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 REVIEW // 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.

WATER ACTIVATED NIGHT DIVE TANK LIGHTS // Deep Water Happy

Reduce your single-use plastic, eliminate piles of batteries, and enjoy a water-activated tank lite for night dives! I’m sharing an ecoconscious, reusable, plastic-reducing water activated light for your tank for night dives.

While we’ve always used snap sticks for lights, the amount of plastic those put into the environment didn’t make us happy. We considered battery-operated lights that look just like those chemical lights, but the two watch batteries those require only give you about six to eight hours of light.

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.

SOUND SIGNALS FOR INTERNATIONAL AND INLAND WATERWAYS // Deep Water Happy

Sound Signals for International and Inland Waterways: Memory devices and descriptions of signals used for reduce visibility. I’m working through the International then the Inland Waterways sound signals, using the United States Navy NAVEDTRA 10925 Flash Cards of Navigation Rules. I’m a teacher, and a sailboat captain, cyclist, SCUBA diver, and runner. You could say I like being prepared.

DIVING BLUE HERON BRIDGE // RIVIERA BEACH FLORIDA // Deep Water Happy

Slack high tide full moon and day dives at Blue Heron Bridge at Phil Foster Park in Riviera Beach Florida. we organized two slack high tide daytime dives as well as a full-moon night dive at Blue Heron Bridge in the Phil Foster Park.

With the assistance of ForceE Riviera Beach, we obtained permits to stay at the park beyond closing time and enjoy a night dive flush with fish.

Our two day dives also yielded great views of fish, crab, shrimp, and one curious barracuda.

We checked out the dive site in advance, had a great dinner at Pho and Hot Pot, then a very early morning dive both days. Our Airbnb this time was Portside #8 with incredible views of the inlet and pool.

REDUCING DIVE GEAR WEIGHT // Deep Water Happy

Reducing dive gear overall weight for traveling is going to take a few adjustments. 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. 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.

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