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Tobago… Clean, Green and Serene

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Tobago is a small island – only 26 miles long and 7 miles wide – but it offers so much. It has a warm tropical marine climate, varying from 25 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius throughout the year, meaning the water temperature is always at least a nice swimming pool temperature. Its 54,000 residents rely heavily on the service sector to tick over its economy; 60-70% of the locals are employed by the local Government, and when you take into account the decent sized private sector, there is very little unemployment in Tobago. This means there is very little poverty, so you have an island perfect for travellers to enjoy a relaxed, well run, peaceful inviting island.

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Tobagonians are a beautiful people; relaxed, warm and hospitable. They are friendly and have a good sense of humour. The island is hassle free and fun. It has a vibrant culture, unique cuisine and breath-taking beauty. There are no crowded beaches (there are only 2,500 rooms on Tobago for those lucky enough to get them). It has good weather all year round; as one of the most Southerly of the Caribbean islands, Tobago is level with the Northern tip of South America, which means it lies South of the hurricane belt which gives it a major advantage when choosing off season holidays in the Caribbean.

tobago 9It is a must for the adventurous traveller, with kayaking, glass bottomed boats, kite boarding, wind surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving and swimming in secluded waterfalls on offer. Golfing, mountain biking and sailing are also available. The main ridge forest has been voted the world’s leading eco tourism destination in the past by the world travel awards. It is the oldest protected rainforest in the world. It is a bird watchers paradise and has 210 species of birds. Giant Leatherback turtles nest and hatch on the beaches at Stone Haven Bay.  It is a smorgasbord of culinary wonders, an island that needs to be smelt, touched, seen, tasted and heard to understand what an amazing place it is. It is all about culture and heritage and it has an amazing legacy to protect. It is also an ideal destination for romantic trips, honeymoons and weddings.

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tobago 4tobago 8It is an island of many festivals – there’s something happening every month. There are unique activities too, like goat and crab racing at Buccoo race track for example. Pigeon Point is worth a visit. It is said to be the island’s most beautiful beach, although many of the beaches are amazing! You shouldn’t miss the  steel pan entertainment on offer there and visit its iconic thatched roof jetty where many weddings have been filmed.  Fort King George is another place worth visiting. This was one of the last colonial forts to be built on Tobago, and offers an amazing viewpoint over the island. The lighthouse built there is still in commission.

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tobago 10tobago 11The diving is varied, but all good. I would describe this as a perfect destination to travel to if diving wasn’t your main focus, as there is so much to do on the island. The diving is similar to the reef diving and reef drift diving in the unspoilt parts of the Red Sea. Tobago’s dive sites are unrivalled anywhere in the Caribbean. The best diving is from 10 metres deep, to maybe around 30 metres deep, so suits the recreational diver rather than the technical diver. You can dive at various sites to see more than 300 species of coral, turtles, nurse sharks and manta rays, especially at Speyside which is the island’s diving Mecca. It meets the Caribbean on one side, and the Atlantic on the other. It has some boisterous water movement which makes for some fun drift diving at certain dive sites at certain times of the day.

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A full dive review is to follow, but for now I’ve put together a short video of a day on Tobago including some off-season diving footage:

How to get there

Flights from Gatwick in the UK, or connecting flights via North America. Trinidad, its larger sister island is 2.5 hours by ferry, or a short 20 minute flight.

Information

Tobago is a friendly island. Make sure you pack sun tan lotion, mosquito repellent and that you hydrate regularly (whether you are feeling thirsty or not).

Dive Centres

Eco and tourism

Restaurants

Hotels

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Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Christian Horras

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Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The March winner was Christian Horras and you can see their winning image at the top of this page.


What do you love about diving & underwater photography?

For me it is all about showing the beauty of our world underwater to people that don’t dive and thus can’t see it for themselves. I want to share my own passion for the amazing ecosystem that is so much older than everything we know living on land. As I am from Germany, there are only a few people in my surroundings that have ever seen a coral reef or a shark with their own eyes. It is a big privilege to be able to go diving all over the world and in return it should be our task to arise awareness of this fragile and endangered ecosystem.

What equipment do you use?

I use a Nikon D810 in a Isotta Housing and various lenses, depending on the subject: a Sigma 15mm F2.8 Fisheye, a Nikon 16-35 mm F4 and two Nikon Macro lenses (60mm and 105mm), as well as a WeeFine +13 Diopter. The Fisheye is my main lens, as it allows me to get really close and still cover a big field of view. For lighting I use two Retra Pro Strobes and a Retra Snoot.

Where can our readers see more of your work?

Website: www.christianhorras.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/christian.horras/


To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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Emperor Divers reaches halfway in Covid Diver Heroes Initiative with fourth award

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Emperor Divers have reached the halfway point with their #coviddiverheroes initiative and are still receiving worthy nominations every day! Here, they recognise their 4th winner, another awesome hero from the diving community with an inspirational story of selflessness through the pandemic. Nominated by David White, Phuong Cao wins a free liveaboard trip in the Maldives when she can finally take some time off, and here is her story:

I, David White, would like to nominate Phuong Cao (36) for her tireless efforts fighting this pandemic. Not satisfied with being a frontline hospitalist in New York she took a second job on the COVID team in Guam to treat patients under even tougher conditions on her weeks off! She continues to commute 7750 miles each way and apply herself to both jobs for three months already and counting. Her energy level has no limits and she’s only happy when those in her care are on the mend. I think she definitely deserves a break! I guess the Maldives would be the best choice for her as I know she has dived with you in the Red Sea already.

Phuong Cao

We have been in touch with Phuong who had this to say: “Wow what a surprise! Thank you for the recognition. Holding my breath until I get back underwater!”

The halfway point is a good chance to remind people that the initiative is still running and the Emperor Divers team would love to hear about more heroes, as there are four more to award in the next 2 months!

Do you know a diver who has been heroic this past year? Emperor know that, worldwide, people have had to step up during this pandemic which has affected so many lives. They want to reward some real heroes with free liveaboard trips in the Red Sea or Maldives.

Luke Atkinson, Emperor’s Red Sea Manager, said: “This initiative is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those hundreds of people who have taken a selfless interest in looking after the vulnerable in their community. Examples could include healthworkers, carers or those who have come out of retirement to volunteer locally, but really we know there are many other ways people have been heroic.“

Emperor want to hear from people who know a heroic diver who would love to have a free liveaboard trip to look forward to in the future. People need to nominate a Covid Hero Diver and tell Emperor (in 100 – 200 words) why they deserve a free trip, and whether they would prefer the Red Sea or the Maldives. A multinational panel of Emperor’s most loyal and compassionate staff will judge the entries and pick a winner every 2 weeks for the next 2 months. There are two remaining Red Sea and two more Maldives liveaboards to be earned, so get nominating and give that hero a reward for their amazing work!

Winners will be announced by 14th (Maldives) and 28th (Red Sea) of each month. Final entries for Red Sea by 20th May ‘21 and Maldives 5th June ’21.

Entries, comments and questions should be sent to heroes@emperordivers.com.

Terms & Conditions apply: Please contact heroes@emperordivers.com for details.

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Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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