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.

Choosing Lodging // How to Get the Best Experience for your Money

How to get the best experience for you money when choosing lodging is a passion of mine! I’m analyzing the best method for finding an awesome place to stay, ticking off all those “boxes” of features and amenities you most desire, and considering hotels, too! I’m going to show you a “conflict resolution” method to narrow it down to the best possible choice. I’d rather stay somewhere really cool for a lower rate than pay a higher rate for a hotel chain stay. Once you put all the numbers in front of you, including parking fees, you can make an informed decision.

Shore Diving for Shark Teeth in Venice Florida

With all local boats fully booked in advance, we decided to try our luck at shore diving for shark teeth off the beach in Venice, Florida and we were rewarded for our efforts. Not only did we learn a lot about shore diving on the West Coast, we also scouted out some good dive sites, added to our diving experience, and enjoyed the local flavor – food, flavors, architecture and new friends.

Review of Kraken Sports NR-1200 Lumens LED Dive Light // Diving Torch Performance // Perfect Travel Dive Light

After much research, many dives, and a lot of wear-and-tear, we decided to upgrade our respective dive lights to the Kraken Sports NR-1200 Lumens Dive Lights. I’m going to go thorough our “oooh’s” and “ahhhh’s” in the order of most functional and convenient. So far, I’ve used this light several times in Florida as well as in Cuba, in low-light conditions, bright conditions, and depths to 107 feet. It feels great in the hand, is compact and sturdy, charges quickly, and I love it!

Eating Our Way from Venice to Wauchula // Dining Off the Chain in Florida

This shark tooth dive trip to Venice, Florida was an “every meal out” trip, and we had no idea what to expect in the way of restaurants. Road trips and dive trips are a chance to experience new food. Sometimes we opt for grocery shopping and preparing our own food; but other times, we throw caution to the wind and plan on a total splurge and eat out every meal. Avoiding chain restaurants is our goal, but that doesn’t always work.

Captain Work // Charter Boat Tour // Deep Water Happy

I’m taking you on a quick tour of a new boat in the charter fleet in which I sail regularly. I’m showing you around “Far Niente,” one of our newest boats. Having just successfully docked the boat, I was, understandably, deeply in love with her bow thruster, topsides, and interior. Truly, this is one luxurious vessel above and below decks! Plus, she’s a dream to sail! Oh, and that fabulous swim platform – so convenient.

Venice Villas Studio #57 // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

Under five minute’s walk to a private beach, we loved Villa #57 at Venice Villas. We wanted an Airbnb with a small kitchen, bathroom, and bedroom, and this was available at a reasonable nightly rate. A weekend of shark tooth diving in Venice, Florida led us to search for something with either a pool or a waterfront view, and this fit the bill perfectly. The beach is a very short walk, about a half a block, and the pool is an even shorter one.

Waterfront on Roberts Bay // Venice Florida // Airbnb Review

We stayed one night at a waterfront home on Roberts Bay in Venice, FL to do some shark tooth diving. This was our first stay at an Airbnb with an owner living in the same house – a first shared space, first room in a house instead of an entire house or living space to ourselves. As our first Airbnb stay at an owner’s residence, we were pretty unsure of what to do – ring the doorbell? Bring wine? Take off our shoes?

Eliminating Plastic in the Kitchen // Surprise Holdouts

After a thorough go-through of our bathroom, I thought I had eliminated most of the plastic in our home. What a surprise when I realized that we still had one holdout – the kitchen. I realized that many of the items I use daily were still plastic! Somehow, the very items I touch most often, look at most often, and are in plain sight were still unattractive, depressing, non-compostable plastic pieces. How did I miss them? What could I do?

St. Johns River // Bartram Frolic // Riverboat Tour in Palatka, Florida

Every September, the Putnam County Bartram Trail in Putnam County, Florida hosts their annual Bartram Frolic commemorating William Bartram’s travels on the St. Johns River in 1774. This year’s frolic was the 245th anniversary of William Bartram’s travels through Palatka. I serve as the riverboat captain, commanding a 45 foot pontoon boat powered with twin 200 hp Yamaha outboard‘s on jack plates. This boat is a dream to operate, and the guided riverboat tours are a favorite part of the historic weekend.

St. Johns River Mule Boat // Bronson-Mulholland House // Palatka Florida // Deep Water Happy

Learning about the St. Johns River Mule Boat sunken wreck off Whetstone Point near Palatka, FL at the Bronson-Mulholland House. I give you a glimpse inside the historic Bronson-Mulholland House while attending a talk about a St. Johns River Mule Boat. Brendan Burke from the St. Augustine Lighthouse LAMP Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program describes the discovery and preservation of a flats boat found on the St. Johns River at Whetstone Point.

How We Cut Our Dive Gear Weight by 38 Pounds for Travel

Reducing your dive gear overall weight for traveling is going to take a few adjustments, however, it’s well worth the effort!

I’m sharing some easy methods of reducing the weight of your dive gear. Some take a bit of investment, others employ “use what you have decorating” to accomplish the goal of reducing the weight of your dive gear for traveling.

Simple Method to Preserve Dive Artifacts, Pottery Shards, Sand Dollars, Sea Biscuits and More

When I was doing some top-secret black water diving searching for early Indian artifacts, I learned how to preserve delicate artifacts the way the professionals do. Here’s a recipe for easily preserving your dive find such as delicate sand dollars and sea biscuits! It works on pottery shards, wood artifacts, just about anything that is porous.

What to Wear in Cuba // Packing Light for Warm Weather

Before traveling to Cuba, I did a bit of research on what to wear since we each were limited to 50 pounds of checked-in luggage, one carry-on, and we were bringing dive gear. Our group of four are all Florida residents, and so we thought we were ready for the June Cuba heat. It turned out to be hotter, muggier, more humid, and sunnier than we had imagined.

Kraken Dive Lights // Deep Water Happy

Great investment in lighter, smaller, brighter dive lights for traveling and diving! I’m sharing the new Kraken NR 1200 lumens dive light. It weighs less than half a pound, lasts up to 90 minutes, and does not need a battery charger; you charge the actual battery!Not only do you want to reduce dive gear weight to meet airline restrictions, but also to make it easier on yourself once you arrive at your destination.

Trinidad, Cuba // Sanctus Spiritus // Casa Lyosman y Yanin Casa Colonial en el Centro Historico // Airbnb Review

Our visit to Trinidad began with a stay in a family-owned 1800 home joined with a 1900 home combined in one spacious and delightful property. Managed by Lyosman and Yanin, their home is on a 500 year-old immaculate cobblestone street in historic Trinidad. As in my last Cuban Airbnb review, once again, the softness of the beds and the thread count of the sheets simply did not matter. What mattered was meeting the people, making lifelong friends, experiencing the Cuban resiliency, and learning how to adapt, improvise, and overcome.

Running in the Dark // Deep Water Happy

I love running, and when my work schedule changed, I had to make some adjustments. One thing that was not going to change was the inclusion of running in my day! Here’s how to sneak in an early morning run. I’m sharing some accessories I carry with me on every run in the dark. These are pieces of equipment I have owned and used at least three years, so they are time-tested and proven.

Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center // Key West NOAA // Mote Marine Laboratory

I can’t say enough about the exhibits and the work being done at the Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center. It features over 6,000 square feet of interactive and dynamic exhibits. Native plants and animals of the Florida Keys are displayed, and there’s even a model of Aquarius, which is the world’s only underwater ocean laboratory. The exhibits were educational and interesting. What a great place to visit on a rainy day, or a seriously hot day.

How To Choose a Good Sailing School

Determining what questions to ask before choosing a sailing school when you don’t even know what to ask can be overwhelming. Here’s a start to what questions you should ask, and a bit about what you should hear. There are a lot of considerations when choosing a sailing school. You’re about to invest a lot of money in your learning and experience, so you want to make sure you not only enjoy the process, but also get the most out of it.

Why You Should Take Sailing Classes From A Recognized School

The question of which is better – teaching yourself or taking sailing classes from a recognized sailing school comes up pretty frequently when I am teaching sailing classes.

My fast answer is that following a set curriculum ensures that you are covering all of the material. This means it is taught by a qualified instructor, and in a logical order. And there’s a lot more to it than that!

Fast Three-Day Weekend of Diving at Blue Heron Bridge // Riviera Beach

Want to cram in some quick fun diving in Florida? Here’s a Blue Heron Bride Dive Weekend Schedule for an easy, rewarding, fun-for-everyone dive weekend.

There are several reasons to dive at Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach. One reason is that even your non-divers can either have fun on the snorkel trail, sunbathe on the beach, or, even park a chair under the bridge – you’re at the beach, but out of the sun. There are a lot more great reasons!

Finding a Boat to Rent // There’s an App for That Too // Boat Rental Apps

Although I’m familiar with Airbnb for renting houses and rooms, and Uber and Lyft for vehicle rides, it wasn’t until I read an article in a trade magazine that I actually realized there are apps for renting boats! This article covers the ones that are available on mobile phone as well as computer because I like to conduct trip planning something larger than the cell phone screen.

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