What an amazing week! Barbados Blue took the lead on Dive Fest Barbados 2018 and put together a week of diving extravagance for all!
We started the month before Dive Fest was to begin, with our Ocean Awareness Program for children. Barbados Blue partnered with Carter’s Hardware Store to sponsor 100 local disadvantaged children. We outfitted these kids in new Dive Fest rashguards to protect them from the sun and provided conservation, safety and swimming lessons every Saturday in the month of June.
Giving children access to our underwater world is important to us, as we see these children as our future. If our future generations don’t understand what goes on underwater, they will not understand the importance of protecting it or the implications of human actions.
Dive Fest officially kicked off July 3rd at Copa Cabana with the screening of Cressi’s Dolphin Man – The story of Jacques Mayol, a ground breaking Freediver.
July 4th was Clean up Day! Barbados Blue recruited some guests and had all of our staff cleaning up Pebbles Beach. Then we offered a Free Dive Against Debris. Padi Project Aware came down and gave a seminar on marine debris and the benefits of logging and tracking the garbage collected from the ocean.
We held complimentary diving demonstrations and trials on July 5th. Our goal was to introduce more people to our underwater world and motivate them to want to protect our ocean. Our morning consisted of Freediving Trials with Scuba trials in the afternoon. Theo Knevel (Cressi Rep and Advanced PADI Freediving Instructor) lead a mini yoga stretch class followed by some Apnea games in the Hilton pool. From there, our divers hopped on the boat and we got to test our skills with a bit of depth in Carlisle Bay. Every diver achieved limits they previously didn’t believe they were capable of. It was amazing.
July 6th was spent cleaning up the ocean in a different sense. We gathered our spears and our favourite advanced divers and left on a Lionfish Hunt. Lionfish are an invasive species in the Atlantic Ocean which means they are not native to our waters. Because of this, along with their venomous spines, they do not have any natural predators here. Lionfish reproduce in big numbers from a very early age and can leave a whole reef depleted of juvenile fish in just a week. It is up to humans to control the population to keep our reefs protected. An added bonus is that Lionfish are delicious and nutritious. Our catch was not wasted. Everyone had an opportunity to bring some fish home to eat.
The following day Andre had an opportunity of a lifetime. He and a team of Scubaverse Photographers got to dive the Atlantis Submarine. We don’t mean he got to dive next to the sub, they literally got to go down with the sub! Special permission was granted for the experience and the children inside the submarine got to wave to the divers from inside.
There was a closing ceremonies celebration at Copa Cabana on July 8th followed by the Crazy Recycled Boat Race. Four teams built rafts out of marine debris they had previously cleaned off the beach. The race was hilarious, the efforts were amazing and we all learned about how easy it is to repurpose things instead of being so quick to throw them in the garbage.
Be sure to book your next dive vacation in Barbados the first week of July so that you too can take part in Dive Fest Barbados!