Ecoconscious Biodegradable Hand Sanitizer // Stream2Sea // Eucalyptus and Camphor // DeepWaterHappy

Our favorite reef safe sunscreen company saves the day and their employees by introducing hand sanitizer to their product line. Stream2Sea is a small Florida-based, woman-owned company. When orders for reef safe shampoo and conditioners for the cruise ship industry plummeted, the owner, Autumn Blum, realized she could ensure her employee’s jobs while meeting a dire need for hand sanitizer. The result is a hand sanitizer of completely safe, biodegradable ingredients; no synthetic fragrances or preservatives.

Abandoned Houseboat on the St. Johns River // Derelict Vessel Woes // It Sunk at Our Dock

A houseboat has dragged anchor and landed next to our dock. It’s sunk, abandoned, and we can’t get rid of it. Formerly, it was someone’s home; their whole life encapsulated on the water. Romanticism aside, if we get another hurricane, it will damage our dock. Or, if it caught on fire, it could spread to our neighborhood. We’ve spent two years trying to get it removed.

Derelict Houseboat Story // Seems We’re Stuck With It // Deep Water Happy

A houseboat has landed next to our dock. It’s sunk, abandoned, and we can’t get rid of it. Over the last two years, we have contacted the county commissioners dozens of times, attended county commission meetings, and sought to have this derelict vessel removed from our property. While it looks kind of cute, it’s actually in pretty bad shape. It’s been ransacked, and it is full of plastic waste and rotten wood. Tarps have been disintegrating and falling in the St. Johns River, along with other plastic debris. It was moored out on an anchor that dragged more than once. Previously, it had broken loose of its mooring and damaged a neighbor’s dock.

Why You Should Join a Dive Club // Dive Club Benefits // Safety in Numbers

Why people would want to join a dive club came up in conversation over dinner with our NAS JAX Skin and Scuba Dive Club president this weekend. Our dive club welcomes new members enthusiastically, and we need their fresh perspective, enthusiasm for diving, and . We think the dive club is great, so I decided to examine just all the ways a dive club is beneficial to its members. We pondered if Gen X, Y, and Z don’t join service or even social clubs, and why an in-person, live event is more valuable than an online social group.

Spring Foward Womans Sailing Race 2020 // St. Augustine Sailing Sisters // St. Augustine, Florida

This year, we had one of our best-ever Spring Foward Womens Sailing Races on the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine, Florida. Chilly weather and high winds made it a fast, exciting race. Boats tore sails, ran aground, dropped out, or reefed and kept sailing. Crew wore gloves, pfd’s and even thermal underwear for this Springtime sailing race.

2020 Spring Foward Race // St. Augustine Sailing Sisters

FEATURED in this video is our day of racing on a 36 foot Jeanneau Sun Odyssey, “Rendezvous With Destiny” from St. Augustine Sailing. The race was hosted by the St. Augustine Sailing Sisters.

There were two classes; ALL-Female and Mixed Crew. We raced in the All-Female category. The course was set on the Intracoastal Waterway in St. Augustine, North of the Fred and Mary Usina Vilano Beach Bridge.

How To Ruin A Scuba Dive // Subtly Stacking The Deck Against a Fun Dive // Analysis

This past weekend, we dove in the Bahamas on a “cruise ship dive trip.” We set out from the port with a fairly healthy new dive partner, and by the end of the day, her dive was ruined. There were no accidents. But slowly, subtly, the deck became stacked against her enjoying a clean dive. Here’s my version of “20/20 Hindsight” on how she got to the point of not having any fun at all.

Making Money By Renting Your Dock to Boaters // Airbnb Your Dock // Passive Income Wins

If you have a dock, and you’re not using it – you can rent it out with PierShare to bring in a bit of income. It’s already there, and besides, you get to look at a pretty boat and have someone watching your property for you. What could be better? The best innovation ever for boaters and waterfront homeowners is here; the ability to search for privately-owned dockage worldwide using an online system similar to Airbnb for finding a slip for your boat. It’s called PierShare, and the benefits and the advantage this provides for boaters is immense. In fact, it’s even better than the benefits of home sharing. If you have a dock – you can get started earning an income from it immediately!

Jacksonville Waterfront Airbnb

Wacky Waterfront Airbnb // Jacksonville, Florida // Deep Water Happy

One of the most unique, eclectic, fab Airbnb’s we have seen! And waterfront! The only Airbnb for miles around, this St. Johns River waterfront cabin was part fish camp, part pure Floridiana. The cabin was only steps from the water and a dock. There’s even a small beach or sandy kayak launch. It’s difficult to find affordable, unique, fun waterfront lodging in Jacksonville. So, this was a great find.

Mini Review of Mariner of the Seas // Royal Caribbean Cruise Line // Three Night Bahamas Cruise

Several times a year, we plan dive cruises – that is, we cruise, and wherever we go, we scuba dive! This time, we cruised on Royal Caribbean’s Mariner of the Seas on a three night cruise to the Bahamas from Port Canaveral, Florida. We’ve been cruising on the smaller ships like Rhapsody, Enchantment, and Jewel, and we like the layouts and smaller passenger to crew ratios. We stepped on Mariner, and within an hour or two, we were in love with the layout, the organization, and the many small private areas scattered around the ship.

Unusual Jacksonville Waterfront Airbnb // St. Johns River Florida // Review

When booking an Airbnb, sometimes you just already know you have hit the jackpot of unusual and fab. The photos are quirky, the location is insane, and the description sounds like your favorite crazy aunt is renting out the secret family hideaway. That’s what happened to us this time. Our waterfront Airbnb in Jacksonville, Florida was situated exactly across the street from the Broward House, where we were taking a NOLS Wilderness Medicine class. There were no other Airbnb’s for miles around. Not only was the location perfect for the class, but also, it was on the water. That’s one of one of my main criteria for Airbnb’s wherever we go.

Taking the Mayport Ferry Across the St. Johns River at A1A // Deep Water Happy

A1A goes across the St. Johns River – and the only way across is by ferry! This weekend we took NOLS Wilderness Medicine class in Jacksonville at the Broward House. The fastest and shortest way to travel that area it to take the stretch of A1A that goes across the St. Johns River – by ferry!We loaded our car on the St. Johns Ferry named “Jean Ribault” that is operated by the Jacksonville Transportation Authority. The ferry is named for Jean Ribault who was a naval officer, navigator, and colonizer from France. He played a big role in the colonization of Florida. He was commander of the French Huguenot colony of Fort Caroline in Jacksonville, and was massacred by the Spanish soldiers near St. Augustine.

How to Rent a Private Dock Anywhere // Airbnb For Boaters

The best innovation ever for boaters and waterfront homeowners is here; the ability to search for privately-owned dockage worldwide using an online system similar to Airbnb for finding a slip for your boat. It’s called PierShare, and can you even imagine the benefits and the advantage this provides for boaters. It’s even better than the benefits of home sharing.

SCUBA Diving in Cuba // Spectacular Shore Diving

First of all, diving in Cuba is accessible right from the shore, and the wall is stuffed full of incredible fish, eels, sponges, fans and every type of coral drops from 160 to 500 feet. We saw absolutely staggering staghorn coral growths that would make divers in the Florida Keys cry in their masks. Gatherings of huge conch mesmerized me with their size and abundance.

Come Boating With Me // Pride of Palatka Florida Riverboat Tours // Deep Water Happy

The Pride of Palatka operates from the City Dock in Palatka, Florida taking passengers on riverboat tours of the St. Johns River. The Pride of Palatka is a 45-foot pontoon boat US Coast Guard certified to carry up to 49 passengers. She operates on the St. Johns River, taking explorers north and south on the river to experience the natural beauty of this river that flows north.

Dive Trip From Havana // Diving the Reefs of Cuba’s North Shore

My article SCUBA Diving in Cuba // Pristine Reefs on the North Shore didn’t have enough room to show you much of the diving. So, here’s to more Cuba Diving! In the previous article, I told the whole story of the dive experience, from leaving the Malecon in Havana to our return and view of our point of origin from the fort across the historic harbor in that article. Now I want to show more of the sea life we encountered while scuba diving in Cuba.

SCUBA Diving in Cuba // Pristine Reefs on the North Shore

We weren’t really sure what to expect with Scuba diving in Cuba, except for probably pristine waters and lots of tropical fish, but we quickly caught on – no trash, no crowds, and absolute rivers of blue fish streaming past. For our first diving in Cuba, we took the elevator down five flights from our casa particulare flat with a view of the Prada, the Malecon, and two enormous Spanish Forts. We jumped into a big VW van with our dive gear.

Weekend in Ponte Vedra // Jacksonville Beach Florida // Deep Water Happy

A fun weekend in Ponte Vedra Beach // Jacksonville Beach // Robert Cray Concert at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, and a sleek Airbnb. Not every weekend is sailing, diving, or kayaking! This weekend we stayed on land and headed to a Robert Cray concert – the absolute master of the blues! The Ponte Vedra Concert Hall is a great, intimate venue seating about 500 of you and your closest friends. Dinner at iNoodle was a wonderful change from our usual haunts, and we had a new Airbnb experience – one hosted by a management company instead of an individual homeowner.

Charming Jacksonville Beach 1BR Apt w/ Parking // Jacksonville Beach Florida // Airbnb Review

This was our first Airbnb experience that was completely managed by a reservations consolidator. We were in the area for a Robert Cray concert at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall, so the Marsh Landing area was perfect for us. It was only a couple miles from the venue. With 28 listings in the Jacksonville area, I figured Frontdesk has a pretty established system for bookings, and they did. The apartment was self check in, which is very convenient. We even received a text that the apartment was ready early!

Diving Roatan Honduras // Dive Cruise // Wikkid Divers – Ecologic Adventures

First dive of the new year; this was the was the most-anticipated dive of a four-day-straight dive cruise. New Year’s Day dive from a catamaran; with just the six of us on board. None of us had dove Roatan, and we were absolutely amped with excitement to dive in this legendary location. We were not disappointed; Roatan and Wicked Divers exceeded even our very high expectations!

Diving Mahahual Costa Maya Mexico // Dive Cruise // Alux Divers

Upon arrival at Mahahual, we hoped to see maybe the winds would lay down and the seas diminish a bit. The waves had been pounding into the stern of our cruise ship at the pier, shaking the whole ship. That was a bit nerve-wracking, but most likely just a coincidence of wave direction and stern architecture. We ended up deciding to scrub the dive. But we had fun anyway!

Diving Cozumel Mexico // Dive Cruise // Blue XtSea Diving

Blue XtSea Diving – Martin and Emmy
Our ship docked at the Langosto pier in Cozumel; the more northern of the cruise ship piers. The day before, eight ships were in port. There were “only” seven in port on our day there. We took a $20 taxi bus from Puerto Langosto to Marina Fonatur. The dock was bustling with dozens of boats, hundreds of tanks. We later found out where they all were headed! Martin and the captain were great; gave us a slow talk about conditions, methods, almost a full refresher course before the first dive. We had said we were two slightly experienced and four fairly new divers, and he took note of that and accommodated us as well as proceeding slowly and methodically in his dive brief.

Green Cove Springs Clay Theater marquee with wedding couple names and wedding date.

Jewel In Our Midst // Green Cove Springs // Deep Water Happy

A quick stopover in Green Cove Springs revealed some fun places! Our half day excursion to Green Cove Springs, Florida directly on the 30th Latitude. Great things happen here! We toured a 1937 theater turned event venue, admired the spring and the riverfront, and had a great lunch. Head over to the blog at DeepWaterHappy.com for dive trip planning, expenses breakdowns, and more travels.

How to Pack For a Cruise // It’s All About the Shoes

Packing for a cruise can be stressful because you are trying to cover all possible weather, an extremely wide variety of activities, and throw in a formal night… It’s hard! The great thing about cruising is that there is no limit to your luggage. However, whatever luggage you pack still must leave your home, be transferred to your transportation, possibly then through an airport, a shuttle, and to the cruise port.

Western Caribbean Dive Sampler by Cruise Ship // Diving Four Countries in Four Days

Western Caribbean dive sampler via cruise ship turned out to be a great way to experience several different dive locations. Even if weather shut us out from one country; there always was another country to dive the next day. The ability to have a quick experience in each, then choose our favorite dive spots for future exploration is certainly worthwhile.

Fort Pierce Yacht Club Ladies' Race

Ft. Pierce Yacht Club Ladies’ Race // Deep Water Happy

Many thanks to the Ft. Pierce Yacht Club for hosting the Annual Ladies’ Race and inviting us to participate! We travel to Ft. Pierce, see a bit of the local color, and participate in the offshore race. St. Augustine Yacht Club Member Elise Sloan and I spoke about travel to Cuba at the Ft. Pierce Yacht Club’s annual lobster feast after the Ladies’ Race.

How to Use a Dry Bag for Scuba Diving // Heavy vs. Light Dry Bags

Somehow, when I began diving, I had it completely backwards of what was the purpose for a dry bag when you are traveling, so I wonder who else has it all wrong too. I thought that the dry bag was to keep your wet gear from dripping onto your dry clothes. Bwahahahaha! (I was wrong!) Turns out it is exactly the opposite; you put your dry clothes into the dry bag, and let your wet gear inhabit the rest of the bag! Who knew? You probably did!

Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

What We Learned About Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

We learned a lot while shore diving from Venice, Florida in the search for shark teeth. Here’s our experience and what we discovered through our experiences! Using the shore dive from Service Club Park north of Sharky’s, we encountered a local shark tooth diver who gave us a couple pointers and suggestions. He suggested we walk a bit north before swimming out, about a quarter mile.

Planning a Budget Three Night Cruise Ship Dive Trip // Budget Dive Trips and Tips

The easiest of Cruise Ship Dive Trips is to plan is a three-nighter due to the limited number of dives and dive connections to be made. It’s a great cruise to “practice” on getting your cruise ship dive trip methods figured out and your routine practiced on a shorter route. Here are the main planning points: travel to the port, parking and hotel or Airbnb at the port, choosing the cruise, booking the dives, travel to the dives, return details. In order to plan a truly budget-mindful trip, it is going to take some planning to get the best deals.

Packing a Seven-Night Cruise Into Three-Nights // Cruise Ship Dive Trip

The three night cruise ship dive trip is a quick, easy, affordable and satisfying Dive Cruise. Consider the three-nighter to Nassau and CocoCay on Royal Caribbean. We get to cruise, we get to dive, and we feel like we’ve cheated by logging three dives on a three-day weekend! It feels like a seven-night vacation. Royal Caribbean offers a three-nighter out of Port Canaveral nearly every weekend of the year. It’s a perfect trip for a fast taste of diving in the beautiful Bahamas!

17 Aquariums for Scuba Diving in the US // The Most Comprehensive List of Aquarium Dives

Aquariums have plenty of benefits and attraction – here’s the list of every aquarium across the US that allows scuba diving in their tanks and exhibits. The opportunity to be guaranteed visibility, sea life sightings, no current, and a bit of practice can be fun! For much of the information, I contacted the aquariums directly. So, not only is the information even more extensive than what is on their sites, it’s up-to-date. International Aquarium Diving options will be covered fully in another article.

How to Carry Your Scuba Dive Mask When Traveling // Should You Keep Your Dive Mask in the Original Box

Should you keep your scuba dive mask in the original hard case for travel, or should you remove the mask and pack it inside your bcd? This probably is as widely disputed as whether the bathroom tissue should lead from the top or bottom. While we are on dive boats, at dive shops, and even on shore dives, I tend to watch to observe how other people deal with the piles of gear that scuba diving requires. Always, I’m looking to streamline our systems and learn the best tips from “the pro’s.”

22 Reasons to Scuba Dive an Aquarium // Deep Water Happy

Why on earth someone would want to go for a scuba dive in an aquarium, I’ve always wondered. Currently, I’m trying to get into the Tampa Aquarium for – an aquarium dive! We’re headed on a dive cruise, and want to fit in just one more dive before we go. We’re already in town, already committed to a hotel for the overnight before, so why not dive in an aquarium?

We will be guaranteed to see some sharks, it will be a different experience, and all we have to bring is our mask – our dive gear can stay packed and dry until the cruise begins the next day.

Why Dive an Aquarium?
There are more reasons to dive an aquarium than not. I’ve outlined the ones that come to mind first. If you can think of any additional reasons, please comment below! I’d love love to add your reasons too!

Scuba Diving in Aquariums // 24 Reasons to Dive an Aquarium

Why on earth someone would want to go for a scuba dive in an aquarium, I’ve always wondered. Currently, I’m trying to get into the Tampa Aquarium for – an aquarium dive! We’re headed on a dive cruise, and want to fit in just one more dive before we go. We’re already in town, already committed to a hotel for the overnight before, so why not dive in an aquarium? We will be guaranteed to see some sharks, it will be a different experience, and all we have to bring is our mask – our dive gear can stay packed and dry until the cruise begins the next day.

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