What’s up with Mona Trips?
But what about those Mona Island trips? Why the warnings all over the destination page? Why the nitrox requirement? Why do I need to provide detailed diving experience when I ask about this trip? And why does Juliet only go there two times a year?
As for timing, we make a quick stop on our way to and from St. Croix every year (every December and March). Yes, the weather in Puerto Rico is better in the summer, but that’s true of the Bahamas too and there would be a revolt if we replaced Bahamas Summers with Puerto Rico. So that means the weather in Puerto Rico isn’t exactly ideal when we’re there…
Mona island trips are definitely not for the faint of heart (that video is just a taste, really hard to capture the conditions!) . There are two islands: Mona and Monito. The diving around Mona Island is beautiful but underwater not super challenging – fringing reefs on the edge of dramatic wall drops, some patch reefs in 40-50′ (12-15m). But the surface conditions are tough! Because of the area’s winter weather patterns, there’s a constant ground swell that inconveniently runs perpendicular to the wind. That causes the boat to roll back and forth pretty much constantly; mostly a slow roll but every 20 minutes or so there’s a good rail-to-rail one that gets the cook cursing and sends some unsuspecting guest flying. When that roll hits when you’re on the ladder? That requires strength, skill, coordination, and confidence in your diving skills.
So why do we put ourselves through this? Because it’s one of the few places left in the Caribbean that is almost completely untouched by human intervention. The reefs are pristine, the sea life is abundant and diverse, in the spring the humpback whales migrate through and serenade you on just about every dive. There are no resorts, and no tourists save for the occasional camper, ranger, or naturalist. And to our knowledge we are the only operation that still dives here! It’s tough diving, but it’s pretty magical.
If this sounds like your idea of a good time, there are a few opportunities to join us this fall in November and December. And one space for our last Bahamas trip in November if you’ve got a hankerin’.