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August 2017    Download the Entire Issue (PDF) Vol. 32, No. 8   RSS Feed for Undercurrent Issues
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Anse Chastanet, St. Lucia, the Caribbean

it’s not just for diving

from the August, 2017 issue of Undercurrent   Subscribe Now

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It was the last day of diving St. Lucia, and we were on the 165-foot (50m) Lesleen "M" wreck, which sits at about 70 feet. The visibility was 50-70 feet (15-22 m) and my dive light had failed, but with plenty of ambient light inside the wreck, I took a quick pass through the companionway while my buddy followed. Alongside the wreck, a stingray nestled in the grass, and on the top deck were two enormous scorpion fish, a golden-tail moray, and the only hairy clinging crab of the week. After a leisurely 45 minutes, it was time to end the dive.

As I headed to the line for my safety stop, the current picked up, and when my three minutes were up, it was ripping! Frantic divers crowded the line leadingup from the wreck to the boat's starboard ladder, so I headed to the port ladder, grabbing it as I flew past. A couple of others missed and drifted past. The quick-thinking crew immediately threw out lifesaving rings. The drifting divers grabbed them as they went past, and the crew pulled them. One divemaster shook his head. "Wow!" he said, as he climbed the ladder, acknowledging the surprise.

Anse Chastenet Resort and Jade MountainSpeaking of the dive guides, we had an exceptional crew, with lots of jokes and laughter, and plenty of competence: Captain Garfield, mate Emmanus, and guides Errol, Dave, and Bradley did a great job, helping divers in and out of the water, pulling in the tanks of those who doffed them in the water, and keeping track of everyone during the dives while ensuring a junior open water diver stayed above 40 feet (12m). Guides led each dive dragging a surface buoy; usually the current was mild, but still were one-way dives. They changed 80 cu. ft. (11 liter) tanks between dives and helped people check Nitrox fills. After each dive, they broke down, rinsed, and hung BCs and regulators....

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