The Dominican Republic was a very cool country to visit. It is a lot like Cancun 10-15 years ago. Things are building up and the popularity is growing, but it stills feels like you aren't in the USA any more. Any time I visit an island I make it a priority to go Scuba diving.
We stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel in Punta Cana and I booked my dive trip with Dressel Divers. My trip would consist of two wreck dives and a night dive. I had a great conversation with the Dressel Divers representative about the different dive sites before booking. It was refreshing to book a trip with a person who actually dove these sites. She is normally a dive master so the info was spot on. Lucky for me, she was working the reservation desk since she was pregnant.
She explained that Saona Island would be the best reef and wildlife dive, but that trip didn't have a night dive. I decided to trade the reef for wrecks and that way I could get a night dive in.
About mid-morning I caught a bus to the Iberostar resort where the Dressel Divers shop and docks were. Everybody got their gear together and after a briefing we boarded the boat and headed to the St. George wreck.
It was a great dive and I got to try out my new monopole and GoPro underwater for the first time. After the first dive we came back and had lunch while the staff loaded new tanks on the boat.
Now that we have all shared a dive together the conversations are starting to flow. At our table we had a guy named John Carlo from Italy. He could speak as much English as I can speak Italian, but we actually managed to have some conversation. The dive master was living in the Dominican Republic, but she was from Columbia and went to college in the USA. There was also a family from London. This was their daughter's certification dives. It is so much fun meeting people from all over the world. You quickly come to realize that we are all basically the same no matter where we live or what language we speak.
After lunch we boarded the boat and headed to another wreck site called the Atlantic Princess. My favorite part about this wreck was swimming through the cabin.
We returned to the dock late in the afternoon to get new tanks and eat supper. The supper crowd was the same as the lunch crowd. Just before it got dark we loaded up and headed to a nice reef for a drift dive at night. We arrived at dusk and everybody started jumping in.
This is only my second night dive in the ocean. My first ocean night dive in Cancun I was a little nervous, but this time i was excited to explore the dark. I mounted the GoPro to my flashlight and I found out that I should have used indirect light on the subjects of my shot, so much of what I filmed was washed out in the light. I still got some cool animals for you though. As you watch, imagine yourself underwater and the only thing you can see is from a flashlight. There are times where the combined light of all the divers is plenty to see all around you, but then there are times where its just your light. Its like tunnel vision. Everywhere you look is very focused, but just outside the beam of light is a pitch black blind spot all around you! You are foreign to this environment, and you know just outside the halo of light is all the native life of this aqueous planet. The only sound is bubbles running past your ears and the crackling of the reef around you.
Towards the end of the dive there were thousands of small animals following our lights. The tiny fish were so thick there were times you could hardly see past them, but the creepy thing to me was the worms. They were harmless, but all I could think of was one of those things going in my ear! Make sure you watch towards the end of the video and you will see what I mean.