Barbados – First Impressions
We have arrived in Barbados, and to be honest the flight here was a real pleasure. Not only did we find ourselves in premium seats, thanks to the Barbados Tourism team, but we also banged into a friend that we have not seen for some 12 years. So, the trip began with some pretty good omens. And Barbados is just as gorgeous as you might expect it to be, with perfect pinkish-white beaches and beautiful blue seas. Our hotel, the Bougainvillea Beach Resort, is lovely too, with the namesake flower lining the poolside with pink and purples, and the rooms and restaurant all overlooking the Caribbean Sea. But, we did not really know what to expect from the diving, so today we were diving into the unknown.
This week we are diving with Barbados Blue, run by local dive instructor and marine biologist Andre Miller, a PADI Ambassadiver. He and his team are looking after us really well, supplying a dedicated model to our group, as well as two other staff members and Andre himself captaining the boat. Our first day was to be one of the most famous dive sites in Barbados: Carlisle Bay.
Carlisle Bay is hugely popular with both divers and snorkelers and as soon as you get into the water here you can see why. The dive site is made up of 6 wrecks, linked together in a large circle by cannons, anchors, pylons and other debris to guide you around. The wrecks themselves range from first world war casualties, to newly sunk wrecks, and this huge artificial reef system is attracting a significant amount of marine life. The deepest wrecks lie in around 20m of water and the shallowest come within 5m of the surface. It is a veritable playground for anyone that likes to spend time in the water. And with the water reaching 28°C, and vis ranging from 10-30m, who wouldn’t want to?
The site is worth diving several times, and we hope to go back again, there is just so much to cover for both the wide angle and macro photographer. Our first day saw us dive all 6 wrecks, and see reef squid, turtles, seahorses, schooling fish and much, much more. It exceeded our expectations and we cannot wait to dive the signature wreck of Barbados, the Stavronikita, tomorrow…
For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.
Jeff chats to… Christopher Bartlett, MD of Indigo Safaris, about scuba diving in Dominica and Mexico (3 of 5)
In the third in this exclusive series of five videos, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Christopher Bartlett, Managing Director of Indigo Safaris, about their diving and wildlife adventures, and some of their top destinations. In this episode Christopher talks about Dominica and Mexico.
For more information, please visit www.indigosafaris.com
Rather listen to a podcast? Click on this link to listen HERE.
Diving with… Ben Williams and Kay Van Leuven, Sunchaser Scuba, British Virgin Islands
In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…
What is your name?
Ben Williams and Kay Van Leuven
What is the name of your business?
What is your role within the business?
How long has the business operated for?
32 years in total and we have been here since 2010, working for the previous owner, then bought the current company from him starting in 2015.
How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?
Ben since 2003 and he is a PADI MSDT and SDI instructor
Kay since 2010 and she is a PADI MSDT and SDI instructor
What is your favorite type of diving?
Ben loves pinnacle dives; Kay loves shallow coral dives
If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you, what would it be?
We offer valet diving for a trip of your lifetime. Personal service is key in our business, together with small groups.
What is your favourite dive in your location and why?
Ben favorite dive is the Invisibles because of the amount of marine life; Kay favorite dive is the wreck of the Rhone, because of it’s historical value, marine life and the amount of coral growth on it.
What types of diving are available in your location?
We offer reef and wreck diving, rendez vous diving with your charter boat so we can pick you up straight off your boat.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
Being able to dive every day and show the underwater world of the BVI
What is your favorite underwater creature?
Ben’s favorite is sharks and for Kay it is dolphins.
As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
Ever rising supplier prices.
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
Yes, we do treatment for STCLD, shark sightings and beach clean ups
Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?
The hotel we work out of is still recovering from the 2017 hurricane so more places to stay will be coming along in the future. We have an amazing local non profit called Beyond The Reef in the BVI who are always making new artificial reefs.
How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?
We feel it is a great industry and it is very rewarding being able to teach people to dive and therefore increase awareness. One of the biggest changes that would be great to change is to be able to make things cheaper so it is more accessible to our local kids/divers and therefore increase the number of divers in our local community.
Finally, what would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?
The BVI is very underrated and untouched, making it a great destination for both novice and
Where can our visitors find out more about your business?