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Dive Fest Diaries – Day 3 (Watch Video)

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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Each year the magical, Caribbean island of Barbados holds a festival to celebrate scuba diving, free diving and marine conservation. This year, Nick and Caroline went along to see what it was all about…


Friday 6th July: Day 3

The third day of Dive Fest Barbados saw us diving with our old friends from Barbados Blue. A warm welcome from Andre, Christie and Keira at the dive shop was a great start to the day, catching up on all that we had been up to since we last saw them. Andre had a glint in his eye, which is not uncommon, but we knew he had something up his sleeve for the day’s diving. He had decided to take us out on our own boat, with just the three of us from Scubaverse, and he and Christie from Barbados Blue. “How do you fancy diving on a submarine?” says Andre.

It turns out that Atlantis Submarines Barbados run submarine tours off the reef and we had been given permission to dive alongside the sub as it hovered above the reef. We jumped at the chance, and as we dived down to greet it, we saw a group of local school children pressed up against the windows. They were being introduced to the wonderful underwater world that surrounds their island, and we were there to add to the fun. Nick and Andre went along each window, waving and bumping fists against the glass. It was smiles and laughter all round.

But our adventures were not over for the day. Between dives, Andre had been on the phone and radio while we basked in the sunshine. Suddenly there was a cheer from Andre – we had been given permission to “ride” the submarine to the bottom of the sea! Yes, you heard me right – it was going to come to the surface to take on a new group of guests. Then we were going to stand on the top, hold on, and ride it to a depth of around 20m. Never have we done anything quite as mad as this before; truly bonkers!!

We started with a serious briefing before we crossed to the Atlantis. It was an epic ride. As the sub started to descend we had to hold on to the railing tight, as the water rushed up past us. We were in an ocean of bubbles, holding on with one hand, trying to take photos with the other, along with equalizing! Soon we were able to let go of the railing and just hang out on the deck as the descent became easier once we were fully submerged. The bubbles died down and we could take some photos, finally swimming off the top and around to wave at and thank the captain, as well as entertaining the visitors inside the sub. You can watch the video below:

It was a dive we will talk about for a very long time to come! After a pause for breath we tied up the boat, and stopped for some lunch at The Beach House, with plenty of talk of what it was like to ride a submarine to the bottom of the ocean. Our post lunch dive was to go and see the coral nursery that the team from Barbados Blue have been nurturing and to see Andre and Christie (who is a coral biologist) transplant staghorn coral from the nursery to the reef.

To top off an amazing day – with it being a Friday – it was time to head to the famous Friday night “Fish Fry” at Oistins. Here huge crowds gather to enjoy the food, music and entertainment that kicks off every weekend in Barbados.


Want to join in on all the fun at Dive Fest Barbados 2019 – put the dates in your diary: 3rd to 7th July 2019

www.divefestbarbados.com

www.divebarbadosblue.com

barbados.atlantissubmarines.com

www.coconut-court.com

www.thebeachhousebarbados.com

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 www.frogfishphotography.com

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Curaçao Dive Site of the Month – Smokeys (Watch Video)

Bryan Horne

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New Video Release: Smokeys near Eastpoint Curaçao.

Learn about https://bit.ly/Smokeys-Dive-Site-Curacao – a Top 10 Dive Site in Curacao located near Eastpoint and arguably one of the best dive sites in the Caribbean. 

It rivals the finest dive sites in Belize, Bonaire and the Cayman Islands.

Video produced and edited for Dive Curacao, by NaturePicsFilms.

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Top 5 things to do above water on a diving trip to Barbados

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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Whilst you will want to spend as much time underwater as possible on any diving trip to Barbados, with its amazing wrecks, reefs and marine life… you will have to spend some time on dry land! So here are our top tips on what to do topside on this stunning Caribbean paradise.

1) Go Caving!

Babados offers the perfect instagram cave experiences. Two stand out from the crowd: Harrison’s Cave and Animal Flower Cave.

Harrison’s Cave offers a guided tours on a tram to allow you to safely explore these incredible underground caverns. Located in the central uplands of the island, this crystallized, limestone cave is characterized by flowing streams, deep pools of crystal clear water and towering columns.

Animal Flower Cave is named after the anemone’s that can be found in the rock pools that sit within the cavern. This is a perfect spot for a photo or two, with the wild coastline visible through the cavern windows that have been carved out by wave action.

Both these tours are great options for your non-diving day before you fly home.

2) Take in a show

I have to admit that we do not usually get excited about an evening show put on for tourists. But just a few minutes into the show at Harbour Lights and we were dancing along with locals and tourists alike. The show is great fun and is full of talented performers. The buffet dinner included with the event is perfect too, with something for everyone. They had to throw us out!

3) Head to the Beach

Barbados is packed with incredible beaches. Some are setup with entertainment, resturants and bars, others are completely deserted. So it is up to you to find your perfect one. Whether you love to surf, want to relax in the sun, or get into the party spirit – there is a beach for you waiting to be discovered.

4) Learn to cook Bajan Style

If you love your food, and are a whizz in the kitchen, then why not spend an evening with a local chef to show you how to cook some of your favourite Bajan dishes. Award winning Chef Creig Greenidge joined us in our hotel to pass on some of his secrets. An amazing evening saw us chatting about our love of Caribbean cuisine, he guided us through a three course meal, even stopping to help us work out what we could replace hard to find ingredients in the UK with. The food was incredible, but it was also a wonderful experience. Great food and wine too!

5) Rum and Food Pairing Dinner

Barbados is the home of rum. This was a perfect way to round off our trip. Set in the Rum Vault at the Colony Club Hotel, we were treated to a private 5 course meal, each course paired with a rum cocktail. Finished with some fine sipping rums and delicious chocolates. Heaven!

Of course there is so much more than these 5 we have picked. So here are a few more things you should try out: Horses on the beach on Sunday mornings; Friday night is party night at the Fish Fry; Eat out! There are too many amazing restaurants to name here. Have a Mango Chow cocktail. Do a rum distillery tour at Mount Gay or St Nicholas Abbey or try our a local craft beer. Most of all – get out and explore. Barbados has so much to offer.

Next up… we will be back underwater exploring one of our favourite diving areas – Carlisle Bay.

For more information about Barbados click here.

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