Dec 042016
 

The holidays are rapidly approaching (yikes), and, if you’re like most of us, you may be struggling with gift ideas for those on your list.  We’re here to help.

We’ve put together a list of some of favorite products and services for Travelers, Photographers, Scuba Divers and Bonaire Lovers.

 

For Travelers & Global Nomads

Swatch Watches– I rarely travel without a Swatch watch.  The affordable price point means that you don’t have to fret about loss or theft.  And the fact that all Swatch watches are waterproof makes them indispensable for ocean lovers. Another plus, many larger airports have a Swatch store, and Swatch offers free battery changes for the life of your watch.  This white one is my new fave.

Amazon Kindle Voyage – This is the new device in my arsenal, and I’m in love.  Where do I begin?  The battery life is incredible.  It lasts for weeks.  The screen is easy to read, easy on the eyes and user-friendly.  And who doesn’t want access to new books at their fingertip?

Elta MD UV Clear Sunscreen, SPF 46 – Whether you are trekking in the Himalayas, Skiing in Taos or sailing the South Pacific, sunscreen is critically important.  I go through bottles of this product.  It has a high level of protection, yet it feels light and will never cause breakouts.

Dakine Split Roller Duffle Bag – My Dakine bag has not had an easy life.  It’s been thrown onto luggage belts in Fiji, rolled through rocks and dirt in the Serengeti and hauled in and out of multiple boats in The Maldives.  Yet it has held up like the workhorse it is.  And type-A neat freaks those who like multiple organizational options will love its many sections and pockets.

Ray-Ban Folding Wayfarers – These classic shades are now made in a cool folding design that fits easily into your pocket or travel bag.

 

For Photographers

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 – This is hands-down the most critical element of my photography arsenal.

Gitzo 3532LS Tripod – This sturdy carbon-fiber tripod is also flexible and adaptable.  We love it for outdoor and wildlife photography.

Think Tank Perception Pro Camera Backpack – This backpack went with me to Tanzania, and it was perfect for my safari needs.  Inside it I hauled one SLR body, two point and shoot bodies, two lenses, an underwater housing for my Olympus TG-4, my MacBook Pro and multiple other accessories.

The Underwater Photographer, by Martin Edge – If you want to learn underwater photography or want to perfect your underwater photography, this is without a doubt the book for you.

 

For Scuba Divers

Henderson Lycra Dive Skin – Whether you wear it alone for snorkeling or under a warmer wetsuit for diving, this dive skin is comfortable and well-made.

Reef Fish Identification Book – These fish identification books by Paul Humann and Ned DeLoach have been a crucial part of our library for as long as I can remember.  They are a must-have for every scuba diver.  They are available for the Pacific and Indian oceans as well as the Caribbean and Atlantic.

Scubapro Spectra Mini Mask – My mask of choice.  The low-profile design and smaller size is a great choice for female or smaller divers.

Diver’s Alert Network (DAN) Membership – We faithfully renew our DAN memberships each year.  The benefits are numerous and include dive accident insurance, a subscription to Alert Diver magazine and dive safety education.  Membership is $35 for an individual and $55 for a family.

 

For Bonaire Lovers – Our favorite local Bonairean products & services

Cadushy Rom Rincon – This spiced and artisan-crafted rum is made for sipping.  Get it while you are in Bonaire. It’s not available anywhere else.

Phish Phaktory Bags – These tote bags are made from recycled sails and materials found in underwater cleanup dives on Bonaire.  The bags are cute, sturdy, well-crafted and will last forever.  The owners/artists are super cool and truly care about our environment.

Carrying my Phish Phaktory tote at Bonaire's Carnival

Carrying my Phish Phaktory tote at Bonaire’s Carnival

Flaming Flamingo hot sauces, salt and jams – We love these made-in-Bonaire products.  Our fave is the mango hot sauce (Steve practically drinks it).

A tank card from Dive Friends Bonaire – Give the gift of air!  Dive Friends Bonaire offers a handy tank card for local divers.

Elements Jewelry – Elements dichroic glass pieces made great colorful gifts and souvenirs.

Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire hats and shirts – Help Bonaire’s sea turtles and wear cool gear at the same time.

Coral Restoration Foundation Bonaire Diver Certification Course – We are both PADI certified Coral Restoration Divers.  It’s both fun and important work.  Courses are available at Buddy Dive, Harbour Village and Wannadive.

Cleaning the algae from a tree in the coral nursery

Meredith cleaning the algae from a tree in the coral nursery at Klein Bonaire

Italy in the World, Bonaire – Give a beautiful bottle of Italian wine or a great Prosecco from this boutique and restaurant in Bonaire.  We love the Santero 9-5-8 prosecco for a sunset toast.

An extensive wine selection at Italy in The World, Bonaire

An extensive wine selection at Italy in The World, Bonaire

Latitude 12° Designs Bonaire Necklace – OK, this is my jewelry design company.  I design and create custom jewelry in sterling silver (or the metal of your choice).  My Bonaire Necklace is a great choice for showing your Bonaire love.  But the choice is yours – all pieces are custom made, and the sky is the limit.

The Bonaire necklace in sterling silver

The Bonaire necklace in sterling silver

Custom mermaid necklace in sterling silver

Custom mermaid necklace in sterling silver

Custom, hand made necklace for the ocean lover, by Latitude 12° Designs

Custom, hand made necklace for the ocean lover, by Latitude 12° Designs

custom bracelet set by Latitude 12° Designs

custom bracelet set by Latitude 12° Designs

All of the products mentioned above are products we use and love.  We have purchased each of these products (some over and over), and they were not gifted to us or given to us for promotional purposes.

Jan 252016
 

Many photographers don’t have the time, the inclination or the technical knowledge to process, edit and optimize the images that they have taken.  Shooting your images is the fun part, but for many, post-processing is simply a chore.

Eagle Ray Before and AfterWe are happy to share that Meredith is now offering professional photo editing & retouching services for underwater photographers.  As an experienced underwater photo editor/photographer, and a scuba diver of 20+ years, Meredith specializes in enhancing the beauty of your underwater subjects.

You can find more information about our photo editing services here. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with questions, or for a custom quote, at reeftraveleronline@gmail.com.

Oct 102014
 

Recently I watched a very fascinating Ted Talk given by Hamish Jolly – an Australian entrepreneur, ocean swimmer and kite surfer.  Jolly founded a company called SAMS (Shark Attack Mitigation Systems) that claims to have developed shark repelling wetsuit technology.  According to the company’s website, the wetsuits are designed to “disrupt the sharks visual perception” to divert or delay a possible attack.

While this theory is extremely intriguing, testing is still ongoing, and there is no guarantee that the suits will prevent an attack.  Personally, I’m not yet convinced that wearing this suit, let’s say, to swim or surf in a known great white feeding ground is a sound idea. Nevertheless, it’s a concept that I will continue to follow with interest.

Here’s the video.  Give it a watch and let me know your thoughts.

 

Mar 152014
 

I realize that I’ve inundated you with loads of photos from Bonaire recently.  Typically, I try to post photos from a geographically diverse array of dive and snorkel destinations, but the truth is that we’ve spent a considerable amount of time in Bonaire during the past year.  We’ve become quite enamored with its diversity of critters, laid-back atmosphere and plethora of shore diving sites.

Here are some shots we took on Bari Reef last month.

Christmas Tree Worm

Christmas Tree Worm

Moon Jellyfish

Moon Jellyfish

Porcupinefish

Porcupinefish

Honeycomb Cowfish, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Honeycomb Cowfish, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Arrow Crabs, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Arrow Crabs, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Peacock Flounder

Peacock Flounder

Scrawled Filefish, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Scrawled Filefish, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Schooling Grunts, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Schooling Grunts, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Scorpionfish

Scorpionfish

Schoolmaster, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Schoolmaster, by Mr. Reeftraveler

Shy Squirrelfish

Shy Squirrelfish

Trumpetfish

Trumpetfish

In addition to bombarding you with photos, I wanted to give you and update on our photo equipment.  I am now shooting with the following system-

Camera – Canon G16

Housing – RecSea

Strobes –  one Sea & Sea ys-d1 and one Sea & Sea ys-110a

Ultralight tray and arms

Mr. Reeftraveler is now shooting with the following-

Camera – Canon S120

Housing – RecSea

Strobes – two Sea & Sea ys-d1

Ultralight tray and arms

Sola 1200 photo light

We both upgraded in December, and so far we are very pleased with the new gear.

Are you considering an upgrade to one of the models we use?  If so, I’m happy to answer your questions if you leave me a comment.

Jun 022013
 

We’ve decided to join the action on Pinterest.

If  you’re looking for tropical and underwater inspiration, dive and snorkel gear ideas and lots of fish photos, be sure to follow us here.

…and in other news, please check back very soon for dive photos, reviews and news from Bonaire.