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September 2015    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 30, No. 9   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Grenadines Dive and Cousteau Dive Center

a winner and a no-show in the Grenadines

from the September, 2015 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

Last year, I received a flurry of press releases announcing the opening of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Dive Center at the very pricey Petit St. Vincent resort, which takes up an entire 115-acre island in the Grenadines, a cluster of islands in the southern Caribbean. Given the relatively unspoiled diving I have found there, I figured Jean-Michel's operation, though independent of the resort, would meet its standards, and might even visit unique diving spots that others didn't. One of our fine dive travel reviewers, who revels in new destinations -- and could afford the trip (yes, our writers pay their own way and don't let on to the purpose of their visit) -- jumped at the chance to visit. Here is his report.

-- Ben Davison

* * * * *

Catching the tips of four-foot waves, our 22-foot open fiberglass boat sent a cascade of water into my face. Glenroy Adams, the lean, middle-aged but highenergy owner of Grenadines Dive, was heading east, far past the Tobago Cays. Over the roar of twin 75HP Yamaha outboards, I yelled, "Where are we going? To Africa?" Pointing to a low white bump, he shouted back, "To that rock."

Grenadines Dive's 22-Foot Fiberglass BoatIt was the last dive day of my 10-day trip in May to Union Island and Petit St. Vincent (PSV), two of the more southerly islands in the St. Vincent and Grenadines chain. Sail Rock jutted upward like a jagged tooth whitened by guano, a lone pinnacle about 10 miles from Union Island. Seas on either side of its lee flanked us with roiling washing machines.

I descended 80 feet into cool 77-degree water, feeling the surge even at that depth. After some exploring, Glenroy handed the line to the float he towed to another diver and beckoned me to follow into a dark opening about six feet in diameter. A surge alternately pushed, then pulled me farther into the opening. Glenroy disappeared around a corner. I entered a narrow chimney, kicking hard against the surge to rise. Like a roller coaster ride, the adrenalin rush ended too quickly. Outside, the strong currents kept us from more exploring and swept us away. We surfaced a quarter mile from our dive boat, which was still next to the island. Waving his dive flag, Glenroy shouted at the four of us to stay together. When the boat finally reached us, I was happy to climb aboard.

The Caribbean MapPlanning this vacation was a crazy trip in itself. Grenadines Dive on Union Island was suggested by a fellow Undercurrent subscriber, and it was conveniently next to Kings Landing Hotel. But my emails to the hotel went unanswered, and phone calls were inconclusive. So I contacted Glenroy by email and phone, and he nicely put it all together....

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