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Cyberdiver International.

Once a year, my dive buddy Alfred Kirkland and I charter a live aboard dive boat to some world class destination and invite friends to join us there. Initially we used a travel agent, but problems developed and we've since formed a club, set up a bank account, registered with the IRS, and taken to organizing the trips ourselves. Between us, we've been to Papua New Guinea, Grand Turk, Belize, Palau, the Pacific Northwest, the Red Sea, Cay Sal Bank, the Galapagos, Truk, and the Maldives. For 2004 it's a return to Papua New Guinea, this time Kavieng, in July.

We generally organize by email, from folks who've dived with us on long range trips before. We are mostly early-30's to mid-50's in age, with a few above and below that. We come from all walks of life, and have with an enormous amount of international dive experience. Photos of many of us can be seen in the dive trip photos section on the left menu.

Big discounts for full boat charters.

Chartering a full boat usually results in the following discounts to the chartering agent:

  • 2 free berths.
    ($4000-5000 value)
  • A 3rd free berth if chartered by Jan 31.
    ($2000-2500 value)
  • 10% individual discounts,
    (instructor, senior citizen, etc)
  • 10% commission on the gross due.
    ($2500-3000 value)

Each item varies from boat to boat, with specifics known on each trip, before signup. This is easy to understand by visiting one of the Status sheets from past or ongoing trips on the left menu.

Since we are a non profit club, we simply reduce everyone's price by the amount of the discounts. This always results in a 25% savings over the rack rate. When combined with individual discounts, where applicable, the resulting discount sometimes approaches 40%.

Division of the discounts.

All the discounts are divided among the participants, including the organizers.

  • Free slots are divided equally among the participants.
  • Individual discounts are applied as earned.
  • Commission is rebated as a fixed % per dollar of room cost. Higher cost rooms
    receive more rebate.
  • Park fees, decompression chamber fees,
    etc. are added to each bill.

Who can go.

Anyone can travel with us. We usually have 2-3 openings for new people per trip. It's easier on the trust factor if they know us, or at least know someone who has been on trips with us before. Otherwise they're sending a check blindly to someone whom they only know from email. Not usually a good idea. Folks come from one of several dive email lists, others from no email list at all, and are located worldwide geographically. They must actively use email, or we can't maintain contact with them. Nobody is required to join anything, pay any dues, or attend anything except the dives. We don't sell email addresses. In fact, we don't sell anything at all. We don't arrange hotels, flights, tours, etc. We just charter the boat and pay them when due.


How much is the deposit?

$500. The same, or slightly less, than dealing with the dive boat directly yourself.

What are the progress payments?.

The deposit and the final payment are all there is. We must pay 90 or 120 days before departure (boat dependent), so we begin collection 60 days before that. We have to get international transfers, and that takes some time.

What if I pay and can't go?

As in anything else, you could lose all your money. We will make every attempt to sell your slot to someone on the waiting list, and failing that, to anyone else you or we can find. There are no limits on who you can sell it to, or for how little. However, if the slot remains unsold, you will be out the money.

Your dealing directly with the dive boat has even bigger risk, as they'll not pursue the replacement as vigorously, and will also recommend you buy trip insurance. Trip insurance is equally applicable to travelling with us. If you can't go, they repay you, and the system is made whole.

What if the boat doesn't sell out?

That's happened in the past. Since we've put all the savings into discounts, everyone has to make up the shortfall. For example, if we fall one short on a 16 passenger boat, it works out to be around $120 each. What started out as a $500-700 discount works out to a $100 less. Still, a substantial saving, and everyone is motivated to join the search for the final slot filler, to boot.

With our expanded roster of travelers, we usually have a solid wait list, and sometimes even run two trips to accomodate people wanting to go two places.

Previous Trips

Grand Turk

MacDonald's Reef, Grand Turk, Turks and Caicos.


  • Euro-Florida (1995)
       Bob Denton organizer
  • Red Sea (1996 - Fortune 1)
       Martin Truebner organizer
  • Papua New Guinea (1997 - Star Dancer)
  • Pacific Northwest (1997 - Nautilus III).
    Dave Rockwell organizer
  • Belize (1998 - Wave Dancer)
  • Grand Turk (1999 - Wave Dancer).
  • Palau (2001 - Star Dancer).
  • Galapagos (2002 - Sky Dancer)
  • Truk (2003 - Truk Aggressor).
  • Maldives (2003 - Mithiri).
  • In process: Kavieng (2004 - Spoilsport).

Where to Go?


Sometime during the year, about 15-18 months before the actual trip, we send email to about 70 potential travelers inquiring as to where to go next. Usually the list is 4-5 sites that we've not been to at all, or at least not in a great while. Sometimes we just send out a note that says "We're thinking of going to the Galapagos next year, want to go?

We ask folks to categorize themselves vs the trip list in to the categories below.


  • I'll go to any of those. Count me in.
  • I'll go to any except......
  • I'm interested only in.....
  • I'm uncertain this year.
    Keep me on the list for info.
  • Start me out on the wait list.
  • I'm out this year. Ask next year.
  • Take me off the list permanently.

There may be a few weeks of email dialog, then based on the responses, we figure out which trip is of the most interest, and book the boat sometime during the month of January, to gain the 3rd free slot from fleets offering it.


If you are offered an opportunity to pay
a deposit, and do, you are IN.

We do not extend more offers than we
have slots available, so filling the
last few slots is a slow process.

Once established, the traveler and wait
lists are posted in view to all.

Filling the Slots


Having secured the boat, we work through the following process:


  • Announce the trip destination and date
  • Scan the answering and previous
    emails for statements of interest.
  • Organize the list by priority.
  • Extend a request for deposits.
  • Work down the priority list until everyone is either in or on the wait list.
  • Publish the results on the status sheet.
  • Create a CC: email list for group contact.

The priorty scheme is rarely used, but available to arbitrate decisions if needed. It's based on the number of dive days on long range trips people have with us to date. The upper end of the scale is used for items like who gets the best berths, (or doesn't get the worst). In the case of oversubcription, which is rare, the priorty scheme decides who gets the last open spots and who goes on the wait list.

That having been said, we almost always have room for 1-3 folks who've never travelled with us before.

It is not a race. Saying yes in December doesn't trump saying yes in January. Email is not an instantaneous communication media, as some folks go several days before reading it, while others do it hourly. A suitable period for everyone to read, digest, and answer is allowed, then we total up the list, order it by priority, and request deposits. Paying at that time guarantees a spot.

Similarly, it's not a public process. Many factors go into a person's decision on roommates, finances, travel dates, skills discussion, etc and they're best left between the traveller and the organizers. There is plenty of public discussion about the plans as they develop. The priority scheme and where folks are on it is always available to be seen.


Use the SEND EMAIL icon for more info.