Thursday, May 24, 2012

Maldives March 2012

This past March The Underwater Connection hosted a relaxing week and a half trip to the Maldives aboard the luxurious 112 ft Live Aboard
"The Maldive Siren". The staff on the boat were extremely accommodating with hot lattes every morning and amazing food the whole trip. We enjoyed clear waters with temperatures in the high 80s every dive, all the while experiencing some of the most breath taking marine life in the world! All together the most memorable animals we saw were Eagle Rays, a Pod of Dolphins with over 100 individuals, and 2 juvenile whale sharks who fed by our boat for close to 5 hours! Everyone got the chance to see them and some of us even threw on dive gear or a snorkel and jumped in the water with them!

Everyone on the trip had the time of their lives! We loved every second!

Check out our Facebook for more photos!

Also check out our Website for more information on our upcoming trips!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Question: What do you get when you combine two dozen people from all walks of life, a sense of adventure, and some warm Mexican sunshine?

Answer: Another fabulous February Underwater Connection dive trip to Cozumel, Mexico!

Staying ashore at the beautiful Hotel Cozumel Resort, our group enjoyed a great week of diving. Drift diving off boats could not get much easier... jump in, dive to your heart's content, and then surface to the boat waiting right there to pick you up. And the helpful crew from Dive Paradise made it easy, interesting, and fun. Turtles, moray eels, nurse sharks, octopi, lobsters, crabs, and Cozumel's indigenous Splendid Toadfish were just some of the marine creatures making an appearance for us... check out some of the pics!

But if you think that diving is the only thing to do in Cozumel, think again! Besides the obvious shopping, dining, and lazing around the pool opportunities, members of our group went to the Mayan ruins of Chichen Itza, snorkeling, touring the other side of the island (more remote), swimming with dolphins, diving the cenotes on the mainland, Harley riding, and my personal favorites: rock climbing and zip-lining! I even hear there's golf on the island.

Sorry if you missed this great trip. Maybe you can join us on the next one. If you're fun enough! PEG
To see more photos go to
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Thailand 2010

Our long awaited journey to Thailand has finally returned, and the word that describes it best is Adventure! Our group hopped aboard the Mermaid II and made the trek into the Mergui Archipelago off the coast of Myanmar. This was the first trip that the Mermaid II had made back into Myanmar in the last six months, as the boat had recently returned from Indonesia. Our fabulous store owner Troy was the trip leader for this excursion and this is the report I got from him when they returned:

From the start of the trip they were treated with incredible customer service, as Troy called the boat "one of the nicer live-aboards he had ever been on." Their staff was friendly, helpful and extremely knowledgeable about the surrounding area. They also provided a fantastic ratio for our customers, having 1 divemaster for every 2-3 divers. Once in the water they marveled at the untouched reefs of the archipelago, miles of colorful anemones, beautifully camouflaged rock fish, and Troy's first encounter with a Leopard Shark. Also, mating season was in full swing as the Cuttle Fish, Octopus, and Nudibranchs were all doing the tango of love for our divers to witness.

Previous to our arrival they had 2 weeks of rain, but once we got there the clouds parted ways and the sun was out for the entire trip. They journeyed 440 miles aboard the boat, which seemed like nothing at all as they dined on "fabulous Thai cuisine" served by the outstanding crew; everything from seafood to thai and pasta to salad was fantastic.

Over all it was a great trip and we highly recommend that you pencil in Thailand as one of your dive destinations in the near future.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cozumel...Always Fabulous!

Hope you all have been able to blow some bubbles since our last blog, and if you haven't then be sure to hop on one of our trips in 2011! Our trip to the marvelous Cozumel returned about a week ago and we have an incredible video from one of our Assistant Instructors - Kent Beardslee, to show for it! Be sure to watch the whole video, there is a surprise you don't want to miss at the end :)

Cozumel began with a bit of a scare this time, as Hurricane Richard barely missed our destination. Overall, the trip was great, we had one day of rain from the hurricane that hit Belize, the rest of the trip was in the 80's with plenty of sunshine. The diving in Cozumel never disappoints as the group enjoyed seeing eagle rays, turtles, octopus, crabs, lobster, toad fish, Lion fish (which by the way, have a bounty on them) and good sized grouper. As always the diver's enjoyed lots of drift diving, some great swim-throughs, and awesome night diving. Everything was out an about on the night dive, and on one of the night dives they saw an eel and octopus go at it. Just to top it all off the group also did the C-53 ship wreck, and overall everybody had a wonderful dive vacation.

If you are reading this and wishing you could have been a part of the fun, don't dismay! We have our Spring Cozumel trip coming up in February and you can get all the details on our web page: Cozumel 2011
Might not be a bad Christmas present either ;-)

video
Until Next Time...Stay Bubbly!!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Travel Preview 2011 and 2012!

Hello bloggers,

We are just about to finalize a bunch of trips for this coming year and we wanted to give you a sneak peek so you can start planning early. We will be featuring the final details in the coming SPECIAL EDITION TRAVEL ISSUE of our newsletter, so if you aren't on our e-mail list be sure to shoot us an e-mail or sign up on our website: http://www.theunderwaterconnection.com

So, without further adieu here is the upcoming trips for 2011 and 2012

Trips for 2011

May - Papua New Guinea...Coming soon to the website!!

June - Saba

July - Turks and Caicos

Sept - Guadalupe Island, Diving with Great Whites!

Oct - Cozumel

Nov - Philippine Islands

Trips for 2012

Spring 2012- Maldives

Sept 2012 - Galapagos Islands

It should be an exciting year for trips, and we are excited to feature some new destinations for you guys! If you have any questions please feel free to contact us, and watch our blog for all the info on our Cozumel trip, which is currently diving in paradise!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sharkies!

Our very own Troy headed out for a solo trip to Guadalupe Island, not just for any type of diving, but cage diving with Great Whites! Our trusty owner was scouting this trip to see if it was worth taking you, our fantastic customers, at a later date. His verdict was an enthusiastic "Yes!" as the diving "blew his expectations out of the water!" and you can expect to see this trip on our itinerary in the near future.

Even as they departed dolphins played alongside their boat, a sure sign of the incredible diving ahead. Multiple cages supplied divers with virtually unlimited cage time, while divers in the boat across the way (from another company) not only shared scheduled cage time but ended up getting kicked out for not having permits!! While the unhappy customers were sent packing, the extremely satisfied customers on Troy's boat continued enjoying scrumptious food and fantastic diving. On the surface they were fed lobster, fresh tuna (caught by the crew), and much more. Below the surface they were all jumping into the numerous cages and watching Whites all around, at one point Troy jumped into the submersible and was surrounded by 3 in his tiny cage!

When Troy comes back as excited as he was on this trip you know it was something special. He has traveled to more places then pretty much anyone I know, and I think I was most jealous of this particular trip. Head over to our Facebook page to see all the great photos that he took, and be sure to stay tuned to our trips so you don't miss out on the adventure when it comes around! Watch our blog in the next couple weeks as the store heads back to Cozumel for what continues to be a wonderful tropical tradition. Until next time...keep Scublogging!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Utila 2010!

Thanks to Steve Gurnett we now have a great rundown of our trip to Utila! Head on over to our Facebook page to see more photos...enjoy!


Whale sharks! Rest and relaxation. Dive, eat, sleep; in that order. Experience a different culture, a different lifestyle. While my wife, Barb, and I were researching Utila as a potential trip destination, these phrases were consistently uttered by those who had been to Utila before us. We were hooked and so were 7 others from the Colorado Springs area as well as a friend from Nebraska.

Getting to Utila from the nearby island of Roatan involved a bit of a hiccup but experienced divers expect there to be a glitch or two if you truly want to get off the beaten path. After a 4 hour wait at the Roatan airport, a “puddle jumper” finally arrived to take us to Utila.

We were told that the service at the Utila Lodge would be fantastic and they didn’t disappoint. They were waiting at the runway on Utila (I wouldn’t call it an airport), actually drove up to the plane and loaded us and our gear into vehicles and transported us to the lodge.

The lodge is a rustic sanctuary built almost entirely on a dock over the water. Each room had a view of the ocean, a covered deck, air conditioning (it was HOT in August!)and WIFI. The staff was very helpful and really strived to insure that our stay was a positive one.

The meals were buffet style, offering 3 or 4 choices at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The cook staff accommodated special dietary needs and wishes. The food was delicious, but they also were quite happy to prepare a special order if you liked. The bar operated on an honor system. When you took a soda or bottled beer, you just marked what you took next to your name and settled up at the end of the week!

The dive operation was top notch! Willie, the captain, and Josh, our dive master, treated us to great diving. The boat was spacious and set up nicely for divers. They took us to dive sights near (10 minute boat ride) and far to the other side of the island (1 hour boat ride). On the longer boat rides, they were great tour guides, telling us about the cays surrounding the islands, local history, politics, and culture.

The diving in Utila was unique to many of my other island diving experiences. The coral reef was the best, most alive, I have ever seen. The large coral fans, elkhorn coral, black coral, brain coral and many other species as well as barrel sponges were HUGE and plentiful. There were many varieties of fish though they were fewer and smaller than we’ve seen in other locations in the Caribbean. We did find a few good sized green morays, spotted drums, a couple of sea horses and sea turtles throughout the week. And swimming through the school of squid was pretty cool! And I’ll never forget diving into the swim-thru through a cloud of little silver fish! We saw a lot of the usual suspects on the reef including many parrot fish, queen and french angelfish, cowfish, trumpet fish, barracuda, small groupers, porcupine fish, scorpion fish, frog fish, etc.. The schools of eagle rays we expected to see stuck to the deeper water that week though.

Unfortunately, we had no luck in finding and swimming with whale sharks. Our group spent an afternoon out farther away from the island hoping to spot a “boil”, water being churned up by small fish at the surface, indicating the presence of a whale shark ready to breech. Oh well, that’s motivation to return again!!! But we were able to swim with a school of spinner dolphins. Willie was a master at rounding them up with the boat and driving them to us in the water! An experience we’ll never forget!

Another unique experience for our group was the opportunity to tour Utila’s hyperbaric chamber. The chamber is located at the Utila Lodge. While we were having lunch, some local lobster divers brought one of their own to the lodge. He was suffering from DCS and was taken immediately to the chamber. Willie is also a trained chamber operator so he was pressed into service. The next day Willie arranged for our group to view the chamber and talk to the staff there.

Another little “glitch” waiting for the plane to take us from Utila over to Roatan reminded us that we were leaving our little paradise and returning to the real world. Note to self: guard that little immigration paper (they give you when you enter the country and you need to return when you leave) with your life!!! (Right Mitch?)

So, what will I tell people when they ask me about Utila? Whale sharks (if you see some, I’m going to be SO jealous)! Rest and relaxation. Dive, eat, sleep; in that order. Experience a different culture, a different lifestyle…

Written by Steve Gurnett


Stay tuned as we are sending trips to Cozumel, Thailand, and Belize in the near future. Plus, our very own Troy is heading out to dive with the Great Whites, so we'll get to see the pictures and here about that experience! Thanks for blogging with us :)