Dive Trinidad & Tobago

On
Thursday, my family and I will be going to an Undisclosed Location* to spend the Easter holiday
diving.  Because it had been three years since my previous dive, as Easter approached, I began to get more and
more nervous about the prospect of going underwater.  What if I forgot everything? What if a Great White Shark
came out of nowhere and ate me alive? What if — not out of the realm of possibility — I just forgot to turn on the
air in my tank?

In order to help mitigate some of my nervousness, I decided to ask a friend of mine who was
currently taking a scuba diving course if I could tag along with her on her certification dive.  She was taking
her course with Ron Tiah of Dive TNT — clearly one of the best scuba schools on
the island.  Ron kindly allowed me to join his group today, and join them for two dives " href="http://www.gadling.com/2006/04/08/photo-essay-down-de-islands-trinidad/">down de islands."
The day started out promising — there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, and Ron is clearly a diving pro — safety is his
primary concern, immediately followed by ensuring that his divers have a good time.  On both dives we did today, he
prefaced each one with a thorough safety briefing, but also with a little bit of history and local lore about the area
and dive sites.  Three of my five diving companions were from overseas; however, because of Ron’s thorough
research, even I learned new bits of trivia about my homeland.  Truly entertaining.

The only
disappointment of the day came with the water clarity.  Trinidad is located about 9 miles off the coast of
Venezuela; and because of Venezuela’s Orinoco river, a lot of algae ends up being deposited in the seas around
Trinidad.  The water, therefore was quite green — great for attracting sea life (we saw many turtles, eels,
lobsters and large fish), but horrible for visibility.  Ron says that today’s visibility is one of the best he’s
seen in months.  I shudder to think.  I’m told, however, that Tobago diving conditions are world’s better –
some of the best in the world — and conveniently, Ron runs an operation there, as well.

Still, mission
accomplished — I definitely feel much more comfortable about my skills as a result of today’s dives, and am ready to
hit the Undisclosed Location with considerable gusto.  However, my recommendations for people thinking about
diving in Trinidad & Tobago:

1)  If you’re interested in becoming PADI certified, and you happen to
be in Trinidad & Tobago, you can’t do better than Dive TNT.  I’ve been
diving all over the world, and Ron’s group are extremely safety conscious, coupled with an enthusiasm and an easy-going
attitude that is hard to beat.  You’ll love learning from them.

2)  If, however, you’re already
certified, I’d skip Trinidad and take the 15-minute flight to Tobago, where dive conditions are much more
favourable.  That said, I’d still recommend you hook up with Ron — you couldn’t be in better hands.
/>*Undisclosed Location — Stay tuned for our new feature, "Where’s
Walrond?" beginning on Friday.  Over this coming weekend, I’ll be posting clues and photographs for you to
guess where I’m on holiday — the first reader to guess correctly which city and country I’m in will win a prize direct
from that location.