Main Menu
Join Undercurrent on Facebook

The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975 | |
For Divers since 1975
The Private, Exclusive Guide for Serious Divers Since 1975
"Best of the Web: scuba tips no other
source dares to publish" -- Forbes
January 2024    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 50, No. 1   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
What's this?

Avalon IV, Jardines de la Reina, Cuba

plenty of sharks in water too warm

from the January, 2024 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

Subscriber Content Preview
Only active subscribers can view the whole article here

Dear Fellow Diver,

Sharks, sharks, and more sharks! When a Bluewater Dive Travel photography workshop in Cuba appeared on my radar, it piqued my interest. I've made 43 dive trips to the Caribbean to nearly all the best places -- and some not-so-great places -- but I had never dived Cuba's isolated and reportedly pristine reefs. Little did I know that I would swim with several reef sharks and friendly goliath groupers on nearly every dive.

Avalon IVBluewater has partnered with Avalon Outdoors, a Cuban Company, and this trip fell under the "Sustainable Marine Conservation Humanitarian Project" category, qualifying U.S. citizens for legal travel into Cuba. Avalon has a fleet of seven ships, and I signed up for a mid-October liveaboard trip to dive the Jardines de la Reina (the Gardens of the Queen), a marine park 60 miles off Cuba's southern coast.

While this would be my 14th liveaboard trip, it didn't turn out to be a "typical" liveaboard cruise, but only a short sailing trip to the national park where the ship tied off for the week. From our floating hotel, we would dive from large tenders, with 20- to 30-minute rides to similar dive sites throughout a small area of the archipelago. I had expected to travel along the archipelago, mooring at different places and exploring a large swath of it, so I was a little disappointed. That said, had I studied the Avalon section of the Bluewater website, I might have known more about what to expect.

After overnighting in Miami, I took a one-hour American Airlines flight to Santa Clara, where I quickly passed through immigration and customs. Outside, I spotted a taxi driver holding a sign with my name; he loaded my bags into his taxi, and off we went on our memorable drive. I hadn't planned well for the three-hour trip. It was hot -- the taxi's air conditioning didn't work well -- and I hadn't purchased a bottle of water in the terminal. My driver had none. I don't speak Spanish, and my driver didn't speak English. We dodged a lot of potholes along the way, passing more horse-drawn carriages than the few cars on the road. Some carriages sported solid rubber wheels, with much of the rubber missing, mounted on wooden wheels. Halfway into our drive, I noticed our speed decreasing. We pulled over -- the engine had overheated. We weren't going anywhere, but a half hour later, another taxi arrived to pick me up, and we were off again to the harbor, where the Avalon crew helped me with my bags....

Subscribers: Read the full article here

Get more dive info like these and other important scuba updates sent monthly to your email.
And a FREE Recent Issue of Undercurrent

Free Undercurrent Issue
Get a free
monthly email and
a sample issue!



I want to get all the stories! Tell me how I can become an Undercurrent Online Member and get online access to all the articles of Undercurrent as well as thousands of first hand reports on dive operations world-wide

Find in  

| Home | Online Members Area | My Account | Login | Join |
| Travel Index | Dive Resort & Liveaboard Reviews | Featured Reports | Recent Issues | Back Issues |
| Dive Gear Index | Health/Safety Index | Environment & Misc. Index | Seasonal Planner | Blogs | Free Articles | Book Picks | News |
| Special Offers | RSS | FAQ | About Us | Contact Us | Links |

Copyright © 1996-2024 Undercurrent (
3020 Bridgeway, Ste 102, Sausalito, Ca 94965
All rights reserved.