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Photo Gallery: St Eustatius

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown

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In our new Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editors Nick and Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This week, we focus on the tiny but beautiful Caribbean Island of St. Eustatius.

St Eustatius is a Caribbean island that is very close to our hearts. We lived on this volcanic island, working as dive instructors at Dive Statia, when we first started out in the diving world. We also worked as marine park wardens for a few months at the end of our stay. We were involved in the sinking of the island’s most famous wreck, and were the first people to dive, the 100 metre long Charlie Brown. Statia (as it is fondly known) is a small island with some great diving. Almost all of its coastline is a protected marine park, and this really apparent when you head underwater and see the amazing marine life. Turtles thrive here, and are found sleeping on the artificial reefs at night. You may never have heard of St Eustatius, but once you have been there, your heart will never leave. Visit www.scubaqua.com and www.statia-tourism.com to find out more.

Image 1: A hawksbill turtle on the Charlie Brown wreck. The turtle’s flipper briefly touches my camera dome as it swims past. The wreck of the Charlie Brown has been underwater for over 10 years now and plenty of marine life has made it their home.

Image 2: Nurse sharks live in many of the overhangs that are cut into the reef and this one surprised Caroline. As you can see, fantastic visibility is common around these waters, so when we visit, we like to shoot in wide angle.

Image 3: Huge barrel sponges sit on the tops of the reef, and Caroline has posed near this one to show off its size. If you look inside these sponges you might find a turtle, porcupine fish, arrow crabs and more.

Image 4: The bow of the Charlie Brown. The odd shape of the bow is because this ship used to be a cable layer. I think this shot works very well in black and white and the diver really emphasises the huge size of this impressive wreck that lies in 30m of water.

Image 5: The reef is in fabulous condition, as it has been a marine park since 1996 with all waters protected that are 30m deep or shallower. In this shot, Caroline approaches a trumpetfish, with her fins high in the water so as not to touch any part of the reef.

Image 6: There are a whole host of wrecks that have been sunk as artificial reefs on Statia. This tug boat is one of the oldest and has amazing coral and sponge growth on it and in it. It this shot, Caroline has gone into the wheelhouse carrying strobes that fired remotely, so that Nick could light both the bow of the boat and the inside of the wheelhouse at the same time.

Image 7: A final shot of one of our favourite wreck dives – the Charlie Brown. You can see here the amazing visibility as you descend towards to the wreck in clear blue Caribbean water. We have returned to the island on several occasions, and it has been amazing to see how the marine life continues to make this into a home. I hope we can return soon.

Want to hear more?

Here is Dive Centre Owner Mike talking about Statia:

https://www.scubaverse.com/dema-2016-review-scubaverse-talks-mike-scubaqua-st-eustatius-watch-video/

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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