The Guru woke up today with uncontrollable urges to mouth breathe and put Sea Drops on my Oakleys. A wet suit check confirms my fears: Yep, it’s almost dry – diving withdrawal. The symptoms will only get worse if I delay.
Good thing I stay packed for dive travel. Online, I book flights to Aruba (been meaning to get back there). Next, my local PADI Pro hooks me up with a PADI Dive Center and a great hotel on the island. Nothing to do now until morning departure, so I may as well see what divers are saying about the dive sites. Google “Aruba.” Wow, 333 million hits; I’m going to have to narrow this down.
“Aruba diving” knocks it down to only 5.5 million. That’s progress, so I start clicking. Really? I had no idea the southeastern side of the island is a major nesting site for sooty terns, black noddies, and brown noddies. Cool, but not very dive related, unless one happens to drown and sink in front of me while I’m cruising a southside reef.
Next, I try “Aruba dive sites.” Only 189,000 hits. I find a dive site rating system at arubaisawesome.com. They rate sites from excellent to slightly less excellent. Hmmm, Aruba has great diving but I was hoping for a tad more objectivity.
Ah, a bulletin board at dourdivers.com. Their rating system is similar, except that they rate everything as poor, bad or dreadful. Oh, but they have actual reports, like “I found the [WRECK NAME] an awful dive. The visibility was a putrid 300 metres/1000 feet – not ‘air clear’ as the *&%*#$ dive operator promised.”
Not much better. Why can’t I find a site that lists the popular sites with info from real divers who don’t have a love-it or hate-it agenda? Ah, here’s one! Well, it’s one with nothing more current than 2006. That would help if I were Marty McFly and had a Delorean. Now what?
Ah, I know! As the Dive Guru, I can put a shameless plug in here and check out reports on popular Aruba dive sites at ScubaEarth®. Hit scubaearth.com, enter my user name, password. Click Dive Sites, enter “Aruba” in “Location.” Ding! Aruba’s top 28 rated by real divers like you and me, with numbers of ScubaEarth dives logged at each, location and basic dive information. Just what I was looking for.
And while, I’m at it, let’s check out the Featured Destination, Mozambique. Cool stuff, that’ll be the next trip . . . who’s knocking at the door at this hour? My taxi? I’ve been up all night? Shoulda gone to ScubaEarth before I clicked into half those other 189,000 other sites. Well, now at least I know where to buy a forklift in Aruba if I ever need one.
Time to grab the bags and head for the airport. This is gonna be great!
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