Big man Greg Gerrard & crew dropping the Upper Chattooga. Sections 00, 0, and 1 have for quite some time been a no-boats playground for trout fishermen only.
Big man Greg Gerrard & crew dropping the Upper Chattooga. Sections 00, 0, and 1 have for quite some time been a no-boats playground for trout fishermen only.
Some of the best underwater pictures that you’ll see on the internet or elsewhere are likely to have been taken by deep sea or scuba divers, kitted out with some of the best – and undoubtedly the most expensive kit that you’re likely to see. Beautiful shots of coral reefs, kelp forests and the most colorful of fish and amphibious mammals are obviously hard to get right, and in most cases very hard to get to.
However, you don’t have to be a highly trained diver, or even a fantastic photographer to get some amazing shots of underwater life.
You can find many weird and wonderful aquatic flora and fauna in the shallows in many destinations around the world, and all you need to be armed with is a good eye, some snorkeling gear and in most cases the camera which you already own.
There are of course many different types of camera specially designed to be used in the water. The first of these came onto the market back in the 1960s and since then there has been amazing progression in the design and durability of these cameras. Most on the market right now are digital cameras, but there are still some die-hard analog lovers out there that may still want to get their hands on a 35mm film camera. Again, these are generally used by professionals, whether their main love is photography or diving.
There are alternatives for the beginner however. If you don’t feel like going through weeks and months of training in order to become a qualified diver, then there is gear available for you to take your first tentative steps into the oceans and seas and still get some excellent shots. If you own a camera, which you undoubtedly do, then the alternative to buying a new one comes a whole lot cheaper and can still be very effective. Special housings are available for most cameras, be they digital or older film cameras. As you can imagine, these are designed to protect your camera from becoming wet or completely waterlogged. They also have special buttons which are designed to give you access to most if not all of the functions that you camera has, again without causing any damage.
So grab your mask (and flippers if you have them!) and plunge in to find some of these wonders of the shallows rather than the deep. Even if you don’t have the basics for snorkeling then you are guaranteed to find a hire shop close to any known snorkeling or dive site, so don’t worry if you’re reading this while already on holiday – you’ll be well catered for. And please, don’t forget to wear your sunscreen!
Ben is a photography enthusiast and a lover of the great outdoors, especially those parts near water. He writes for Mozaik Underwater Cameras, a marine camera and housing site.
I found this over the weekend and thought it was a great resource that the readers here may be into. Check it out
The pace of development in RVs, especially luxury RVs, is really astounding. Some of the better equipped models are nicer than most people’s homes. With the speed of advancements in the realm of RV technology, it can be hard to keep informed of it all. Below is a roundup of the latest technology being used in recreational vehicles today.
LED lights are a great fit for RV lighting. They provide great light at a fraction of the wattage of other lighting options. They are also more reliable for exterior lighting as the failure of a single bulb does not result in a loss of function to the surrounding lights in the array. LED lights also last for several years, reducing maintenance time and costs.
Built in vacuum system
Some manufactures have included a built in central vacuum system that has multiple hook up points throughout the vehicle. This provides an elegant solution to the problem of keeping the RV clean while on the road that stays out of the way when not in use.
Pop Up TVs
TVs that pop up out of cabinets are great for RVs because they can be stored out of the way when not in use in order to leave counter space and windows clears. These TVs can be pulled up for use at the touch of a button. It has become standard to include 40 inch plus LCD or Plasma TVs in luxury RVs.
Some manufacturers have begun adding exterior TVs to the bigger models. This allows owners to enjoy the outdoors and still watch the big game or their favorite program. This is a great feature for tailgating as well. The exterior TV is protected by a locking hatch that doubles as a sun shade when the TV is in use.
Integrated dashboard systems
Modern RV dashboard controls host a huge array of controls and system monitors. A typical RV dash can have:
GPS navigation system
Trip and vehicle computer
Tire pressure monitoring
Hydraulic leveling controls
Rear and side cameras
Modern RVs feature high definition color backup and side video cameras for added safety and ease of maneuvering. Backup cameras automatically engage when the vehicle is in reverse and the side cameras can be set to activate when the turn signal is engaged. Some manufacturers have begun to place a second camera monitor in the bedroom so that these cameras can double as security cameras.
Rand McNally TripMaker RVND
The TripMaker is as RV specific GPS system that offers a wealth of exclusive data for the road warrior. It features:
Starting with a base of award-winning navigation from Rand McNally, the TripMaker layers on all the information needed to have an enjoyable and safe trip in an RV. The routing includes legal (including propane and other RV-only), height and weight restrictions, right or left-turn preference based on eleven different RV types, and a quick reference to the Rand McNally Road Atlas. Turn-by-turn spoken and text directions keep the driver focused on the road ahead.
The Eaton VORAD RV radar system
Eaton has brought real high tech radar technology to the RV lifestyle. Originally pioneered in the trucking industry, VORAD (Vehicle Onboard Radar) provides early warning notification to the driver if the traffic ahead slows or stops unexpectedly. The system also has the ability to detect vehicles that may be hidden in the driver’s blind spots. There are three components that provide this technological safety barrier around your motor home.
With all this amazing new technology out there in the RV world, it is hard to imagine where it will go next. One thing is for sure, hitting the road has never been so easy, enjoyable, and futuristic.
Author Bio: Bill Weston is an avid adventurist and outdoorsman who loves hunting, fishing, hiking, camping, writing, and good conversation with new and interesting people. Bill blogs on the topics of the RV lifestyle and outdoor recreation for Lakeshore RV, a premier RV dealer.
Scuba diving is an amazing sport that can let you have a first-hand view of a whole new world. Whether you want to dive on your honeymoon or turn scuba diving into a lifelong passion, these tips for a first time diver will help you have a great experience on your first time diving.
1. Check Out PADI Diving Courses
PADI is one of the leading organizations in the world for learning how to dive and getting certification. While many diving areas that cater to tourists and first time divers offer courses in scuba diving, you can go through PADI to find a local scuba diving course first. That way, you already have your certification and basic know-how so that you can start diving right away on your first scuba diving vacation.
2. Consider a Travel Credit Card
If diving turns into a long-term passion for you, chances are likely that you’ll always be looking for a new place to dive. There are thousands of great dive locations around the world, and you’ll want to experience many different locations at different times of the year to really make the most of your scuba diving hobby. Travel credit cards can help you build up points towards airfare and other travel necessities during your everyday life so that you can shave money off of your diving trips. Of course, it’s vital to remember to use your travel card responsibly, paying it off each month unless you’re purchasing a big-ticket item so that you don’t end up having to sink all your travel money into credit card payments.
3. Get in Swimming Shape
Before you dive, and any time you’re going diving again after sitting things out for a while, it’s important to make sure you’re in relatively good physical condition. You don’t need to be able to run a marathon, but you should be able to tread water well and swim a couple hundred yards without too much trouble. The Divers Alert Network also says that heart problems are the most common cause of diving-related deaths in divers over the age of forty, so make sure you have a good annual physical and maybe even a stress test to ensure your heart can handle the pressure underwater.
4. Drink Plenty of Water
The Divers Alert Network also says that decompression illness is more common and can be more severe when you’re dehydrated. The problem is that diving in and of itself can contribute to dehydration, since immersion can cause your cells to lose some water, and the dry compressed air from your scuba cylinders can make you dehydrate even more. If you’re getting ready to go on your first real dive, make sure you drink more than your typical eight glasses of water each day.
5. Be Confident
While you’re probably not going to do your first dive all on your own, it’s important that you’re confident for your first dive, even though you’ve never been on a real dive before. Make sure you really understand how to use all of your gear and deal with the potentially dangerous situations that can arise while diving. Diving with another person who is more experienced than you is a good idea, but even then, you need to make sure you can make good diving decisions when it comes to your personal safety.
Diving for the first time is an exciting experience, but you need to be prepared before you dive. Whether you’re diving in the Caribbean on your honeymoon or taking your first adventure to Australia, these tips will make sure your first dive is exciting and safe.
As Britain is well known for its frequently dull, dreary weather, the prospect of hiking through the British countryside on a grey day may not seem particularly appealing. For those in the know however, Britain is home to a fantastic selection of hiking routes, where you can expect stunning scenery, glimpses of rare wildlife and crisp, fresh air. Here are five of the best hikes to be enjoyed in the British Isles.
On the Border
Offa’s Dyke is a monumental ancient boundary running roughshod along the modern England/Wales border, built by an 8th century Mercian king sharing the Dyke’s name. The northern walk of Offa’s Dyke takes you from the Welsh coast through an open moorland area of outstanding natural beauty called the Vale of Clwyd. This overlooks the impressively large Gop, a Stone Age burial mound, before pressing on to the top of Moel Famau, with impressive views of Snowdonia and Liverpool. A gentle descent returns to the Dee Estuary, inhabited by rare wading birds. Enjoy an ice cream at an impeccably clean Prestatyn Beach, as reward for your exertions.
The Pride of Scotland
Holyrood Park in Edinburgh is, without hesitation, one of the most spectacular parks of any capital city. The short but exerting climb to the top of Arthur’s Seat takes you over 100m above the limestone city below, with the North Sea Coast unfolding behind you. Descend the northern flank to intercept the trail running along the base of a long, horseshoe shaped rock formation called the Crags, famous among geologists as the place where Hutton first distinguished sedimentary from volcanic rock. City views unfold from the Crags, taking in Edinburgh Castle and the elegant New Town. Finish beside Holyrood Palace, the official Queen’s residence.
A Walk on the Wild Side
The Larig Ghru cuts a giant tear through the heart of the Cairngorm Plateux, working its way alongside some of Britain’s tallest mountains, in Scotland’s north east. It climbs to over 800m, picking through a tough, boulder-laden wilderness in the process. Starting in the gentle Caledonian forest of Strath Spey, the trail climbs relentlessly southwards, rising above the tree line before reaching a barren moraine strewn watershed, flanked by 1,000m plus mountains. It then descends through more gentle terrain, back into the Scots pines of Glen Dee. Look out for golden eagles, red deer and maybe even a Scottish wildcat, in one of Britain’s wildest locations.
The South Cornwall Coast becomes awash with pinks, blues and yellows during the spring, when rare species of flowering plants, found nowhere else, come into view. One of the best ways to enjoy this cornucopia is to walk the coastal trail between Mousehole and Porthcurno. The 15km or so cover smoothed over rocky cliff tops, punctuated by steep descents into tranquil woodland copse and tiny fishing villages, such as Lamorna Cove. On a calm day you will arrive at Porthcurno, overlooking its impossibly white sands and turquoise waters, with the Neo-Classic Minack Theatre perched on the opposite cliff, where you can enjoy coffee with an Atlantic view.
Lakes and Hills
The Coniston Round, in Cumbria’s Lake District, is a 14km circular route taking in some of the best scenery that this part of the world has to offer. Winding above the majestic Coniston, from the village of the same name, the trail rises along Church Beck, over disused copper mines and under rocky crags, before passing alongside the eerie Lever’s Water. It then hooks back around and up toward the 803m summit of the Old Man of Coniston, offering fantastic 360 degree views. The trail then descends back to Coniston village via the sheer drop of Dow Crag. On a clear day it is spectacular and charming and on a cloudy day it is weirdly quiet and engaging.
Thought this was an interesting post on what gear is used for winters that are warmer. I personally go above and beyond when preparing for winter hikes so I like to see what others use for it.
Inflatable kayaks tend to have a bad reputation with hardcore kayak enthusiasts. This reputation is well earned, however. Most people that have something bad to say about inflatable or collapsible kayaks have simply never tried them. This type of kayak has many advantages over a hardshell, especially for beginners that want something easy to maneuver or versatile. Here’s a look at some advantages you can enjoy:
1. Increased Portability
Don’t have the room to store a 17-foot hardshell kayak at home? Most people don’t. Inflatable kayaks can deflate to fit in a small bag that fits in a car trunk, making them perfect for any kayak enthusiast that lives in an apartment or small home. Inflating the kayak is also really easy and requires nothing more than a foot pump.
Good news has come for anyone who enjoys trekking through any of Califronia’s 150+ state parks. On Friday, legislation was passed in California that will require 15.4 percent of cars sold in the state to be at zero or near zero levels of emissions.
The state, which has earned a reputation for its tough environmental policies, will also require cars sold in the state by 2025 to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 34 percent and smog emissions by 78 percent.
Lawmakers have dubbed the legislation “The Advanced Clean Cars Program.”
According to a press release, Erica Morehouse, an analyst with the Environmental Defense Fund, said “[The Advanced Clean Cars Program will] cut dangerous air pollution, create new jobs and drive investments in the fast-growing clean energy economy. Because this program will be done in parallel with national standards, all Americans will reap the many environmental, health and economic benefits this program offers.”
The legislation will cause a slight increase in car prices, said David Clegern, a spokeperson for California’s Air Resource Board. Clegern said consumers can expect an uptick of about $1400-$1900 for the price of a new car but the estimated savings over the life of the car will far outweigh the initial price increase. Clegern estimated that drivers would save an average of $6,000 in reduced fuel costs over the life of their vehicle.
Many of the biggest car manufacturers, including Ford, General Motors, Chrysler and Nissan are on board with the legislation.
The legislation is expected to reduce oil consumption by 2.2 million barrels per day. This is nearly half of the United State daily oil consumption.
Logan is a guest blogger who writes about conservation, travel and taking exotic trips via air charter.
In follow up to Wades Post on Speed Flying and Kite Skiing, here is another awesome video of a group of guys speed flying Mt Superior. A must watch video as it is sheer awesome…
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