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Explore The Exumas, Bahamas

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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If you want to take a break from all the fantastic shark diving, maybe spend some time without a cylinder on your back, and want to simply take in the wonderful topside treats the Bahamas have to offer, then you cannot go far wrong with The Exumas.

Exumas

ExumasThe Exumas are made up of 365 tiny islands and cays that stretch out over 120 miles of gorgeous blue sea. Grab your camera (and underwater housing), sunglasses and some snorkelling gear and you are all set to spend a day exploring by boat. The Exumas are most famous for being a location for two James Bond films. But now, perhaps, the swimming pigs might be their most popular attraction.

The best way to see the islands is to hire a private speed boat for a small group of adventurous people. Ask them to take you to see the swimming pigs early, to beat the other tourist crowds that flock here each day. By missing out on the tours that include all the famous people’s houses, you can spend more time in the water with the lovely pigs of Big Major Cay. The pigs are now familiar with visitors and expect a treat or two as they swim out to all arriving boats. The water is crystal clear and so wide angle photography is a treat here.

Exumas

Also make sure that your boat captain has the tide times in hand for another great underwater photography location, Compass Cay. If you time your visit right, and they are not dredging as they were on our only visit, then you can photograph nurse sharks in shallow water, as they swim over the pier in search of fish scraps. Even if the tide is too low for them to venture onto the pier, they will swim up to anyone wading into the water.

Exumas

Thunderball Grotto is another popular spot to stop and cool off in the water. Here you can snorkel into the cave where a scene from the James Bond film of the same name was filmed. Light penetrates down into the water creating dramatic effects.

Exumas

There is also a sunken plane to snorkel over. This was a drug running plane that came down in very shallow water and can be seen from the boat. Get into the water and you can snorkel right into the open cockpit, which now is home to lots of colourful fish.

Exumas

The Exumas offers a perfect place to wind down and relax whilst still coming up with the goods when it comes to underwater photography. The tour is suitable for all ages and non-divers will really enjoy seeing such a wide variety of wildlife, wrecks and underwater scenery. Combine all this with wonderful white beaches and this will be a day out to remember.

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.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

Blogs

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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Blogs

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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