The Sea Dragon is an ideal venue for eight serious divers to pursue the underwater beauty found throughout the Exuma Cays. Four air-conditioned staterooms each house two divers in separate beds along with all their non-diving gear.
The R/V Sea Dragon is operated by Out-Island Oceanics, Inc. and is fully equipped to provide a comfortable working platform for eight divers for diving and oceanographic research in remote areas. Underwater exploration is facilitated by the use of SCUBA and such persons should be adequately trained. All charters are custom-tailored to fit the group involved. Eight guests is the maximum, but an additional organizer may be accommodated as part of the crew. The maximum number of persons per trip is limited to nine.
Out Island Oceanics, Inc. has offered dive excursions to the Exuma Cays since 1972. Captains Dan Doyle and Sue Ford owned and operated the 70' Dragon Lady , which was sold in 1978. Subsequently the R/V Sea Dragon was designed from scratch and custom built in 1980 as an ideal liveaboard dive boat.
The Sea Dragon carries two tanks for each diver. Two 9 cfm Bauer compressors push air into staging tanks for quick, high quality fills for the unlimited diving aboard the boat. Since the boat is anchored on the reef, no time is wasted moving equipment to and from the shore or chase boat.
Each diver is assigned a large private storage bin for their gear. These bins are often located directly underneath the diver's tanks, which makes quick and easy donning and doffing of gear. All bins are within 15 feet of an ocean entry.
A large dive platform built into the stern enables divers to exploit two separate ladders for easy entry and exit.
Each day's diving includes four different dive sites and anywhere from four to six diving opportunities. Night dives are available almost every night.
All expenses for food, fuel, water, dockage, and consumables (including soft drinks and beer) are covered by the daily charter rate.
The Sea Dragon has a complete crew, including the cook who prepares three excellent American-style meals each day.
Cold soft drinks and beer are available free of charge 24 hours/day. Of course, diving is disallowed for the rest of any day for any diver who imbibes.
Accommodations include four double cabins with space for personal items and clothing; crew's quarters are separate. The main deck has a raised wheelhouse, specious main salon, and a fully-equipped galley. An upper deck features sunning and observation.
Here are the specs for the Sea Dragon:
- 65 feet (20 m) long
- 18 foot (5.5 m) beam
- Separate wheelhouse with radar, Loran, GPS, autopilot, VHF Radio, SSB radio, cellular telephone, three fathometers
- Private, air conditioned cabin space for eight in four cabins; linens, pillows and light blankets are supplied
- Two guest heads (bathrooms) with adjoining shower
- Separate crew quarters with crew head and shower
- 12' x 24' (4 m x 8 m) main salon
- 16' x 20' (5 m x 6.5 m) upper desk for sun bathing
- Large aft deck working area
- Personalized storage space for diving gear
- Large full width diving platform with easy entry/exit
- Fully equipped galley
- Complete crew and cook
- Three full meals per day
- Entertainment center (HI-8 and VHS VCR, TV, stereo, CD)
- Twin 4-71 GM diesel power
- Two 15,000 watt electrical generators
- 850 gallon (3,200 l) fresh water capacity plus reverse osmosis water maker (1200 gal/day, 4,500 l/day)
- 1,600 gallon (6,000 l) fuel capacity for 2,000 mile (3,200 km) range
- Two 9 cfm (250 l/min) Bauer compressors
- Two tanks plus weight belt for each diver
- Safety chase boat for diver pick up and shore excursions
- "Flopper stopper" anti-roll stabilizer system
- All food, fuel, and dockage included
- Underwater video camera for rent
- Dive computers encouraged
- Sea kayak for excursions around islands
- 120 V, 60 cycle power with standard north american outlets
- Occasional use of underwater scooters to observe large dive sites