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November 2013    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 28, No. 11   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Cane Bay Dive Shop, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

easy diving, easy vacation

from the November, 2013 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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Dear Fellow Diver:

A cheerful tour guide who called himself "Hollywood" took my dive partner and me in his air-conditioned van to visit the home of St. Croix's "famous" beer-drinking pigs. One pig, actually a boar, crushed the can I put into his mouth, swallowed the beer, and then spit out the can. There are college kids who pull the same stunt, only they would scoff at the O'Doul's the pig drank. They would at least want Bud Light.

Cane Bay Dive Shop's IbisNot many college kids find their way to St. Croix, because it's no party place and not even much recognized as a diving place, just an overlooked member of the U.S. Virgin Islands. But Caribbean easy-divers should pay more attention to it, or so I decided as I finned about Cane Bay in July and discovered comfortable diving on decent and fishy reefs. I was impressed with the loads of barrel sponges and large, undamaged sea fans. The usual Caribbean suspects -- porcupine fish, barracuda, parrotfish, trumpetfish, goatfish, and blue tang -- were abundant, and lionfish were few. I was reminded of the diving on Bonaire's eastern side. In 50-foot visibility on my first dive (and most thereafter), I saw half a dozen Caribbean reef sharks looking for lionfish handouts from guides with spear guns. Many spiny lobsters sequestered themselves in reef holes, as did a large green moray, while shrimp, both coral banded and Pederson's, cavorted nearby. I surfaced a happy diver, warm in the calm, 83-degree water.

For its convenience, I selected Cane Bay Dive Shop, across the street from Cane Bay, though it has three smaller branches across the island. While I considered staying elsewhere, truth be known, I simply didn't want to deal with the British driving rules in effect on St. Croix. Give me an intersection with a yield-only left-hand turn, and I want to pull into the oncoming traffic lane. Give me a traffic circle, and I want to go around it in the wrong direction. Why the British rules? The French threw out the British in the 17th century. In 1733, the Danes bought it and in 1926, the U.S. paid them off. So why does left-hand driving still rule? Because of my driver dyslexia, my partner and I booked a cottage next to the Cane Bay Dive Shop, so we could walk to diving and dinner....

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