December 26, 2004 - December 28, 2004 - December 29, 2004 - December 30, 2004 - December 31, 2004 - January 2, 2005 - January 3, 2005 - January 4, 2005 - January 5, 2005 - January 6, 2005 - January 7, 2005

December 27, 2004: Caribbean Explorer II

A D2D New Years 2005: Saba - St. Kitts dive
"Third Encounter (Saba)" - "Diamond Rock (Saba)" - "Man O' War Shoals (Saba)" - "Ladder Labrynth (Saba)"

Second day of diving saw some of the best sites of the trip.
Diving aboard the CEXII:
  • Directions from Tampa: Talk to Ultimate Dive Travel at
  • Conditions on the day of my visit: Sunny.

  • Personal Notes: Third Encounter is a dive on a pinnacle that's sitting mostly all by itself, coming up from somewhere a lot deeper than I went to about 85 feet under water. Diamond Rock (also known as "Stinky Bird Poop Rock") juts out of the water just off shore of Saba and goes to the sand at about 80 feet. Man O' War Shoals is where "Due East" Dan earned his nickname - during the briefing he indicated that the site was due east of the mooring line. Turns out it's not quite due east. About half of the boat missed the second part of the briefing where Dan indicated that a buoy was on the reef - and missed the site during the first dive. A second dive on that site resulted in everyone finding it. Either way it was a bit of a swim to get to it.

    It's okay Dan, you learned and we learned.


I'm particularly happy with the octopus shot - it's rare that I find one out and about, and standing still at that. He did go through some color changes while we were there, too. Also, I've taken to at least using some color correction when processing images, if not some contrast/brightness correction.
Third Encounter (Saba)
It is a bit of a swim from the mooring line to the actual pinnacle. Here we are making our way through blue water.
Here is the top of the pinnacle. With a lot of people, it can get a bit crowded on the site. Luckily there is a bit of reef on the mooring line.
Diamond Rock (Saba)
Here is a diver getting pretty close to a buried Stingray.
It is rare to see octopus out during the day; we were lucky to come across this one, who seemed to think we did not see him.
Squat Anemonie Shrimp are kinda small but easy to spot inside Giant Anemonies. There were at least three living among the tentacles of this anemonie.
They are very small and are hard to shoot without the proper lense.
Diamond Rock had its fair share of Blenny. Here is a decent shot of the head of one sticking out from a sponge.
Here are a pair of blenny neighbors. You can see they a small fish but have a bit of a body they hide in those holes.
Man O' War Shoals (Saba)
As there was not anything else to take a picture of on what Joe (pictured here) called "The Man O War Marathon Sand Swim", I took a picture of him. We are probably waiting for Lynne to tell us where the boat is.
Scorpion Fish are still surprises when I find them, and they are usually pointed out to me by other people.
This little hermit crab was an interesting find as he made his way along this coral head.
Ladder Labrynth (Saba)
This is a West Indian Sea Egg, that is trying to cameoflage itself.
Octopus are always interesting to watch. One of these days I plan on just watching one from a distance rather than letting everyone crowd around it, because once you have four or five divers hovering about, they get nervous and head for a hole.
Lobster were not rarities in Saba.
Nurse Sharks were not spotted every dive but we saw a fair number.
This is a Spotted Lobster.
Smooth Trunk Fish were plentiful ...
And this little one was really cute, althought I fear I may have spooked him from his night hidey hole.

Dive data for dives on this day:

Dive Site Name Max Depth Minutes Water Temp
281 Third Encounter (Saba) 107 feet 37 min. 81 F
282 Diamond Rock (Saba) 74 feet 50 min. 79 F
283 Man O' War Shoals (Saba) 78 feet 37 min. 81 F
284 Man O' War Shoals (Saba) 74 feet 43 min. 81 F
285 Ladder Labrynth (Saba) 58 feet 39 min. 79 F
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