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Scuba Diving in Bermuda October 7, 2008

Posted by Chris Sullivan in Dive Log.
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Author returning from dive with buddy J.P.Brion

Author returning from dive with buddy J.P.Brion

More than 3 years after my trip to Tobermory with Ken, I won a trip to Bermuda with Digital Equipment of Canada, where I worked at the time. I had the presence of mind to take my mask and snorkel, and was pleased to find a dive shop on the beach at my hotel (the Southampton Princess, now owned by Fairmont). By this time it was October 1989, and my first taste of warm water ocean diving led to a 19 year break from the frigid waters of Canada.

Throughout that period I was a typical recreational diver, I think. Not in the water enough for my own good, not practicing my skills, receiving no further instruction and avoiding anything with cold water, heavy currents, low visibilities or other stresses. Fortunately this kind of diving is relatively easy and I had no equipment failures or other underwater challenges.

Bermuda is a lovely place. October is the end of the tourist season there for people who want beach weather, but it is pleasant there year-round. Sort of like April to September in Toronto spaced out over the whole year, plus the odd hurricane. My buddy and work colleague J. P. Brion and I did four dives together, all going without a hitch. The first day I was down to 80’ (not exactly wise for my first dive in over 3 years) on a wreck called the Hermes. The next day, Friday, October 13th, 1989, was the day the Dow plunged almost 7 percent as fallout from the collapse of the junk bond market. It was raining and 22 degrees Celsius, we spent almost an hour on an unnamed reef at a depth of around 25 feet. On the 14th we visited two wrecks, the steamer Minnie Breslau and the French paddlewheel Marie Celeste at 60 and 70 feet depth respectively.

As I mentioned before, I wish I had made better notes in my log book. I made no mention of fish seen, perhaps because I didn’t have much knowledge of fish identification at the time. I did note the bottom consisted of sand and coral on all the dives.

I found out years later that at the time Bermuda was home to Sir William Stephenson, a.k.a. Intrepid, a.k.a. The Quiet Canadian. He was instrumental in the British Secret Service during World War II (although many of the stories about him were disputed). The father of a high school friend, Tim Lawson, was a Colonel in the Canadian Armed Forces and knew Stephenson well. Tim wrote a forward in a rather disjointed yet interesting book about Stephenson, “The True Intrepid” by Bill Macdonald, in which he described a fascinating family visit to his home in Bermuda in the eighties.

Although my wife and I often talk about a return visit to Bermuda, like many Canadians we like to take our sun holidays in the winter, when the weather is pleasant there, but not hot enough for the beach. Perhaps I’ll take her there for our 25th anniversary in June of 2012.

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Comments»

1. deepstop - October 7, 2008

Another article published in the North County Times on the accident also wonders what circumstances took them to 155 feet.

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2. » Scuba Diving in Bermuda »Sport News & Equipment - October 7, 2008

[…] Sport news by deepstop […]

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