Apr 262012
 

It seems like more and more webcams are popping up each day.  Sure, you can bookmark all of them, but then you end up with a long, cumbersome lineup of bookmarks that make it difficult to find anything.  So, we’ve come up with a solution for the webcam lovers of the world.  Now you can bookmark only one page, and it’s here at Reeftraveler.

Bucuti Beach Webcam, Aruba

We’ve compiled a list of the most amazing tropical webcams from around the world.  From Fiji, to the Caribbean, to Costa Rica to Kenya – our favorites are here on one page.

Webcam View of Peter Bay, St. John from www.villavacations.net

And here’s a little tip for webcam newbies, if you click on the link and all you see is black, it is dark in that area of the world.  Check back in a few hours.

Bora Bora Lagoon Webcam

Do you know of any tropical webcams to add to our page?  If so, Email us at reeftraveleronline@gmail.com or leave a comment on this post.

Dec 012011
 

On this date a few years ago, in a small Costa Rican beach town, I was the happiest barefoot bride in the universe.

20111201-154835.jpg

And today, I am even happier.

Happy Anniversary Mr. Reeftraveler!

Nov 102011
 

It’s no secret that I love Costa Rica.  The people, the food, the beaches, the surf, the mountains, the wildlife – I love everything about it!

Photo by Frank Gourley

I loved it enough to get married there, but for some reason we haven’t made it back since the wedding four years ago.

Photo by Frank Gourley

Now I’ve got a great excuse to go back.  On November 17th, jetBlue will add a new nonstop route from New York’s JFK airport (JFK) to Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR).  Liberia is the gateway to many of Costa Rica’s most gorgeous beaches in the Northwest Pacific province of Guanacaste.

We like to stay in a little town called Playa Langosta, close to the surf town of Tamarindo.

Photo by Frank Gourley

While not known for its snorkeling, there is good diving on this coast near the islands of Catalina and Murcielagos.  Here you can spot eagle rays, manta rays, sharks, whales, dolphins, eels and turtles.  Agua Rica is a great dive operation based in Tamarindo.

And while you are there, check out the gorgeous jewelry at  EK Art Jewelry in Tamarindo.  The boutique is owned by my friends Laura and Guillermo, and their unique designs are handcrafted from shells, stones and seaglass that they have collected from the beaches of Costa Rica.

EK Art Jewelry - photo by Frank Gourley

For the Costa Rica fans out there, what is your favorite beach in Costa Rica?

Pura Vida!

Sep 142011
 

I knew I was supposed to do it, but I didn’t.  I’m referring to the Stingray Shuffle.  The Stingray Shuffle is done by shuffling your feet when entering a sandy beach to avoid nestling stingrays.  What caused my temporary lapse of common sense?  Was it the adrenaline rush from the warm Costa Rican surf?

Photo by Frank Gourley

Photo by Frank Gourley

Or was it the anticipation of the next day’s events, namely, my wedding?

Photo by Sean Davis

Whatever the cause, I failed to heed the warnings, and I paid the price – a barb in the foot.  Envenomation. Pain! I knew right away that I had stepped on a stingray.

Photo by Mr. Reeftraveler

I hobbled back to shore as the pain intensified.  The pain was now at an 8 on a 10 scale.  My then future sister-in-law happens to be a scientist who had just taken a course in marine stingers.  I found her sitting on the beach. After receiving assurances that this wasn’t fatal, I made my way back to the villa with my brother and sister-in-law.  This was just after the wonderful Steve Irwin (the Crocodile Hunter) had passed away from a stingray envenomation, so you can imagine my fear.

Villa Marrakech - Playa Langosta, Costa Rica

My family immediately sprung into action.  Thankfully, the villa staff had seen this before, and they knew what to do.  After a semi incoherent exchange (I was in shock), where I tried to describe the species in butchered Spanish, one of the guys yelled “como manta?”  “Si!, Si, Si”, I yelled back, “pero mas pequeno”. “Candelas!”, he shouted to his friend, who quickly returned with candles, matches and a bottle of vodka for disinfecting the wound. We were relying on Costa Rican field medicine, but I felt a kinship with these guys, and I sensed I was in good hands. Besides, the pain was excrutiating and I had no other choice.

The treatment for a stingray envenomation is intense heat, as hot as the victim can withstand (do not use boiling water).  I lie in pain in the grass, as the guys poured dripping candle wax over the wound, then peeling it off.  The process was repeated over and over and over.  After an hour passed, we reverted to immersing my foot in extremely hot water.  This lasted for 3-4 hours.

Finally, I started feeling human again.  My foot was twice its normal size, but I managed to hobble down the aisle the next day to meet my groom at the altar.  Thankfully, I had planned to get married barefoot….

Photo by Sean Davis

Photo by Frank Gourley

Have you ever been stung by a stingray or jellyfish?  In addition to the stingray sting, I’ve had three major jellyfish stings.  I guess you could say I’m a magnet for marine stingers!