Scuba the World With Me


A little video to explain what we do here. I hope to get to meet and know you better too!


Enter name email Scuba Explorers

I rarely come to this site I had 5 others but let two go in the past week.

It’s not a good thing to spread your time too thin!

For that reason, I have been closely tracking my Google Analytics to see which sites to continue.

Although it’s fun to blog and connect with others – all this busy-ness can be a huge time drain.

This is what I have kept so far:

  • 1 about my life journey.  Leslie O’Neill.  I am just starting another new site.  It will encompass all that I do.  Family, friends, traveling the world, working online and teaching scuba.  I’m just getting started so you won’t see much on it yet.

I hope you’re having fun, following your dreams, living your passion and not doing things you despise just to chase that almighty $$.

I say that only because I used to kind of do that off and on and it’s truly not worth the stress and aggravation.

It makes it difficult to have quality time with your family & friends and takes the fun out of your life.  Okay, I promise to stop the rant.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Take care, my friend!

Bye for now!


Leslie ONeill (2)

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How deep do you dive & how long do you stay underwater?

Leslie - Hawaii, 1983

Leslie - Hawaii, 1983

Hi Leslie ONeill here with Scuba Explorers.

Over the past 27 yr of teaching…one commonly asked question:

How deep do you dive & how long do you stay underwater?

We do our deepest dive of the day first…around 100’. I know when people first hear this they say “That sounds SO deep!”

One of the many things students learn on the 2nd day is how far they can swim on one breath.

We never hold our breath while scuba diving- but it does seem to ease a person’s mind when they know they can reach the surface in the worst case scenario.

We do a  C.E.S.A. Controlled Emergency Swim Ascent; a horizontal swim in the pool on one breath.  We do this to simulate an out-of-air situation.  First of all this should never happen, as you will watch your depth gauge closer than you watch the gas gauge in your car!  This drill also gives the diver peace of mind, knowing about how far they could swim on a single breath.  Keep in mind swimming vertically is easier and faster especially when ditching weights, than when practicing horizontally in the pool.

Because of the propulsion of your fins, swimming up from 30’ to the surface is not much different than swimming up from the bottom of a swimming pool without fins.

A person that is more physically fit may easily swim from the depth of 100’ to the surface on one breath.  Of course we are “bubbling off air” on the way, so our lung volume remains the same.

Whereas others not as fit may swim up from around 30’ to the surface; which also happens to be the perfect depth to see some of the most magnificent underwater life.

How long we stay depends on how deep we are and your personal air consumption.

The deeper we go limits our time at that depth based on the amount of nitrogen intake, which you will learn in detail on the second day of the two day course.

Your air consumption depends on your comfort level in the water. You will learn to relax, breathe slowly and deeply while underwater.

It is quite normal for new divers to be a bit nervous and typically they will use more air.

Moving your arms like a swim stroke or kicking fast will make you use air faster than if you remain streamlined with minimal movement. Once you relax, slow down, you will conserve your air, your goal is to be the last buddy team to surface.  you will then be able to tell the other divers about all the cool stuff they missed.  haha

This all comes with proper training, time and experience.

Like everything else in life, once equipped with the knowledge you gain the comfort and confidence to try any sport and do it safely.

If you don’t at least try it… you’ll never know!

Remember we start the first day in about three feet of water.  If you become scared…just stand up.

Leslie training divers- Cozumel, June 2011

Leslie training divers- Cozumel, June 2011

French Anglefish
French Anglefish
Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs

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Cayman Island Marine Life

Sea Cucumber (sometime called a sea biscuit)  it is found on the ocean floor usually in 40' of water or less.  It looks & feels like a soggy yet firm loaf of bread

Sea Cucumber

The Sea Cucumber shares the five-part symmetrical body plan. They have an unusual method of respiration: they take in water through their anus to breathe. When disturbed or frightened, some sea cucumbers pour out a mass of sticky white threads to confuse or trap their enemies. Others are capable of releasing toxins which in aquaria have been known to kill all the animals and including the sea cucumbers themselves.

Flamingos Tongue usually found attached to a Gargonian (plant like) under the ocean 30'-40 '  it has the appearance of a small shell with cream colored background with bright orange dots outlined in brownish black- when you touch it the patterned skin disappears into the shell- leaving a plain white shell.

Flamingos Tongue

The Flamingo Tongue Snail is a small, colorful snail about one inch long. Snails are called “gastropods” (say, “GAS-tro-PODS”), meaning stomach-footed, because they eat with their feet. As this snail crawls along the branch of coral, it digests the coral animals.

Peacock Flounder Fish is outlined in brilliant blue with brownish tan background and brite blue & turqouise polkadots on its back- both eyes are on its back however when it was born it swam verticle with one eye on each side- as fish matures the eye migrates to other side and fish then swims horizontally

Peacock Flounder

The Peacock Flounder changes its color and the pattern on its skin to exactly match the sea floor. One of the eyes recognizes the pattern of its surroundings. If this eye is covered by sand, the peacock flounder can’t camouflage itself. Each eye can move independently, seeing forward and back at the same time.

Yellowtail-Damselfish Deep blue color with spots of turquoise that sine like glitter and a bright yellow tail.



Yellowtail Damselfish are approximately 4 to 7.5 inches long with a dark body and yellow tail; their young have bright blue dots on a dark blue body.

Four-eye Butterflyfish has a little eye in front a tiny little mouth is wide bodied and a big dot in the back by their tail.  Some believe the spot is to trick their preditor into thinking they 're swimming the other direction.

Four-eye Butterflyfish

The Foureye Butterflyfish has a short snout and a large black spot surrounded by a white ring on body below the rear of dorsal fin.

Trumpetfish is long and skinny fish that camoflagues itself with the gargonias.  It's mouth is shaped like the crevice tool on a vacuum sweeper. It floats vertically to look like a part of the plant.


Trumpetfish adapt well to life on a shallow reef due to their ability to change color and pattern as well as their numerous hunting techniques. Its hunting methods allow it to be as close as possible to its prey and still escape detection. Divers can observe these fish closely.

Nassua Grouper is big fish with dark brown to black diagonal stripes ( a bit like zebra stripes with small dotted patterns))

Nassua Grouper

The Nassau Grouper is fished both commercially and for sport; it is less shy than other groupers, and is readily approached by scuba divers. However, its numbers have been sharply reduced by overfishing in recent years, and it is a slow breeder.   The governments of the United States, the Cayman Islands and the Bahamas have banned fishing for the Nassau Grouper in recent years and is is at serious risk of becoming extinct.

Anemone looks like long fingers made of jello with light color on the ends- they come in evert color and have tiny suckers are poisonous to some fish but are a safe haven to the clownfish.



Anemone– There are more than 1,000 sea anemone species found throughout the world’s oceans at various depths, although the largest and most varied occur in coastal tropical waters. They run the full spectrum of colors and can be as small as half an inch (1.25 centimeters) or as large as 6 feet (1.8 meters) across.

Some anemones, like their coral cousins, establish symbiotic relationships with green algae. In exchange for providing the algae safe harbor and exposure to sunlight, the anemone receives oxygen and sugar, the bi-products of the algae’s photosynthesis.

They form another, more famous symbiotic alliance with clownfish, which are protected by a mucus layer that makes them immune to the anemone’s sting. Clownfish live within the anemone’s tentacles, getting protection from predators, and the anemone snacks on the scraps from the clownfish’s meals.

Lionfish are beautiful fish that appear to have long feathers sticking out all over their bodies - some species are beautiful in color some a all brown.


Lionfish While it may seem exciting to see this fish on a dive it’s quite odd since this species is only supposed to be found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Allowing lionfish to establish themselves in our waters can lead to serious problems because they are:

  • Ravenous predators being shown to eat juvenile fish and crustaceans (shrimps, lobsters, etc.) in large quantities.
  • Not known to have many native predators
  • Equipped with venomous spines which deter predators and can cause painful wounds in humans.
  • Capable of reproducing monthly with unique reproduction mechanisms not commonly found in native fishes. Can reproduce at around 1 year old.
  • Each month they produce approximately 30,000 eggs.
  • Relatively resistant to parasites, giving them another advantage over native species.
  • Fast in their growth, able to outgrow most native species with whom they compete for food and space
Posted in Cayman Islands, Marine Life | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Annie Crawley filming giant manta rays in Palau

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Annie Crawley

Meet Annie in Kansas City soon!

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Scuba Diving from Catamarans


The demand for catamarans has increased over the last few years for good reason. They are wonderful boats for families and friends. They offer so much more space, comfort and privacy. The stability is appreciated by everyone, especially those prone to seasickness. And for those who think they are giving up some of the thrill of putting the rail to the wave, the speed of a catamaran should give you some excitement. The shallow draft allows you access to many private beaches and coves other boats cannot enjoy.

Cat 2

What is required to charter a catamaran?

You must have a reasonable amount of sailing experience on similar sized boats. You will be asked to fill out a sailing resume. Sailing School Certificates are helpful, but hands-on experience is more important. If there is any question about your skills during your briefing a captain will go out with you for a while to determine your bareboat ability and comfort level.


Sailing your own yacht in the British Virgin Islands or any other locations throughout the Caribbean is like no other vacation. Many who have experienced this wonderful trip come back time and again. You get up when you want to, sail where you want to, swim, dive, snorkel, eat, sleep, drink, beach comb, you name it, when and where you want to.

cat 5

The weather changes very little from one season to the next, always around the 80’s during the day. The evenings usually cool down with a nice breeze, an occasional shower in the 70’s. The water is always warm and crystal clear.


You will discover a placid, turquoise paradise stretching as far as the eye can see with unimaginable graduations of color. You will dive into diverse marine life around reef systems that are kept healthy by the continuous enrichment. Topside you will find many uninhabited low islands with beautiful beaches on which to play, explore, and relax.

Cat 3

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Which do you like best?



Cayman Brac map

I’ve been to Grand Cayman many times and Little Cayman too.  

We’ll be in Grand Cayman, February and want to dive one of the smaller islands while there –

Which Island do you prefer and why?

Thanks for your input!



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