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PBRs and Mini-corn dogs

Dhahab, Egypt

Tonight, I'm drinking Johnia Waaker Black Label. No typos there, it's genuine egyptian whiskey. Aged almost six weeks. Tastes much like the local hootch in Thailand.

I'm doing my rescue diver course at the moment. Underwater Combat would be a better title for this thing. For two days now, I've been trying to subdue panicked divers at the surface and below, while my mask is being pulled from my face, my regulator is being ripped from my mouth, and I'm being kicked and beaten about the head and neck by the thrashing scuba tank of my 250 pound instructor. Even when we're doing basic things like taking our gear off and on at the bottom, this guy will come up and turn your air off to see what you do. Too much fun!

One more day of this and I should be certified. After a bit of celebrating, I think I'll hop the ferry into Jordan. This place is great, but there's only so much relaxing a fella can do before it's time to move on.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on June 11, 2003 from Dhahab, Egypt
from the travel blog: Middle East, 2003
tagged Diving and Drinking

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The King Cruiser

Ban Ao Nang, Thailand

So life in Paradise continues to be nothing but good. I made it out diving the other day, and it was the best I've ever seen. Ridiculous amounts of fish, anenomae and assorted critters. You'd lose sight of your dive buddy because there'd be 15,000 young barracuda in the way.

Our first dive of the day was on this passenger ferry that sank a few years back. The main deck is like 24m down and it's upright and in good condition. It's fun and a bit spooky cruising around inside the thing, as all the divers stir up the water & visibility is reduced to just a few meters. Being a boat, it has plenty of narrow doors and confined spaces to swim through. Definitely a cool experience!

And for those of you keeping score, I've put in a total of six days on the route now. Only a couple burns a day recently, since I have all the moves wired now, and I'm just trying to put together a clean ascent. I can get it with one rest along the way now. Now I'm just moving that rest spot gradually downward until I can cast off straight from the sand.

The route will have to wait a bit though, as I'm off to the islands tomorrow, followed by a dash for the malaysian border so that I can get a fresh
30 day visa.

permalink written by  Jason Kester on December 14, 2000 from Ban Ao Nang, Thailand
from the travel blog: Southeast Asia, 2000-2001
tagged Climbing, Diving and Railay

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Visible from Space?

Cairns, Australia

One of the lines they like to tell you when visiting the Great Barrier Reef is that it is the only living organism that can be seen from space. Actually, you hear this often about a lot of things. Turns out it isn’t quite true—lots of things can be seen from space (http://spaceflight.nasa.gov/station/crew/exp7/luletters/lu_letter5.html).

But anyway, the Reef was amazing in so many ways. The fish life, coral life, colors, etc. It was also a lot of fun to do an introductory dive in the Great Barrier Reef. The day was even more enjoyable because we successfully were able to dive with no accidents and neither of us became sea sick! Woo hoo! I think we would have liked to do it again, but the weather turned nasty with high winds and it would not have been nearly as enjoyable.

Instead, we spent our last few days indulging in other outside activities and enjoying the great weather. We golfed at the Cairns Country Club and climbed/bouldered on some really interesting, sharp volcanic-like rock on Trinity Beach near Cairns. We contemplated driving 250km south to Townsville for a few days of climbing, but opted out of it. In doing research for this though, it looks like there are literally thousands of climbing route options in Queensland that haven’t been fully explored or developed yet. Any climbers out there looking to put your mark on Australian climbing? Queensland may be your place . . .

So, an enjoyable, low-pace last few days in Cairns wrapped up our time not only in Australia, but also abroad. I think almost three months traveling was just what the doctor ordered to recover from school, as I am feeling ready to dig into some work! Crazy, but true.

permalink written by  GoBlue on August 9, 2007 from Cairns, Australia
from the travel blog: Carl's Circuit
tagged Climbing, Diving, Cairns and GreatBarrierReef

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Diving HMAS Swan

Dunsborough, Australia


permalink written by  Lulu and Tim on honeymoon on December 28, 2008 from Dunsborough, Australia
from the travel blog: Tim and Lulu on honeymoon
tagged Diving

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Yongala: The Best Dive

Townsville, Australia

Diving has been my passion and it brings me so much happiness watching the underwater beauty. I've always been fascinated with shipwrecks as well, and stimulates my imagination. I never encountered such beauty when I saw Yongala.

One of the best dive spots I've ever been to was the Yongala in Australia. It is the site of a shipwreck in Queensland, which sank during a cyclone in 1911 killing 122 people. From a distance, the Yongala outlined magnificent corals. Unerwater life was abundant. Throughout my diving career, never have I experienced deep sea creatures like turtles, sea snakes, Manta rays, tiger sharks, bull sharks, colorful fish and coral so beautiful. The feeling was very breathtaking and haunting at the same time, realizing that many people have perished there.

This is my best dive so far, and I feel a great sense of achievement. I would recommend every diver to schedule a dive in Yongala.

permalink written by  On Foot on February 13, 2007 from Townsville, Australia
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Diving, Australia, Townsville, Yongala and MarineLife

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The King of Scuba Diving Sites

Gladstone, Australia

One of the best places I have ever been to is Heron Island in Queensland, Australia. I want to refer to it as the King of scuba diving sites in the whole world.

In the coral cay, I have experienced numerous kinds of creatures and lots of colorful coral. Some of the animals that I have seen underwater are swordfish, barracuda, jellyfish, and the best of them all, the great white shark. Heron Island has at least 20 diving sites, where you can scuba dive or snorkel day and night. The best time to catch a great dive is from April to December.

I only stayed there for a few days, and I have been already dreaming of my next trip to Heron Island. Perhaps, on my next visit, I should be trying a night adventure where I would be able to see the luminous creatures swimming gracefully under the sea. That would be King.

permalink written by  On Foot on February 16, 2007 from Gladstone, Australia
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Diving, GreatBarrierReef, HeronIsland and Queensland

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Crocodile Island

Panay, Philippines

There was a time when I visited Panay in the Philippines where I discovered Crocodile Island. From afar you can see that the Island is shaped like a crocodile (or alligator, but it doesn't matter). It was hours away from the main island, and it was a very beautiful place.

Upon arrival, I glanced at the crystal clear waters that rocked the boat gently. The sand was white, and consisted of tiny shell particles. Lots of trees also existed, and there were different kinds of plants as well. We walked inside the island, and I was surprised to find a nice swimming pool with cozy outdoor sofas. There were also great seafood and fruit drinks. The Island itself was a club with great beaches. The people were very hospitable and nice. I spent the rest of the afternoon swimming, eating and sleeping. It was a very refreshing place.

Crocodile Island is one of the simplest but most relaxing places I've ever been too.

permalink written by  On Foot on February 22, 2007 from Panay, Philippines
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Diving, Beach, Islands, Panay and Boracay

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Koror, Palau

The dive spots in Palau, Micronesia is one of the most exciting experiences I have ever known. However, there is one particular spot that I always loved, which is the Blue Corner. It is one of the most adored dive sites in the whole world.

I have visited the Blue Corner years ago, which was filled with lots of beautiful corals and exotic animals. I have witnessed animals that I have never seen before such as the midnight sappers, the pyramid butterflyfish, and the bicolor damsels. I was also amazed to see lots of barracuda swimming in numerous groups. There are also different kinds of reef sharks. The Blue Corner is surrounded by strong currents, which make it a complicated dive.

The Blue Corner is such an exciting place to dive. Many tourists consider this as the premier dive site in the world. This is a must-see haven for the hardcore diver.

permalink written by  On Foot on March 4, 2007 from Koror, Palau
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Diving, MarineLife, BlueCorner, Palau and Micronesia

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Great Barrier Reef

Cairns, Australia

Behold the largest barrier reef in the whole world. The Great Barrier Reef is one of the most beautiful places to visit in yur lifetime. It is situated at the tip of Queensland. I have only gone here once, and I have been truly impressed with it.

The Great Barrier Reef is an ideal place to people of all ages. Snorkeling and diving are the most popular activites. The crystal clear water makes it a haven for scuba divers, where they can the enjoy underwater view. Colorful corals and exotic animals are the foundation of the Great Barrier Reef. The reef is home to a large variety of species and corals that live underwater, such as dugong, turtles, fish, mollusc, whales, and sharks. More than two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef each year, making it a premier site.

The Great Barrier Reef is the experience of a lifetime. I can not wait to come back to this marine life paradise.

permalink written by  On Foot on March 5, 2007 from Cairns, Australia
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Diving, Australia, Island and GreatBarrierReef

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Harbour Island

Dunmore, The Bahamas

Have you ever heard of Harbour Island in The Bahamas? Believe it or not, it is one of Bahamas' best places to go for a vacation. It is a small island that is less than 4 Miles long and a half mile wide. It is only an hour away from Florida.

Harbour Island is also called “Briland” by its inhabitants. The pale pink sand greatly distinguishes it from other beaches. The hotels, vacation homes, and restaurants are very relaxed and comfortable, making it a famous tourist destination. Some of the interesting activities in the island are snorkeling, scuba diving, swimming, and fishing. The weather in Harbour Island is very pleasant. Late winter and Spring are the most favorable since rain is less likely to happen. This also makes the island a great place to relax or sleep with the gentle breeze sounds.

Now that you heard of this Island, I would suggest that you visit this very wonderful island.

permalink written by  On Foot on March 9, 2007 from Dunmore, The Bahamas
from the travel blog: On Foot
tagged Diving, Beach, Fishing, Bahamas, Island, Pink and Harbor

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