You’re tickled. As your dive party rounds the next bommie like clockwork, you have to wonder: Will there be lobsters?
The divemaster teased their appearance before entry, even before counting down to “dive!” — massive creatures weighing as much as 200 pounds. Lobsters have crawled around this gorgeous reef for more than 200 years; some of them could be just as ancient.
Granted by Jacques Cousteau, Lobster No Lobster’s 1970s namesake is its reputation; crustaceans and the seasonal lack thereof, at depths of 25 to 30 feet. From April to the end of July? No lobster luck. From August to March? Lobsters prowl.
You glide over polyps and fans dolloping a narrow little island beyond the dive. Each reef bank begets another in a circular daisy chain, sprouting like bonsai branches or flower petals. You dived off a boat’s mooring and backward in time, and you’re delighted.
Each turn has yielded bounties of flatworms, brilliant nudis and other mollusks — the usual Caribbean suspects — but no lobsters. Slack tide is drawing, and this is it: your last chance for a glimpse. You bank around the last curve, and the ocean erupts with underwater life. Yellow-headed jawfish whip up tiny sand clouds from the seafloor, and you bubble with laughter as several long, silvery fish dart toward you for a play date.
There are no claw-pinching giants. Instead, a kaleidoscopic fairyland has made this last bommie its home, giving you five or six dives’ worth of creatures to relish. A school of barracuda meanders by for a peek, but you’re not afraid — they have just as much right to this spectacle. And you remember that rock ‘n’ roll chestnut: You can’t always get what you want, but you just might find, you get what you need.
For more of Blackbeard’s Cruises best dive experiences, check out The Washing Machine’s Spin.