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Trinidad and Tobago Travel Blog

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I was backrolling into the water before most of you were rolling out of bed this morning!

back tracking a little… When I pulled into port at Scarborough, Tobago it was at night. I hate arriving in these foreign cities at night with no place to stay. (The whole day trying to buy a ferry ticket and dealing with that was a waste of my Sunday.) Stupidly, I keep doing it.

I went with a Rough Guide recommendation that had me hoofing it up this steep street, at night, sweating my ass off, only to have no one answer the bell. It was only about 9pm. After the 4th ring finally the guy came out and told me they had no rooms. Seeing the slim options in this town, I bit the bullet and decided this would be splurge night. Went back down the hill, got in a taxi, and said take me to the Hilton.

The Hilton was pretty, eh, ok. I mean, ocean view from every room, and the amount of luxury for the low season price was a bargain. I just hate supporting these kinds of places, i.e. golf and watersports resorts, but it was the right choice at the right time. The next morning I called the front desk…

Me: “Hi, can I get a late check out of say, 1 or 2 pm since I got in late last night.”
Receptionist: “Umm, let me check a minute…”
Receptionist: “Hmmmmm”
typing on keyboard
Me thinking: ‘ok bitch I know this place is half EMPTY, just tell me yes’
Receptionist: “2pm? Ok, that is fine.”

That’s what I thought. I made the most of my Hilton stay by pigging out on the $20 breakfast buffet, then hitting the private beach (there were about 5 other people on it) and then the giant swimming pool (I was the ONLY person in the pool.) Crazy.

Yesterday I took a day with no dives to catch my breath. I’ve wanted to hike but hiking alone is not recommended. Fortunately, Rough Guide pointed me to Argyl Falls, Tobago’s biggest waterfall, and just a few km’s away. It was a nice short hike but the waterfall part was steep enough to get a good workout. The water totally cooled you off however.

The dives have been great! I spent the first 3 nights here in Speyside at the Manta Lodge, a kind of diver resort. They’ve got the oldest PADI certified dive company on the island on site, and their dive prices are still good. But you’re paying extra for a place on the beach, a pool, and the convenience. So I just moved up the hill for my last 2 nights here to a gorgeous family owned guest house.

All of our dives so far have taken place off of Little Tobago and Goat Island, the island you see from my pictures. Goat Island contains one white house, that of Ian Fleming who wrote the James Bond novels. Little Tobago is a bird sanctuary and you can hike on it if you want.

Dive 1, Apr 22, Coral Gardens - 32 minutes, max depth 40 feet.
I did my first dive in 14 months with a group of 2 who were students doing their first dive ever, and of course the instructor and another divemaster.
This is the site of one of the largest brain corals in the world, somehow we missed it. The current was strong. We saw a striped Moray Eel and a grouper fighting over something. I got a good view and picture of the eel out in the open.

Dive 2, Apr 23, Black Jack Hole - 24 minutes, max depth 60 feet
This was a short but spectacular dive. My fault for running out of air too fast from A) being out of shape, B) my spare regulator shot out a bunch of air after going in the water.
We saw a huge school of large Tarpon, like 20. These fish are BIG. I got some pictures including one of my divemaster surrounded by two of them. Also saw my first barracuda of the trip, a Cowfish with an amazing marble pattern, and I think a puffer.

(Keep in mind, we see thousands of fish, we just note the really big or interesting ones)

Dives 3 and 4 I did with our divemasters and 3 English guys who are 65-69 years old. They’ve been diving since the 1960’s! I will likely be going with them again tomorrow. It was good to hear experienced guys talk about other places, like the Red Sea, and Bonaire which was a place I was considering. They said it was too crowded, you’re constantly running into other groups of divers in the water. They were like “this is so much better…” just us out there by ourselves.

Dive 3, Apr 24, Bookends - 36 minutes (yay my breathing was better!) at max depth 80 feet.
We saw a ton of fish, but nothing thrilling. More big tarpon (almost as big as we are) horse-eyed jack, crevalle jack, creole wrasse, and lots of red snapper. We also see these little spider like crabs on every dive, tiny bodies and long thin legs… I forgot to look up the name.

Dive 4, Apr 24, Flying Manta - max depth 70 feet, 40 minutes.
This was the best one yet. It’s called flying manta because you go through this narrow canyon between the island and a big rock. The current is so strong that it sucks you through the canyon like you’re on a waterslide! It was amazing. This is called ‘drift diving’ and there’s a lot of that here. You just let the current carry you along.
Saw: an amazingly cool trumpetfish, another cowfish, trunkfish, lots of french angelfish on every dive, a HUGE lobster hiding in a little cave… and the one I was very proud of, I spotted a scorpionfish. These suckers sit on the bottom, are camouflaged to the coral, and are mean, ugly little guys.

Diving Photos - at the last minute before my trip, I was inspired by my friend Erena to take pictures. A waterproof case for my digital costs as much as the camera itself and I didn’t have time to order it online. So I bought 2 disposable underwater 35mm cameras. So we’ll all have to wait until I get back to see how they turned out :-(

Besides that, it’s so freakin quiet here… I don’t know what to do other than walk around, sit and listen to the roosters and birds.

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