The Cuan Law | Sport Diver

The Cuan Law

The way I figured, I wasn't a live-aboard kind of guy. Not even a live-aboard kind of diver. I like head boats and beach dives, and I like wrecking, salvaging and spearfishing. Looking at pretty fish, trying to figure out their names, making sure I'm not smacking into eight zillion kinds of weird-looking underwater growth - pretty as it all is - and all that tropical diving entailed really seemed to me like more trouble than it was worth. Plus, I'd always have to calculate some oddball weight, so I wasn't too heavy or light in these ridiculously thin wetsuits and dive skins. But a not-so-little trimaran called theCuan Law (cue-en law) and the waters around the British Virgin Islands put things in a completely different perspective. I mean, I might even get to like this stuff. The Cuan Law is a luxury 105-foot aluminum trimaran, and in my book there's not a finer way to introduce yourself to live-aboards. I have a predilection for multi-hull sailboats, so I was pretty interested in getting on the ship; I wasn't real sure about staying, but I did want to sail this big tri-hull beauty at least for a little while. Wrong again. If they hadn't told me it was time to leave, I'd still be somewhere in the BVI, more than likely topside on one of the Cuan Law's big hammocks, calling out prescient suggestions at Capt. Gerry Matt in the wheelhouse. First the boat: 10 two-person cabins, each with its own A/C and private head (see, I'm getting this nautical stuff down) that works just like the loo back home - no marine head here. Each bathroom has a freshwater shower and more. There's a big lounge area with a fully stocked honor bar and plenty of comfortable seating - go ahead, take a nap. It'll be colorful to say the least. (Do it and you'll see what I mean.) There's even a phone aboard. Don't use it, though; don't tell anybody back home about it either - you're on vacation! Then there are the two 20-foot, 85-hp rigid-hull inflatables as dive tenders, two rock-solid dive ladders, a wash-down station (separate ones for you, cameras and gear) and plenty of toys if you get bored. These include two 14-foot Hobie cats, three kayaks, water skis, etc. Not a bad setup, eh? Dive gear is all recent Sherwood, they've plenty of 80s and 63s aboard, and you'll get to do as many dives a day as you safely can. Then there's the food. We're talking gourmet here, folks. Classic sit-down, dinners served from soup-to-nuts, and buffet breakfasts and lunches, all under the rear deck canopy, courtesy of chef, fish-talk-translator and resident astronomy expert Tanya Wohner. I'm not a food kind of guy either, but ... well, let's just say I didn't lose any weight on this trip. Diving the BVI varies from typical-Carib to extraordinary. You'll see a year's worth of critters and coral no matter where you go, and there's always the prospect of running into humpbacks in season. (We didn't, but we did hear their calls - pretty neat.) You'll see huge jewfish and culebra snapper, green and spotted morays, southern sting rays, eagle rays and virtually every manner of pretty fishies you'd ever hope to see. And if you're a serious wrecker, you'll really have to control yourself: I never wanted my sledge and pry bar more! One morning we rolled out early and headed for the HMS Rhone; Cuan Law divers get on the Rhone before the day boats arrive, and you'll just be finishing your dive when the crowds start rolling in. You'll night dive there, maybe get out to Chicuzen one morning, stay at incredibly beautiful anchorages off Salt, Peter, Norman, Ginger, or Cooper and throw a beach bash at the Baths on Virgin Gorda. The crew will take you ashore whenever you want, or you can opt to sail to shore - or for that matter swim - whenever you're parked ... err, anchored. I think one indication of how well a boat is run is repeat customers. Several had been on the Cuan Law at least once before, and for one non-diving couple, this was their sixth cruise. That doesn't happen unless someone's doing something really right. Yeah, the Cuan Law definitely changed my views on live-aboard diving. As a matter of fact, I wonder what kind of job opportunities they might offer? I'd make a pretty hairy hostess, but I can tuck in bedsheets tight enough to bounce a quarter. Hmmmm ... For more information...