Chris’ Favorite Dive Sites

10 Mar

Sally recently put up a post on Facebook about favorite dive sites, so I though I would tell you about my favorite dive sites.

The waters here still surprise me every day. We get dolphins, turtles, rays, sea horses and loads and loads of fish. I think that people really underestimate the diving here. But, Sally and I have lived and dived here for nearly 3 years now and I am still not bored. It’s not World Class Diving like the Raja Ampat or Sipidan, but everyday we see something new and interesting and I just love to dive here.

In the last few Months we have been inundated with Dolphin encounters, the first was when I did my Poseidon MK6 Rebreather Instructor course with Sally and Rich Stevenson at Creole Rock – 9 Dolphins, which included a 4 foot long pup. Sally wrote a whole blog about that.

Michelle was lucky enough to see 12 Dolphins at Chris’ Reef the other day and they stayed around the divers for about 10 minutes while Michelle was snapping away on her camera – I think she took 178 photos!!

One group also saw them at Tintamarre last week, but the Dolphin HOT SPOT has to be Creole Rock.

Out of all the dives we have done here, this dive site seems to offer the most abundant marine life and Bio-diversity. We regularly dive at Tintamarre and on the Dutch side which are all awesome dive sites (especially Tintamarre) but the best in my opinion are Turtle Reef and Creole Rock.

The other day one of our old Students from the AUC, Jen, was diving with our seasoned Instructor and master of diving Stuart (http://www.octopusdiving.com/about-us/octopus-diving-staff/stuart/) at Creole Rock and they had an extremely close Dolphin encounter, so close that at one point Stuart was getting a little concerned if the Dolphin would ever leave!

I have personally had 7 separate Dolphin encounters at Creole Rock and having dived all over the world on thousands of dives, I have only ever experienced Dolphins at Creole Rock and Tintamarre.

What is a Dolphin encounter like?
Imagine just doing your thing around the reef, chilling out, feeling like you are in an aquarium and suddenly it goes very dark above you….. it could be a cloud, maybe a boat but there is no noise, so you look up and there you are – face to face with an 8 foot Dolphin.

They are gray in color, their skin looks like it is made of highly polished steel. One particular Dolphin which I have seen 5 times in 3 years has scars on it’s Dorsal fin that are extremely distinct. As we all know Dolphins like to swim next to boats which is why they end up with the scars. The power and speed that they can generate is just amazing. The noise they make to communicate is normally heard before the encounter is very strange and you really can hear them communicate with each other.

Dolphins are beautiful, graceful creatures and just glide through the water with hardly any movement from their tails. Just seeing them swimming is an awesome sight especially when they have pups with them. I have seen a Family of 4 – Mum, Dad and the two kids at Tintamarre. Dad just wanted to play while the rest of the Family watched for 25 minutes.
For me these kinds or encounters are life changing experiences, it makes me realize just how intelligent these creatures are and how we should be doing everything we can to protect our Oceans and the Marine life within.

So if you want the possibility of a NATURAL Dolphin encounter just contact us between February and April and we will take you to Creole Rock and Tintamarre – but please remember there are no guarantees or promises!

There is talk about starting a dolphinarium in St. Martin. There is a lot of money to be made from this, especially if it is located near the cruise ships, which is the intent the people making the proposals. Dolphinariums keep dolphins in captivity solely for the purpose of human entertainment. The dolphins are separated from their families and pods, never to be re-united with them. We believe that dolphins should be free and wild, playing and swimming through the ocean, not cages up.

If you would like to help protect the Dolphins in St. Maarten, please follow this link to Facebook and “like” it where after a few minutes you can help us by signing the petition and also help these beautiful creatures.

Chris wrote this blog.

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