October 2000

  • Christy McNeil, travel coordinator for the Richmond Dive Club (RDC), proposes a liveaboard dive trip to Belize on the Peter Hughes boat, Wave Dancer, at the monthly Richmond Dive Club meeting in October 2000. The vacation is scheduled through Claudia Boone and Tina Miller of Island Dreams Travel.
  • Response to the proposed trip is overwhelming, and the 20 slots available on the M/V Wave Dancer for the week of October 6-13, 2001 fill within several weeks.
  • The waiting list for the Belize trip becomes so long that Christy contacts the Belize Aggressor, a competitive liveaboard yacht, to determine if it can accommodate the overflow of interested club members.
  • Christy secures an additional 10 berths on the Belize Aggressor.
  • Christy and RDC President, Glenn Prillaman, work with the two competitive companies to obtain an agreement that the two boats will travel side-by-side for the week-long adventure.

January 2001
  • Email from Glenn Prillamen to Sue at Peter Hughes dated 1/19/01 (sic):


The Richmond Dive Club, Inc. has booked the Belize Aggressor AS WELL this week and we have received an email from them stating they are willing to run with the Peter Hughes boat this week They seemed excited as well, as it appears that Richmond Dive Club will be the first to ever book BOTH boats for a group. So far we have 6 confirmed on the 2nd boat (you will always be #1!) and was wondering if we could receive written confirmation that Peter Hughes is aware of the two boats running together so that our groups will have opportunities to raft up, etc during this incredible week of diving.

Glenn Prillaman, President Richmond Dive Club, Inc.

  • Ray Mars emails Christy 1/16/01 to let her know he had sent her his deposit for the Belize trip and application for RDC membership. Christy places Ray on the Aggressor, but a cancellation on the Peter Hughes boat in March allows him to join his friend, Buddy Webb, on the Wave Dancer.

April 2001
  • Buddy Webb is notified by Christy via email on 4/02/01 that he will be rooming with Ray Mars.

May 2001
  • Christy emails Lisa Powell, who was originally berthed in the Wave Dancer, that she is confirmed for the Belize trip on board the Aggressor. Lisa is later moved back to the Wave Dancer when a cancellation in June opens up a room for her and Mary Lou Hayden.
  • Christy moves Jimmy Topping from the Aggressor to the Wave Dancer in order for him to be on the same boat as his cousins, Charlie and Cindy Pike.
  • On Tuesday May 15th. Island Dreams Travel notifies Christy that Continental has cancelled the return flight out of Houston to Richmond on Saturday, October 13th; the Club would have to overnight in Houston and catch a return flight on Sunday, October 14th.
  • Glenn and Christy work to confirm a return flight to Norfolk, Virginia on Saturday, October 13th, as originally scheduled.
  • Glenn arranges for a charter bus from TourTime to pick up club members in Norfolk and deliver them to Richmond upon their return.
  • Ray Mars emails Christy 5/21/01 regarding accommodations on the Wave Dancer:
Hi Christy:

I sent an email to Buddy about room selection on the PH and got something back about him being buff and cut and anyone would want to sleep with him… Anyway, if you can put me on the Dolphin deck as first choice and then into a Master Suite as second it would be fine. Buddy is sure Glenn and Dave are going to "get even" with him! Anyway, I'd prefer to pass on Rooms 1, 2 or 4 unless you're hooking me up with someone other than Buddy! They've all got Queen beds. Take care, (I REALLY need a dive trip!)

- Ray

  • Cheryl Lightbound emails Christy on 5/30/2001 to let her know she is definitely going to Belize and would mail her deposit check the following day.
  • Glenn confirms via email to Christy on 5/30/01 that he will have a deposit check to her whenever she needed it.

September 2001

  • The Continental flight scheduled to take the RDC members from Richmond to Houston on October 6th, a gateway for Central America, is cancelled and Christy works frantically to find another route to Belize for the already-paid-for liveaboard trip.
  • Christy finds seats for the club on a 6:15 am Continental flight (flight# 475) out of Norfolk, Virginia leaving the same day. Glenn arranges for Tourtime to pick the travelers up at 2:00 am in Richmond and get them to the Norfolk International Airport by 4:00 am on the day of their departure.
  • Jim and Kimberly Garrison host a pre-trip party at their home on Sunday, September 23rd.

Thursday, October 4th
  • The National Hurricane Center (NHC) in Miami, Florida, an arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) begins tracking Tropical Depression 11, forming 85 nautical miles southeast of Barbados.

Friday, October 5th
  • The storm system is upgraded to a Tropical Storm at 1200 UTC, 240 nautical miles south-southeast of Puerto Rico. Tropical storm force winds extend 105 miles from the storm center.
  • RDC members track the development of the storm.
  • Buddy Webb, out to dinner with friends the evening before the trip, remarks that he is concerned about the storm and has a “bad feeling” about the trip. The comment is out of character for the former marine who is known for his adventurous and fun-loving spirit.

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