming for the boat, so we assumed the worst. It was important to get to Evelyn as soon as possible to check her condition, so while the rest of the group stayed with the boat, I grabbed a rescue ring, and made sure i had my trusty whistle and safety tube on me. I got back in the water in my full scuba gear with the rescue ring, and swam out to Evelyn – about a 10 minute surface swim, which was not easy with full wetsuit and gear. When i finally got out to Evelyn’s position, I approached cautiously with the ring in front of me, and gave it to her to hang on to.
It turned out that she was fine, but making the swim against the current to the dive boat would have been treacherous and dangerously tiring. Instead, i inflated the safety tube to signal our location, and we floated together holding the rescue ring. Eventually all the divers got back on the dive boat, and they dropped the mooring and came over to pick me and Evelyn out of the water, safe and sound.
Eventually we learned that Evelyn was a bit slower to start her dive than the rest of us, and during her time on the surface, she floated away from the underwater location of the rest of the group – clutching the mooring line. When she did eventually start her dive, she was separated from the group. Since we couldn’t see Evelyn from our position underwater, we immediately aborted the dive and returned to the surface to look for her. However, in the time we were surfacing, she was descending – but not on the secure mooring line. Apparently she stayed under the water for a bit looking for us, however she was being pulled away from the group and boat by the current the whole time. By the time she surfaced, she was very far away from the boat, and we were on the boat looking for her.
– After recovering Evelyn, we. Went back to shore to drop the other divers off, and then headed back out on the dive boat to try again on our first dive. This time everybody stayed together, and we had a great dive looking at sealife.
– Lunch and surface interval were at the pirate restaurant down the street. Also, I took Evelyn back to the boat so she could hang for the rest of the day.
– For the second dive, we went down on a shipwreck. The ship was sunk in 2005, so it was still fairly intact. Diving on the xx was great, and we even saw a very rare frog fish.
– After diving, we got picked up by Bobby, a local resident who has been living on Statia his whole life. Bobby’s entire family lives here on a very nice tract of land, and his son is currently the governor.
– We rode with Bobby in his bus around the entire island.
– Before returning to the boat, we stopped off at the grocery to pick up a bit of food.
– Pasta for dinner tonight, and then sleep.
– Sailing back to St. Barts tomorrow
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