New Series Coming Soon: Curacao Dreams

Continuing with my theme of revisiting past dive trips (because who knows when I will be able to travel again), my newest series is devoted to the time I spent in Curacao back in 2015. During my very first dive trip in Cozumel in 2011, I met an incredible dive instructor who I credit for…

BAHAMAS, CHAPTER 3: Bimini

“Have you heard of Ferrari and Lamborghini?” Antonio asked, as his machete sank into the half-frozen tuna carcass. “Uh…yes.” “That’s where I’m from. Modena. My family makes balsamic vinegar.” The thought of balsamic vinegar drizzled on cherry-tomato bruschetta temporarily lulled me away from the smell of decomposing fish guts. I had eaten nothing but chicken…

BAHAMAS, CHAPTER 2: Exuma

From the plane’s window, I watched the imposing clouds of New Providence island morph into carefree clouds that hovered above the unending Exuma cays. The sapphire blue ocean transformed into neon turquoise with patches of exposed bright white sand. The islands appeared flat and deserted. Each time we passed over an island, I assumed we…

BAHAMAS, CHAPTER 1: Nassau

As the plane descended into cloud-checkered Nassau, pine trees waved from the runway. “Is this normal weather for February?” I asked the taxi driver as I watched the Bahamian sky darken. “Eh…the seas aren’t usually this rough. No boats went out today.” I shrugged, “Well, I’m here, so…” It was hard for me not to…

COCOS, CHAPTER 5: Return to Manuelita

On the backside of Manuelita during the first dive, I watched a gang of whitetips swarm the reef until I was distracted by a cloud of bigeye jacks approaching us from the channel. As the jacks descended onto the reef, they instantly split off into pairs; one jack remained silver and the other turned black…

COCOS, CHAPTER 4: Treasure Island

“Before we board the pangas, I have to say something important…” Angelo paused for dramatic effect. “You are not allowed to dig for treasure. You won’t find anything if you do, we already tried. Don’t touch anything or carve your name on the rocks or you won’t be allowed to dive again.” I scoffed as…

COCOS, CHAPTER 3: Dirty Rock and Alcyone

Over the next few days, it was hard for me to stop thinking about the magic of Manuelita. All I wanted to do was dive with more tiger sharks. But, the other divers wanted to find hammerhead cleaning stations in the deep waters surrounding the island. Fights erupted over any diver who unknowingly entered a…

COCOS, CHAPTER 2: Tiger Sharks and Boobies

Divemaster Angelo began his briefing for the first dive: “As all of you have probably heard, there were some recent incidents at Manuelita. A diver and a divemaster surfaced away from the rest of the group. When the tiger appeared, the divemaster thought he was doing a good thing by kicking the tiger shark to…

COCOS, CHAPTER 1: Journey to Cocos Island

The immigration agent was engaged in a serious texting conversation as she asked me, “Where are you staying?” I answered, “The Cocos Okeanos Aggressor.” She continued to text in silence. I elaborated, “It’s just a boat at Cocos Island.” She eventually looked up, “Where is that?” I answered, “Um, it’s an island here…hopefully?” I glanced…

FIJI, CHAPTER 4: Sharks, Fire Walkers, and Kava

I woke up to find Jennifer and her luggage had gone. I hopped in the shower and the little black cat was curled up against the outer side of the window. I finished getting ready, and the cat escorted me to the dive shop. There was a giant white board that contained all of the…