Discovering the underwater world is, without a doubt, a different and unforgettable natural spectacle. And although there are several destinations that offer this activity, practicing it in a personalized way can completely improve our experience. For this to be possible, &Beyond Yacht Charters proposes us to enjoy a vacation manned by two diving professionals, lovers of the ocean and true connoisseurs of the most amazing corners of the Virgin Islands. They have lived on the islands for many years, they have sailed and explored endless hours and that is why they know incredible places, only accessible by boat, and they know the perfect time of day to go.
On board &Beyond, the diving experience begins with Heiko and Rebecca, who take us on a unique adventure in the Caribbean, prioritizing our enjoyment, care and comfort at all times. Heiko, born and raised in Germany, is certified as an RYA Offshore Yachtmaster. He is a yoga and freediving instructor and his passion is being able to share unique experiences in nature. He worked for many years in technology until in 2014 he decided to fulfill his dream of traveling the world. He traveled the five continents, visited more than 30 countries in which he climbed mountains, learned Spanish, scuba dived and lived incredible adventures in and out of the sea. What started as a temporary trip, became a before and after on the way to his new lifestyle in the Caribbean paradise.
Rebecca, born and raised in New York, graduated with degrees in Economics and Psychology. Her life changed completely in 2005 after a trip to Australia in which she learned to dive in the Great Barrier Reef. Two years later, she left the city to live surrounded by nature. She spent two months diving in the Philippines, three months on a marine conservation expedition in Madagascar, and four months completing her Divemaster internship in Malaysia. After these experiences, she lived in Sweden where she discovered her passion for sailing. She is PADI certified and has worked as a dive instructor in Thailand, Hawaii and Indonesia.
Today she enjoys her life in the Caribbean and sunrise every day with a view of paradise. As well as diving professionals, Heiko and Rebecca are navigation captains and did their training and licensing together. With them, clients live a relaxed experience while they enjoy discovering the natural wonders of underwater life. After personalized and supervised dives, they get their clients dedicated to enjoying all of &Beyond’s onboard amenities and services.
Rebecca is a lover of cooking and some of her specialties are the plant based and raw menus, since they both have a vegetarian diet. Heiko spends his free time exploring the islands, discovering new corners to share. Both usually entertain and surprise guests with their delicacies, their tours of the best spots on the islands and their passion for inspiring a lifestyle in harmony with nature. Passionate about providing high-level service in a relaxed and friendly, Heiko and Rebecca as well as the entire team of &Beyond Yacht Charters, create unique experiences in the Virgin Islands for those seeking a vacation of relaxation, enjoyment and adventure in the Caribbean.
What are some of the most amazing places to dive with &Beyond in the Virgin Islands? One of our favorite dive spots is Great Lameshur – it’s covered in pink, purple and yellow coral, creating a dazzling underwater landscape that reminds us of a garden. The marine life that we can find is very abundant and includes tropical reef fish, small creatures such as shrimp, crabs and snails and larger species such as green sea turtles, Caribbean reef sharks and nurse sharks.
What are the requirements to dive with &Beyond? Is it necessary to have any previous experience? On &Beyond’s Felix Yacht we offer guided dives for certified divers, usually with Heiko, and an introduction to scuba diving called PADI Discover Scuba Diving, which is a highly supervised experience for those without scuba certification. The latter is done with Rebecca, who is an instructor and therefore qualified to do this program. The dives we do are generally shallow (maximum 12-18 meters, average 6-7 meters), relaxed and easy dives for all ages and levels, so even if a person hasn’t dived in many years, the places are and we also adjust our level of care and supervision. For those who have never dived before and want to give it a try, the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience is the ideal way to try it out.
How many dives can be done during our stay with &Beyond aboard Felix? The Felix onboard experience includes 3 dives for certified divers in a minimum rental of 6 nights. All equipment (BCD, regulator, mask, fins, wetsuit, weights, tank) is included and these dives are guided by Heiko. Additional dives can be added for an additional cost, subject to the planned itinerary, other activities the group has requested, and at the captain’s discretion. Doing a dive will normally take up the entire morning between breakfast and lunch.
What is the main differential of diving with &Beyond? On our Felix boat and together with &Beyond we offer a luxury diving experience. We help and supervise them at all times, before, during and after entering the water. It goes without saying that during the dive, we focus on everyone being safe throughout the journey. Before each dive we provide a complete and detailed dive summary covering all necessary information, tailored to our guests’ experience and comfort level. We provide a much higher level of service than many of our guests are used to – all they have to do is dive!
If you had to describe the diving experience with &Beyond in the Virgin Islands in a few words, what would you say? We would say that it is without a doubt… an experience that will take you further!