From idea to reality
By Jean-Marc Claes
About seven years ago now, we started the idea to leave Belgium “one day” and sail around the world to get to the best places to do some scuba diving in those remote locations.
Being a dive professional since 1990, now 34 years in active duty, organizing 100s of dive trips, live aboard, group trips and special expeditions worldwide, it was time to make a balance of life and take a different angle at it!
So, about four years later (now three years ago), we left Belgium behind and started sailing and diving the oceans onboard our SY Blowing Bubbles.
During these last three years, we had many guests onboard and met many sailors who were impressed by our idea and setup and wanted to do the same. Scuba charter on a sailboat for just two people or a family…was that even possible?
The setup of the sailing yacht is not quite the same as most liveaboard yachts you see in the world of scuba diving! There are many disadvantages to being on a sailboat regarding space, storage and access. But there is also a serious list of advantages to being on a sailing yacht!
A private space, not sharing it with dozens of other guests, the silence of the wind going through the sails when moving from location to location – and many more.
During the last few years, even after we started sailing, we adapted our sailing yacht many times. New equipment, different compressors, a different-sized dinghy, all things possible to make diving onboard SY Blowing Bubbles more fun, more enjoyable, more practical and more efficient. As time passed and more diving was done, we learned and adapted again and again.
After some thinking about the (too) many requests we were getting, not being able to handle all the reservations and seeing the interest of other sailors wanting to offer the same services, Karen and I decided to create a new Facebook group: Scuba and Sail Charters facebook.com/scubaandsail.
All boats in this group are private sailing yachts owned by the people on the boat and offering dive services to the highest standards, sailing you to the best dive sites and providing you with the best possible private scuba charter.
During the time of writing this article, we are training and coaching four boats to become part of our Scuba and Sail Charter Group, and even more requests are waiting.
Although there are some differences, all boats/owners use the same procedures and the same way of operating. There are catamarans, mono hull sailing yachts, some boats can take up to 6 guests, and some are dedicated to family charters as they even have their own kids on board, so playtime for kids will be guaranteed, giving the parents time for a lot of diving.
If someone is not a diver yet but is in the mood to Try Scuba? No problem, all boats have certified scuba professionals onboard to provide you with the highest and most personal level of teaching dive courses and taking care of you for your first-ever scuba experience in the best possible locations of the world.
Imagine liking it so much that you want to go back.
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