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Manta Ray Jewellery - Maybe some scuba diving christmas present ?

Manta Ray Jewellery - Maybe some scuba diving christmas present ?

Aqua Marine Silver provides hand made jewllery in silver for the marine lover. Check out sea horses dolphins to less obvious octopus items for example on their website.
http://aquamarinesilver.co.uk

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An Intro to Bonaire for the Caribbean addict

An Intro to Bonaire for the Caribbean addict

Photos thanks to AQUILASTEVE

Bonaire is primed as a fantastic vacation destination by its proximity to the equator. exactly 12 degrees north or the equator gives a year round average of just over 80 F. It does get rainy days in the ‘rainy season’ Oct to Jan. The showers are not torrential normally adding up to 20 inches per year. October sees the most cloud cover at 50% marking the start of the rainy season when you could get some light showers breaking up the heat. There’s a pretty consistent easterly 12 not wind that blows.

Ok great so it’s good for most any sport except climbing with a highest point of just 780 feet. Bonaire is most known for its reefs surrounding the island. Scuba divers flock here to take advantage. It's particularly good for diving because the reef is close by lending itself to be shore dive capital of the world but its the clarity of the water you will be impressed by. Being a dry island there is little runnoff as well. The conditions are set for fantastic diving. You can fill your tanks in a drive through - the only place in the world. Drive to any place marked by a yellow rock and you have a shore dive. So also you expect snorkelling and kayaking to be popular as reefs knock the surf down.

Other top activities in Bonaire include

Windsurfing, kitesurfing, hiking 
Horseriding

Bonaire is one of those places that for whatever reason has remained unspoilt. It has the typical unhurried pace and is backpacker friendly as much as support the luxury flashpackers alike.

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Tour the Mount Gay Rum Factory

Tour the Mount Gay Rum Factory

It is possible for the younger backpacker to walk to the factory through some interesting surburbia to get to the Rum Factory - I call it the factory as the rum is distilled mostly at another plant - however you see all the equipment that gets the process from Sugar Cane Molases to the bottle.

It is a fun thing to do isn't too long and is a great way to meet fellow visitors to Barbados. The guides do a great job in telling you the story of not only how rum is produced but its the story of how rum really came to be as this island is where that happened. So yes you learn how rum was invented on the island of Barbados.

 

 

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Small Walking Tour Barbados : FREE

Small Walking Tour Barbados : FREE

One cool thing that you can do while in Barbados is check out Needhams Point. It is located just behind the hilton Resort Hotel and is at the souther point of Carlisle Bay.

You might consider a walk from Bridgetown down the beach stop for lunch at a beachside bar in Carlisle Bay and continue down towards the hilton. Going away from the water you get to some cool places you can spend some time reviewing. The garrison area here is where you have the horse racing track, and some other government buildings and landmarks. I chose not to visit as I was pushed for time and wanted to desperately stay in the sun. So I elected to find Charles Fort at Needhams Point.

Walk over to the hilton hotel and keep going or ask. You will quickly find cannons and great views. Some of the cannons long fell into the sea and plastic ones help with the illusion somewhat. But its a pleasant area and probably very much so at night. Maybe combine this with a restaurant stop in the hilton hotel.

Anyway I wanted to share this free cool attraction with you guys. Please consider to share it on your facebook and twitter pages etc...

 

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Hurricane Gonzalo Wreaks Damage Across the Caribbean

Hurricane Gonzalo

One island hit bad is St Maarten reports Sonja Van der Drift "This is where St Maarten shines, unity and a community that steps in to help others." she says reporting that the island spirit is alive and well. One life was lost.

Image thanks to Sailing Anarchy

Hurricanes DO hit around the Caribbean at this time of year and they tend to go away over the northern hemispheres winter months until the next season. It isn't the end of Hurricane Gonzalo and its heading towards the UK after hitting bermuda and already started in Hawai.

Here are some images of the damage - https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=hurricane+gonzalo+2014+st+martin&espv=2&biw=1440&bih=732&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=KftFVNvHH4yw7AaGqYAQ&ved=0CD4QsAQ

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Choosing a destination to advance your Scuba Diving Log Book

Choosing a destination to advance your Scuba Diving Log Book

Caribbean – In a word!

The Caribbean offers some of the best scuba diving on the planet. And more so for the absolute beginner or newly certified (licensed).
The reasons for this are numerous.

Dive Culture:

If like me you learned to dive in the Caribbean then dived say in the Red Sea, you will notice the rush and hustle of diving in the red sea.  The caribbean runs on time for diving don’t get me wrong but its not the culture that is so busy that means you need to ‘rush to wait’ due to the sheer numbers of divers.

Easy Boat Rides:

Pick your island to take advantage of this one but on the whole the dive sites are not far away. Especially easy are the dive sites of Utila and Roatan or Bonaire with many dives from the shore.

Dive Resorts:

The Caribbean has Scuba Diver Resorts especially designed for ease and well that diver feeling. Here you will learn a lot and meet other divers. Visit Caribbean Diving Resorts to start your search.

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Barbados known for its Rum - I like the Rum Punch

I found this little video and the rum punch across the caribbean holds a spot dear in my heart. Often associated with a fond welcome into a Caribbean Resort by way of a welcome drink the rum punch is a special cocktail indeed. Barbados think they have the best rum going - they certainly have a great claim to be the inventors of the drink. Here is what they say about the rum punch.
Note that the people in the video are some of Barbados' finest citizens.

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Barbados Fish Fry : The Oistins You Might Not Have Heard About

Barbados Fish Fry : The Oistins You Might Not Have Heard About

Chances are, if you’re visiting Barbados, one of the locals will recommend the Oistins Fish Fry to you. Located in, of course, Oistins, in the parish of Christ Church, is a quaint little fish market coupled with a multitude of food service stalls, all serving you the freshest fish this side of the equator. The fish varies anywhere from Tuna and Marlin, to Swordfish and Barracuda. There is, from what I’ve come to discover, a lesser known type of fish in the northern regions, such as America and the UK, which the locals refer to as ‘Dolphin’. Rest assured, this is not the mammalian kind, but rather a tropical fish known as Mahi Mahi.

Ok, so you’re on your way to Oistins by now and you’re wondering, “Where do we eat?”

If you’ve tried asking anyone where to go, I’m willing to bet my last dollar that they told you to go to Uncle George. Which, no doubt, is quality fish and a tartar sauce you’re going to be tempted to dip even your chips and salad in. However, rather than go to Uncle George’s and stand in a line longer than a department store’s on Black Friday. You’ll be delighted to know a little known fact that the food is actually good everywhere. Well, I myself haven’t been to every stall, so perhaps take what I just said with a grain of salt, but what I’m trying to say is that my experience in Oistins, with regard to food, has been generally good whether I eat at George’s or not.

This particular night, prior to this post, I ate at Sea Water Front and enjoyed the Marlin. For $25 BBD, about $12.50 US, I received two sizeable (In my opinion) steaks of fish, macaroni pie with salad, and coleslaw and if you’re looking for a strong drink or two then this particular stall serves anywhere from Absolut to Johnnie Walker, sold by the bottle in varying sizes, but it should be said that a majority of the stalls do the same.

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This is a must do attraction for Barbados - the food dancing to a massive variety of music and above all the people watching. This... Read More
Saturday, 27 September 2014 22:30
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Go Surfing in Barbados

There are some other islands in the Caribbean but perhaps the best one to learn to surf on is Barbados.

You have some really easy spots to learn and you probably will be able to stand up on the first lesson. Freights bay if the swell is good enough produces a nice clean left hand wave that is very gentle on the debutant.

If you want to see how good Barbados surfing gets then here is Soup Bowl on a good day

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Getting a underwater diving rig package sorted out

Will fill out some detail and post the links to the products used here.

And here are the first results after a couple of tanks in Carlisle Bay I quickly edited the best of the footage together including some slightly pixelated zoom shots.
The GoPro can handle a bit of that but it isnt going to be a MACRO shooter at all.
I also notice that its very inconsistent, this could be due to my use and non use of the light.

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Planning my 1 or 2 weeks in Barbados

I am not quite sure what duration I am going to take but am leaning to a week to 10 days and then taking another break to get my full 2 weeks later in the year. My reasoning is that I am travelling alone and it is a risk to fall into a dead resort spending a lot of money and it being quite boring apart from the 2 key activities I am going to base my trip around.

Barbados Resorts on this site

Surfing This is mostly going to happen on the south and east coasts I understand.

Scuba Diving
Basing myself in the west is going to be key to getting to the dive sites fast as the shops are here to be confirmed. But just how quite is the west ?

So How Did It Go ?

I didn't need to worry about being in a dead place for 2 weeks. In the month of September though it wasn't high season and after the school holidays it was nicely busy. They were getting ready for a busier period as the northern parts start to chill on down to the minus levels.
I have to say if something spoilt the holiday it was not the fault of Barbados. I had been working extended hours and this had given me a chronic back problem that did start to get better as I stopped sitting for long periods and started exercising again. The first week though was painful and it did affect what I was doing. The first week I spent here in the Oceans 2 Resort - you can read my review there as well. I wish I had spent a bit more time chilling by the pool and the beach instead of chasing scuba diving. The diving did not go smoothly. First two dives were good but a little short, this was ok this time round. I got a pickup from the hotel which was cool as planned.I also got some diving video shot and testing my gopro rig and light setup. BUT I have noticed it takes me a while to get back into my diving after not having dived for a good while (almost a year) and my equipment is also complaining that it isn't doing enough either. My regs are leaking (minor) on many tanks now at the first stage and they are now retired after this trip but well done to the scuba pro mark 1 ! Oh yes my go pro leaked in the bucket on the boat which was salt water not fresh - why would you use a bucket with salt water on the boat, they say to rinse masks, please make any salt water buckets clear in future dive boats ! It leaked I think because I used foil to pack out the extra space in the housing as I forgot the lcd backpack. My mask strap broke too but due to my nose being uncomfortable in this mask I shall be getting a new mask too. I don't just have a dive shop I can try on masks though. The scuba diving was also interrupted by a cold giving me a real problem to equalize my sinus spaces. It was just everything was going wrong and lack of use certainly key here.
The second week I went to zeds surfing adventures in inch marlow to try and recapture some past experience. This week was a more enjoyable one for me surfing through pain caused by a fresh rib injury. Just paddling out it popped and I was not the only one to get this injury. Surfing is hard on the body if you are doing it daily.

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Cavorting in the Caribbean

Donkey Sanctuary

When it comes to navigating the Caribbean and exploring everything that the numerous islands have to offer, very few people may actually consider taking in the sights by car – but why not? Getting behind the wheel can be a liberating experience, allowing drivers to see everything at their own pace while really getting into the heart of the action. Traversing the Caribbean Islands by car can also enable tourists to feel a little more at home, giving them the freedom to choose where they go and when. Sound inviting? Then dive right in…

Image thanks to Devils Bridge Antigua

So much to see

With so much to see and do it’s essential for would-be road trippers to have an itinerary before setting off, or else they risk missing some of the most breathtaking sights. The Caribbean comprises more than 7,000 islands, each with their own amazing quirks: unsure where to start? We’ll try and keep it brief…

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Ocean Facts Infographic

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Week 1 of my Oceanographic course boiled down

What do the oceans mean to me ? I find this hard to answer in a single image – so maybe I should choose one that simply makes me feel very much alive or happy. I thought about the best encounter ever which was pilot whales, but after thinking further I simply love the fishes which is why I scuba dive. I should try and find some closer meaning for the word oceans perhaps as this is a slightly separate thing. I do think of old fashioned ships the kind you find on old spice bottle. I don’t have much personal experience of Oceans at the very thickest meatiest part maybe none ! flying over them for hours gives me an idea of their magnitude and maybe this size is quite key in that it is a global influencer in all things.

Here is the wall - http://padlet.com/wall/exploringouroceans1

http://www.slate.com/articles/technology/future_tense/2013/09/olaus_magnus_carta_marina_sea_monsters_on_a_gorgeous_renaissance_map.html

Wow a 3d page ! - http://www.southampton.ac.uk/oes_timeline/#vars!date=1852-09-12_09:24:00!

http://deepseadrilling.org/about.htm

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Exploring the Caribbean Sea bed in a submersible

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The Barracuda Short Video

Barracuda-following-me

This was a very typical moment while diving in Antigua this kind of sized Barracuda would come in close sometimes with a friend. Am glad I managed to get some video up about it, can't wait to try out my go pro as you can see this is not taken with anything near as sophisticated for todays market.

Here is a cool post on what might be happening when a barracuda follows you- https://xcalakmexico.com/snorkeling-barracuda/

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Colour correcting the Nurse Shark in Antigua

You can see some of the settings I used in Photoshop here to achieve the result (ignore the bottom two layers and know just one of these is your photo OR video)

The layers will be as shown above the first (bottom) 2 but you may get away with fewer - just make sure to have the two shown selected in the images here. Any problems and you can ask me from commenting below. I will help you set up your photoshop files for you.

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One of the best Antigua diving videos (colour corrected)

barracuda Barracuda

What I like about this video is that it accurately shows the quality of diving that the Caribbean and Antigua in particular has to offer. 

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Renewable energy for the Caribbean will benefit the regions economy..

I recommend hoping across to this article on the subject http://www.caribjournal.com/2013/12/19/why-the-caribbean-needs-to-go-green/

 

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New Resort ! the Sandals Grand this December

Featuring the standard but high standard you might expect of Sandals resorts the new Sandals Grand may be sure to disappoint ;) but its arriving the middle of december and will no doubt be a place where many of you choose to base yourself. It's not such a varied choice of holiday accommodations in Grenada being mostly resorts. So this is another variation I guess and you will have the same plans like all inclusive for example. This won't normally include scuba diving but other non powered water-sports are usually included in all inclusive plans.

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