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Polar Bears – Barter Island

This polar bear and its cub were having a little frolic in Barter Island, waiting for the annual Whale bones to be piled up.

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Barter Island, Kaktovik, is located in the far North of Alaska, a small island about four by two miles in the Arctic Circle off the Arctic coast of Alaska.  It is home to descendants of the Inupiat Inuit tribe and became a significant trading post (hence the name).  The Inupiat are still allowed to engage in whaling activities, to respect their heritage, although their catch is limited.  I find it hard to stomach whenever anyone engages in such a barbaric and unnecessary practice in this day and age, but they’re allowed to go out an hunt several whales each year, to feed themselves in their traditional way.  It’s strange, but their desire for tradition ends with the method for hunting, using explosive tipped harpoons instead of battling with traditional spears. Read more…

Cayman Islands Triathlon

As I mentioned, (see Olympic distance Triathlon), I was a little nervous about the Cayman Islands triathlon this Sunday, a 1.5km swim, 40km bike ride and 10km run, starting at Public Beach, West Bay, in the shadow of the new Kimpton Seafire Hotel. Read more…

Olympic distance Triathlon

So, in around 5 hours I shall get up to do my first Olympic Triathlon in 3 years. 1.5km swim, 40km bike, 10km run. I’m woefully underprepared because life took a turn for the busy (for the best of reasons) requiring me to be abroad for five of the last ten weekends. Aspects of my training have been non-existent and I am still carrying plenty of weight that I had hoped would shift through intensive training. The only reason I haven’t dropped down to the sprint distance is stubbornness and because I have a friend I am “competing” with… Hopefully I won’t be dead last, maybe just second from last…

The Cayman Islands is an amazing place to do triathlon, running across the sand into sea that you would otherwise be snorkeling in, but by 9am (when the slower participants like me start the run) it’s pretty hot conditions for a 10k run.

18 holes of golf, a game of tennis and a barbecue with the Aussie boys tonight, may not have been the best preparation.

Any words or wishes of encouragement appreciated…

Link to the Cayman Triathlon Association website.

Want to know how I got on…? See Cayman Islands Triathlon.

Arrow Crab – Cayman Islands

The Arrow Crab, Stenorhynchus seticornis, always fascinates me when I see them on a dive.  Hiding in crevices, they are occasionally seen battling, with long spindly legs and two bright blue claws that almost seem fluorescent at night.

Turtle – North Wall (Grand Cayman)

Came across this Hawksbill turtle while culling on Sunday, he was relaxing while a friend took a Lionfish nearby, and then decided to move on when I showed some interest in filming him. Read more…

95 Lionfish culled

Divetech in Cayman have started doing a monthly two tank Lionfish cull.  They are based at Lighthouse point, a great dive site with a mini-wall and a deep-wall but the Lionfish culls normally go North.  Unlike the other dive companies, they offer a Sunday afternoon dive, which is nice because you get a lie in.  See my post The Lionfish Menace to see why we cull the Lionfish. Read more…

Red Panda – Chengdu, Sichuan

We went to see the great pandas at the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding, in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, as part of our travelling through China.  Read more…

The Whale Road – Book Review

I am a fan of historical fiction, having enjoyed various historical settings by Bernard Cornwell, C.S. Forester,  and more recently Conn Iggulden. I also always had a fondness for the 1978 movie the Norseman as a child. However, Cornwell and Iggulden weren’t putting out books at the rate I was reading them, so when I saw The Whale Road, by Robert Low, a Viking tale, I dipped a cautious toe into the series featuring the “Oathsworn”, a band of roving Viking warriors. Read more…

To keep running

Having committed recently to a triathlon and having my training disrupted by some travel brought about by some unexpected personal travel, I was reminded of my own stubbornness and signed up for a half marathon as well. Reminded me of some “pearls of wisdom” I’d previously had…

Source: To keep running

My Top Dive Sites in Grand Cayman

Some of my favourite dive sites in Grand Cayman

Tubbyman Tales

Diving in Cayman is great, with visibility usually stretching to at least sixty feet, the water temperature rarely needing a wetsuit (although I have more natural insulation than some) and the dive sites rarely being too busy.  Dive sites in the East are generally quieter (it’s hard to justify a fifty minute drive when you can just go five minutes down the road) but for shore diving, the West is better serviced.

The following is a general overview of some of my favourite sites (not THE top sites, just some of the top ones in my opinion) in Grand Cayman, where I will personally invariably try to take visitors and would suggest that anyone could come away happy from a trip having ticked these boxes: 

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