Sea Fever & Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas 2001 : Aboard the Sea Fever
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Sea Fever : Cay Sal Bank, Bahamas : Trip Report
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Aboard the Sea Fever

Getting to the Sea Fever is pretty easy. They are now docked at slip 38 at Haulover Beach Marina in Sunny Isles, Florida. Sunny Isles is located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale. If you come in just for the live-a-board then staying in the general vicinity of Sunny Isles is ok but if you're going to hang out for a few days you might not find it very exciting. We stayed in Miami Beach for a few days.

The boat itself is quite a bit smaller than our last live-a-board on the Sun Dancer II. The boat has three three decks; lower deck, main deck and upper deck. The lower deck contains all the guest rooms with two heads. The main deck contains the diving deck, dining room, additional head, captain's cabin and pilot house. The upper deck is basically just a sun deck. You can find more info and diagrams at Sea Fever Amenities.

When planning this trip we also looked at the Nekton Pilot but chose against it because it didn't have Nitrox available. We were concerned about sea sickness but my research showed that July is one of the best months for water conditions. For the most part the waves weren't bad. Some people took Dramamine before the first Gulf Stream crossing and all of us made it ok. Otherwise once in the Bahamas it was fine, except for one night when there was a storm nearby. The waves really rocked the boat for several hours but Captain Tom did his best to find shelter for the night. One person in our group did have slight sea sickness problems pretty much all week. In general we found it's best to not skip any dives and just spend as much time in the water and keep busy to not think about the boat rocking.

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The boat as seen from one of the shore excursions.
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The main salon where we spend most of our time when not in the water.
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The kitchen.
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One of the state rooms.
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The back part of the sun deck showing the controls used for drift dives.
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The front of the sun deck where we slept a couple nights.
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Todd giving us a briefing on the dive deck.
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Lily and Laura talking over lunch.
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While Frank takes a nap outside.
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In general we found the trip to be very good. Red's cooking was as advertised, nothing fancy but good and plenty of it. Breakfast usually consistent of a selection of cereals, english muffins, bagels, coffee, juice and whatever hot food Red was grilling up like eggs, waffles, pancakes, etc. Lunch was usually the least fancy of the meals with just a make your own sandwich selection. Dinner was always hot and included things like lamb, prime rib and other meaty choices. Red was happy to accommodate a couple vegetarians on the trip. After dinner fresh baked sweets were available. We usually saved those for after our night dive. A selection of fruit and other snacks were always available between meals.

The only shortcomings with the trip were related to the small size of the ship. The state rooms are very small. I've heard horror stories of boats in Asia with bunks little over 5' long. The ones on the Sea Fever at least were large enough to accomodate my 6' 2" tall friend. The other problem is that while moving the large diesel engines make an awful lot of noise. Ear plugs are a good idea if you are a light sleeper. A couple nights we opted to sleep outside on the sun deck which was quite pleasant.

Most of the awake time we spent in the salon/dining room. When not diving we were either eating, doing our dive logs or just socializing in the air conditioned room. I heard there is a plan to change the layout of the seats to increase interaction between tables. That sounds like a good idea to me. This is also where they keep a variety of first aid supplies which came in really handy when Lily got some Jellyfish stings on her cheek.

The boat only has three heads, two of which only have showers. Most nights we just used the fresh water hose on the back of the boat to wash up on the deck after our night dive. A small bucket with liquid soap and shampoo was nearby so I think that's a popular shower spot.

The main diving deck was rather cramped with 14 divers on our trip. We often found myself bumping into each other and waiting for one person to get into their gear and move out of the way before I could sit down to get my gear on. On the bright side both the camera rinse bucket and table were large.

The biggest complaint people had was that the air fills were rarely done in a timely fashion. The reason for this appears to be that due to the insufficient cooling in the engine room they could only run either the air or nitrox compressor, not both. When the compressors are running their hoses allow only two tanks to be filled at once. For more shallow dives we just took our tanks a little light to make sure we got in the water with everyone else.
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James would occasionally fish while we were moving from island to island.
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All he caught were Barracuda which he threw back.
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The salon is where we socialized and did our dive logs.
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And took an occasional nap.
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A goofy picture of Lily and me.
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I didn't know sponge baths were included in the package.
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Yes, we're glad you're back too.
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Lily couldn't resist messing with the Jellyfish.
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Nitrogen Narcosis Induced Quotes of the Week

Anonymous Party of Five Diver: Hey, look a map of the bahamas. I think we're near this island. Do you think we'll get close the the Bermuda Triangle at all this week?

Captain Tom: Near it!? You've been in it all week!!


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Next Section: How as the diving? Check out the section devoted just to the diving.
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