Scuba Shack staff members check out Maui diving opportunities

Two Scuba Shack staff members – Jeff and Donna Cinciripino (and instructor and divemaster respectively) recently returned from their annual trip to Maui, Hawaii. Jeff and Donna have been diving the clear waters off Maui, Lanai, Molokini and Molokai since 2005. Check out the photos!

When on Maui, Jeff and Donna dive with Lahaina Divers. The dive center is managed and run with the utmost professionalism and attention to detail. Their two, 46 foot Newton dive boats are fast, comfortable and clean. The crews do everything they can to ensure safety and make each dive enjoyable.

This year’s dives on Lanai included No-Name Paradise, First Cathedral (three times – it was that good), Mempachi Cave, and Monolith. On Molokini the dive sites included Reef’s End and The Aquarium. To round out the diving off Maui Jeff and Donna visited Shark Pit and Mala Wharf.

Water temperatures averaged 75 degrees at depth with visibilities most days 60 to 80 feet. The reefs are healthy with a lot of endemic species. If you have a Maui vacation planned be sure to contact Scuba Shack and we’ll put you in contact with Jeff or Donna to fill you in on some world class diving.

Scuba Shack divers enjoy warm week in Cozumel

Thirteen Scuba Shack divers escaped the cold, snow and ice of January in Connecticut for a wonderful week of drift diving in Cozumel, Mexico. The group, lead by instructor Joel Toohey, stayed at Scuba Club Cozumel from January 15 – 22, 2011.

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First annual Summer Sundown dive trip to Turks & Caicos

Small in numbers – Big on adventure.

The Scuba Shack travel team of Jeff & Donna Cinciripino and Dennis & Tammy Bosse embarked on this inaugural trip to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos to complete four days of diving with Dive Provo, a great outfit run by Alan & Claire Jardine with seasoned crews and well maintained, clean, comfortable boats.

Check out the photo gallery with more than 25 images from this trip!

Fortunately, Hurricane Earl moved north and the flights to Providenciales were on time allowing for all to go as planned. The base for the trip was the Comfort Suites hotel; a nice property, well maintained and very convenient to the dive shop, restaurants, groceries, and shopping. Our first stop was the dive shop, literally 100 feet from the lobby of the Comfort Suites. Lynne checked us in quickly and gave us all the info needed for our first dive the next morning.

Next stop, the pool and time to unwind from the journey south and cool off (the heat is on in TCI in September). There are plenty of lounge chairs and the bar is close at hand to quench a diver’s thirst.

Our four days of diving started from south Providenciales. Dive Provo has three boats that run out of Caicos Marina and Shipyard in the south and Turtle Cove Marina on the north side. We boarded Crusader, a 36 foot Newton dive boat with our captain Bill and divemaster Steph for a trip to West Caicos for dives at The Gulley and The Driveway. These two wall dives offer an abundance of sea life and a dramatic shear wall with lots to see. The top of the wall starts at about 60 feet and drops to over 6000 feet. Good buoyancy and NITROX are a must for T&C. Our visibility was around 60 feet, a little lower than normal thanks to Earl. As the first divers hit the water, we were greeted by 7 – 9 foot grey reef sharks. Each dive provided anywhere from 2 – 5 sharks, stingrays, spotted eagle rays, turtles, and many smaller sea creatures.

On day two we headed from the north side on Challenger, a smaller but comfortable boat to Northwest Point on the tip of Providenciales with captain John and divemaster Holly. Our dives included The Chimney and Eel Garden. On Northwest point the top of the wall starts at 35 to 40 feet with the same drop off into the deep. The Chimney is a crack in the wall where you can descend and come out at 85 to 100 feet. The Chimney is open for exit at any point on the descent. Both dives offered the same abundance of big and small fish with visibility around 80 feet.

Saturday saw us head south again aboard Conquest, another 36 foot Newton dive boat with captain John and divemaster Selma. The trip took us to French Cay, a small uninhabited island about 18 miles south of Providenciales. Our dive sites included Rock & Roll and G Spot. The top of the wall at French Cay is about 40 feet. The wall is covered with enormous barrel sponges that are quite colorful when hit by our lights. Beautiful eagle rays paid us a visit as well. As we made our way back to the dock we tied up in front of the Turks & Caicos Explorer II live aboard getting ready for a trip. The proud captain was more than willing to give us a quick tour before his guests arrived.

Our final dives were back at French Cay on Crusader with captain John and divemaster Steph. The current was a little stronger as we dove Dax’s Canyon and Rock & Roll after kicking Explorer II off the mooring. Again an outstanding set of dives with numerous visits by things big and small.

The staff from Dive Provo were fantastic. Truly what a vacation is meant to be – RELAXING! It was no rush diving with all our dives going over 50 minutes with depths of 70 feet or more. All our surface intervals were well over an hour which gave us plenty of time to off gas and enjoy a light lunch of sandwiches and banana bread. The boat rides are a little longer than some destinations (about 45 minutes to 1 hour) and we were normally underway by 9 am with a return to the dock around 2:30 in the afternoon. Dive Provo took care of rinsing, storing, and getting our gear to the boat for our next dive. Our afternoon drop off at Comfort Suites by 3 to 3:30 gave us ample time to visit the beach, do a little shopping, or desalinate in the pool with a favorite beverage.

Comfort Suites proved an extremely convenient location with a very nice supermarket and deli across the street and a few steps from Jimmy’s Dive Bar for a quick dinner. Several other restaurants are within walking distance including “Pizza Pizza” and Danny Buoy’s (Irish Pub). The dive team also had dinner at Shark Bites on Turtle Cove and “Somewhere on the Beach” located somewhere on the beach at Coral Gardens.

Prior to leaving we had a nice chat with Alan (owner of Dive Provo) about various options for divers coming to Providenciales. Whether it is to complete certifications, do some diving, or a full dive package, Scuba Shack can work with Dive Provo to meet all your diving needs on Turks and Caicos.

Although our travel team was small, the adventure was big on the Scuba Shack First Annual Summer Sundown Trip to Turks and Caicos. The planning has started for number two when we hope to have an entire Scuba Shack boat in 2011.

Visit Little Cayman this October

If you’ve ever visited the Cayman Islands in October or November, you know it’s a good time to go as the air temperature has cooled off a bit but the water is still nice and warm. So why not join the Scuba Shack crew traveling to Little Cayman Oct. 16-23.

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Nassau Bahamas 10th Anniversary Trip with Peter Katz

Scuba Shack has been featuring trips to Nassau, Bahamas to dive the Tongue of the Ocean for more than 20 years, but Peter Katz, Scuba Shack instructor, has been organizing the adventure for dive, food and drink lovers for the last 10 years. This is a great year for a reunion trip! Only two spots remain as of Jan. 21.

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Divers Alert Network offers travel and diver insurance

Along with offering a variety of Divers Alert Network (DAN) training programs, Scuba Shack is also a DAN Business Partner in support of their mission. As a non-profit medical and research organization, DAN’s staff is dedicated to the safety of scuba divers around the world.

DAN provides the only 24 hour a day, 365 day a year emergency hot-line to help local authorities coordinate life-saving services for injured divers. The organization moved from providing only emergency and research services into training about 10 years ago and many of the Scuba Shack instructors teach popular programs including Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Injuries, First Aid for Hazardous Marine Life Injuries, AED Use for Aquatic Emergencies, and On-Site Neurological Assessment for Divers among other programs.

Along with enrolling in the excellent training programs, Scuba Shack’s staff suggests that you become a DAN member yourself in support of their mission. Along with excellent member benefits, you can select from three valuable diving insurance programs. DAN also offers trip cancellation insurance which is a strongly suggested option for all those on Scuba Shack group trips.

If you have any questions about DAN’s insurance programs or training classes, stop by Scuba Shack today and our staff will provide you with additional information.

Join the Divers Alert Network (DAN) - Scuba Diving and Dive Safety Association

Purchase trip cancellation and interruption insurance through DAN