Whether you’re a new, experienced, or even just an aspiring diver, you’ll want to get to know CRABBS. The Caribbean Reef Association of Bubble Blowers St. Croix is St. Croix’s one-and-only dive club. This friendly and welcoming group supports safe and fun recreational SCUBA diving for divers of all levels.
On a world-class dive destination such as St. Croix, having a group that can bring divers together is important for the sport, says Tracy Cole, the club’s Vice President. “Diving is an amazing sport, but it’s also considered an extreme sport. Finding a dive buddy that you can connect with and feel comfortable with is important to every diver’s safety.”
One of the biggest advantages of CRABBS membership is the camaraderie. Tracy adds, “We recognize that not everyone has another diver in their household, so the meetings are a good way to meet other divers and build a network of dive buddies.”
Each month CRABBS hosts a meeting, regularly schedules group dives, and provides numerous activities. CRABBS meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at a restaurant to support a local business. Meetings incorporate education and fun and include guest speakers, marine environmental news, trivia, bingo, photo contests and door prizes.
Monthly group dives are coordinated with dive shops around the island and are an easy and fun way to explore new dive sites. In addition, members regularly share their plans for upcoming informal shore and boat dives and send out an open invitation for others to join in on the fun.
CRABBS also supports St. Croix’s competitive swim events to ensure participants’ safety. In 2019 CRABBS safety divers were on hand at the St. Croix Coral Reef Swim, the St. Croix Dolphins Sea Swim and the Beauty and the Beast Triathlon. Other community events include support for Fish with a Vet and the Frederiksted Pier clean-up.
For fun, CRABBS hosts an annual poker run, challenging divers to practice their navigation skills while searching for dozens of anchors at the bottom of Cane Bay. Some of the anchors date back to the 1600s.
CRABBS encourages divers of all abilities to explore scuba diving. Several CRABBS members have earned their PADI Adaptive Support Diver certification. Adaptive diving is a method of training divers with a variety of disabilities to participate in scuba as independently as they can safely dive.
Active CRABBS members earn points throughout the year by participating in community events and dives. Last year the club awarded Diver of the Year to the member who logged the most dives, and MVP Diver to the member who participated in the most educational and volunteer events.
Jeff Dykstra, CRABBS president says, “We want people to know that we’re a place where both divers who live here and visitors can meet other divers, discover new dive sites, and support the dive industry on St. Croix.”
CRABBS is having a lot of fun and doing a lot of good for the island’s dive industry. As one of the top dive destinations in the world, St. Croix’s divers know how lucky they are to call the island home. Why not join them? Annual membership is $30/individual and $40/family. Become a better diver, support the sport, promote diving on St. Croix and meet your next dive buddy!