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Things to do in the USVI: Scuba with the St Thomas Dive Club

Chris reports from the beautiful Bolongo Bay Resort. Among the many enjoyable activities available to vacationers are scuba diving and snorkeling. In this interview, Chris talks with Lauren from the St. Thomas Diving Club.There are lots of options available depending on ability level. Her group is able to work with divers who range from novice to certified. If you are a beginner who wishes to become certified, it takes 2 full days. There are three steps to certification: 1) knowledge development; 2) confined water–pool work; and 3) four open water dives. Lauren recommends that you go on line to do some of the background training and be “e” certified before you arrive in St. Thomas. The club also offers a free scuba lesson to guests of the Bolongo Bay Resort. You get some classroom training and some practice in the pool. In addition, you get to go on 2 dives–a shipwreck and along a reef. Snorkeling gives you a wonderful view from above, but scuba diving brings you up close and personal with the green turtles and other underwater life. If you have some fears bout diving, Lauren says that most people just need time with the equipment to overcome any nervousness that they may have.
The wreck of the Senora Cartanza (Shown above) is one of the sites that you can explore. This 190 foot freighter has a checkered history. There are many larger wrecks, some dating back to World War II, on the western side of the island. However, those ships are at a greater depth and should only be explored by experienced divers. When she was asked what are the biggest misconceptions or fears that people have about scuba diving, Lauren believes that people are most afraid of encountering sharks. She claims that sharks are actually “gentle” creatures who are more afraid of you than you should be of them. She added that there are NO aggressive sharks in St. Thomas. The other sea creatures are also rather timid and not to be feared

Amazing Island People: Bolongo Bay Ambassador Viola Albert

Chris Ryan spends some time with Viola Albert to find out about the people whose hospitality make the Virgin Islands a special place. She moved to the Virgin Islands as a young girl and has accepted the culture and people. Viola is very religious and considers being hospitable to the guests as part of her service to God. She truly loves her job and loves life. Her goal is to make the guests feel like they are her best friend. She tries to get to know their needs and how they are doing. At Bolongo Bay, Viola is the first person that you will see in the morning. She also discussed the different native foods and music. Ms. Albert’s mantra is very simple, “Tourism is Viola and Viola is tourism.” Making sure that guests are happy and feel welcome is job #1.

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The Caribbean's most entertaining beach resort!

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