Gary, owner of Deefer Diving picked us up at the Carriacou ferry dock and brought us to Richard LaFlamme and Diane Martino at LumbaDive. Richard and Diane are a special breed. They are more concerned about the health and welfare of their environment that the bottom line. They participate in transplanting white urchins to reefs to restore the balance by urchin algal removal. They pay local fishermen for by-catch turtles so they may be returned to the sea and they hunt lionfish and train animals like spotted morays to eat them. Some might call it meddling with Mother Nature, but for Richard’s colorful French Canadian demeanor it is the battle on the front lines of conservation. “If I am breaking a law here, put me in jail for saving the reefs. I would rather die in jail than do nothing!”
Richard and Diane’s passion was translated through an afternoon private dive charter made possible by bringing in Captain Josh. They could have taken a day off from a crazy schedule but both Richard and Diane used every bit of gas and no-deco time to show us their beautiful sites. With Diane at the front pointing out the tiny inhabitants of the reef and Richard gesturing and hollering through his reg to ensure we did not miss the big critters, it was clear they love their life in Carriacou.
Gary from Deefer Diving put it well. “This is a really different place. It is more relaxed and we like to say that Carriacou is where the Granadians come for holiday.”
Dives: Sisters Plateau and Tropical Hill
What we saw: Literal swarms of tropical fish, black durgeons, jacks, barracuda, butterfly fish, wrasse, nurse shark, green moray, spotted morays, Hawkbill turtles, loads of trumpetfish, huge gorgonians, soft corals and remarkably healthy reef structure.
Most interesting encounter: A spotted moray decided to consume one of Richard’s lionfish kills. The eel bit the center of the lionfish, then wrapped its body to twist and destroy the fish and position it for a head first one-way trip down its gullet, stinging barbs and all.
Food: We had a remarkable gourmet lunch on the beach at The Slipway. A grilled vegetable salad had me smiling while the others enjoyed lightly grilled tuna on a salad. For dinner, the Lazy Turtle did not disappoint. I had a gourmet thin crust lionfish pizza while Joe tackled an exquisite lionfish with garlic butter, capers and lemon. I have to say, that was one of the best and most delicious fish presentations I have tasted anywhere in the world. The chef is clearly talented and has been rewarded with many recognitions over the years.