People often forget that 70% of the planets surface is water. You can spend a lifetime traveling from country to country, and still only scratch the surface of all the amazing things there is to see and experience here on earth. I certainly remember the first time I dived beneath the oceans surface and a whole new world opened up to me. Scuba diving totally makes you view the world differently. Scuba diving can be a dangerous sport if you are untrained or have low quality equipment, and we always recommend having your own set of high quality scuba gear, if you are looking for diver oppions on the best scuba gear then there are some good, unbiased reviews over at Diver World that should get you started in the right direction.
Fellow divers can easily relate to this, swimming among schools of fish, encounters with fearsome sharks and swimming alongside whales can go a long way in reminding you of your place here on the planet. Scuba Diving is a great way to take a zoomed out view of your position in the food chain and re-enforce the need to help protect our planet. This is why many scuba divers are also marine conservation enthusiasts, and do their best to protect the ocean for future generations to come and enjoy. There is nothing quite like swimming next to a gentle whale shark or having a curious octopus reach out and make contact with your bare hand. These are experiences that will stay with a diver for their entire life.
While human population continues to expand and slowly take over the earths dry surface, the effects of our population growth can be directly seen in our oceans. It is now more common to see trash floating on the oceans surface, or snagged on a reef during a dive than not. This is sad as the over-arching impact of this negligent behavior has devastating effects on marine life. Plastic in particular is one of the most dangerous substances for sea turtles to ingest and there is plenty of it being poured into the ocean on a daily basis. Luckily as communities become more aware, cleanup efforts from locals and fellow scuba divers are beginning to become more popular.
If every diver does their part in helping the ocean, the ocean in turn will continue to produce the life giving oxygen that us humans need to survive. The great thing about becoming a scuba diver is it really helps shift you into the mindset of everything having a connection and the direct impact of your actions whether good or bad on the planet! So make a positive change on the world today!
A while back we talked about the amazing conditions you can find when snorkeling in key west, and today we thought we would share some insights about some new snorkeling gear we have recently acquired! For years the only option when it comes to snorkel gear was the traditional setup of mask, snorkel and fins. While this equipment has certainly evolved over the years there have not been too many major changes to the overall design when it comes to 99% of most snorkeling gear.
That is until the recent boom in popularity of full face snorkel masks. The designers of the tribord easybreath and all the knock off designs now flooding the market took the traditional snorkel mask and integrated a dry snorkel into it. This is super cool, because it creates a full face snorkel mask that allows you to breathe normally while having your stay totally dry when submerged to see the reef or fish below. This is so cool! And also great for people who do not like water entering their snorkel and spilling over into their mouth. No one I know likes a mouthful of seawater! YUCK! The strap system in the back also keeps the mask securely in place and the silicone skirt around the edges forms a waterproof seal around the outside of your face, meaning no leaks or drips coming in.
When compared to traditional snorkeling gear, this is awesome. The biggest concerns with a normal snorkel mask is leaks and fogging. Because the mask seals around the mouth area, anyone with facial hair normally experiences many leaks during a snorkel trip, which can be extremely annoying. Thanks to the full face snorkel mask design of the easybreath, fogging is no longer and issue as the temperature inside the mask is able to match the surrounding water much easier, resulting in no visible fogging or condensation.
Since we have switched to using full face snorkel masks much of the time we have had many people come up to us and ask many questions about them, as you can see from the pictures above they have a very distinct look to them. We are happy to let others have a go with the snorkeling mask and they loved it just as much as we did, saying that it was a lot more comfortable than the usual snorkeling gear they were used to using. The Tribord Easybreath really made our last vacation a lot more enjoyable thanks to its compact size and cool carry bag. It sure beats having to lug around multiple pieces of equipment in your carry on bag or suitcase! Do yourself a favor and check out this cool piece of snorkel equipment!
As any scuba diver will tell you, this sport is seriously addictive, increasing your abilities with each and every dive. That is why many scuba divers like to represent the sport even when on land, by wearing a sharp looking dive watch. These are a great way to show off that you are a passionate scuba diving enthusiast and luckily since many divers watches are waterproof up to 200m deep, you don’t even have to take them off on your next underwater adventure. please note, some of the details in this article were taken from:
There are so many options when it comes to men’s dive watches that it can be a bit overwhelming at first. There are several main brands you are going to want to look into as they really stand above the pack. Seiko and Citizen diving watches are considered to be some of the best, and most reliable scuba diving watches on the market. They have an extremely high standard of quality so you can bring them on your deepest dives without having to worry about any internal leaking or failure.
Another thing to take in consideration when looking for the best men’s divers watch for either yourself or a significant other is the overall aesthetic design. A large bezel with a clear display can help you track your dive time far more easily than a cluttered watch face that is too full of information to read clearly. The best diving watch for you is one you can quickly and confidently read the most critical information while scuba diving. When it comes to the strap, many love a beautiful stainless steel design that will not rust even when continually exposed to sea water. The again, some others prefer a more comfortable rubber wrist strap on their dive watch and sometimes this can help it fit more easily over top of a wetsuit due to the flexibility a rubber strap provides. It really comes down to personal preference and there is no right or wrong answer, only what you think suits your needs best. Personally, we like the gleam of a nice silver brushed metal band, as it not only is more durable, but looks great in any occasion when paired with the right suit!
While most people might think that the best dive watches will cost you a small fortune, the truth is some of the top rated models on the market right now can easily be found for around $250. And these include high end brands like Seiko and Citizen as mentioned above. There is no need to break the bank just to get a nice divers watch, if you know exactly the functions you need and the style, it is quite easy to find one at a good price that will leave you with a big smile on your face. We recently found a good page that lists several of the best dive watches and gives a quick breakdown of what makes them so awesome.
Key West snorkel excursions are extremely popular and can be fun if you know where to go. Mostly it is accessed by group boat tours organized from local dive shops that take you away from the island itself. Though there is the Key West Marine Park, that has three beaches worth checking out. They are attempting to create a safe snorkeling area along with helping to improve the water quality along some of the southern shores of the island. This really is a great snorkeling spot that all the locals love. Just remember to bring your snorkel mask!
There are a large number of tropical reefs that the group tours visit around Key West for their snorkeling adventures. Unfortunately as with many snorkeling destinations that require a boat tour, you usually will not know ahead of time which particular reef you will be visiting. The companies keep that information to themselves so that they can go where the conditions are best on the day of the tour. The common Key West snorkeling locations of this type of tour are: Sand Key Lighthouse, Eastern Dry Rocks, Western Dry Rocks, and Cottrell Key. The first locations are near each other out on the edge of the larger barrier reef about 10 miles southwest of Key West. Cottrell Key is roughly the same distance away, but northwest in the Key West National Wildlife Refuge in the opposite direction, so choose wisely. you can find some info on awesome snorkeling masks here: http://www.scubadivingdreamers.tumblr.com/
If you are only going to be in Key West and not exploring farther up the keys, our most recommends a snorkeling boat tour is to the Dry Tortugas National Park, which is 75 miles west of Key West. Unlike the other snorkeling boat tour choices, you sign up directly to go to straight to Dry Tortugas. If you are looking for free snorkeling from beaches in Key West, there are a couple of options and they can be accessed directly from the shore. Underwater just offshore along the south side of the island is primarily sea grass beds, and normally not very interesting snorkeling. However sometimes you can be lucky and find several schools of fish, stingrays and even a small greenback turtle from time to time. This is a spot that is good for a last minute snorkeling trip. We hope this has helped you find yourself a great snorkel location for your next trip!
Offering freshwater or saltwater, exciting cave diving to fast paced drift diving and with more shipwrecks than many entire countries Florida has some amazing scuba diving spots. In fact, the state of Florida, from a scuba diver’s point of view, may just have it all and be the best place to dive on the planet. Off the Gulf Coast, along Florida’s shoreline, there are many gorgeous coastal islands, tranquil warm waters and a subtropical climate. Artificial reefs dot the coast line and natural dive sites teeming with tropical marine life and wreck dives can be easily found. It’s certainly a desirable dive spot. If you plan on diving deep, make sure you use a wrist dive computer, we would recommend the amazing shearwater petrel dive computer!
Crystal River, about 120 KM north of Tampa, has both salt and freshwater springs that are known for the endangered manatees and it’s the only place in the United States where you can snorkel or scuba dive with these fascinating creatures. Southeast Florida has some of the largest artificial reefs in the USA and many of Palm Beach and Broward County’s 75 shipwrecks are ideal for newer scuba divers to explore and get comfortable with wreck diving. The Florida Keys are internationally renowned and are simply breathtaking no matter where you hail from, they are ideal for all types of divers who will love the tropical coral reefs that teem with life and the area’s exciting shipwrecks.
The eastern most shores of Florida are known as the Atlantic coast. In the past, the cool waters off Florida from Jacksonville to Vero Beach were by law a non-diving area but this has changed recently. The waters were said to be too deep and dark with miles and miles of unbroken seafloor that had yet to be explored. With the recent updates in GPS technology, anyone experienced enough to explore a 10-mile ride out to sea. This can be a breath-taking dive on the wild side. Diving in this region can be unpredictable and even dangerous. The area is filled with large, fast-swimming fish. Divers have spotted cobia, kings, tarpon, and even sharks. if a scuba diver descends 90 feet to investigate a small ledge or wreck, he or she can expect to encounter 30 pound fish in huge schools, huge barracudas, and maybe even a 250-pound grouper! Certainly an exciting prospect.
The north-central region of Florida is filled with many natural springs, sinkholes, and lakes. Within 30 miles of the town of Branford are 30 easily accessible springs and sinkholes, several of which must surely be among the best in the world. Many of them have large openings allowing easy entry and plenty of room to explore within the natural light if you forget to bring a dive light. If you wish to safely proceed into the maze of passages beyond the natural light, you should receive specialized cave scuba diving training which is available from many of the local dive operators.