Personalized Scuba Trips Offered By Aqua Safari Adventures

David Ochs, owner of Aqua Safari Adventures in Boynton Beach, Florida, grew up in the suburbs of Kansas City, which is not really known as a great scuba diving spot. “As a kid I was always a little bit afraid of the water,” he said as we spoke on the phone, him in sunny Florida and me in rainy Newport, Rhode Island.

He later went on to have a career in the corporate world in Chicago, but in 1993, he changed his mind. “I’ve got very supportive parents,” he said with a laugh. He was telling me about when he told them that he had decided to become a scuba instructor. He said, they were supportive, however a little surprised at his new career choice.

Before his dramatic career change, Ochs had taken a trip to Australia and although he didn’t dive there, he saw how much fun his friends had doing it. He became intrigued. When he returned to Chicago, he started to train in a pool. As soon a he put that regulator on for the first time and submerged himself, “a whole new world opened up.”

Once Ochs was certified, it didn’t take him long to start his own dive business in beautiful Boynton Beach. “I’m really blessed to have a job that I love,” he said. “The diving in Palm Beach is absolutely incredible,” Ochs said. He said that during turtle mating season, he once saw 23 turtles on just one dive and that virtually every type of tropical fish can be seen in the area. The proximity of the Gulf Stream provides an important nutrient source to sea life. This means that visibility can sometimes be reduces due to the abundance of nutrients, but it also means there are plenty of things to see.

Ochs not only offers diving in the Palm Beach area. He offers personalized diving tutelage and guidance wherever you may be vacationing in the world. “People hire us to go on vacations with them,” he said, almost incredulous that this is in fact his job.

Some of Ochs favorite dive spots are in The Cayman Islands, Cozumel, Bonaire, Saba, and the British and U.S. Vigin Isands. Ochs offers his expertise to those who have been diving for years, and the complete novice.

He will often meet his customers wherever they live to do their pool training with them and then will meet them at the charter boat or destination that they have chosen to do their scuba trip. The great thing with going to the client is that they often get to see dive spots that few people get to experience.

“It’s not just the uber wealthy,” said Ochs about the clients that hire him. It’s a wide array of clients who just really enjoy the concierge style of service. According to Ochs, Aqua Safari Adventures has a “very loyal” customer base who keep hiring him and his crew to come assist on dives.

Currently, Ochs has a total of four scuba instructors and guides. He ensures that all of them are fully capable to handle any situation that might arise. “I have to trust them with my loved ones,” he said. That is the rule. And, “you have to be a fun person,” as well, because, after all, you are on vacation with these people and it has to be fun.

Ochs not only ensures that his employees are fully capable of taking care of people both above and below the water, he also trains them to go on to on to start their own business. He said that two out of every three instructors goes on to start their own business. “That was fundamental to my business model,” he said.

Ochs felt that by motivating his employees to start their own companies, they would be more motivated to do the best job that they possibly could do for him. And this part of his model hasn’t hurt his business. “We just continue to grow at an impressive rate,” he added.

For more information on Ochs and his team go to www.aquasafari.net.

Motor Yacht Ariadne: A Unique Luxury Experience

Ariadne at the Newport Charter Show in Newport, Rhode Island.

What is in a name?

Ariadne is a motor yacht unlike most others. Much like the Greek goddess she is named after, Ariadne is reminiscent of glory and a time nearly forgotten. The 124 foot (37.8 meter) was built in 1978 and refitted in 2018. She is a veritable definition of luxury.

According to Chief Stew, Amanda Weyers, the owner wanted to create an experience reminiscent of the old, luxury cruise liners that he used to travel on when he was a child. In fact, the Ariadne was the first cruise liner he traveled on.

The dining room offers a luxurious experience from times past.

A timeless experience.

“It’s not your standard yacht,” Amanda said. “It’s more like an elegant home,” she continued.  The interior is Art Deco, with a modern flare. According to Amanda, the owner wanted to capture a “timeless elegance,” with her interior design.

It seems every aspect of the experience has been thought out by the owner, down to entrusting the crew to use his Grandma’s linens for dinner service and even the hand towels have her initials on them. “He really enjoys the finer touches,” Amanda said.

An old dinner menu from a cruise liner.

Old meets new.

There are even original menus from old cruise liners in the dining room, from which the chef and crew are planning on recreating a few dishes for guests. There is even a dinner bell to summon guests, as well as a gold, Art Deco cocktail cart for aperitif drinks. Guests are encouraged to dress up for dinner and fully partake in the luxury experience of times past. “It should be a memorable experience,” said Amanda.

The glass relief of Greek goddess Ariadne.

The living room is cozy with it’s impeccably varnished paneling. And a glass relief of the Greek goddess Ariadne perfectly illuminated with back lighting.

The main salon onboard Ariadne.

The rooms are just as luxurious with cloth wall paper and perfectly varnished woodwork. The bathrooms are impeccably grandiose, but not is a bad way at all. Each bathroom has a color-coded (they match the wallpaper) BVLGARI shampoo, soap and conditioner set. Now that’s luxurious!

The master room onboard Ariadne.

The aft deck is a great spot for enjoying meals when it is nice out. The second-story deck not only offers the perfect space for sunbathing, but also there is a good sized Jacuzzi for anyone looking to relax after some water sports.

There is plenty to enjoy on the second level deck.

There is also an additional bar up here as well as a barbecue and dining area.

Kaitlyn is the second stew, sometimes chef and deckhand. She basically can do it all. She is extremely warm, and in a very genuine way.  Both Amanda and Kaitlyn are extremely knowledgeable about the boat and its history. Their can-do attitude is contagious and they are a pleasure to be around.

Ariadne includes all the typical watersport toys including kayaks, SUPs and snorkelling equipment. Diving excursions can also be arranged.

The rooms onboard Ariadne are comfortable and luxurious, but not ostentatious.

 

Ariadne is available for charter in the Northeast for the summer of 2019 and then will return to Florida for the winter season, where she will be available for charters in the Bahamas and surrounding areas.

 

 

Beaches Resort Dive Discount

BEACHES RESORTS LAUNCHES the “LIVE IT UP ‘N DIVE PROGRAM”, a new scuba diving discount program just for divers, or those who want to learn to dive.

Beaches Resorts new scuba diving discount program for divers offers you exclusive discounts on dive courses, free equipment demonstrations, deep sea treasure hunts and more. This new scuba diving discount program is offered at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa and Beaches Negril Resort & Spa, and allows experienced scuba divers and amateurs alike to beaches resort vacation in paradise with their friends and family all while enjoying unlimited scuba diving!

In addition to exclusive discounts and demonstrations for divers, this new scuba diving discount program features an array of events and activities. You are invited to kick off your scuba diving vacation at a welcome cocktail party, attend a special beach bonfire party, and participate in a weekly scuba diving treasure hunt, where you can dive deep for treasures hidden by expert dive masters.

Book a minimum three-night stay now through October 25 and receive MANY, MANY DISCOUNTS for divers:

  • 20% discount off all dive courses
  • 20% discount off Nitrox at Beaches Turks & Caicos only
  • 50% discount off resort dive certification courses for non-certified divers
  • FREE PADI Boat Dive Specialty course
  • FREE SCUBAPRO equipment demonstration.

Travel is valid for September 4, 2012 through October 31, 2012.

Call Chris at CKIM Group 321-777-1707 for more information

Scuba Dive

Island Routes the tour operator for many land excursions in Jamaica and other Caribbean Islands has is now offering scuba diving. The details are here:

  E-ROUTES Issue

APRIL 15, 2011

LOOK OUT BELOW: ISLAND ROUTES TOURS INTRODUCES SCUBA DIVING

Island Routes Tours’ ever expanding tour roster now includes SCUBA diving for those wishing to explore the Caribbean’s deep blue sea.  Launching first in St. Lucia and then Jamaica outposts, SCUBA enthusiasts will enjoy exploring coral reefs teeming with rays, sharks and the ever colorful Caribbean aquatic life, submerged wrecks and undersea canyons – adventure beckons from the crystal clear waters. Only Island Routes Tours takes adventure to such depths of excitement. Dives are offered twice a day to a thrilling slate of sites with PADI-certified staff, first-rate, custom-built Newton boats, and a partnership with DAN and National Geographic culminating in an amazing underwater experience. For more information or to book a dive, call an Island Routes Tours Specialist toll free at 1-877-768-8370 from the U.S. or Canada or visit www.islandroutestours.com.