Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Total Diving Freedom.....

..... is what I always said was the salient feature of diving with Captain Scott W. Smith ("Scottie") aboard his Dolphin Dream (DD) . Now, being back from my last two one-week trips to the Tiger Beach area, I could add: On the DD, guests have also total cooking freedom.  

Some of you probably know that I have had a serious health issue (gastric cancer) almost four years ago. After the removal of my stomach I had to adapt to new eating habits: eating small portions frequently, avoiding stuff that is not cooked adequately which led me straight to discover, and absolutely love, the joy of cooking.

Thus, going to a restaurant ain't no treat for me no more. But if I were invited to have lunch or dinner with the explicit permission to prepare my own simple dishes, I'd  say: "I'll be your guest!"

Needless to state, if Scottie allows me to freedive with the tigers, he has nothing against my cooking my own stuff in the DD's galley.

Normally, I am a pretty messy cook, but on the DD I really tried to be tidy which can be appreciated in this image:

Da old Wolf has a new passion: Cooking!
Photograph: Felix Leander
Click to enlarge

The asparagus was absolutely delicious. By the way: You should never steam it longer than 10 minutes so as to have it "al dente", and serve it with good ol' plain melted butter. A lot of people, also the cook of the DD, grill the asparagus with cheese which, IMHO, takes away some of the delicate flavor of this divine vegetable.

Now, as to the diving: We had some excellent days, not at Tiger Beach proper due to sub-standard viz during our stay, but in a near-by place Scottie discovered a few years ago.*) That place, christened "Fish Tales", boasts of an incredible variety of tame (call them 'conditioned') sharks: Caribbean reef sharks, nurse sharks, tiger sharks, and the occasional great hammerhead shark. It is truly a paradisiac spot for shark lovers, and it comes in very handy when the weather conditions at Tiger Beach aren't that great. 

Tiger sharks: Just as curious as we are...
Photograph: Wolfgang Leander
Click to enlarge

The best part of diving with the Dolphin Dream is the fact that Capt. Scott Smith allows  you to move freely underwater whenever you feel like it as long as you follow the basic rules of common sense and good behavior. If you want to dive at night, Scottie will ask his deck hands to accommodate you.

Those who don't like to be lead by their noses will agree with me that it is the total diving freedom that makes diving the Beach with the Dolphin Dream such an unforgettable experience.

*) It was also Capt. Scott Smith who discovered Tiger Beach many years ago.