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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Scuba Diving - Fajardo, Puerto Rico

If I am traveling to an island, I am absolutely planning a day to dive (this land locked girl gets giddy around ocean tides and sea spray).  While traveling to Puerto Rico to celebrate a wedding of a good friend from home, I snuck away before all of our friends arrived to spend some time under the surf.  

When diving alone in a new place, without the comfort and security of my dive friends from home, I try to get a recommendation or do some research on highly rated dive charters. Puerto Rico seemed to be a place you can dive while you are there, but not a big destination among the dive community.  My friends had never been diving there and didn't know of any respected dive companies on the island.

I was going to have to ask some locals. 

Reef around the Spanish Virgin Islands 
Because I rented a condo for the week through Homeaway, I was able to ask the owner of the condo (and Puerto Rican local) for some recommendations on food, diving, and sites to see.  Without hesitation he responded that this dive company out of a marina in Fajardo was the best.  After being in Puerto Rico for no more than 2 hours, I had booked a dive charter with Sea Ventures for the next morning. 

Sea Ventures is a 5 star PADI Dive Center in Fajardo, Puerto Rico 
If you are looking to book a dive trip, you can call them, email them, or book your dive right online.  I found all the information I needed on their site and called them right away to save my spot on the morning trip.  Contact:  (800) 739-DIVE  
Certified Divers (2 Tank Morning Dive) 
Pick up:  6:30 AM       Check in Time is 7:30 AM     
Boat departs at 9:00 AM    Returns to the Marina at 1:00 pm   Return to Condado 2:00 pm

$119 Including Gear Rental   (because I was only diving 1 day it was cheaper 
and easier to just bring my mask and computer and rent gear) It is already $109 for just tanks & weights  ** Snacks and refreshments are included  (bring your own towels and sunscreen)

* Fajardo is about 1 hour away from Condado.  Transportation from the Metropolitan San Juan Hotels Area to Sea Ventures Dive Centers in Fajardo or Palmas Del Mar is available for an additional $30 per persons r/t. This would easily cost >$100 so the $30 fee for round trip transportation was a great deal and one less headache, I didn't have to arrange any transportation or try to find the dive shop. 

After checking into the shop at the marina, we grabbed our gear and headed to the docks.  After loading everyone and the gear (done by the deck hands), it was a 30 minute boat ride on the spacious and beautiful 46 foot dive boat.  Our destinations were two dive spots around the Spanish Virgin Islands.  We even had a view of St Thomas in the distance. Warm water diving meant no gloves, no boots, no hood, just a 3 ml short wet suit and some 79 degree water to greet us. 

Sand Slide (9:30 am - max depth 72 feet, 79 f water temp, 37 min dive, Visibility ~ 50')  Various fish, coral, and a ray, a turtle floating at the surface.  Dropped down to about 15' followed the sea floor down a bit farther. 
Cayo Diablo (10:45 am- max depth 52 feet, 79 f water temp, 51 min dive, Visibility ~ 50'Various fish, coral, octopus, small moray eel, and several turtles munching on the sea grass and swimming by.  Dropped down right to about 30'  Followed the reef to about 50'.

I really enjoyed diving with this company.  The other guests on the boat were friendly (I was so happy to be assigned with a friendly and competent dive buddy), and the deck hands and dive masters were great.  They brought all the gear on the boat, and offered to help anyone set up their gear.  After the gear was set up, the dive master went around to do a safety check on everyone's gear.  Once we arrived at the dive site, we were told to wait at our seat with out gear on (mask and fins off).  One of the dive masters unlocked our tanks, walked us to the end of the boat, and put on our fins for us while we put on our masks.  Next it was a giant stride off the back of the boat.  We all waited on a float line behind the boat for the entire group to enter the water before descending as a group to about 15' at the first site, and straight down to 30' at the second site. In between dives, the dive masters switched out our tanks for us while we munched on fruit, brownies, chips and salsa, and water. The water was calm and just the boat ride around the Spanish Virgin Islands was a treat.  

The dive master leading our dive had a noise maker he used to get everyone's attention, and alert us to any awesome critters in the water.  He pointed out several different critters on our dive, while keeping the group together and checking in on everyone's air.  At the second dive, a few members of the group were low on air at about 30 minutes.  Instead of bringing everyone back up, he split up the group, sending in the group low on air while taking the rest of us around for another 20 minutes.  The water was clear and warm and we had a great time.  
If you are in Puerto Rico and want to take advantage of the warm clear water, I highly recommend booking a dive with Sea Ventures.  Happy Diving and check back in later in the week for more Puerto Rico Posts. 

Dive Boat 
Dive master leading the group on the dive 
Sea live swimming around the Spanish Virgin Islands 
A shot of me diving along the reef
Photo Credit Paradise Seekers PR
A shot of me filming the sea turtle
Photo Credit 
Paradise Seekers PR
Green Turtle munching on sea grass
Green Turtle munching on sea grass


  1. Sounds amazing! So having them set up your stuff is kind of like having a groom, yes? Nice feature! Love all the turtle shots!

    1. Ha! Such a good way to put it! IT is like a groom!

  2. Looks so, so cool! I'd love to go diving one day!

    n. Naomi in Wonderland

  3. truly my biggest fear, but also so so so amazing.


    1. It can definitely be intimidating - but so amazing to swim with the fish :)


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