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Barbados – Island Life

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Our trip to Barbados was really quite a revelation. We still have plenty more to tell you about the diving, but as a light interlude, with thought we would tell you about some other aspects that we really enjoyed. Whilst most of our daylight hours were spent under the water, our evenings and our day before flying were spent seeing the rest of what the island had to offer.

What surprised us the most was the food. It was simply wonderful. Barbados is a gastronomic delight. Even better, there was loads of choice for vegetarians too. From street food to fine dining, Barbados has something for every occasion. We were only on the island for five nights, but managed to sample a little flavour of everything. One of our first experiences was lunch on our first day of diving, when Barbados Blue handed us each a roti, filled with either chicken or chickpeas, full of flavour and wonderfully messy to eat. On the same evening we dined at Cocktail Kitchen, where the chef was recently crowned “Chef of the Year” in the Caribbean. On top of this, as the name implies, they make a pretty mean cocktail too, with our favourite being the Mango Chow, made with scotch bonnet chilli infused rum, mango, lime, coriander and brown sugar! Located in the popular Saint Lawrence Gap area, you can go on and listen to live music and party the night away, but we were diving, so we had a couple of cocktails and retired to bed!

Friday night is the night to head to the famous Fish Fry in Oistins. You do not have to eat fish, there is a wide range of freshly BBQ’d food on offer, but it is the atmosphere and entertainment that brings the crowds here. Amazing live music, dancers and a vibrant buzz fills the place from early in the evening to early the next morning. Sunday, why not try a traditional Bajan buffet at Atlantis Hotel, with a huge choice of food and THE best Caribbean IPA we have ever tried (Round Rock IPA by Brew House). If fine dining by the sea is more what you are looking for, to celebrate a special occasion or simply to treat yourself, then we can heartily recommend either Fish Pot or Champers. Both have lovely settings, overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and both offer a very special dining experience.

The island of Barbados has lots to offer. It is the home of West Indian cricket, and whilst we did not get time to catch a game on this trip, we have done so once in the past, and it is a great experience. If you want to spend more time in or on the water, there are loads of sports to try. Barbados Blue also offer freediving tuition and the Carlisle Bay site is perfect for both beginners and the more experienced alike. You can sail, snorkel from a pirate ship, kayak, paddle board, pose on a speed boat and more. The beaches are pristine and uncrowded. We toured Harrison’s Cave, which is a great place to spend a few hours. The tour takes you through a large excavated underground section of caverns with stalagmites and stalactites lit up as you progress with your guide through the system.

We also visited the Mount Gay visitors centre, for a tour about how they make the oldest rum in the world, and, of course, to taste a few samples too! Finally, we also got the chance to tour the island, taking in the wild Atlantic coastline, as well as the gorgeous Caribbean shores. As we toured inland, and the vegetation became more lush, we came across a few mongoose and green vervet monkeys.

We could have spent weeks exploring and tasting our way through Barbados. It has so much to offer, and we have only just scratched the surface both with the diving and above the water. But what we have experienced, we have loved. In our next feature, we will get back to the diving, but we wanted to give you a flavour of what the rest of the island of Barbados has to offer. Talking of flavour … the hot sauce on Barbados is epic…

 

 

For more information and inspiration visit:

https://www.ckbarbados.com/

http://www.harrisonscave.com/

http://www.atlantishotelbarbados.com/

http://champersrestaurant.com/

http://www.caribbeanbrewhouse.com/

http://www.mountgayrum.com/

http://www.littlegoodharbourbarbados.com/


https://www.visitbarbados.org/

www.divebarbadosblue.com

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 1

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Over the next seven days, join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy as we publish a Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy made the very brave decision to book an expedition to our home in Egypt as soon as Roots Red Sea received their certificate from the Egyptian Authorities that the camp and dive centre was COVID secure. Roots is one of very few resorts to receive a certificate from the Egyptian Government.

We arrived in Roots the day after they re-opened.

Getting together an expedition was a major task. Very few Approved Medical Examiners’ of Divers or Dive Referees are conducting consultations at the moment. Availability of beneficiaries and the requirement to quarantine on return from Egypt affected the number of beneficiaries available.

There was also a requirement to pass a COVID PCR virus test within 72 hours of travelling.

We had decided on a small expedition and on the day of travel we had six flying to Egypt.  Unfortunately, Chris Middleton had to drop out the day before we travelled after emergency wisdom tooth surgery.

Our group comprised of Richard Cullen, Michael Hawley, Tom Oates, Tom Swarbrick, Keiron Bradbury and Corey Goodson.  Keiron was undertaking his RAID Master Rescue Course and, as it turned out, Corey was undertaking the RAID Open Water 20 course.

A deserted Gatwick Airport at 0900 on 10 October

Our outbound flight was before midday on Saturday 10 October and I must admit we were all shocked at how deserted was.  Checking in with easyJet took minutes and when we boarded the plane, we found it less than half full.

Corey is a paraplegic since a car accident two years ago while he was training prior to joining the Royal Anglian Regiment.  Corey has no sensation below the waist and is unable to use his legs.  The cabin crew on our flight were quite amazed to see the two Toms and Michael lift him from his wheelchair and place him in his seat for the flight.

Mask protocols were strictly observed by the team, the flight was uneventful, and the easyJet Cabin Crew superb. We also took a digital thermometer to check temperatures prior to flying.

Corey having a pre-flight temperature check

Hurghada Airport was very quiet and we moved through Immigration and collected our baggage in very quick time.

Two things to note:  If you are travelling to Hurghada you need to complete a COVID declaration for the Egyptian Authorities. If not, you have to fill out the rather lengthy form when you arrive.  You can undertake a COVID test on arrival at Hurghada Airport but the queues are long.  It costs much less than the tests we had done in the UK – BUT – you are required to be quarantined at your hotel until the test result comes through.  This means two days with no access to resort facilities.  If the test comes back as positive you have at least two weeks being confined to your room.

COVID guidelines

Transport to Roots was, as ever, on hand and we were soon at the camp and being briefed about the COVID arrangements.  A lot of work has been put in place to make Roots COVID compliant – and all at considerable expense.

None of the usual hugs with the Roots team and you have your temperature checked every morning and every time you return from the dive centre.  Your dive kit is sterilised every night ready for the next day’s diving.

Sterilised Dive Kit

We all felt very COVID secure.

Check back for tomorrow’s Blog and our first day diving…


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

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And the winner of our TUSA Paragon S Mask competition is…

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We’d like to say a big thank you to all of you who entered our competition to win a TUSA Paragon S Mask from our good friends at CPS Partnership!

As usual, lots of you entered… but there can, of course, be only one winner!

And that winner is…

  • Lee Evans from the UK.

Congratulations Lee – your prize will be on its way to you soon!

Not a winner this time? Don’t worry – there are plenty of other competitions running on Scubaverse.com right now. To see what other awesome prizes you could be in with a chance of winning, click here!

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