In St. Maarten a group of us did a private scuba diving tour. The dive shop Ocean Explorers was great. We had a member of our group who lost her c-card and they were able to work with her. I expressed to them that I am a dive instructor and that we had some new divers in the group that I wanted to look after especially on the shark dive. The first dive went great but while I was exploring the wreak that we were on the divemasters kept trying to tell me to stay close to them. They wanted the whole group around them. I was still in visual contact but not close to them because I was taking pictures. During the safety stop I stayed off the hang rope to allow room for others. Once on board the boat the divemasters stated that all divers regardless of experience must hang onto the ropes during safety stops.
The second dive was the shark dive. The was a good current and about a five foot surge. One of the new divers expressed that she wanted to stay with me on this dive. On the decent the divemasters kept trying to get me to continue the decent without the other diver. I refuse to leave a diver that has asked for me to stay with them. Once on the bottom they requested that we crawl on the bottom. It was mostly sand but you can see where divers along the bottom has damaged the reef. The sharks were awesome and I got a great video of the dive. One of the divemasters did take photos that were posted to flickr. I am still having trouble accessing those photos to this day even though I paid for them.
We walked around St. Maarten near the cruise ship after diving and it was beautiful. Nice shops along the boardwalk and great food. I would like to return to St. Maarten in the future.
St. Thomas was the wedding day for our group. We were in Belongo Bay and Iggies Bar and Grill for the wedding. The beach was beautiful and the host bar was great. The bay was a perfect backdrop for the wedding. Due to the awesome wedding we were unable to see the island. But on the bus ride back to the cruise we had a lot of other people doing the YMCA with us.
I worked for several years as a lifeguard at one of California's best water parks and Atlantis was by far the best park I have never been to in terms of slides and rides. They combined the lazy river with a wave pool that made for an enjoying yet exciting ride. The slides were fun and unique to Atlantis. The resort was beautiful and the only downside is that the water park dose not accept cash. Only credit cards or Atlantis room key. The straw market was good but we didn't have enough time to truly explore it due to limited time on the island.