sidemount diving panama

The first part of my summer (late summer!) travels are here…first stop…Bocas Del Toro. I am here, on the beautiful caribbean islands of Bocas, running some courses on sidemount and Technical diving.  We are into day 3 already and are currently wrapping up our sidemount courses before beginning on our road to Tec Deep.
So today we headed out into the water of Bocas for 3 dives. Now, I had been told that visibility here and life wasn’t going to be very good, but seriously, you people are spoilt!! We have had around 15m visibility everyday and I have seen tonnes of life. Now, saying that, for those of you that have had the madness to dive with me know that I am a completely avid muck diver and love my macro life. Give me a cool blenny or nudibranch any day. The sponges here are beautiful and there is lots of color so I have been thoroughly enjoying the dives. Added bonus obviously that my students are great, with excellent buoyancy and skill sets, even getting to the point of wanting to add their own skills in, including equipment exchange sidemount ?! No, really! Today, my fab find was a mantis shrimp. rather amusing comic that may give you an idea about why the mantis shrimp is so awesome! Albeit, you have to take a little bit of what is written with a pinch of salt but you get the general idea!

mantis shrimp Panama

One of my favorite characters on the reef, I spotted a dark mantis on my second dive and third today!  At this point I will refer you to a
Moving on…. So we completed our skills, marveled at some sponges, laughed at some irate damselfish and all in all had a good time. It is definitely easier logistically moving tanks etc on “glass like” water, even though we had to fight some current on our first dive, it is still easier than choppiness and rocking boats of the pacific. But, I do love my pacific diving especially when I get to see Mantas and sharks like last week!!!
I think I will have an explore of the other islands while I am here this time as well. My first trip here was 10 years ago and I think it is safe to say it has changed a bit!!! It still has that fun caribbean vibe going though. Every place has its individual charm no?!
Tomorrow we begin Tec 40, academics in the morning maybe some confined in the afternoon. Ooooo and big thumbs up with the fact that confined is the ocean! I need to get my serious thinking cap on…so glass of wine me thinks!