Manta Divers June 2010 Marathon Trip
Hopefully, the temperatures will continue to warm and that will put the rest of you in a diving state of mind! Last month, Mike and I went down to Marathon Key with a small group for some diving and to accompany our new instructor, Tina Niemi Johnson while she certified her first open water diver.
It is fairly inexpensive to get to Miami, especially if you have accumulated any frequent flyer miles. Once there, Marathon is only a 2 hour drive away. Our group got rooms at the Banana Bay Resort, a clean establishment with tennis courts and a swimming pool. After check in, we scoped out the dive operation, Captain Hook’s, just up the road.
I was a little disappointed in the dive operation. One of the divemasters, Cal, thought it was necessary to disturb any large marine animals he could find. When we dove a little wrecked barge, for example, he was not content to point out the nurse shark lazing in the shadows. He swam in and chased it and a large grouper out of the protection of the wreck. He also picked up a scorpion fish and had no qualms about pulling creatures out from their hiding places to show the divers. I think I know why I saw so many lobsters with only one antenna. The impression that this sort of behavior was common practice for Captain Hook’s staff was confirmed when the dive instructor did the same thing in front of his students! This disrespect of marine life is certainly not what I would like to see modeled for future generations of divers. Our boat captain on the second day actually moved the boat from the spot that we anchored at when we started our dive. At the end of the dive, we searched for the anchor line for some time, then, giving up, made our safety stop and ascent to find ourselves quite far from the boat. The captain talked on his cell phone while we swam to the boat, actually towing a couple of the divers. He neither apologized for moving the boat nor explained why the move was necessary.
In spite of the troubles with Captain Hook’s, I am not soured on the Keys. The reefs are beautiful and the atmosphere at establishments topside is fun and relaxing. Barring destruction of the dive sites by the oil spill, I will definitely return to the Keys for some low cost, easy diving.
Team Manta Investigative team was at it again!
While diving in Marathon, we had the pleasure to test out the newest addition to the Aqualung fin line. The Hotshot fin is a smaller, lighter version of the slingshot. Testers thought the Hotshots performed well even in a moderate current or when forced to make a long surface swim. Now, a diver can fit the Hotshots, the Zuma travel BC and the feather light Micron regulator into the new Departure carry-on bag, and it will all weigh less than 20 pounds.
We are still accepting reservations for our far north search and recovery weekend, July 9 &10. This will be a fun activity for the experienced diver who would like to learn how to effectively search for lost items and raise these things using life bags.
Get your reservations in for the Lake Michigan Charter, August 15. We will meet at the South Shore Yacht club at 11:30, and then head out to explore the Dredge and the Lumberman.
Remember that Manta Divers is the place to rent or purchase a triathlon suit for that edge in your next race! Call for availability! Look for us at the Pleasant Prairie’s Lakeview Rec Plex Triathlon Expo!
Congratualtions to Josh Grundberg on his Jr. Open Water Certification, and his instructor, Tina Niemi Johnson on this her first certification!
If you would like to hear about Team Manta's recent Grenada trip click here!