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Happy 10th Anniversary, Ladies!


A decade of scuba and sisterhood, salt water and sunshine—all celebrated in Bonaire during the One World Dive and Travel All-Girls’ Dive Trip. In May 2015, 25 women headed to the Netherland Antilles and the Plaza all-inclusive resort to commemorate the 10th anniversary of this sorority adventure.

Many had shared previous girls’ trips whether it was the first trip to Cozumel in 2006 or last year’s adventure in Roatan. In fact, Lois made all 10, so trip founder and group leader Michelle Courington, crowned her queen Tuesday evening at a champagne dessert party on the beach!

Actually it was a week of milestones with Ann, Janie, and Carolyn marking 50 dives, Lois her 150th, Judy her 200th, first night dives for some, and a wave of new nitrox specialties. So many reasons to raise their glasses and toast life on the beach at the Coconut Crash Bar every afternoon and evening. Just how many pitchers of mudslides were served, anyway?!

And the diving! Bonaire is a Caribbean leader in reef preservation. One thrill of the week was a huge bait ball of swirling layers of fish at the beautiful Bachelor’s Beach. That site was worth diving twice just to experience the mesmerizing experience of being part of the silvery schools—this is the stuff dreams are made of. Other underwater stars included colorful frogfish, precious turtles, massive tarpon, delicate sharp-tail eels, and an array of drum fish from teeny juveniles to stately adults. So from exploring the massive Salt Pier pillars to the east side of Klein Bonaire, all got a sense of the islands’ pristine underwater world.

While the week revolved around diving, the women were keen to enjoy other excursions. One afternoon the entire group sailed the island’s west side on the Woodwind catamaran, enjoying the sunset, drinks, and snacks. On the last day the ladies headed out for various adventures from horseback riding on the beach, exploring the island on scooters, and kayaking and snorkeling the east side’s mangroves.

Throughout the week, this groups’ sorority deepened. The “girls” range in age from 35 to 72, and hail from five states and two countries. So there was a camaraderie and an opportunity to learn and share with new friends and reconnect with others from previous trips. The memories that will remain will be about frosty mudslides, wild burros, tasty barbecue meals, wild parrots, and conversations at the beach. The best way to honor the 10th will be to also share in the 11th. Where will it be? Before the group even left the island Michelle was brainstorming the 2016 adventure. Where would you like to go, ladies? Let Michelle know. It’s already less than a year away!

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