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Barbados – Island Life

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown



Our trip to Barbados was really quite a revelation. We still have plenty more to tell you about the diving, but as a light interlude, with thought we would tell you about some other aspects that we really enjoyed. Whilst most of our daylight hours were spent under the water, our evenings and our day before flying were spent seeing the rest of what the island had to offer.

What surprised us the most was the food. It was simply wonderful. Barbados is a gastronomic delight. Even better, there was loads of choice for vegetarians too. From street food to fine dining, Barbados has something for every occasion. We were only on the island for five nights, but managed to sample a little flavour of everything. One of our first experiences was lunch on our first day of diving, when Barbados Blue handed us each a roti, filled with either chicken or chickpeas, full of flavour and wonderfully messy to eat. On the same evening we dined at Cocktail Kitchen, where the chef was recently crowned “Chef of the Year” in the Caribbean. On top of this, as the name implies, they make a pretty mean cocktail too, with our favourite being the Mango Chow, made with scotch bonnet chilli infused rum, mango, lime, coriander and brown sugar! Located in the popular Saint Lawrence Gap area, you can go on and listen to live music and party the night away, but we were diving, so we had a couple of cocktails and retired to bed!

Friday night is the night to head to the famous Fish Fry in Oistins. You do not have to eat fish, there is a wide range of freshly BBQ’d food on offer, but it is the atmosphere and entertainment that brings the crowds here. Amazing live music, dancers and a vibrant buzz fills the place from early in the evening to early the next morning. Sunday, why not try a traditional Bajan buffet at Atlantis Hotel, with a huge choice of food and THE best Caribbean IPA we have ever tried (Round Rock IPA by Brew House). If fine dining by the sea is more what you are looking for, to celebrate a special occasion or simply to treat yourself, then we can heartily recommend either Fish Pot or Champers. Both have lovely settings, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and both offer a very special dining experience.

The island of Barbados has lots to offer. It is the home of West Indian cricket, and whilst we did not get time to catch a game on this trip, we have done so once in the past, and it is a great experience. If you want to spend more time in or on the water, there are loads of sports to try. Barbados Blue also offer freediving tuition and the Carlisle Bay site is perfect for both beginners and the more experienced alike. You can sail, snorkel from a pirate ship, kayak, paddle board, pose on a speed boat and more. The beaches are pristine and uncrowded. We toured Harrison’s Cave, which is a great place to spend a few hours. The tour takes you through a large excavated underground section of caverns with stalagmites and stalactites lit up as you progress with your guide through the system.

We also visited the Mount Gay visitors centre, for a tour about how they make the oldest rum in the world, and, of course, to taste a few samples too! Finally, we also got the chance to tour the island, taking in the wild Atlantic coastline, as well as the gorgeous Caribbean shores. As we toured inland, and the vegetation became more lush, we came across a few mongoose and green vervet monkeys.

We could have spent weeks exploring and tasting our way through Barbados. It has so much to offer, and we have only just scratched the surface both with the diving and above the water. But what we have experienced, we have loved. In our next feature, we will get back to the diving, but we wanted to give you a flavour of what the rest of the island of Barbados has to offer. Talking of flavour … the hot sauce on Barbados is epic…

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Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and they are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit


Jeff chats to… Christopher Bartlett, MD of Indigo Safaris, about scuba diving in Dominica and Mexico (3 of 5)

Jeff Goodman



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.

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Rather listen to a podcast? Click on this link to listen HERE.

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Diving with… Ben Williams and Kay Van Leuven, Sunchaser Scuba, British Virgin Islands

Caribbean DTA Team



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?

Sunchaser Scuba

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
experienced divers.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

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