Thursday, May 28, 2009

Davion

Hi Everyone, meet Davion, he is the gentleman that took me snorkeling the other day when we saw the Sting Ray. Very nice young man. He gave me a shell that he found in the bay earlier in the day. I will post it at a later time.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Driving in Montego Bay

Watch this video and tell me at least three things that are wrong in it. The 1st is obvious and a little dangerous. If you get it, leave me a comment and tell me. If you dont get it, leave me a comment with email and I will send you the answer. Hint if you are from outside the United States you may only find one thing disturbing....Let me know.
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Sunset at Montego Bay

Montego Bay in Jamaica is beautiful all the time. Take a good look at this sunset. This again is from the Holiday Inn Sunspree.
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Montego Bay Holiday Inn Sunspree

Greetings from Jamaica Mahn, I am at the Holiday Inn SunSpree in Montego Bay.
The video catches a bit of the beauty of this place. It really is a Beautiful setting. And the Holiday Inn is a great place to hang out. The staff is very friendly. Yesterday I stopped in at the Watersports shack to see if they had Kapitol Reef equipment (I knew they did not, that is the reason I am here.) I was able to get a gentleman named Davion to go snorkel with me. We went out past the shallow water through sea grass to were the water begins to get deep. The reef is incredable. One of the most beautiful that I have seen. We did not see as many fish as Curacao or Bonaire but the reef is second to none. Deep canyons of volcanic reef with coral of many colors, there was alot of the mushroom coral as well. As I swam along exploring one of the canyons that dropped off I saw a mass sliding up and over the top of the rock, it was a massive Stingray. Oh my goodness the first thing I thought of was Steve Erwin the Crockedile hunter. So I turned to get away when I realized that it did not want to bother me. I looked at Dameon and he was following it so I followed along. This thing was at least 2 feet across and 4 feet from the tip of its nose to the tip of its tail. It was a beautiful blueish color. We followed and watched it for 5 minutes or so. Dameon said that it was the largest Stingray that he has seen in Montego Bay. They are that big at Negril but not here. Breath taking!! A few minute later we saw a baby stingray that was spotted and matched the color of the rocks on the bottom. It knew we were around and planted itself on the rocks trying to hide itself from us. We also saw a 2 foot long eel, it waslight brown with white colored spots. It hid its head and its body just laid on the bottom. Another interesting fish was a small Flounder.
We did see many other fish of amazing colors. We came across a school of small fish that were so brilliant in the blue that it looked like a blue light was glowing on them.
If you ever get to Jamaica, make sure that you take time to snorkel in Montego Bay and make sure that you use the Kapitol Reef equipment. You will want to stay in the water as long as possible so that you can see all that there is to see.
Oh please, Go snorkel so that you can see the rest of the world.
Jerry from Jamaica
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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Jamaica

Stay tuned, I am heading to Jamaica tomorrow and will be there for a couple of weeks. I will have several posts as I snorkel my way around the island of Jamaica. Come back over the next several days.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Should I snorkel?

I must say YES. The majority of the earths surface is covered by water. Underneath the surface of that vast cover of water we call the ocean is another world. A beautiful and fascinating world with many forms of life and the entire spectrum of color. I remember the first time I entered the ocean as a diver. (I certified in a lake in Utah. ) Oh my, what a breath taking experience. It was in the Channel Islands 60 miles or so off the Coast of LA. We stopped in the middle of a kelp forest and at first I thought it was not a good idea. As I dropped down below the surface with my partner and began to swim I felt like I was in a forest and I was flying through the trees. We dropped deeper to a depth of 30 feet and were just about 5 feet off of the bottom still flying through the trees when all of a sudden we came to a canyon and the bottom dropped off to a depth of 60 feet and I felt like a bird flying out over the Grand Canyon. It was intense. I began to look around me and see the thousands of fish and other forms of life in all of their color. Brilliant Vibrant colors! I was amazed at this new world. So much to see and understand.
Diving is a fun intense sport, hobby, experience. Not everyone is comfortable with going under the water with just a tank of air. They worry about all of the things that can go wrong. Many people feel claustrophobic. Many are just afraid.
Everyone should be able to experience the world under the surface of the Ocean, that is why there is snorkeling. And that is why Dr. Mark Johnson from Salt Lake City invented the Kapitol Reef Snorkel, so that people can swim on the surface of the ocean and see the underwater world and feel comfortable breathing. The trigger in the brain that says "get me out of here, I am afraid" does not seem to go off. People that use the Kapitol Reef snorkel really do have a more relaxed experience.
So find yourself a Kapitol Reef snorkel buy it and go see what is under the surface of the ocean, you will be amazed if you have not seen it yet.

Remember "snorkel to see the rest of the world"
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Monday, May 11, 2009

Lunch in Bonaire, sharing space!
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Bonaire

BONAIRE what a fabulous place to explore the underwater world. Bonaire is one of the ABC islands of the southern Caribbean. A= Aruba, B= Bonaire, C=Curacao. All three are part of the Netherlands Antilles. Bonaire is the least commercialized and has the best preserved reefs. It is a divers and snorkelers paradise. There are 63 marked dive and snorkel sights along the coast of this small island. I asked Sergio the dive master and owner of the dive shop at Divi Flamingo Bonaire which spots I should see. He said that make sure to hit, Jeff Davis Memorial, Weber's Joy, Thousand Steps, Bon Bini na Cas, Ol' Blue, Kappel, Karpata. I also snorkeled at Salt Pier, Aquarius and Larry's Lair. The whitest sand that I have ever seen cover the beaches on Bonaire which makes the water almost crystal clear and the water colors breath taking. Then get into the water with your mask on and instantly you see fish. Fish of every color and shape. Swim to a few rocks and reefs and hundreds of fish appear. I swim around them I swim through them and they seem unfazed by my presence.
I was at Rappel and I looked toward the deep and there 15 feet from me was a Barracuda swimming along side of me. I was fascinated by this beautiful fish which seemed 18-24 Inches in length. I could tell that he/she was watching me. I noticed that she had some teeth in the front of her mouth. After 2-3 minutes I turned around and swam back towards the shore. I was not sure if I should have been afraid, I was not. Friends told me later that I should avoid barracuda. It was a neat experience. Like every snorkel experience. I was able to log 5-6 hours of snorkel time while on Bonaire. All of it with the Kapitol Reef snorkel. It is such a comfortable snorkel that you can stay out in the water for extended time periods which means that you can see so much more of the underwater world.
On Bonaire you can buy Kapitol Reef equipment at Dive Friends Bonaire and at Divi Flamingo. Two great locations. Both companies can set you up with dive equipment and show you the best places to dive and snorkel. Sergio at Divi Flamingo and Pascal at Dive Friends Bonaire.
Check out the clips from Bonaire and REMEMBER Snorkel to see the rest of the world!
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Friday, May 8, 2009

A Luxury Snorkel?


6000 years ago or so, Adam, or a member of his family, was probably the first person to use a snorkel. I imagine they just cut a reed off the banks of some body of water crawled in and slipped under the water and used it to breath. In my imagination they were playing kick the can or steal the flag and wanted to sneak in to win the game. Can you imagine the surprise to the person that was guarding the flag or the person that was "it" in kick the can as the snorkeler emerged from the water? What a surprise and what a Great Idea! It was such a great idea that it did not change much for thousands of years, we call it the J tube snorkel. Then finally in the last few years Dr. Mark Johnson an MD from Salt Lake City decided that it could be improved. He set out to do so and the Kapitol Reef snorkel was invented. He added a pressure regulator to the snorkel and put a duel tube in it. One tube to inhale through and one tube to exhale through. With the Kapitol Reef snorkel the air is locked in your lungs a little longer and not immediately pressed out by the pressure of the water against the body. So your lungs can get more oxygen out of the air and the oxygen can then feed your body better. Also the duel tube keeps the old air, the air with carbon dioxide from getting back into your lungs. As a result a person snorkeling with the Kapitol Reef snorkel can stay in the water longer and they feel more comfortable while in the water. Thanks Dr. Johnson, I now enjoy snorkeling!! I now feel more comfortable while enjoying the view of the world under the surface of the ocean, and what a world there is.


Remember Snorkel and see the rest of the world!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

More Curacao

Curacao is a beautiful Island about 30 something miles off the coast of Venezuela. It is in the southern Caribbean. If you ever get down there you can get the Kapitol Reef equipment from Discover Diving. Their website is www.discoverdiving.nl Hans is the owner of the shop. He is on the south western end of the island. While there I was able to snorkel off the coast of Westpunt. I saw purple reef, trumpet fish, porcupine fish, a flounder or two, hundreds of Sergeant Major fish, alot of parrotfish, alot of yellowtail snapper just to name a few. I was also able to get in the water and enjoy my Kapitol Reef snorkel and equipment at Piscadera bay on the south end of the island. I was staying at the Marriott which is at Piscadera Bay It is amazing to me to see the beautiful world that exists under the surface of the ocean. ... snorkel to see the rest of the world!!! Also Check out these two videos. One is Westpunt (where the water gets dark it drops off fast..... deeeeeep water). The other video is a cave that I went down into at the Shete Boca National park on the northwest end of the island. Enjoy.. Remember snorkel to see the rest of the world.


Oh, I almost forgot to share this experiance. I boarded a plane to fly home from Curacao. We were two hours late boarding. We taxied out and took off. I was watching the island as we flew out over the Caribbean sea. The island disappeared and there was nothing but water under us. 15 min. or so into the flight I heard a bang sound and thought "isnt it late for the landing gear to go up?" then the flight attendant came on and said "sit down with your seat belt tight, we have a problem and will be returning to Curacao." A few minutes later the pilot came on and said "we have a problem with engine #2 or the engine on the right side of the plane. We will be returning to Curacao." He explained that they could not use engine # 2. So we returned to Curacao and stayed another 24 hours. I did not like being several miles out over the ocean in a 737 running on one engine.. It turned out great though. I was able to meet some real nice people that I did not take the time to introduce my self to before the return flight and I am sure that I would not have met them any other way.
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Curacao

In april I made a visit to Curacao. What a beautiful Island. It is the Netherlands Antilles. If you go to Curacao make sure that you visit The Dolphin Academy. What a cool place. The people there are friendly and will take good care of you. You can pay to swim with the Dolphins. Check out this quick video. And while there ask them when they are going to carry the Best snorkel in the world. The Kapitol Reef Snorkel.
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Black Beards Castle, Bolongo Bay St. Thomas USVI




St. Thomas USVI



On March 30th I visited St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands. What beautiful Water. While there I snorkeled in Bolongo Bay (I stayed at Bolongo Bay Resort) What a beautiful Place. Bolongo Bay is a 15 min or so drive from the picture on the right.

I also got in the water at Coki Beach. Coki Beach is on the northeast side of the Island. The water was crystal clear. The reef is home to fish of all colors and kinds. I did not see any sea turtles however I talked to a couple of people that did. The water is alive with brilliant colors. I also observed several large Conch shells. It is against the law to remove them so If you visit do not touch.


Snorkel and see the rest of the World!!!




Purpose

Greetings from the Desert of Southern Utah. My name is Jerry Banks, I am a sales rep for Kapitol Reef Aquatics. We market the Kapitol Reef snorkel that was invented by Dr. Mark Johnson. It is the only pressure regulated duel tube snorkel in the world. On a future blog I will post the story behind the Kapitol Reef snorkel. In the mean time, if you ever get the opportunity to try the Kapitol Reef snorkel you should. With the extra oxygen that you get you will by able to stay in the water much longer and enjoy that world under the surface of the ocean. And what a world it is........ That said this blog will be dedicated to sharing the best snorkel places in the Caribbean sea. From the Bahama's to Trinidad and Tobago and everywhere in between. If you follow you will be introduced to shop owners and excursion operators that can and will show you incredable vista's of the world beneath the surface of that vast Ocean out there.

I know, I am from the Utah desert and what do I know about the ocean? Well follow along and see if there are not some surprises from this desert rat and land lubber. Just know this, I spend 60% of my time working on some Caribbean Island. I know it is a drag but as they say...."someone has to do it!"

So I invite you to follow along as we explore snorkeling in the Caribbean with the BEST snorkel equipment invented.... The Kapitol Reef snorkel, mask and Fins.