Greg the Divemaster and friends embark on a special itinerary aboard the Caribbean Explorer II June 1-8. ScubaRadio's Jerry The Diver Guy and Jerry Beaty from Dive Training magazine are just a couple passengers joining in on this special event. ScubaRadio will also originate from the deck of the boat that week!
The itinerary aboard the Caribbean Explorer II (CX2) in the Northeastern Caribbean always delights; the variety of dive sites, mountainous vistas and island cultures are truly unique. The CX2 also recently completed a major interior update and re-beautification! In early June, the Caribbean Explorer II will add to the excitement – a detour south, further down the island chain, with seldom-dived sites at both Redonda and Montserrat!
Starting from St. Kitts, we’ll travel south to uninhabited Redonda, named by Columbus in 1493 on his second expedition and located 24 nautical miles south of St. Kitts, is home to vast numbers of sea birds, including the uncommon red-footed booby. Little remains of the guano mining operations which began in the 1860’s and ceased a century ago. The remnant of an extinct volcano, Redonda seems also to be a marine nursery – juveniles of many species can be found, as well as abundant turtles and flying gurnards. Previous visits here have also discovered shallow areas full of anchors from centuries past – always an eerie sight!
Montserrat, just 12 nautical miles farther south, is a sleepy island devoid of large resorts, casinos, and throngs of tourists. Known as the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean, a major cultural contribution came from the Irish, who began settling the island in the early 1600’s – St. Patrick’s Day is still a public holiday. Montserrat is perhaps best known for the eruption of the Soufriere Hills volcano, which ceased to be dormant on 18 July 1995 and, over the next 5 years, demolished the southern half of the island and forced 2/3 of the island’s population to flee. The 1,200 inhabitants remaining as of 1997 have grown to about 5,000, but an exclusion zone covers the southern half of the island and the includes the site of Plymouth, formerly the capital city. The volcano has been largely slumbering for the past 9 years, but with luck we’ll be able to visit the Soufriere Hills Volcano Observatory.
The waters surrounding Montserrat team with more flying gurnards than we’ve seen anywhere else. We’ll visit sites such as Orville’s Reef, Rendezvous, Northwest Bluff, Sea Studio and the Batcave to give an interesting underwater perspective on this unique island. Amongst other reef inhabitants, expect to see leopard flatworms, seahorses, blennies, filefish and solitary anemones in these waters.
Spending a few days exploring these unique destinations, we’ll wind our way back North to magical reefs and pinnacles of the Saba Marine Park, before ending the trip in St. Maarten.
Call Explorer Ventures today for more information and to book your spot today: US 1.800.322.3577, +1.307.235.0683