Saba SCUBA Diving Adventure, Days 5-7
Turkey Day in the Tropics – it’s all about the tradition
There are few things better than getting in two dives on Thanksgiving Day before sitting down with great friends for a traditional Thanksgiving feast. Going SCUBA diving on Thanksgiving Day just rocks. This Turkey Day tradition, originally coined by Carin – is now celebrating its tenth year. Today, I not only got in those dives but managed an hour hike on some of Saba’s amazing trails – winding up through the rainforest on this volcanic outpost.
The diving in Saba has delivered all week with beautiful colors on the reefs, vibrant sponge and soft coral life and loads of fish including large grouper and schools of snapper and grunt. Our experience here has been in distinct contrast to much of the rest of the fish depleted Caribbean. Saba, for being such a small place has an amazing diversity of diving from shallow reefs to unusual, deep pinnacles with black coral. And, as we are wont to do at GDA (Global Diving Adventures), we’ve pioneered a new dive site on the last dive of the trip. As we always shoot for maximum diving, I looked at the way the currents were running and instead of doing one dive site into a moderate current, we drifted through four dive sites – finishing perfectly at the last mooring and ascending to the waiting boat as we hit 500 psi. Very shortly thereafter, it was dubbed by Gordon 4-in-1 and a new dive site was born. How cool!
Back at the ranch known as Queens Garden, the general manager Claire and her two executive chefs had been cooking up a storm since early AM. We asked for a traditional Thanksgiving feast and man did they deliver BIG! Two huge turkeys had arrived on the ferry the day before and as I stuck my head in the kitchen, I could smell Thanksgiving. Everything was homemade – stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed sweet potatoes, pumpkin cheesecake and some other evil chocolate dessert. We were assured by the knowledgeable executive chefs that everything was low cal. Yeah, right. Raoul bought the table champagne (Thanks Raoul!) and had the makings of an epic Thanksgiving dinner.
A note on Queen’s Garden: if you are looking for a place to stay and do some great Caribbean diving, stay on Saba at Queens Garden. The entire place has stunning views, a nice boutique feel and big outdoor couches in the bar area that you will have to pry yourself out of. It was a favorite rendezvous spot for the gang. Apparently, Laurie and Gordon have places permanently inscribed for them. Add a killer pool, great cuisine and a super friendly, make-anything-happen staff and Queen’s Garden is a HUGE winner. Just like Arnold said, “We’ll be back.”
Of course, none of this would matter as much without a kick ass group of people to share it with. For ten years now, friends have gotten together for GDA’s Turkey Day and it’s big time special. It’s a time to hang with old friends – many of whom met on a prior Turkey Day trip – and meet new ones. And while the Turkey Day in the Tropics gang is definitely a same time next year club, it’s a same time next year club that is always looking for fun new members.
By popular demand, for Thanksgiving 2011, we will be having Turkey Day in Tahiti. We are working with our friend at the Tahiti Tourism board and details will follow shortly. Tahiti is an easy hop – only two hours farther than Hawaii – and is still awesomely exotic with shark diving to match.
Thanks to Raoul, Leroy & Martha, Gordon & Roberta, Ben & Kristi, Chris & Laurie and Mike & Marcia for such an awesome time. You guys rock! Hope to see you all underwater soon!
Ridlon & Carin
Make sure and check out
Saba SCUBA Diving Adventure, Day 4