My trip began in Old San Juan which I planned a night and day to visit the city before I was to go on the Nekton. I stayed at the Sheraton Old San Juan a convenient place to access the Old city. When I arrived at 10pm on Friday night I had about 3 hours sleep in the last 24. So I did about a 30 minute walk around the Old Town. On Saturday I got up early to do a walking tour, went to both of the old forts plus one of the oldest cathedrals in the western hemisphere. The Castillo San Cristobal and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro forts were built in the 1500ís incredible places to visit and see the history how the Spaniards defended Puerto Rico from the Dutch and English and then losing to the USA in the Spanish American war. I am a history nut and loved this. The Cathedral was as beautiful as many I had seen in Europe. Old San Juan is a unique and quaint city.

After spending the day in San Juan, I then headed back to the Airport to meet the Shuttle that takes me and another four people to the dock (about an hour away) to meet the Nekton Rorqual. I found the boat to be pretty much what I expected. It was not going to be one of the nicer Aggressor boats and not like that old Mike Ball Supersport Iíve been on. The Rorqual was nothing fancy, needed some carpet, painting done etc. but overall a nice functional boat. The crew was great with Captain Brice in command, the chef Renee along with DMís; Melissa, Scarlett, Brian etc were all great. The food was very good with snacks after every dive, usually in the morningís fresh cookies and afternoons various hot appetizers. Renee (chef) would say if you do not put on weight after this trip, I have not done my job. I had my own room, (thank God as the rooms would of been a bit crowded with two people) as there were only 22 on board. The dive deck did seem a bit tight when everyone was gearing up. I would dive 3 to 5 dives a day including a night dive. One major disappointment was the week before they took off their 95 tanks and switched to 80ís for a air hog like myself I wish the 95ís would have been there. Overall the water was calm just the crossing from Puerto Rico to St. Croix was a bit rough. One thing when tipping do not put it on a credit card bring cash, I did talk to a couple of employees who verified that was a point of contention with management that they do not get their tips when put on a Credit Card.

The diving: Water temperatures ranged 83 to 85 degrees and the weather was perfect for the week. We dove Cane Bay, Pavilions, Deep wrecks, Butler Bay etc. I did enjoy the diving at Frederiksted but not the great muck diving I thought, never saw the Batfish. Northstar was probably the best diving which was done on the last day. I was not to overly optimistic about the diving thus I was not let down. Saw an Octopus here and there along with Queen Angels, assorted Snappers (mostly yellow tailed), Wrasses, a few Barracuda and Jacks, Pufferfish, Flounders, a couple of Turtles, Aero Crabs, Banded Shrimp, some Morayís, normal aquarium fish etc. One person saw an Eagle Ray and a Reef Shark. The Nekton does have someone on the Dive deck to lead a dive or an insta buddy. Unfortunately the dive guides were unfamiliar with the sites thus we did not get as much out of the dives. I did pass on a couple of night dives and afternoon dives as there was just not much to see. One distraction on a couple of the sites was the fish traps. What little Marine life they have they trap. I saw one I wanted to open but in our dive briefing, we were told No touching the traps!

Overall I had a great time on the boat, got 23 dives in and the diving was OK. I also wanted to try out some new equipment before I head to Indonesia next month. I dive mostly the Indo Pacific region thus a bit spoiled when it comes to marine life. Fun time overall!