Archive | November, 2012

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My First Day of Scuba Diving Course at Hanauma Bay Hawaii

Posted on 25 November 2012 by onthegroundtravel

 

Diving in Hanauma Bay Hawaii

This is a guest post from Vic Dinovici who writes about his first experience scuba diving in Hanauma Bay Hawaii (on the island of Oahu).  He liked it so much he’s now a scuba instructor for HopTours.com.   Enjoy!

About Vic:

Vic is all about snorkeling at Hanauma Bay, scuba diving and all outdoor activities especially if is about water. In the hot sunny days you will find him going deep into the Pacific Ocean waters, taking pictures with the reef marine life and enjoying a good time with friends on Hawaii beaches.

His Story:

So, scuba diving is kind of a new-found passion of mine. I tried it on the last day of a vacation a few years ago and got completely hooked—unfortunately, I didn’t have much time to explore and dive since we were heading back home the next day. That’s why I recently decided that I was going to take a good portion of my upcoming vacation and spend it all scuba diving and exploring.

When I was figuring out where I wanted to go, I knew that I was going to need a place that was good for beginners (since I had only been once before), but that was also going to be worth all the time and money I was going to spend. That’s why I decided on Hanauma Bay—everyone told me just how gorgeous it was, and it was also perfect for beginners because of it’s shape and calm waters. It’s this protected little piece of paradise that doesn’t have any turbulent water or crashing waves like the open ocean, and it’s also home to this incredible coral reef that has so many different types of fish that you’ll lose count. I decided that I was going to go for my scuba diving certification, and registered with a group that offered a three-day diving course with certification at the end of it.

The first day of my diving course Hanauma Bay, I made sure to arrive at the park bright and early because once the parking lot is full, they don’t allow anyone else in (it’s to cut down on too many visitors causing damage to the reef). After I paid my admission fee, I had to hike a ways down to the beach—although it wasn’t too long, I was so anxious to get into the water that it felt like eternity! Finally I saw the bay, and I was so glad that I had chosen to come diving here: the water was crystal clear, the beach was beautiful with palm trees swaying in the breeze—it was everything I could have wanted. I found my instructor, who had me watch a video that talked about how to take care of the reef and wildlife, as well as gave the basics of scuba diving. Once that was finished, I got to sit in the shade of the coconut trees while my instructor went over the basics of everything—after that it was time to get suited up and into the water! Everything was so beautiful, and I felt so confident in that little area knowing that I was safe from any danger the open water held.

The next two days were pretty similar, except that I spent time learning how to map out my own dives, staying safe while scuba diving, and other necessary skills for my certification. Finally, I passed my test on the last day and was officially certified to go diving in the open water on my own! I spent the rest of my vacation diving in and around Hanauma Bay—exploring the few shipwrecks that were in the area and just generally enjoying my time in the water. It was such an amazing vacation, and I can’t wait to go back!

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Canon S100, Save $200!, compact w/ DSLR features

Posted on 24 November 2012 by David

Canon S100, Save $200!, compact w/ DSLR features

UPDATE 11/27:  If you missed it for $229, it’s still on sale by Amazon for $299.  Mine just arrived today BTW.  =)

I have been eyeing Canon s100 since my S95 broke and now it’s on sale for $200 off.  I just bought one so I’m alerting you all to this deal as well.  Use this link:
Canon PowerShot S100 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)

Why this a good deal

Most places like B&H Photo sells this for $429 and that’s on sale. Amazon has it for $229!  Get it before it’s gone.

Why I like the Canon S100

I love the control of a DSLR but it is not feasible to carry one everywhere so I have been looking for a replacement to my old S95 that offered as close to manual control as a DSLR. i had been happy with the S95 so I moving on to the S100 would be a good next step since it’s essentially a reimagined s100 with better capabilities. I would suggest you taking a look at DPreview’s review of the Canon s100 for an in-depth review.

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Deals We Like

Posted on 18 November 2012 by David

I have been wanting to create a list of deals I find useful but never got around to it.  Today I’ve stopped procrastinating and created a page on this site where I (or we I should say!) will be putting up deals that we find worthy of sharing.   I’ll keep it relatively small so only those that I think are useful on a frequent basis will be posted there.

I’ll still use this “Top Deals” category for those deals that require a bit of explanation or time sensitive information.

But for just plain links to some deals that can save you some money, go to our “Travel deals and discounts we like” page!

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