Jan. 9, 2006 — David Wyrzykowski, manager of Caribbean Sea Adventures and part-owner of Anchor Dive and Salt River Tours, says he had never even heard of St. Croix 17 years ago.
He had been diving on the East Coast around his native state of Massachusetts, but he had had the taste of diving off Caribbean islands and wanted to live here permanently. He planned a move to the Cayman Islands, but then he met a woman at a party whose description of St. Croix convinced him that it was the place to be.
He says, "My 10-year-old son and I, we bought one-way tickets, and here we came."
His intention coming down was to dive, and his first job was with Mile Mark Water Sports now known as Caribbean Sea Adventures. He was a diving instructor taking divers out to the prime diving spots around St. Croix.
He worked there for a year before becoming partners with Laurie Dunton at Anchor Dive.
This last June he went back to Mile Mark as the manager, and at that time, the name change went into effect. Given the intermingling of tour operations between Sea Adventures, Salt River Tours and Anchor Dive, he says, "We are able to offer some unique packages. The entities work together."
Sea Adventures has about 20 employees, half of which are full time. Salt River Tours has two full-time employees, and Anchor Dive has 10 employees, 8 full time and two part time.
Wyrzykowski, commonly known as "Whiz," says things have been going extremely well since the businesses have begun working together. "Community support has been outstanding. We had a good reputation before with quite a lot of involvement with the community. Still the support of hoteliers and others was more than I could have ever hoped for," he says.
He does, however, think that a better job could be done promoting St. Croix, adding that the island has a lot to offer — both culturally and historically. "It has so much history, and no one is promoting it. The government should be promoting the history and how ecologically rich the island is," Wyrzykowski says.
He recited figures that other islands have spent millions of dollars on promotion compared to the [U.S.] Virgin Islands only spending thousands.
Caribbean Sea Tours offers several types of Buck Island tours sailing, powerboats and a glass-bottom boat. It has both half- and full-day trips. It is also the only company with a permit to dive at Buck Island.
Anchor Dive Center is the only dive shop located within Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.
Sea Adventure fishing trips include a professional captain and crew, bait, tackle, snacks and drinks. The boat, Fantasy, is one of the only boats to share part of the catch, so sportsmen can enjoy what they reel in. To learn more about all the tours, visit CSA's Web site.
Whiz says he returns to New England once a year to do some diving there and remind himself why he decided to settle on St. Croix.
Giving back to the St. Croix community, he has been part of St. Croix Rescue for over 13 years.
He has also played a lot of softball on the Big Island. He specifies, "I am just a player. Laurie is the coach."
He concludes our interview by saying, "Of all the things I like about St. Croix, I think its the people I like the most."
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