TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World

TURKS & CAICOS | THE EXPEDITIONERS | DESTINATIONS | Travel Guide to the World
By. The Expeditioners Roberto
Photos and videos by Roberto & Bella
WHERE: Long Bay, TCI, Caribbean, Americas

WHEN WE WENT: Bella and I have been there in August, December, January, February.

WHAT WE DID: Kiteboard. Kiteboard. Kayaking. Scuba Diving. Kiteboarding.

WHERE WE STAYED: Providenciales is known to be pricey. On the affordable side you have The Carribean Paradise Inn. This 20 suite inn, is minutes from the beach and run by one of the most amicable staffs I have every met. It’s private, secluded. And perfect for scuba divers and Kiteboarders alike. Being nearby to Long Bay Beach is a major plus! On the higher spectrum are the magnificent villas spotted all over the island and offered by Tranquility Vacation Rentals Turks & Caicos. Ideal for the honeymooner or the family, these abodes will leave you breathless. Just take a look at the pictures below!

Caribbean Paradise Inn: http://caribbeanparadiseinn.com/
Tranquility Vacation Rentals: http://www.turkscaicosluxuryvillas.com/

OTHER THINGS TO DO:
1. Scuba Diving with Big Blue Unlimited
2. Kiteboarding with Kite Provo
3. Conch Festival
4. Sea-Kayaking Island Hopping Adventure with Big Blue Unlimited
5. Romantic boat ride to see the glow worms.
6. Wake-Boarding
7. Deep-Sea Fishing with Talbot’s Adventures.
8. Fine -Dining at Baci’s
9. Hobie-Cat Sailing
10. Island Hopping
11. For those so inclined..there’s even a golf course.

HOW TO GET HERE: Fly. Lots of major airlines have direct flights here from places like New York and Toronto. If you search well-enough, you can find round-trip tickets for $500 taxes included.

Having tried a vast variety of sports, it’s not often that I come along one that I had never done before. I ski, snowboard, skate, surf, dive, rock-climb, mountain-bike, run, etc etc. I’ve even gone curling. But that’s excusable only because I’m Canadian.

A few years back, my brother told me that I should try kiteboarding. I had heard of some guy that went flying into a building and remembered it had been nasty. So I gave it little thought.

Then last year, while on my one-month honeymoon to Turks & Caicos with Bella, we got a 1hr intro class into the sport by Kite Provo’s Mike. It was gusty as he took out a 12 meter kite on a deserted beach. We thought we would give it a try. After taking us through safety, we waded into the water.

On my first attempt I was up…if only for some 30 meters before lunging into a uncontrolled rag-doll leap of some fort feet, elegantly face-planting into TCI’s emerald water. I stood-up, a tad- wobbly, grinning from ear-to-ear while still clearing my nostrils from their salt washing.

Fast-forward a year, and Bella and I are in Vancouver’s Northshore Board Store getting kites, harnesses, and boards before embarking on an adventure to Turks and Caicos– to learn to kiteboard. We heard that one of the best places to learn in the world, was indeed Long Bay Beach, on Turks and Caicos’s Providenciales.

On-Shore winds. Shallow water. Sandy bottom. Warm water. And a long long beach.

Learning to kite came with an excitement I hadn’t had in a very long time. The excitement of learning a new sport. And Long Bay Beach was the perfect place to learn. I can now jump 40′ in the air, and Bella can do some really rad riding. Stay tuned as we take this sport everywhere in the world.

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Diving Africa Part 4/10

predive

Concrete stairs lead down to the water where our boat was moored. A jovial Senegalese local played a rythmic beat on his tam-tam– luring us to our boat like the Pied Piper. It was an early afternoon dive, and so would be a 1-tank dive. Located only a few kilometers from shore, the Madeleine Islands sit a quick boat ride away from Dakar’s coastline. Mamadou (our dive master) kept the tap of jokes flowing as our little skiff made it’s way amongst fishing boats to the islands. A couple from France were delighted to get reacquainted with our dive-master–as they had dove with him 20 years earlier.

Anchor

The water temp hovered around 16 degrees Celcius. I donned my 3/2 Oceanic Pioneer wetsuit, and added an extra layer of Lavacore to keep from getting chilled– Bella did likewise. I hesitated with donning a hoodie, but after plunging my hand into the water realized it was a must to wear.

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Before we knew it we were already at the island. The boatman dropped anchor. We prepped our cameras, and back-flipped into the frigid waters of the North Atlantic Ocean.

Manta Dive Watch

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The water was murky and green. And the current was strong. We dove along the submerged part of of the island– spotting sea-slugs and little rays. Visibility was less than 10′. We dove down to 60′ where it was a little clearer– hoping there would be less current. Yet there just seemed to be more. Bella and I glanced at each other and made the signal to head-back.

We’ve learned not to push ourselves too much on a dive in questionable conditions. For indeed, there is always the next dive.

Quick Tip: The Aeris Jetpack is a WING BC with integrated weights– giving you great mobility and freedom on your dive. Use the detachable bag on your dive boat to keep the stuff you don;t need for your dive: sunglasses, sunscreen, micro-towel, Dfog, etc..

Gear Guide:
Aeris Jetpack BC’s
Aeris Ion AT600 First Stage & ION LT Second Stage
Aeris Manta Dive Watch
Aeris Velocity Fins (Bella)
Aeris Accel Fins (Roberto)
Aeris Ai300 Computers
Oceanic Pioneer Wetsuit
Oceanic Pioneer Mask
Lavacore Pants & Short Sleeve Shirts
Ikelite Camera Housing w/ Pro-2800 LED Video Lights
Ikelite Coolpix Camera Housing

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Diving Africa Part 3/10

DIVING AFRICA
Post 3/10

The streets of Dakar, Senegal were hustling and bustling when we arrived. Vendors hawked their wares. Cars honked without purpose, and people filled every empty space. Not exactly the backdrop I imagined for scuba-diving, but hey..you never know.

The dive shop–named Oceanium was easy enough to find, and was located around an open bar/cafe area, overlooking the Atlantic. We got introduced to our dive-master Mamadou- a tall fellow with a ready smile- who marveled at the quantity of gear that we pulled out of our Jetpacks.

Conversation flowed and we got to spend some time explaining our kit to him and sipped some coffee that would wake-up a 12 year old dead horse. The vibe was like that of most dive-shops, relaxed–but ebbing with an excitement… an excitement to dive.

We detached our bags from the BC’s and prepped-our kit for what was to be our first dive in Africa.

Gear Guide: AERIS Jetpack BC is adjustable to all sizes. From the back, to the shoulder straps to the waist strap–it all adjusts. I’m 6’1 and Bella is 5’4. And the Jetpack fits us both. It was nice not to have to rummage through my checked-luggage for dive gear. Everything was snug in my Jetpack bag section…even my Accel fins!

Find part 1 and 2 at www.theexpeditioners.com

Sponsored by Aeris, Oceanic Worldwide, Lavacore Int’l, Ikelite Underwater Systems

Attaching Jetpack

The Engines

Dive day

Diving Africa Part 2/10

The Expeditioners
DIVING AFRICA
Post 2/10

By visiting different countries (Senegal, Mozambique, South Africa) on Expedition Africa–we really got to tell the difference between cultures. Each country was so clearly distinct from the other– which was fascinating! Likewise, our diving experiences were extremely different in each country. But that’s to be expected from destinations so far apart from each other.

From Dakar, Senegal to Gansbaai, South Africa it is about 6800kms– and from Gansbaai to Vilanculos about 2000kms as the crow flies. We were hoping to get the Sardine Run as well, but alas, it just wouldn’t fit into our scheduling.

Senegal was out first testing ground for our new gear. We were happy that we didn’t have to fidget with the equipment, as dive was challenging to say the least.

When we decided to go to Africa, we knew that a trip to the continent wouldn’t be complete without diving with great white sharks– and so we booked with Sharklady Adventures. Little did we know how up close and personal we would get to be with them!

Our principle reason for choosing Mozambique as a dive destination was in the hopes of seeing Whale Sharks, as Tofo and Vilankulo are known for their sightings. But nature beats her own drum, and from what I understand, those sightings of the gentle giant have become more and more rare. Still, we got to spend some quality time with a giant grouper!

Dive Gear Tip: Taking your AERIS Jetpack as your carry-on is a fantastic solution for flying with your dive kit. But what happens when your plane is a little itsy-bitsy plane who’s overhead compartments are half the size of regular planes? Simple, once you are on the plane and stowing your bag un-clip your BC from the bag section of the Jetpack (making it half the size,) and stow the two sections separately in the overhead, OR put one section in the overhead and the other under the seat in front of you.

Diving Africa Part 1/10

The Expeditioners
DIVING AFRICA
Post 1/10

Africa. My 7th continent. It was going to be a big trip. Criss-crossing the continent, exploring, photographing, scuba diving. A big trip with a lot of flights.

We would first visit Bella’s family in Senegal (two flights,) then fly through Mali and onto Ethiopia where we would catch a night’s sleep.. before catching another flight to Johannesburg where we would then proceed to drive 600km to Kruger Park. After exploring the park we’d fly to Cape Town and drive to Hermanus to go Shark Cage Diving, and another flight to Johannesburg, and then another one onto Vilankulo, Mozambique for some scuba diving….yup, then another flight back to Johannesburg, then another back to Ethipioa (sleep there a night,) then onto Mali–then to Dakar, Senegal again and after two days a flight to New York, and finally home- Montreal.

All in all 12 flights in 5 weeks.

We had to find the best way to take all of our scuba diving gear without getting dinged with overweight fees.

Solution: Dive company revolutionizes scuba travel market by making a travel BC that’s the perfect carry-on companion, and fits carry–on regulations and stowes nicely above your head or under your seat for your flight.: Appropriately named the AERIS Jetpack. It’s a BC. It’s a Bag. It’s a wing. Which we love. It’s sleek. And it makes you breakfast. But only on Tuesdays;)

#ExploreAfrica #Expeditioners #Aeris