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The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
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August 2014    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 29, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Indigo Dive and Dive St. Vincent, St. Vincent

still macro nirvana, now sans the “curmudgeon” factor

from the August, 2014 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

Wading out to the awning-covered, 23-foot A Touch of Glass, a stone's throw from the non-descript digs of Indigo Dive, I handed my gear to divemaster Keon Murray and said hello to Krishon Browne, the boat driver, both pleasant locals in their 20s on the job for about six months. Just like to most of the sites out of Buccament Bay Resort, it would be a quick five- to 10-minute ride. After descending, I warmed up my camera with shots of a spotted cleaner shrimp. Minutes later, I spotted an odd string with black bands moving like a cross between a worm and a limp strand of fish poop (I later learned it was a black-banded ribbon worm). Then Keon pointed out a long-snout seahorse and a colony of warty corallimorph that turned a rock into a blaze of fluorescent orange. While Keon would come check on me once in a while if I lagged too far behind the group, he watched less experienced divers like a hawk.

Indigo Dive's A Touch of GlassI had dived St. Vincent five years ago, but this time, the variety of common reef fish -- trumpetfish, big eye, blackbar soldierfish, yellowtail damselfish, a flying gurnard and spotted drum -- actually surprised me. Why? Back then, my guide was the notoriously offputting but talented and often charming Bill Tewes of Dive St. Vincent. Bill's forte was finding the uncommon -- typical reef fish wasted his time, he told me. Part of my quest on this trip was to discover firsthand how diving with Indigo Dive, the island's other dive shop, compared with Dive St. Vincent, now that the mercurial but eagle-eyed Bill was no longer at its helm, having moved to the U.S. for medical care.

On this day I was glad to be diving at all. Earlier, I had watched Dive Indigo's staff bail out one of their fiberglass boats that had mysteriously overturned and nearly submerged in the middle of the night, apparently without a single witness from the resort. Its big outboard motor was still attached. I felt like I was part of a drama involving the good, the bad and the ugly.

The night before, I'd only experienced the good, walking across a romantically-lit footbridge over the Buccament River into the pricey Buccament Bay Resort, located on the east coast north of Kingstown, St Vincent's hub. From the airport, it's a half-hour ride through fascinating cultural territory and rugged terrain. A warm welcome from Monica, the neatly-dressed manager and her front desk staff, plus a potent rum concoction, made my brain do a happy dance. Buccament Bay is an ambitious, sprawling resort. It wraps its guests in a Disney-like cocoon -- I felt like a king surrounded by staff who were well-trained, friendly and eager to please. Besides the on-site Indigo Dive shop, amenities include a variety of restaurants, water sports, tennis courts, a fitness/weight room, cricket and "football" soccer fields, beautiful infinity pools, nightly bonfires and lovely white sand beaches facing the setting sun. Winding sidewalks connect the 50 duplexes with views of the surrounding lush mountainsides....

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