Searaider 2007 (Part II)

Thread: Searaider 2007 (Part II)

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  1. #1
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Searaider 2007 (Part II)

    With the excitement of the day still rolling through my head, sleep didn't come easy. Even trying to finish reading Iceberg wasn't distraction enough. I just kept reliving the day's events, wondering what we'd encounter in the coming day.

    DAY THREE

    Finally sleep did arrive, but excitement and anticipation rattled me out of bed at 05:15. Not a problem though, as it allowed plenty of time to eat a bit of breakfast and reload the camera for today's odyssey.

    Our skiff departed for it's rendezvous with the dive boat Eastern Skies around 07:45. The seas were picking up a bit, as Hurricane Noel let us know that he'd recently visited the area. Not bad, but just enough to say "I was there"

    Dive #1 started us off at "Jack McKinney's Canyons". Jack McKinney, now deceased, is a highly revered, underwater photographer and videographer. The series of swim-throughs, opening up on the sheer face of the wall, made it one of his favorite sites.

    Another great thing about diving with Ocean Frontiers, is you always have the option for guided or unguided dives. I like the guided option, as the dive masters always know the coolest spots on the sites.

    Here's our dive master Ellie, steadily approaching a swim-through....


    Warehouse "off the wall" at JM's canyons.


    Dive #2 took us to "Tarpon Terrace". Tarpon abound in Grand Cayman, and this is a site they like to frequent.

    Hey, here comes one of the residents now...


    "The Terrace" is a series of massive coral heads, all about 40 feet tall interlaced with arches, smaller swim-throughs and large expanses of sand.

    Here's THOR "trekking" across the sand


    In search of more Tarpon in the terrace.....


    With air running low, it was time to return to the Eastern Skies. Here we are ascending through the coral, back to the sunlit realm of the surface dwellers.


    Man what a set of dives. Heading back to Ocean Frontiers, Warehouse looks like he's having a blast. Hey Warehouse.....nice shirt!


    THOR looks pretty happy too, high up on the bridge.


    Once back at Ocean Frontiers, we cleaned up and regrouped. Now the plan was to venture into George Town to go check out the DOXAs.

    We climbed in our rental toaster(right-hand drive, Diahtsu Charade) and set off for George Town. Since Grand Cayman is a British Overseas Territory, all driving is done on the left hand side of the road. The first time I got behind the wheel, I thought "Dear God, there's no way I'm getting off this island alive". Fortunately you learn rather quickly, and the mighty, three-cylinder Diahtsu became quite fun to drive.

    Parking is at a premium in George Town, so more than likely, you end up parking quite aways from where you actually want to go. It can prove interesting though, as we soon realized walking past this KFC. Poor fellow, if he only knew what went on behind those doors.


    We finally made it to Landmark Jewelers.....


    But.......unannounced as we were, Adam the guy that I'd worked with before, was off on his honeymoon. Damn. Oh well...Dawn took great care of us, showing off all the COSC 750Ts. I even picked up an orange strap for my Caribbean, just to give my dive rig a little punch of orange.

    After taking it all in, we realized that we still hadn't eaten anything...so we asked Dawn to recommend a great restaurant. "Breezes, right up stairs" she said. We took her advice and headed up.


    Man, was she ever right. This place was excellent!! Caribbean-style BBQ ribs, boiled shrimp, fish & chips...all excellent choices and all very fit for the eating. Even the drinks were beyond awesome and I'm not usually one for fruity, fu-fu, tropical cocktails. However, when in Rome.... My poison was the Cayman Lemonade served up right, in a great big hurricane glass. Makes me thirsty now just thinking about 'em.


    With the sun going down, we thought it best to head back to the East End. We were anxious to see how the photos from today's dives turned out, plus driving after dark on the wrong side of the road can prove to be a bit challenging.

    After checking out the pics, we decided to turn in a bit early. Once settled in, I turned on the TV and what happened to be on the tube? Back-to-back features of Sahara on TNT. Talk about expert timing.

    DAY FOUR

    Day four took us to the dive site "High Rock Drop Off". HRDO is another spectacular wall dive, where the top of the wall starts off around 65 ft. and ends somewhere around 6,000 ft.

    Orange and yellow tube sponges, red barrel sponges and purple sea fans, delicately adorn the walls. Here's an orange tube sponge perched on top of the wall. An orange sponge...how fitting


    In addition to corals and sponges, the occasional moray eel or spiny lobster will peek out from the nooks. Here a spiny lobster's wondering what in the world we're doing in his neighborhood.


    Dive #2 took us to a site called "Maggie's Maze". As the story goes, Maggie was a dog who was quite a fixture around the East End of the island. When she died, they honored her by burying her here and naming the site after her. After exploring "the maze" I couldn't think of a finer, final resting place myself.

    Here we are approcahing "the maze"


    Warehouse "snappin' back".


    THOR, closing in....


    Here the Searaider team pushes further into the maze....


    After the dives, we decided to return to where we caught the boat for Stingray City, and have dinner at the Kaibo Yacht Club. We kicked back with more awesome Caribbean cuisine, great conversation and visit from a little white cat that enjoyed the remainder of Warehouse's steak.


    Once again, tired, sun-drenched but excited for what awaited us on our final day of diving. It was hard to believe that we only had one day of diving left. With trips like these, it seems like there's never enough time and with what little time there is...it flies by in a flash. Well, all the more reason to make the most out of tomorrow.

    Back at Ocean Frontiers, I settled in with my copy of Iceberg. Dirk just 'glanced at the luminous dial of the orange-faced Doxa watch' while setting the trap inside Pirates of the Caribbean. Caribbean huh? I think I'm starting to know a little bit about that place....
    Last edited by subkrawler; November 10th, 2007 at 06:36.
    "The most beautiful objects are those built for purpose. Few things are more thrilling than the unrestrained use of tools most have mistaken for luxuries" -unknown

  2. #2
    Member Frogman's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part II)

    Fantastic write up, Ty. Makes me regret even more not being able to attend ...I hope there's another one next year...

    Being a sworn single guy, I have to ask - how is the "scenery" above water?

    Cheers,

    Avi


    "Individuals fail.
    Teams succeed."

  3. #3
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part II)

    Quote Originally Posted by Frogman View Post
    Fantastic write up, Ty. Makes me regret even more not being able to attend ...I hope there's another one next year...

    Being a sworn single guy, I have to ask - how is the "scenery" above water?

    Cheers,

    Avi
    Avi,

    Thanks Avi and I'm glad you're enjoying the write-ups. For you guys that couldn't make it, I'm hoping they're the next best thing to being there.

    There will be a Searaider 2008...I guarantee it. I'm already in the process of putting next year's trip together and it will be even bigger and better than Searaider 2007. I'll be making the announcement in the coming month, so there will be plenty of time for everyone to plan.

    How's the scenery you ask? Very nice. Being a married man, I have to sort of play that down, but there's nothing wrong with looking, right?
    "The most beautiful objects are those built for purpose. Few things are more thrilling than the unrestrained use of tools most have mistaken for luxuries" -unknown

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    Moderator Jason71's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part II)

    I am going to start putting in my request for the time off next year. Thanks for the great write-ups and pics. Looking forward to the next installment.
    Best Regards,
    Jason





  6. #5
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part II)

    Quote Originally Posted by jclevoy View Post
    I am going to start putting in my request for the time off next year. Thanks for the great write-ups and pics. Looking forward to the next installment.
    Jason,

    Thanks for sticking this one.

    I'll have the definite dates available in the next few weeks, but Searaider 2008 will be held around the same time as this year's event. I'm hoping that with an entire year to plan, more DOXA divers will be able to work it into their travel schedules. If it looks like early November isn't going to be a good time for the majority, then I'll look at a different time of the year, for Searaider 2009.

    For those considering attending Searaider 2008, does anyone have strong opposition to early November? Just curious.
    "The most beautiful objects are those built for purpose. Few things are more thrilling than the unrestrained use of tools most have mistaken for luxuries" -unknown

  7. #6
    Moderator Jason71's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part II)

    Quote Originally Posted by subkrawler View Post

    For those considering attending Searaider 2008, does anyone have strong opposition to early November? Just curious.
    My only concern is hurricanes, and I think that Nov is very late hurricane season?? (so a hurricane is fairly unlikely?)
    Best Regards,
    Jason





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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

    Welcome Back "Searaiders"!

    From all of us at DOXA, welcome back and we were very happy to hear that your dive was such a success! The pictures are fantastic, and it seems that a good time was had by one and all.

    We are also happy to hear that the patches were a success, and it was great to see all of those DOXA SUBS!

    Thanks again for sharing your trip with those of us who couldn't come along, and again, welcome back!


    Jim

    DOXA WATCHES LTD.

  9. #8
    Moderator Jason71's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DOXA Forum Administrator 1 View Post
    Welcome Back "Searaiders"!

    From all of us at DOXA, welcome back and we were very happy to hear that your dive was such a success! The pictures are fantastic, and it seems that a good time was had by one and all.

    We are also happy to hear that the patches were a success, and it was great to see all of those DOXA SUBS!

    Thanks again for sharing your trip with those of us who couldn't come along, and again, welcome back!


    Jim

    DOXA WATCHES LTD.
    Jim,
    How does a guy go about getting one (or several) of those patches??
    Best Regards,
    Jason





  10. #9
    Member Longhorn's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part II)

    Love the pics Ty, thanks for the write-up.

    Hurricanes are definitely a risk in early November ... my personal preference is mid December (right after Hurrican season ends and before the kids school gets out), but between Thanksgiving an Xmas, it may prove difficult to get critical mass, so go with early Nov and put me down for a definitive maybe.
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  11. #10
    DOXA Forum Moderator subkrawler's Avatar
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    Re: "Searaider 2007" (Part I) We're back!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by DOXA Forum Administrator 1 View Post
    Welcome Back "Searaiders"!

    From all of us at DOXA, welcome back and we were very happy to hear that your dive was such a success! The pictures are fantastic, and it seems that a good time was had by one and all.

    We are also happy to hear that the patches were a success, and it was great to see all of those DOXA SUBS!

    Thanks again for sharing your trip with those of us who couldn't come along, and again, welcome back!


    Jim

    DOXA WATCHES LTD.
    Jim,

    We did have a great time and knowing that DOXA was thinking of us for this very experimental event, made it even better. The gifts that you guys sent, really iced the cake.

    Thanks again for all the help that you provided over the last several months. I know this is echoed continuously here on the forum, but the customer service that you all provide, is totally unheard of.

    I'm truly honored to be a DOXAholic and it's comforting to know.....that when it comes to watches, you all've got our back.
    "The most beautiful objects are those built for purpose. Few things are more thrilling than the unrestrained use of tools most have mistaken for luxuries" -unknown

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