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Thanks Scubaboard, Allstar Liveaboards Blackbeards

Discussion in 'Basic Scuba Discussions' started by Dannybot, Sep 27, 2019.

  1. Dannybot

    Dannybot Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    I attended the Surge 2019 in Curaçao with my family and my son won the Blackbeards trip.

    Alex is not as avid a diver as I am, so he gifted me the trip. I just got back from the September 14-20 trip. It was a really good experience for me. I had been wanting to go on a Blackbeards trip since I first read about it about ten years ago, but never had the time.

    With my current job, and the kids grown up and out of the house, I have more time for me, so it finally happened!

    If you are not familiar with Blackbeards, they describe it as ‘camping at sea’. I would say it’s better than that for sure. It’s gar better than that because you don’t have to do any of the work. They cook for you and fill your tanks. All you have to do is get up in the morning and then dive.

    About all I did was dive and eat. The food was good and plentiful.

    As for accommodations the boat is small, a 65 ft sloop. You sleep in bunks about the size if an RV. For surface intervals there is a shaded bunk, or you can sun on the deck, swim, snorkel or hang out in the galley.

    There were 17 divers and six crew on the boat, but it didn’t seem at all crowded. All the divers got along well and the crew was great.

    As for the diving, it was mostly unguided with the crew in the water for the first couple dives to make sure all the divers were comfortable and properly weighted. We were moored or anchored for all the dives, and the moorings were all close to the dive sites, so navigation was simple to find your way back to the boat without much difficulty. Even so my buddy and I did wander out a bit and when we surfaced had a surface current that pulled us from the boat, so we had the ride of shame back in the dinghy on one dive.

    There were lots of reef and nurse sharks seen through out the week. Some of the smaller fish were hiding probably due to all the storm activity in the area in the weeks before our trip, hurricane Dorian had just passed through and there were other tropics disturbances in the area. We had good weather for our trip and the waters were relatively calm.

    The boat took the waters well, and only one person got sea sick on the first day when we made the long trip to the marine park from Nassau. I only used a single scopolamine patch and it lasted the whole week.

    The crew were great, and the chef was accommodating for special diets too. One morning there was lobstering, but I skipped it because I had only seen three or four on the night dive prior to the lobstering, but those who went got enough that they were cooked up for the afternoon snack.

    If you want an economical trip where all you do is dive, I certainly would recommend this one! It is easier diving than at any resort I have been to. The air fills were generous, so bottom was only limited by your NDL; you really need a computer for a trip like this.

    We dove 19 dives in five days: four dives on two days, five dives on two days and one dive on the last day. The last three dives were 25 ft or less.
    Redfoot, islanddream, KathyV and 5 others like this.

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    Congratulations on winning the gift certificate for Blackbeards at the ScubaBoard SURGE 2019! We are so pleased and happy for you that you had a wonderful time!
  3. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    Thanks for posting a trip report! Questions about Blackbeard's live-aboard trips are pretty common on the forum and the reports help people. Where there any side trips like to visit the pigs?

  4. Dannybot

    Dannybot Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 200 - 499

    No trip to see the pigs. I cannot say if
    It is routinely offered on the Blackbeards trip. We were limited a little by the sea and wind conditions on out cruise, as it was as in the meat of a busy hurricane season.

    We didn’t do the “Washing Machine” drift dive due to the currents.
    drrich2 likes this.
  5. WarrenZ

    WarrenZ Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Las Cruces NM
    The trip for the pigs usually prevents a days diving so most of the time Blackbeard's boats don't make it that far south. They are a little slow the iguanas are fun though. I wouldn't call it camping at sea it is more like summer camp for adults.
    drrich2 likes this.
  6. jlcnuke

    jlcnuke Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: acworth ga
    The Aqua Cat is their only liveaboard that routinely does the pigs due to the time to get there. I'm looking forward to my 3rd Blackbeard's trip in December :)
  7. Kimela

    Kimela Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: St Louis
    When we did Blackbeard's several years ago they did visit an island where we fed iguanas. No pigs, but it was a fun side trip.
  8. KathyV

    KathyV Orca

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Midwestern US

    When we did the Blackbeards cruise many years ago we stopped in Bimini for an afternoon and night and that was cool because you couldn't fly into Bimini back then unless you had a seaplane so most people arrived by boat - it was a very small place. The End of the World Bar was quite the spot, and it had a sand floor, a terrible bathroom, and autographed undergarments decorating the ceiling!

    The Compleat Angler Hotel had the nicest restaurant and bar on Bimini but later it burned down and I was sad to hear that. A diver on our boat got thrown out of the place for making a spectacle of himself. Later he said that "it was a friendly kind of throw out!" so apparently he had other experiences for comparison.

    One night during the cruise all 3 boats (they had 3 Blackbeards boats back then) moored off of a tiny Bahamian island where there was a sand-mining operation for a glass factory. The miners provided pallets to create a huge bonfire and the Blackbeards boats brought the rum punch and somebody brought a boom box. We had a wild bonfire party on the beach - miners, divers, and crew all mingling together. It remains one of the highlights in my memories of fun events on dive vacations.
    jlcnuke, Redfoot and drrich2 like this.

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