Trip Report – Ambergris Caye, Belize Feb. 2020

A group of 12 divers and one non-diver from Scuba Shack flew to San Pedro Belize on February 22 for a week of diving on Ambergris Caye. We stayed at Sun Breeze which was conveniently located near the airport in San Pedro and on the beach. The village of San Pedro, full of restaurants and shops was just steps away. The hotel staff and service were excellent. We sampled several local restaurants. The onsite Blue Water Grill was one of the better eateries on the island. 

The on-site dive shop, Ambergris Divers took great care of us all week aboard the Baby Catherine. All of the dive sites are located on the 2nd largest barrier reef in the world, the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef stretching from The Yucatan Peninsula to Honduras.  The dive sites we visited included San Pedro Canyons, Tres Cocos, Mermaids Lair, Sandy Point, Esme Garden, Mayan Princess, Tackle Box, Cypress Garden, Bottom Time, Esmeralda and a Monday night dive at the Hol Chan.  Rather than provide a description of each site, I will let the accompanying video tell the story.

We had a fun group including a few folks new to diving with Scuba Shack. We also had a number of milestones on the trip. George Keech completed his Open Water and Nitrox certifications on Monday morning. A few hours later he was on his first night dive at Hol Chan, a nature preserve in a natural cut in the barrier reef.  What a great first night dive!  We saw lobster, eels, basket Stars, octopus, stingrays and Spotted Eagle Rays!  The next morning was our deep dive. I managed to get a picture of George and most of the rest of the folks in the group coming thru a swim through at 100 feet on Esme Garden. On Wednesday, Joe White went on a real adventure.  He took a 3 hour bout ride each way to Lighthouse Reef and the Great Blue Hole. That’s definitely a “bucket list” dive. The squeezed in a couple more dives on the reef after the Blue Hole where they say more reef sharks.

We managed to see lots of animals big and small. I don’t recall every seeing so many nurse sharks.  We also saw a couple of reef sharks.  There was a mother dolphin with a calf on the first day.  

Unfortunately, I was too far from them to get a decent shot with the camera.  The weather cooperated for the most part.  There were a couple of choppy days but not enough to interfere with our diving.

Ambergris Caye, Sun Breeze Hotel and Ambergris Divers were wonderful hosts for the week.  I would not hesitate to visit them again in the future. 

Trip Video

Annual trip to the Bahamas – Hundreds of Sharks!

It’s hard to believe that a month has passed since May 24, the day the Scuba Shack gang invaded Nassau, Bahamas, for the annual Scuba Shack Memorial Day Weekend. Twenty one adventurers participated in another fun filled weekend led by Scuba Shack instructor Peter Katz. Our usual haunt, Orange Hill Beach Inn, had sustained significant damage during Hurricane Matthew back in October but managed to accommodate us. Perhaps not in the lap of luxury, more like Motel 6 only no light left on for us since it had burnt out years ago and no one has gotten around to replace it. But they managed to feed us breakfast every morning and provided an excellent BBQ on our last night.

The Stuart Cove dive staff were terrific! Unfortunately, our previous crew was no longer at the shop but our new crew, Captain Wendell, Divemasters Katie and Alex were able to fill the void. They did an excellent job and were more than willing and able to inject energy and enthusiasm into the trip.

Many of the dive sites have undergone changes since Matthew passed through which made for interesting dives. By far the dive highlight was the trip to the Lost Blue Hole and Rose Island. This year we did two dives at the hole. The first included a visit from a huge loggerhead turtle and a school of 100-150 sharpnosed sharks exiting from the depths of the hole, en masse. The second dive was a shark feed with eight Caribbean Reef Sharks up close and personal. How close you ask? Ask Anja whose mask was knocked off by one of the sharks as it swam by to partake of the feed.

Our evening out encompassed our usual favorites, Capriccio’s, Café Matisse, and Luciano’s. We were surprised to find that we were joined for dinner by Dan Marino and former Miami Dolphins as well as the mascot and cheerleaders. It turns out that Pete Walden went to college with Dan. The next thing we knew, people were posing for pictures with Dan. It made for an exciting evening.

Although we were missing a few of our regulars, the “newbies” joined right in and in no time felt like “regulars”. The best thing was we “old timers” were able to tell the same old stories and jokes to a new audience. All in all, everyone had a spectacular time and are looking forward to next year’s trip.

Nassau Trip Video

Nassau Trip Photo Gallery

Hundreds of Sharks!

Posted by Doug Shuckra on Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Video & music from trip to Nassau

Scuba Shack staff visit Maui, Hawaii for diving

Recently Instructor Jeff Cinciripino, Divemaster Donna Cinciripino, and Matt Cinciripino, shop staff, visited the beautiful Hawaiian Island of Maui for some easy diving on Ka’anapali Beach. Dive spots included the Marriott Reef and a night dive at world famous Black Rock.

Fish life was plentiful in warm 75 degree water, including a host of Hawaiian endemic species such as the Hawaiian Dascyllus, Psychedelic Wrasse, Elegant Coris, and Saddle Wrasse. Also seen were several large Green Sea Turtles, a Gold-lace Nudibranch, Red Reef Lobster, Sculptured Slipper Lobster, a Sleepy Sponge Crab, and an amazing Harlequin Shrimp. Throughout the dives the songs of the Humpback Whales, who frequent the area during the winter months, could be easily heard.

Surface intervals provided great opportunities to watch the whales breaching, Spinner Dolphins doing their acrobatics, or simply lazing about in the hammock.

Let us help plan your escape to paradise today. Contact Scuba Shack if you’re interested in traveling to a dive destination. We can arrange trips for couples, families or groups!

Scuba Shack visits the Bahamas – Shark Diving Photos!

The annual Scuba Shack Nassau Memorial Day trip got off to a great start with the arrival of our intrepid adventurers at the World Renowned Orange Hill Beach Inn where “the only thing colder than the beer were the showers!” Hot water problems were eventually addressed and the group was off to a rousing good time at Capriccio’s.

Our first day of diving included a hammerhead shark sighting on Palace Wall which Jeff Cinciripino was able to capture on video. On Friday morning the group experienced its first formal shark dive. Our boat crew, Terri and Charlotte, the official shark wranglers were assisted by Peter Katz and his daughter Jessica. We served as shark feeders not as shark bait, although there was one close call, but to hand feed fish to the sharks from short spears. The rest of the group kneeled in a semicircle around the “shark arena” to watch the show. It was an adrenaline pumping 40 minutes of sharks, sharks, and more sharks! We made it back to the surface with all our limbs and digits intact, but the excitement was palpable.

scuba-shack-nassau-201505-017Our adventures continued on Saturday, the boat was loaded with tanks, food, adult beverages and we were off to Exuma for our out island excursion. It took a little longer than expected, Clee J had to train our boat captain Densel on the ins and outs of piloting through the reefs that surround Highbourne Cay. We did our favorite dive site, Beach Bum tunnel on Eagle Ray Wall but the group opted out of the second dive to concentrate on eating, drinking and cavorting on the beach of one of the deserted cays. Thanks to Don Drew, we were treated to the prerelease of the Caribbean Beach Bums first album “It’s The Near Perfect Day.”   Needless to say, it was a huge hit especially the song “Diver Down” which seemed to resonate with Moderation man himself!

Our adventures were not limited to the sea, we had wonderful evenings at our favorite dining establishments. Somehow, the rumor circulated that there was another Sean Connery sighting at Café Matisse although it was never confirmed. Our evening at Luciano’s on their patio overlooking the harbor was delightful. Nothing like good food, good wine, good friends after a day full of good diving.

Our last evening was a low key barbecue at Orange Hill. Unfortunately, the week end sped by way too fast and we had to say good bye to our home away from home. We vowed to be back next year with a plan to experience the “Lost Blue Hole” dive site hidden away on the north east portion of New Providence Island.

Shark Feeding Frenzy!

Public Safety Ice Diving Training

Halcyon introduces new products this summer

halcyon-eos-miniHalcyon recently announced a variety of new products and accessories for current products. We thought it would be a good idea to provide you a brief rundown.

EOS Mini and New Accessories

The EOS Mini has been a hit for the simple fact you can use the light in different situations. It’s modular, and you can use it as a stand-alone small, stylish package with more than two hours of full-power, and up to six hours of low-power run time. You now have an option to purchase an extended range battery, as well as a couple different tether systems.

The Halcyon EOS™ Mini represents a new generation of lighting, blending the performance and convenience of Halcyon Exploration lighting with the size and portability of recreational, hand-held lights. Recreational and technical divers alike will be impressed by the intense output of this convenient, easily adjustable light with hands-free operation. The EOS™ Mini provides an amazing amount of light in a small, stylish package.

We have a video introduction at the bottom of this page.


  • Nearly indestructible LED module in Delrin® housing with small form factor
  • Amazing intensity is 30% brighter than conventional EOS primary
  • Easily stored in a pocket or on a Halcyon harness
  • Ideal for travel due to light weight and long burn time
  • Innovative handle provides excellent portability with hands-free operation
  • Adjustable design can rapidly be customized to fit left or right hand, with or without gloves
  • Foldable handle protects LED and lens while in transport
  • May be fitted with an optional, fixed Goodman handle
  • Rear attachment point accommodates nearly any bolt snap or wrist lanyard
  • Removable, compact 2.6 amp-hour, sealed Li-ion rechargeable battery pack

halcyon-eos-mini-tetherExtended Range Battery – The 5.2ah extended range battery can be attached directly to the EOS Mini for about five hours of dive time or attached to the waist with the tether system.

Tether System – Two tether systems are available for those who prefer a traditional corded battery to carry the small or extended range battery on their back. The first option is a 90 degree bend for a more streamlined configuration, or you can go with the tether with a straight plug.

Light Stick – A simple cord retainer stick is a Delrin rod mounted on the belt to assist managing long hose routing when diving without a canister.

New RB80 O2 Sensor

Includes a fisher connector that enables communication with a Shearwater wrist-mounted controller. (Stop by the store for details on this product.)

Video – Scuba Shack pool session

What’s a Scuba Shack pool session like at West Hartford’s Cornerstone Aquatics Center? Lots of activity and training at the two indoor pools!

Philippines (Cebu) Trip 2013