Scubadaddy's Trip Reports & Pics


Amy and I have shared Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Belize, and the Flower Gardens with over 300 people between 1999 and 2002 and we want everyone that traveled with us to know how much we appreciate them.  In late 2002, business opportunities got in the way of our diving adventures and we took a few years off to tend to business. We sure do miss our diving, but look forward to getting submerged soon.

Send us e-mail and I will add you to our electronic mailing list. If any good "last minute" deals pop up we may be able to offer you an unbeatable opportunity!

Below are some recent trip reports with links to the photo pages.  If you are not included in these reports or pictures,
drop me an e-mail and I bet we can make sure you're in the next one!


T r i p   R e p o r t   F i n d e r
Most Recent Trip First

Soon to be announced!

4th Annual Spring Break Cozumel Trip
March 23 - 27, 2002

(click here for photo page)

Another great trip! I know, I sound like a broken record when I talk about Cozumel dive trips. Nevertheless, as I always say, "The worst Cozumel dive trip I ever had was GREAT!"

This was our smallest group in 3 years for the Spring Break Trip. I think it must have something to do with the economy and some people's new found fear of flying, but I am mighty glad these twelve made the trip!

March and April are the driest months of the year in Cozumel… rain is rare and the temperature is rarely over 85 degrees in the daytime or less than 70 degrees at night. Now that is just about a little bit better than perfect!

We departed Shreveport early on Saturday, March 23rd on Continental Airlines, the official airline of Scubadaddy Dot Com. With only about 50 minutes between connecting flights, we were hustling through Houston Intercontinental to be sure we made our flight. The flight to Cozumel was smooth and fast, only about 1+40 with the help of a good tail wind. We were pleasantly surprised to see that all our bags made it to Cozumel. So, I guess the close connection worked well this time.

The white vans were waiting on us and we loaded all twelve of us on board with our bags in the back and on top. Now that's 12 divers and 24 pieces of luggage plus carry-ons. That is a well-packed van! Check-in was smooth as usual at the El Cid - La Ceiba, by 1:30, most everyone was situated and the gear was in the dive lockers. All diving arrangements with Del Mar Aquatics were confirmed with Adolfo and we were set. A quick lunch at Ernesto's Fajita Factory for some and La Ceiba's seaside restaurant for the rest and it was time for the first diver's "disorientation." Shore tanks are included in our package so, a "tune up" shore dive was the order of the afternoon. Weights were adjusted and a little rust was chipped off here and there. A large eagle ray was out cruising around the airplane. Really an awesome sight! I have noticed that during the last several years the eagle ray population seems to have increased significantly. After swimming with the eagle ray, it was off to the showers and Guido's Pizza Rolandi where we dined out in the garden and it was great as usual.

Sunday morning dawned bright, clear, and calm. First order of the day was La Ceiba's hot breakfast buffet. Then it was another shore dive. After careful consideration, a detailed dive plan was worked out for an underwater inspection of the cruise ship pier. This is one of the best dives on the island, especially the older section of pier, where you can find some very old soft corals and more fish life than just about anywhere else on the island. Max depth was only about 45 feet, no current to speak of, and the water temperature was a "just right" 80 degrees. Total dive time was about 33 minutes and for a few of us, air was a little on the short side due to the rather long swim, but the swim was worth it.

For our first boat dive, we met Del Mar Aqauatic's Splash III at the La Ceiba dock with all 12 of our divers. These fast boats are great for getting to the south end of the island quickly, and with the calm seas, we really made good time. We left the dock at 1:20 and we were briefed and submerged by 1:40 on Palancar Reef. That's pretty good time! As we descended to our maximum depth of 75 feet, the first thing we saw was a big turtle. He gave us a good show and as it turned out, he must have been an omen for good things to come. In just a few minutes, we swam up on a beautiful eagle ray whose curiosity got the better of him as he made a loop or two to check us out. Our divemasters, Adolfo and Alex did a good job of finding plenty of good stuff for these veterans of Cozumel to see. Palancar is known for some good swim through's and today we made four or five of them. Total dive time was 46 minutes, water temperature was 81 degrees and visibility was an easy 100 feet, current was south to north and running about 3 knots… just typical Cozumel diving. Boarding the Splash III could not be much easier. The captain kills the engines and throws out a current line. Everyone holds onto the current line and, as they approach the boat, ditches their weight belt and system, passes them up to the mate on the boat and then with a quick flipper kick, you turn and sit on the swim platform on the back between the engines. After removing your fins, you make your way to your station where your empty tank has already been changed out for a new one and everything is ready to go again.

It was just a short trip over to San Francisco Beach for our surface interval. This is a nice area with nice beach, open-air restaurant, swimming pool, rental shop, bathrooms, and a recompression chamber. Just about anything you could need or want!

After reboarding the Splash III, it was only about a 10-minute ride to Paradise reef for our second boat dive. This is a shallow reef just outside of and south of the cruise ship pier. This was Rickey Murrell's 100th dive and it was appropriate that it was on Paradise Reef!

After arrival back at La Ceiba, we did not have long before it was time for the night dive orientation. We had only six for the night dive, the ladies wanted to spend the time getting ready to go out on the town. As usual, the La Ceiba Airplane and reef was pretty well covered up with crabs, lobster, spotted morays, and a few parrotfish asleep in their cocoons. We found an octopus or two this night also!

Pizza Prima got the bid for dinner. It was good, but SLOW. It seems that they are happy to take individual orders but don't keep them together in the kitchen so they get preparee one at a time. So, some people were eating in 10 minutes after their order and others waited 45 minutes. They did not understand the common sense of keeping the orders together for the whole table. Anyway, it was good food with a great atmosphere and the service had a typical Mexican feel to it.

Well that gives you an idea that things were going pretty well for us on this trip. The rest of the shore dives and four more boat dives were great. Our last dive was everyone's favorite… Columbia Shallows. Located on the south end of the island, the reef here has less traffic than most other dive sites. The condition of the reef is tops for the whole of Cozumel and fish life is more plentiful here also. We saw four turtles on this dive, along with a nurse shark, and so many great things to look at... you cannot even begin to see it all. Amber even found a $20 bill in the reef! I know, it's yours, you lost it there several weeks ago and would appreciate getting it back, right?! Well, as a starving schoolteacher, I am sure she appreciates whoever made the contribution.

Carlos and Charlie's is still the late night hot spot for the party crowd and we had a few party animals with us this time. Now that they are in their new location, I thought a lot of the flavor would be lost. However, the downstairs part of the new facility is great and we had a lot of fun. It is located on the main drag just as you come into town (from the south). It is just a little past the Hotel Barracuda and across from the new cruise ship pier in town.

About the party ~ I will have to canvas the group, but I am thinking maybe we could all get together for a post trip party on Friday, May 11. Plans are incomplete for now, but standby for further developments. If you were on the trip, you will be receiving a call or email about this. If you were not on the trip, but would like to attend the party, drop me an email, we would love to have you join us!

Bring your family and friends, we will have plenty for everyone, but please RSVP!
E-mail: or call (318) 470-4400.

Thanks for a great trip.
Again, y'all made Scuba Ventures and Scubadaddy Dot Com proud!


Cayman Aggressor IV ~ Thanksgiving Trip
November 17 - 24, 2001

Click here for YouTube Video
Click here for Photo Page

Scubadaddy's Trip Report

Once again we cheated death... yes, it's true, driving to and from the airport is always the most dangerous part of any dive trip, but with a lot of luck and a little bit of skill, everyone made it just fine!

This was a full boat charter on board the Cayman Aggressor IV. Eighteen divers from Scuba Ventures in Shreveport, LA began their journey on November 17th with a 6:30 a.m. departure via automobile to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. Arrival at the airport at 10:45 a.m. for a 1:45 p.m. flight was just a tad bit early, but with the new security checks, it's better to be early than late because as P.O. says, "To be early is to be on time and to be on time is to be late."

After making our way to Georgetown, Grand Cayman, B.W.I. on Cayman Airways, we were met by Randy (an Arkansas boy!) from the Cayman Aggressor IV Crew. He made arrangements for taxis to the dock where the Cayman Aggressor IV was tied up and off we went. Savio, the boat's "cook", was already preparing dinner and we hurried to stow our gear, find our cabin, and get started on the first feast of the week. No doubt about it… the food was fantastic! This first meal gave us great expectations for the next 17 full course meals Savio was to prepare during the coming week. I think we did at least as much eating as we did diving and then you throw in a few hours of sleep and you get the Aggressor's trademark slogan "Eat, Sleep, and Dive."

It's no use describing the diving in any great detail… it was typical Grand Cayman diving with 80' to 120' visibility, little or no current and calm seas (at least on our side of the island). Water temperature was about 82 degrees air temperature was about 85 degrees with clear to partly cloudy skies every day. I don't know how you could improve on the conditions, but the best part of the diving is still the live-aboard boat. No "cowboys" on this trip… everyone dove real good profiles, watched their nitrogen (and PO2's for the Nitrox guys) and air consumption, and generally looked like a good bunch of divers. There is just nothing like having your gear remain together all week; no lugging gear in and out of lockers and down to the dock. The "scooters" were a blast. If you did not try one this time, don't miss it next time. They are really easy to use and you can see ten times more reef with one. To round out the amenities, try warm deck showers and warm towels, a big camera table, plenty of room to store all the miscellaneous stuff, hot cookies or brownies to munch on after each dive, and hot chocolate after the night dives. Just try to improve on that!

Due to the high winds out of the northeast the first half of the week, we stayed on the leeward, or west side of the island where we had extremely clam conditions. We peaked around on the windy north side a couple of times hoping to get across to Little Cayman and Cayman Brac, but 90 miles of 10 - 12' seas was not our idea of a vacation. So, we decided to circumnavigate Grand Cayman and dive all the best sites it had to offer, which was substantial. By midweek, the winds had diminished enough so we were able to get around on the east side and dive the sites that the day boats can't reach. The reef conditions here are about 100 percent better than on the west side. Not that the west side is bad, but you could sure tell the difference. The recent hurricane that skirted the west side of the island dusted the reefs there with sand and broke up the Wreck of the Oro Verde so severely that only the bow resembles the ship it once was.

Well, by Thursday we had made it around to the north side and Stingray City. We had a ball with the rays for about an hour and got some great photos and video plus some stingray hickies! By Friday we had made the complete circle and we made our final dive at Devil's Grotto. This site has the best swim throughs in the Caymans, lots of fish, some big Tarpon hanging around in the caverns and is like diving in a giant aquarium. I would guess if you ever had a chance to dive in the "Living Seas" at Epcot in Orlando this is about what it would be like.

Friday evening we were docked at Georgetown and we all headed out to see the sights and do some shopping. After creating inflation in the local economy, we met back aboard the Cayman Aggressor IV for the farewell cocktail party and cruise. We met Captain Tom's wife and enjoyed cruising around Georgetown harbor and checking out the cruise ships while watching one of the most beautiful sunsets ever. This was Pirate Week in Grand Cayman and there was a fine looking old "pirate ship" that was also cruising around the harbor too. Every so often he would fire his cannon, which really got everyone's attention! About the time we docked back at the North Pier, we were treated to a awesome fireworks show. Captain Tom took full credit for that! Thanks Tom, but could this have had something to do with the Pirate Week Festival?

After the cruise we headed off on a short walk for dinner at "On the Rocks" formerly Capt. Bryans. We enjoyed a few drinks and a great meal on the deck overlooking the wave washed iron shore coral shoreline then we split up with about half the group going back to the boat and the rest going out to "experience" some of the local late night entertainment that Georgetown has to offer.

Saturday morning, everybody was up early to finish packing and load up for a 7:30 departure to the airport. As it turned out, arriving three hours prior to departure was a smart thing. The lines were packed and moved slowly due to the extensive security checks. It seemed that they looked at every item in every bag and questioned everything. A few of us were all but stripped searched prior to boarding, but again, if that is what it takes to make it safe, so be it. The trip home was smooth and uneventful. Customs in Houston was wide open with only a few people going through and we were loaded and on the road in less than 30 minutes after getting off the plane, which is probably some kind of record. Good weather, clear skies and 74 degrees, greeted us in Houston and getting home before dark was an easy four-hour drive.

In summary, this was a very relaxing week of luxury diving in one of the most beautiful places on earth aboard one of the best "dive yachts" in the world. Several times during the week I thought, "There is only one Cayman Aggressor IV, only one Thanksgiving Week, and only a few people I would want to spend a week with on a boat, and it all came together on one trip!" Now luck might have played a small part here, but like you've heard said before, "the harder I work, the luckier I get," and I guess you could say we were all real lucky this Thanksgiving.

If you missed the party, I'm sorry for you! It was a hoot! Lots of good stuff to eat and Randy came through with the Margaritas... yum, yum! We watched the video trip documentary and traded some pictures. Really some good pictures were taken on this trip. Some of the best underwater pictures we've seen in a while. Granted, it took literally well over 60 rolls to do it, but what the hey. No body ever ask how many bad ones it took to get the few good ones.

Thanks to everyone for spending your holiday and your diving dollars with us. We look forward to seeing everyone on the next trip.

"Scubadaddy & Dot Com"
January 7, 2002


5th Annual Halloween Cozumel Trip
October 24-28, 2001

(click here for photo page)

Marlon says, "MEXICOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!"

What do you think makes for a successful group dive trip? Well for starters, try bringing back everyone you left with… I guess that would be the number one thing. Then how about perfect weather, a great group of people, lots of good diving, good food, herds of turtles and bunches of sharks, the Big Splash, free breakfast, El Cid / La Ceiba, Jonathon, Alex, Antonio, and Antonio, and the usual extraordinary care and attention that is the trademark of "Scubadaddy Dot Com". Now you're talking!

Amy and I really appreciate each of you spending your fall vacation with us this year. We had a great time putting it together and "making it work" for you. This turned out to be a really good group where after the first day it was like everyone had been friends for years.

Our two Florida divers, Jessica and Marlon, turned out to be two of the nicest folks you could every want to know. A real treat… Just another testimony that you meet the nicest people on a Scubadaddy Dive Trip! You can bet we'll all holler MEXICOOOOOOOO next time we jump in the water in Cozumel!

Thanks to Amy, we learned a new signal for turtle on this trip. Surely, it will sweep the Caribbean within a short time. If you missed it, we'll have Amy demonstrate it for you… it's very unique!

The trip down was uneventful, not much trouble checking in at the airport. There was a little more than normal security, but nothing too painful. However, coming back, they hand checked each bag, every compartment, nook, and cranny. This was a lot of trouble, but I felt better about it all and I don't think I heard anyone complain. The Shreveport group was in a dead run trying to catch our plane. Luckily, we were about 2/3 of the flight and they held it for us. However, Jessica and Marlon weren't so lucky. They missed their flight and finally got home at 10:30 p.m. Sunday night. Sorry about that guys, next time we'll make sure Continental gives us at least 2 hours to clear customs and get on the plane.

Congratulations to Kelly and Alan Yokem for earning their Open Water Diver certifications on this trip. They did an excellent job and even tried the night dive. Not bad for brand new divers. By the end of the trip, they looked like seasoned divers and I would be proud to dive with them anywhere!

I've been to Cozumel now about 20 times and I can't remember ever having as much fun as we did this trip. The diving was about as good as it gets and the weather was, with out a doubt, the best it can be for this time of the year. It's just real hard to have a bad time when you combine great diving, a great group, great weather, and being treated like royalty by everyone in Cozumel.

For the record our boat dives were at: Palancar Gardens, Paradise Reef, Santa Rosa Wall, Cedar Pass/Santa Rosa Shallows, Columbia Pinnacles, and Columbia Shallows. The shore diving was the La Ceiba Airplane for both day and night diving. I think everyone's favorite dive was the last dive, Columbia Shallows. Our boat divemaster, Jonathon, said for our last dive he was taking us to "heaven." Well he was telling the truth! Columbia Shallows was the greatest! So many fish, you couldn't keep up with them, nurse sharks everywhere, turtles behind every coral head, big barracudas, and the most beautiful coral formations in the Caribbean.

Carlos and Charlie's is still the late night hot spot for the party crowd and we had some party animals with us this time. I think Heather was the leader in this category and as such, had more fun than just about anybody. But, for eating out, I don't think we could have done any better than Guido's, Prima-Prima, Pancho's Back Yard, and The French Quarter.

We also want to express our thanks and appreciation to our very own personal divemaster, Kyle Williams. Kyle toted tanks and weights, repaired gear, led dives, arrived early, stayed late, and, as always, generally kept the Scubadaddy and everyone else out of a bind. Thanks, Kyle!

Now, if you are looking at next year's calendar, how about if we make our plans for the 6th Annual Halloween Trip to actually include Halloween night?! The dates will be October 30th thru November 3rd, which is Wednesday thru Sunday. That is going to be a busy week down in Cozumel, but Halloween night at Carlos & Charlies will be worth it! We experienced this phenomenon two years ago and let me tell you, there is nothing like it anywhere on this planet! In fact, I'm sure some of the "folks" we saw in C&C that night had to be from another planet… or appeared to be anyway… we had some fun!

The post trip party was a HOOT! If you were there, you know, if you weren't, you missed a good time for sure.

Come hungry and expect lots of good eats. We'll have spicy "Scubadaddy Wings", some yummy "Dot Com" fried chicken, crispy chips, and assorted dips. Expect some "Dot Com Pie", some awesome video, and some great picture trading opportunities. Be sure to bring some extra copies of your pictures and let's do some swapping! I'll have your very own personal copy of the trip video available for a small donation to the technology fund of only $45.00. By the way, the video shots turned out to be really something! Email or call for directions if you need them.

Bring your family and friends, we'll have plenty for everyone, but please RSVP!
E-mail: or call (318) 470-4400.

Thanks again for a great trip.
Y'all made Scuba Ventures and Scubadaddy Dot Com proud!


3rd Annual Spring Break Cozumel Trip
March 27-31, 2001

(click here for photo page)


What a great time we had in Cozumel!! Amy and I appreciate y'all spending your Spring Break Vacation with us this year. It was a good time, for sure, and we enjoyed "making it work" for you. If we did it right, then you now know what we mean when we say, "extraordinary care and attention".

The diving was typical of Cozumel ~ FANTASTIC!! The food at Pizza Rolandi (Guido's), La Mission, The French Quarter, and La Ceiba was as good as could be. Sure do miss our guitar player at La Mission though… Carlos 'N' Charlie's is still the late night hot spot along with Fat Tuesday. The weather was really good. Not too hot, lots of sun, a good (real good!) breeze… I like a little chop on the water, don't you?! I could stand about maybe 20 years or so of that kind of weather!

What did we see this time? Nurse sharks, spotted eagle rays, a chain moray, flamingo tongues, a splendid toad fish, a few BIG groupers, a glass eye snapper, squirrel fish, yellow stingrays, banded shrimp, hermit crabs, big red crabs, queen angel fish, french angel fish, gray angel fish, a few rock beauties, juvenile spotted drum, bunch of octopi (octopuses?), lots of other fish, beautiful coral formations, sponges, sea fans, (did I say sea turtle?), and some very strange folks that seem to always be in and around Carlos 'N' Charlie's (some of them were wearing Scuba Ventures T-shirts!). By the way Christopher, Carlos 'N' Charlies now has YOUR picture on its "Wall of Fame"! (or is that shame?!)

Congratulations to Dennis and Evelyn Scotto, Shannon Day, Randy Taylor, and Teaya and Christina Clark for earning their openwater diver certifications on this trip! Now you know why Bobby gets all the accolades for his smooth, laid back way of teaching scuba that makes him such a pleasure to work with. Scubadaddy & Dot Com are proud of the great job all the new divers did. Also, thanks to Kyle for being such good help… hard to do a trip without him. And, of course, thanks to everyone for being so agreeable and fun to be with.

P A R T Y   T I M E

We had our post trip part in Club Caribe at Scuba Ventures at 6:30 p.m. on May 18, 2001. If you missed the post trip party... YOU MISSED IT! A great time was had by all. We had lots of good stuff to eat ~ some yummy "Dot Com Fried Chicken", crispy chips & assorted dips, and we were lucky to have some of Randy's "Cozumel Mix" Margaritas, some "Fuzzy Navel's", and "Sex on the Beach" (Don't get wierd, that's just a drink!) There was assorted deserts, some good video, and some great picture trading. Oh yeah, this was also Dot Com's birthday ~ Happy birthday Amy! ~ and she had two birthday cakes thanks to Brenda and Amber.

... and the Scubadaddy & Dot Com again reflect on the trip with grins all around...
Thank you!


4th Annual Halloween Cozumel Trip
October 25-29, 2000

(click here for photo page)


Thirty left and thirty came back… we continue to bat 1000!

Amy and I appreciate y'all spending your fall vacation with us this year. We had a great time putting it together and "making it work" for you. I hope you now know what we mean when we say, "extraordinary care and attention".

Carlos and Charlies is still the late night hot spot, but San Miguel is sure changing fast! The cruise ships are having a big influence on the entire island - some good and some not so good. Found a new restaurant this year, The French Quarter, owned by Mike Slaughter from Alexandria, LA. He now lives in Cozumel and is serving some fine Cajun food. He's a regular stop for us now! This has to have been the best weather every for an October trip. Mostly blue sky and the temperature was a just right 84 degrees everyday. I think we've had a glimpse of God's paradise.

What did we see this time? How about nurse sharks, eagle rays, chain moray, spotted morays, green morays, flamingo tongues, splendid toad fish, a few BIG groupers, glass eye snappers, squirrel fish, southern stingrays, yellow stingrays, banded shrimp, hermit crabs, big red crabs, queen angel fish, french angel fish, gray angel fish, a few rock beauties, lots of other fish, beautiful coral formations & sponges, sea fans, (did I say sea turtle?), and some very strange folks that seem to always be in and around Carlos & Charlies (some of them were wearing Scuba Ventures T shirts!). AND how about the La Ceiba beach on Wednesday?! WOW!

Congratulations to Eric Wescott for earning his openwater diver certifications on this trip! Eric looked real comfortable down there. Also, thanks to Scott & Dirk for being good buddies for Eric. Speaking of Scott, this was his first dive since being certified 2 years ago, but he looked like he had been sneaking in some dives on a regular basis. Way to go Scott! Also, Randy and LaNita Clark and Kathy Carlisle were making their first "real dives" as well as their first ocean dives.... no problem... by the second day they looked like they had been diving for months! Good job! And what about Sara Amend - I don't think I could be more proud of our Scuba Ranger, now a certified SCUBA DIVER, 12 years old and making some of us "old timers" have to try hard to look as good!
Jonathan, our lead divemaster from Del Mar Aquatics, said he "enjoyed our group because everyone was a lot of fun, well trained, and ready to dive.... No problems, smooth operation". Thanks Jonathan and thanks to you guys!

We also want to express our thanks and appreciation to our very own personal dive master, Kyle Williams. Kyle toted tanks and weights, repaired gear, lead dives, effected rescues from about the wildest current La Ceiba has ever seen, arrived early, stayed late, and generally kept the Scubadaddy and everyone else out of a bind. Thanks, Kyle!

And just to prove you don't have to dive to have a good time in Cozumel, ask Burl, Gerry, Vicki, or Ann how they enjoyed their trip. I think they might have had more fun than we did! (That's a longshot but just ask anyway.)

Oh, yeah... Thanks Molly for keeping Brenda under control this trip. WOW, what a good job you did! I received a personal thank you from Carlos & Charlies for not totally disrupting their operations "this time". If you come on future trips, I can probably leave the letter from the Sheriff and the bail money at home!

We had our post trip party November 11th at Scuba Ventures in Club Caribe. We had some good eats and did some picture trading. I was impressed by the quality of the underwater photos from this trip. You guys are really getting good! Thanks to everyone for coming and bringing the food. Randy did good on the Margaritas too. I was proud too of the trip video. Some of the best Octopus video ever, I think!

<< The Troop >>
John & Amy Barnwell (aka Scubadaddy & Dot Com) ~ the Amends (AKA the Grizwolds): Ronny & Vicky and their Amendments: Ryan & Sara ~ Keith Baker ~ Gwen Henry ~ Mike Towns ~ Jason Towns ~ Dirk Lee ~ Eric Wescott ~ Greg (Forest) Jones ~ Glynn & Vicki Leach ~ Kathy Carlisle ~ Ann Dicky ~ Scott Mighell ~ Brenda Parsons ~ Molly Hernandez ~ Tom & Linda Smith ~ Randy & LaNita Clark ~ James & Tammy Kiser (AKA Caribbean Shark Divers) ~ Burl Eakle ~ Gealdine Alombro ~ and last but not least, Kyle & Sherri Williams

Thanks again for a great trip. Y'all made Scuba Ventures and Scubadaddy Dot Com proud!

Belize Aggressor III
June 17 - 24, 2000

(Surface photos are here!)

Howdy y'all!
It's hard to believe our trip has come and gone, already!  Time truly does fly when you're having fun.  Scuba Ventures, Dot Com, and I really appreciate y'all spending your vacation time with us this summer.  I don't think we could have hand picked a better group!

This was our first Aggressor trip, but I can tell you for sure, it won't be our last!  We had a full boat + 1 and we had a ball!  We have already booked the Cayman Aggressor IV for Thanksgiving week next year.  That will be November 17 - 24, 2001, so mark your calendar.  That is supposed to be the best time of the year for visibility and the hurricane season is over and don't worry, there will be plenty of turkey and dressing on Thursday!

Does anyone have an extra video tape of the trip?  Dot Com has worn ours out!  (just kidding Linda!) I know she played that tape at least 20 times the first week back.   In fact, it's playing right now!  I think maybe Dot Com is hooked on Aggressor diving!  Hey Chris (Video Pro on the Belize Aggressor), GREAT JOB!  Those "full moon" shots were really special!

Good news for Brenda N.!  The Aggressor Fleet is refunding 100% of her charter.  That's really swell of them.  I don't think many other operators (if any) would do that.  She had been looking forward to this trip for two years and was one of the first to sign up, so you know she was very disappointed, to say the least.  By the way, she is feeling great and symptom free.  On behalf of Brenda, Scuba Ventures, and myself I want to thank everyone involved for jumping into this very critical event and turning the tide towards a very favorable outcome… Brenda - 1, Asthma - 0, yea team!

Our post trip part was held on July 8th at Scuba Ventures. Most everyone came and we ate too much, watched some video, traded some pictures, did some "couch diving" and generally had a great time... again!   David Dodson had the best underwater pictures by far... but hey, he had the law of averages on his side with 14 rolls!   Great Turtle David!

<<  Travelers and Divers  >>
 John "Scubadaddy" & Amy "Dot Com" Barnwell, David & Shay Dodson, Kyle & Sherri Williams, Tom & Linda Smith, Michael & Jonathon Smith, Dennis Branton, Wayne Fitzgerald, Kenny Covington, Dirk Lee, Keith Baker, Mike Towns, Loyd Whitley, Brenda Parsons, and Brenda Nichols.

Thanks again team!
Scubadaddy & Dot Com


2nd Annual Spring Break Trip
March 29 - April 2, 2000

click here for the YouTube Video
click here to go to the picture page



First, I want to thank the Captain of the Continental flight out of Shreveport on Wednesday morning for getting us to Houston in the midst of all that really bad weather coming through east Texas. We were the last plane out and while the flight was a little on the rough side, it sure did beat sitting in Shreveport while our plane went to Cozumel without us.

Gustavo and his crew at Del Mar Aquatics did us proud. I think everyone of us agrees that you can not beat the service they provide anywhere on the island. With the leadership that Gustavo has brought to this operation, this could well become the number one rated dive operation in the Caribbean! It's just hard to find this many good people all in one place, except maybe at Scuba Ventures!

La Ceiba was comfortable and running smooth too. George and Ester had everything ready for us. Always willing to jump right on any problems that crop up, they are a good group too. Feels like home to the Scubadaddy!

It was a great trip, with really good weather (in Cozumel), lots of great dives, but most of all, just a really good bunch of people that all became fast friends. One of the most interesting things about a trip like this is the group dynamics. Throw 31 people from a wide variety of backgrounds and abilities together, then step back and watch. It's amazing how a common interest bonds everyone together as a unit. The Scubadaddy and Dot Com especially appreciate all YOUR help in making this a fun vacation for everyone. Usually there is at least one party pooper in a group this large, but we just don't hardly ever see that on our trips... ain't it wonderful!!

The great thing about our divers/travelers is the way everyone pitches in and helps with pulling tanks, arranging gear, keeping up with dive bags, cameras, wet suits, etc., and making sure everyone is up to speed on any changes in plans.

Wait till y'all see the video! Between David Cavanaugh and myself, we got some great footage. Nurse sharks swimming with the group, a feeding eagle ray, several octopi (?), LARGE green morays, big groupers, lots of spotted morays, a golden moray, slipper lobster, hermit crabs, BIG red crabs, miles of thriving coral reef, and lots of good looking divers.

David Dodson made a big down payment on his Dive Control Specialist (diver master) rating on this trip. Really did a good job of looking out for the needs of some of our divers, great anticipation of the needs of the group, kept us organized and on track, led dives, worked on equipment, toted tanks, counted bags, counted people, directed traffic, and much much more. Thanks Bud!

Congratulations to our 3 new divers - receiving their openwater certifications were - Gwen Henry, Tim Gilbert, and Brad Walker. Great job, you all looked like you've done this before!

We also had several folks making their first ocean dives... our 3 new guys plus Valerie and Joe Kirchoff. Also, had some making their first night dives. NO PROBLEMO! (My Spanish is getting really good don't you think?!)

Who went? Well here goes: Scubadaddy & Dot Com, David & Shay Dodson, David & Donna Cavanaugh, Billy & Patti Guin, Ronny & Vicky Amend, Ryan Amend, Sara Amend, Tom & Linda Smith, Jonathon Smith, Joe & Valerie Kirchoff, Joby Bernis, Joe Brown, Kenny Covington, Tim Gilbert, Dirk Lee, Brad Walker, Keith Baker, Gwen Henry, Lea Jordan, Kirby Luttrull, Claire Langley, Amber Barnwell, Shannon Day, and Melissa Bailey.

Post trip party was held Saturday, April 22nd, 6:30 p.m.
Scuba Ventures (aka "The Dive Center").
There was plenty to eat for all 29 folks that showed. We ate, we talked, we traded photos, we watched the 50 min. video documentary, we ate some more, we went home.
David & Shay for bringing smoked pork ribs and a coconut cake... YUM!
Where's that "to go" box?

To Everybody - Scubadaddy and Dot Com appreciate you spending your vacation with us.
We look forward to seeing you on the next trip!

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3rd Annual Halloween Bash
October 1999

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A group of 24 folks participated in this 5 day/4 night excursion to Cozumel including two on honeymoon! Congratulations to Kevin and Darcey Pavlick.

This was one of the best trips ever to Cozumel..... and y'all didn't think the Scubadaddy knew how to party! I love Cozumel for Halloween. Lots of interesting characters out there for sure. A trip like this makes you want to jump right back on a plane and head on back down to Mexico. I understand that Carlos and Charlie's is considering erecting a wall of fame with some of this groups names and pictures on it - I can't wait to see who makes the wall! For the most part, we had great weather and all around good conditions. The north wind was a welcome change from the norm, keeping the humidity down and the temperature below 90 most of the time. The visibility out on the reef was about as good as it gets - 150 feet plus!

What did we see? How about nurse sharks (3), eagle rays (2), chain moray (rare), spotted morays (a bunch), moray feeding (1), sergeant major for dinner (1), flamingo tongue, splendid toad fish, big groupers, glass eye snappers, squirrel fish, southern stingrays, soap fish, scorpion fish, banded shrimp, hermit crabs, big red crabs (what else would you call them), queen angel fish, French angel fish, lots of other fish, beautiful coral formations, sponges, Barbie, spider man, some very weird people, and the wicked witch of the north aka Ursala (who's real name will not appear here!).

A special thanks to Kyle Williams and Sharon Ellis from the Scubadaddy for all their help in keeping everything organized and on track. They made arrangements, led dives, worked on equipment, toted tanks, counted bags, counted people, directed traffic, and much much more. Thanks again guys!

Congratulations to our three divers earning their openwater certifications on this trip - Darcey Pavlick (the former Darcey Nichols), Dirk Lee, and Tammy Kiser. You all looked like you've been diving for years. The divemasters were very complementary of our group and especially the new divers! The Scubadaddy was proud of you! Also, receiving specialty certifications were Glynn Leach (UW Photog - great pix Glynn!), and Tim Pulley (UW Photog and Nitrox - he's nothing but high tech!... and not too bad a photographer either!)

Post trip party was Saturday, December 4th, 6:00 p.m. at Cypress Inn (on Cypress Lake north of Bossier). After dinner, we regrouped around the corner at the Scubadaddy's crib for desserts, video viewing, and picture trading.... it was a great time.

You might remember that James & Tammy Kiser said they were going to get a web site and call it Well they weren't kidding. Tammy is an accomplished web developer and as soon as they got home Sunday night, she put their web site together. She opted to put it behind there existing IP's home page. So check it out:

Thanks again for a great trip. Y'all made the Scubadaddy and Scuba Ventures look good!
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Grand Cayman - July 1999
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A group of 16 made this 8 day 7 night trip to Grand Cayman.  Most made 17 dives including 3 night dives.  Stingray City was a hoot!  Billy and Patti Guin lead the Stingrays around like dogs on a leash, David Dodson "charmed" his stingrays by rubbing them between the eyes while Shay kept her hands inside her BC.  Amy was brave and rubbed a few rays, David Cavanaugh video'd every ray, TWICE! while Donna kept a safe distance.  Jonathan was right in the middle of all the action and Michael was shooting a documentary for Hollywood.  Dr. Tom worked his way right into the middle of the melee and was promptly swarmed by rays.  Greg Jones was not too interested in close contact with the rays so he shot some video of the ScubaDaddy getting a hickey sucked on his arm.  Ronny tried to take one home in his BC while Vicky was perfectly happy to leave them in the wild.  The wreck of the Balboa was the most awesome night dive!  We could not get enough of it and went back the next night for more.  Eden Rock was just about everyone's favorite shallow dive.  Easy diving, BIG fish (Tarpon) and lots of real neat swim-throughs w/ glassy sweepers.  Treasure Island Divers took very good care of us.  We couldn't have asked for better or more personal treatment.  Coconut Harbor was just right.  Not a "resort" hotel by any means, but very comfortable and accessible.  The pool was great - The Amends get the "Max Pool Time" award with an average pool occupancy time of 13.3 man hours each day.... now these people like the water!  The Blue Parrot Restaurant was right there on premises and was very good and the cost was reasonable.  However, try TCBY downtown and you'll pay $10US for 2 cups of yogurt!  Now that puts things into perspective.
Bottom line - Start with a really great group of folks, add perfect weather & water (air temp 90 day & 75 night, water temp 84, visibility 80 - 100), lots of friendly people, swimming with tarpon, stingrays, and sea turtles, lots of good eating, beautiful sunsets, great night dives, no problems ......... and the ScubaDaddy grins!

<<  Travelers and Divers  >>
 John & Amy Barnwell, David & Shay Dodson, Billy & Patti Guin, David & Donna Cavanaugh, Dr. Tom Smith and sons Jonathon & Michael, Ronny & Vicky Amend plus their 2 "perfect" (really!) kids - Ryan and Sara, and Greg "Forest Gump" Jones, G.O.B.

"Thanks guys for a great trip, y'all are the best!", The Scubadaddy
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First Annual Cozumel Spring Break - March 1999
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A small group but a great group!  5 days & 4 nights at La Ceiba plus 3 days of 2 tank boat diving and unlimited shore diving with Del Mar Aquatics.  We made 11 dives on this trip including 2 great night dives.  We saw two Sea Turtles, a Nurse Shark, a Sea horse, several Octopus (awesome video!), probably 25 large crabs (night on the airplane - never seen so many out on one night), and lots of Lobster.  Everyone had a great time, the weather was perfect - 85 day and 72 night.  The water temp was 79 - slightly cool, but a skin was OK for some and a 3 mil was best for others.

<<  Travelers, Divers, and Non-divers   >>
 John & Amy Barnwell, David & Diane Waites, Brenda Nichols, Denise Taylor, Amber Barnwell, Shannon Day, and Melissa Bailey
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World Class Mask Squeeze
click here for an eye watering experience
Complements of Ricky "Hollywood" Jones
The local purveyor of health, safety and the environment warns that this eye watering experience should not be viewed while operating heavy equipment or performing tasks requiring great visual acuity.

I have lots of photos from our other trips and open waters that were on the old web pages, they will gradually trickle up here, but hey, isn't it about time to make some new memories?


This page last updated on April 15, 2002.