Hard to get to, but well worth the effort, the Bazaruto Archipelago of Mozambique keeps us visiting and dreaming. Barely 22 miles off the east coast of Africa, this group of six islands (Bazaruto, Benguerra, Magaruque, Bangue, Shell, and Santa Carolina) continue to top our "must-visit" list of places in the world. The entire area was declared a National Park in 1971 and hosts a plethora of snorkel and dive opportunities.
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Four bright-pink cabanas pop out of the water in Panama’s Bocas del Toro archipelago. The eco-friendly island has its own restaurant and dining room, bar, second-floor terrace, natural pool, and a whole list of nature-friendly activities. Be prepared to socialize with the locals, namely Toutie (the capuchin monkey that's been adopted by the owner) and Maki, the squirrel monkey who is there to keep Toutie company. If you aren’t into animals, you'll want to also steer clear of Quiso the kinkajou, as well as the alligators that come out at night. Just a heads-up.
With so many properties on Bora Bora offering accommodations in overwater bungalows, snorkeling here couldn't be any easier. However, the "Aquarium" off the southern tip of the main island shouldn't be missed, and if you chose to stay at the Sofitel Private Island Resort you'll have unlimited access via kayak or Tahitian canoe to its adjacent motu (small island) otherwise accessible only by private boat rental.
The rays can be easy to miss as they blend into the sand below, with only their spots visible at first glance. But a tail flicks up and you can suddenly see the rest. Another iconic species to tick off your list. Flickering around the reefs you’ll also encounter schools of vibrant tropical fish, which make up a kaleidoscope of colors just below the surface. Giant fish might be spotted, such as sunfish and bacalao groupers. Then the Galapagos fur seals come out to play, dancing and pirouetting through the water, sometimes swimming incredibly close to your snorkel. There are even more unique sights, like Galapagos penguins and diving seabirds.
After a few minutes, the group decided to take a break and we walked south towards the pier. The surrounding area is filled with tourist shops, bars, tattoo parlors, and restaurants lined up and down the street adjacent to the beach. We continued towards the end of the street and climbed the steps leading to the pier. The pier was a massive boardwalk that led about a quarter of a mile out to the water. There were people fishing everywhere, some who have been there all day with several rods resting against the railing hoping to catch the big one. We spotted several artists selling their paintings as we walked by. Some of the pictures were abstract paintings while others were canvas paintings of the beach and various landmarks around town.
Looks like you’ve been to some amazing places! I’ve been researching many of these locations because I teach music lessons remotely over Skype, Google Hangouts, and Vsee. Problem is, I generally need REALLY fast internet to have decent connections and it needs to be residential as I can’t bring my saxophone to the local wifi cafe 🙂 I’ve been reading that fibre optic will soon be offered in the US Virgin Islands, but it doesn’t appear to be at this moment. Have you heard of any tropical islands that fit your description of being more mindfulness oriented that also have fast residential service in the range of 30/5 download/upload speed? Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks a bunch.
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1938: First swimmers’ mask with integrated breathing tubes. In 1938, French naval officer Yves Le Prieur introduces his "Nautilus" full-face diving mask with hoses emerging from the sides and leading upwards to an air inlet device whose ball valve opens when it is above water and closes when it is submerged. In November 1940, American spearfisherman Charles H. Wilen files his "swimmer’s mask" invention, which is granted US patent 2,317,237 of 20 April 1943. The device resembles a full-face diving mask incorporating two breathing tubes topped with valves projecting above the surface for inhalation and exhalation purposes. On 11 July 1944, he obtains US design patent 138,286 for a simpler version of this mask with a flutter valve at the bottom and a single breathing tube with a ball valve at the top. Throughout their heydey of the 1950s and early 1960s, masks with integrated tubes appear in the catalogues of American, Australian, British, French, German, Greek, Italian and Spanish swimming and diving equipment manufacturers. Meanwhile, in 1957, the US monthly product-testing magazine Consumer Reports concludes that "snorkel-masks have some value for swimmers lying on the surface while watching the depths in water free of vegetation and other similar hazards, but they are not recommended for a dive 'into the blue'". According to an underwater swimming equipment review in the British national weekly newspaper The Sunday Times in December 1973, "the mask with inbuilt snorkel is doubly dangerous (...) A ban on the manufacture and import of these masks is long overdue in Britain". In a decree of 2 August 1989, the French government suspends the manufacture, importation and marketing of ball-valve snorkel-masks. By the noughties, just two swim masks with attached breathing tubes remain in production worldwide: the Majorca sub 107S single-snorkel model and the Balco 558 twin-snorkel full-face model, both manufactured in Greece. In May 2014, the French Decathlon company files its new-generation full-face snorkel-mask design, which is granted US design patent 775,722 on 3 January 2017, entering production as the "Easybreath" mask (see Figure 3) designated for surface snorkelling only.
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