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.

CHOOSING LODGING // HOW TO GET THE BEST EXPERIENCE FOR YOUR MONEY // Deep Water Happy

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.

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