Dive #185 - Rich Torkington's Dive Log
© Copyright 2010 Rich Torkington Mesa, Arizona

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Bottom Time to Date:


Dive Info:

Dive Start:

Bottom Time:
59 minutes

Maximum Depth:
68 feet

Safety Stop:
3 minutes

Beginning Air:
3000 psi

Ending Air:
900 psi

Weather Conditions:
Clear 940°F

Surface Conditions:

Surface Water Temperature:

Bottom Water Temperature:

100+ feet
* * *
July 25,
Linda, Janel, and John
Cuan Law Liveaboard
British Virgin islands
The Cuan Law is one awesome dive liveaboard.
Photograph by Rich Torkington in BVI 2004 
Dive Journal: 7/24/2004 – Linda’s travel planning expertise shines brightly when she finds the Cuan Law diving liveaboard.

We fly today from Phoenix to Newark (“Newwwerk”), spend a couple hours in the President’s Club, then pick up the leg to San Juan, Puerto Rico. A taxi takes us to the Quality Inn. We then take off on foot up the main drag to find a restaurant, and eventually end up at a beach-side bar and grill for a much-needed dinner. The beach breezes feel great already.

7/25/2004 – The next morning, we grab a taxi back to the airport. Today we’re flying with Island Birds Airlines, a small charter that serves just about anywhere in the Caribbean. We are greeted at the desk with “You must be the Torkingtons.” Wow, the commercial air carriers could take a few lessons here.

The greeter turns out to be our pilot, who whisks us quickly through security and out onto the airstrip. Our gear arrives in parallel and we help load it into a small 5-seater plane. This is the way to do it. We fly due east over St. John, St. Thomas, and across Tortola, eventually to land at the Beef Island airport just east of Tortola. The plane flies only a few thousand feet up, and we get beautiful views of the all the surrounding islands and gorgeous water.

The pilot has all of our immigration and customs paperwork already filled out, and he then helps us locate the seemingly absent officials at the airport. We then make arrangements with the pilot to pick us up here in 2 weeks and set a time. This is how air travel ought to be.

We load into a taxi and take off back over the bridge and through Tortola. The driving is on the left here, and I notice that the roads are very narrow and that most people drive way too fast. It’s about 10:30am, too early to get on the Cuan Law, but our taxi driver drops our luggage off at their dock anyway. We then go into Road Town, walk around a bit, and eventually camp out at the lobby of the Maria’s By the Sea Hotel, watching Lance Armstrong ride once again in victory down the Champs Elysees.

We board the Cuan Law a little bit after noon and meet the crew. Owners Annie and Duncan Muirhead are onboard to greet this week’s guests, and we immediately feel welcomed. The Cuan Law is a three-hulled sailboat all of 105 feet long, with great staterooms, and an especially nice salon and aft section laid out for meals, lounging, and diving. A slew of additional specific information on the boat can be found at www.cuanlaw.com.

The boat motors out from the CSY dock, we settle in and unpack our gear. We anchor first at Peter Island, and Dan is soon ready with the first of many fabulous meals we are to enjoy. We then receive a briefing for the general dive procedures onboard, plus some orientation for this afternoon’s dive.

Our divemaster (and PADI certified instructor) is named Abbie. Among the divers are Dennis, Chris, Dick, Jon, Diana, Andrew and Nathan. The first dive site is a raised patch of reef in 50 to 60 feet of water, called Randy’s Reef. We spend about 25 minutes of the dive doing checkout Open Water skills on the bottom, which is sort of a pain, but I also immediately appreciate that the Cuan Law cares a lot about safe diving and knowing their guests’ skill levels.

With Johnny as my buddy, we circle the reef patch and find a pretty turtle in a depression on the far side, and a few nice lobsters. The rest of the reef is a little bit ho-hum by Caribbean standards. There are a few beautiful jellyfish near the surface, however.

A night dive is scheduled here tonight, but, following this afternoon’s dive, everyone on board elects to pass on it. We enjoy a fantastic dinner, then spend the evening exploring the boat and getting to know the other passengers.

A discussion soon develops in the salon between Andrew, Nathan, Dennis, and (Captain) Chas. (Steward) Ashley is present but keeps pretty quiet. I think it is her turn to stay up with the guests. I’m present, too, but I tend to sit and listen, especially when the discussion turns sharply political.

Chas lays down the carpet by challenging the American homeowner’s tendency to own firearms. This position is met with sharp opposition from Andrew and Dennis, and then Nathan. The discussion meanders from guns to crime to rednecks to NASCAR, all with plenty of friendly ribbing and entertainment value. Our lively debate, however, manages to infringe on some guests trying to catch up on their sleep, and we hear about it in the morning.

Mares Avanti Quattro
Oceanic Véo 200
80 ft3 Al
SeaQuest Spectrum 4
Dive Type:
BOAT, Cuan Law
Body of Water:
Caribbean Sea
U S Divers
3mm full wetsuit
Spectrum XR2
plus Oceanic
Slimline octopus
8 lb
Water Type:
Video Equipment: