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Dive Fest Diaries – Day 4

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown



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…

Saturday 7th July: Day 4

Our fourth day at Dive Fest Barbados was supposed to see us diving the east coast of the island. However, news broke that a tropical storm was heading our way, and so it was with little hope that we headed to the east side of the island to see what diving conditions were going to be like. As expected, the waves had picked up and even the chance of going out on the boat to get some above water shots was impossible. So, the guys from Barbados Blue asked what we would like to do instead. We all said – Carlisle Bay! It is close to shore, easy to dive and, with visibility getting worse, it was the obvious choice of dive for us. So, we jumped back in the van and headed back the dock to jump on our boat and go diving.

Whilst the visibility was not great, we had an idea from our last visit to the Bajan Queen wreck and wanted to try something out. Enlisting help from Christie, we jumped in and swam back into the engine room. Nick was going to try getting a backlit shot of Christie. It took a while to get right, but it was worth the effort. We spent a bit more time trying out some shots that had escaped us on the last dive before heading back outside to photograph the schools of grunts and red snapper that hang-out around the prop.

On our second dive, the Barbados Blue team wanted to go back to the coral nursery, as we had seen 4 lionfish there the previous day. They grabbed their spears and safe container and our job was to spot them. They had moved away from their spot from yesterday, and so we spread out and started searching. It was not long before the first one was bagged, but it took us the whole dive to find the four we were looking for.

That evening we ate at the sumptuous Cin Cin by the Sea. A frozen chocolate cocktail from heaven as the sun set was the perfect way to end the day.

That was the end of our diving at Dive Fest Barbados, but there was one final day in the schedule.  We got to see watch Barbados Blue launch their boat made from trash collected on the beaches, Kyle, our host from Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., try out diving for the very first time before heading to the closing ceremony to hear the final speeches, and listen to the success stories of many of the local kids and how they had learned to swim, freedive and get involved in clean-ups. We then watched the prizes being given out and most importantly, welcome the fact that Barbados will be doing it all again in 2019! We hope we can be there…

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

Equipment used:

  • Nikon D800, Nauticam housing, INON Strobes
  • Olympus OMD EM-1 mkII, Nauticam housing, INON Strobes
  • Olympus TG5

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


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

Bryan Horne



New Video Release: Smokeys near Eastpoint Curaçao.

Learn about – 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



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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