Deep Blue (www.deepblueutila.com) is like a liveaboard on land. Its sole purpose is to cater to divers. If you don’t dive I have no idea how you would survive here. No pool, good with me, but if you are not diving a pool is a place to hang out. There is a beach??? if you want to call it that. There is sand to the water but there are so many coral heads in the water I do not think you could successfully navigate them to get deep enough in the water to swim. There is no TV, hooray. The internet is slow. So, it is maybe read a book, or DIVE.
Several years ago Debbie and I went on a dive trip aboard The Wind Dancer. We circumdove Tobago. We dove and ate. We lived by a bell. The bell rang it was time for breakfast. 2nd bell was ‘get on the dive boat.’ We then went back to the mother ship for a snack, usually a hot, just out of the oven brownie. 3rd bell get back on the dive boat. 4th lunch. The 5th bell was to get back on the dive boat. Return to the Wind Dancer and bell 6 was, you guessed it, back on the skiff. The dinner bell was next, then to bed. There was no bell for bedtime; we got to choose the time we retired, which was usually soon after dinner. Repeat every day for a week.
Life at Deep Blue is similar. We get up eat, meet at the boat, do 2 morning dives, back to the lodge for lunch, reconvene at the boat for an afternoon dive. We thankfully get a bit of chill time in the afternoon before supper is served and bedtime is quick to follow.
The food here is the responsibility of Susan. She makes sure it is on time and made to perfection. We eat a full breakfast, a hot lunch and choose from a daily changed four item menu for dinner. The food is made to order and I personally have not been disappointed, not even once.
The dive portion of the operation is top notch. The boat is in good repair and is very easy to dive from. You can use either stride entry or back roll off the side. The gear is easily accessible between dives or when it is time to get in the water. The ladder has proper hand holds and is deep enough in the water that you can get your feet on it. The captain is super-efficient and treats the boat as if it is his own and the dive masters are there to take care of all of your whims. Bel’s (one of the dive masters) favorite line is “ it is your vacation let us do that for you.”
The routine and rigour is the same as diving on a liveaboard but we don’t have the bell. Saints be praised for that. For months after our trip to Tobago I drooled every time I heard a bell. I’m hoping that with the lack of such stimuli I will not have the same conditioned response I had that many years ago.