SCUBA DIVING WITH BAS HARTS DIVING
Our decision on diving this time.
We contacted several vendors this time around (just like last time) and with our limited time in port (not arriving until 1:30pm and it starts to get dark around 5:30-6pm) this put a damper on how far we could go from port and how long we could spend in port.
Last time we dove with Curious 2 Dive and had a wonderful, but yet stressful time. Of course, originally Kendra's fiance was to be with us and we needed a decent beach for him and Kam to hang out at. They offered us the Tug Boat dive, which the beach is not much of a beach and rocky, or they suggested going to Directors Bay and drift diving back toward the Tug Boat. But it has a "coral beach" they said. Well, since we had already done the Tug Boat (and really enjoyed it) it was an option, but both beaches were not. They also suggested going to Porto Marie but they were concerned with the times.
I also contacted places like:
Ocean Encounters, which was a lot more than other vendors were charging.
Scuba Lodge Diving but they already had 5 people coming and didn't tell us where we would be going.
Dive Bus: Refused d/t the late arrival of the ship
We ended up deciding to dive with Bas Harts Diving. I had contacted him last time and we didn't use him and had said we would consider him next time around. Well, he offered a pick up from port and return (included in the price) and to take us the opposite way on the island that we had never done before. We were going to a place called Cas Abao. I looked up the beach online and it looked AMAZING!!! I knew this was what we wanted! It was a shore dive as well and I knew that Kendra would like that since she struggled last time from a boat dive.
Bas charged $95 per person and everything was included.
Pick up at the port
2 private instructors
All dive gear
Pictures (if available)
I'm not sure what the "pictures" are because we didn't get any of those.
I have to tell this story...just because...
They ask our height and weight for the wet suits. Well, I was working at the time I answered, so I had to just guess. I told him that Sakari was probably around 4' 2" and maybe around 95 pounds. I would later find out that she's actually 4' 10" !!!!!! What? Really? You are that tall now? I had no clue. She only has another 8" to go and she'll be as tall as me!!! I had no idea...seriously! I knew she has grown a lot over the summer but man!
We were given instructions to walk out and to the right and to the exit and they would be waiting on us.
Immediately upon exiting the cruise area, we meet Bas (pronounced as Boss and everyone gets it wrong he says) Hart and he is the owner of the company (obviously since it's name Bas Harts Diving). He's a very friendly and informative guy and easy to get along with.
We walked across the street and they had 2 trucks waiting for us. We piled in one and sent all the kids with, well...my kid (Kendra).
Since we were limited on time (daylight time that is) Bas had prearranged to bring us straight to the dive site and no going to a business or anything for the "class". Well, he knew about our diving and experience, so it was going to be a quick class to go over everything (signals, lung expansion and the water, equipment and what we would be doing for our skills once we got in the water).
We arrived at Cas Abao. This is a pay beach and it was included with our dive. There is a dive shop located at the beach, which Bas is friends with and our other instructor works there (I believe). I know he said that Bas contracts him on days he needs more help and since our group was supposed to be 5 divers, we would need 2 instructors.
We geared up with our tanks and off we headed to the beach and ocean.
We got used to our equipment and went down to do our skills with Bas and Sam the instructor.
Now if any of you have read my other diving reviews, you'll know the anxiety I get when I first start. Well, I'm happy to say that I had absolutely NO PROBLEMS this time. None what so ever! I wasn't nervous, I didn't have anxiety, and I didn't pop up once to adjust anything or because I freaked out. This dive would be the best dive I have ever had...not because of the area or what there was to see, but because of how comfortable I felt. I just couldn't believe it.
So...a selfie before we started out (why is it I always look like my jaws are inflated 4x the amount in pictures and everyone else always looks normal????)
We started doing some of our skills. Then off we went.
Now I'm giving everyone my disclaimer now. I'm very disappointed in my underwater pictures from today. I'm not sure what happened. A lot of them aren't clear and the close ups just didn't not turn out like they normally do. The pictures have some weird blue tint to them that they normally don't have. I had several issues with my cameras (or it may have been the sd card) and this entire cruise I kept getting error messages on the camera. I'd have to change out the sd card for it to work. It would say it's protected and another error I can't think of at the moment. It was very irritating and a lot of nights I would just use my phone to take pictures (which is probably why I'm missing a lot of them). I'm not sure if there's a "shelf life" on sd cards or what the issue is but I'm thinking I may need to purchase new ones soon. If anyone knows...please let me know.
So, sorry in advance for the crappy pictures.
The hubby was doing just fine and Sakari and Bas was up front. Brayden and Kendra were doing good and Kendra wasn't having any issues this time around with the dive itself (other than later her ear would still be hurting, which gave her problems later in the dive and not being able to go down far).
Why do these guys look like they are walking instead of swimming? I would see this a lot out of them. LOL
Since we all had wet suits on, it's sometimes hard to tell who is who. I can always tell Sakari because she has the pink fins. The hubby said he was going to wear his bright yellow swimming trunks so I could tell who he was and he ended up pulling them down and out the bottom of the wet suit so that I could notice them. LOL It's a fashion statement.
I'm trying to account for everyone...then I notice that Sakari is way back in the distance with Bas. She was having some issues with her ears I would later hear. This is abnormal for her. She usually has some issues with clearing her ears when she goes to scuba class, but in the ocean, never a problem. Could it be that she has not been diving since March (at her scuba class) and last ocean dive was actually April? Does a child somehow lose the ability to clear their ears or forget if they haven't been for a while? I thought it was weird, but later on her. Bas stayed back with her and Sam (our instructor) took us on.
Look at the hubby go...no ear problems at all with his dive mask with ear covers.