If you desire something a bit more mellow and authentic, the beach towns in the spectacular state of Kerala are worth exploring. I’ve heard good things about the beach town of Varkala, which has beautiful beaches and soaring cliffs. If you want to relax and really explore your inner world through meditation, I recommend spending some time in an ashram in Rishikesh or Dharamsala.
The smaller Turks and large Caicos Islands combine to form the two archipelagos which make up this breathtaking location. These islands are British Overseas Territories, known world over for their fantastic reefs, magnificent beaches and gentle welcoming people. Located in the North Atlantic Ocean and about 620 miles from Miami, the islands are an incredibly popular vacationing spot which offer excellent snorkeling, diving, fishing and water sports.
Local events include the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cookoff in late June, a jazz festival at the foot of Newport in late September, the Ocean Beach Christmas Parade in early December, the Ocean Beach Kite Festival on the third Saturday of May, and the Ocean Beach Canine Carnival on the third Saturday in October. On Wednesday afternoons two blocks of Newport Avenue are closed for a farmers' market.
Older proprietary designs came with special facilities. One design separated the eyes and the nose into separate mask compartments to reduce fogging. Another enabled the user to remove integrated snorkels and insert plugs instead, thus converting the snorkel-mask into an ordinary diving mask. New-generation snorkel-masks enclose the nose and the mouth within an inner mask at the demand end directly connected to the single snorkel with its valve at the supply end.
An overused travel cliché says that the toughest places to reach are often the most rewarding. This cannot be truer in the case of Ofu Island in the remote US territory of American Samoa. One of mother nature’s finest pieces of work, touchdown on the beachside runway in Ofu signals the start of the weekly rush hour – as locals greet relatives returning from the main island with a big smile, government workers change shifts, and a few lucky tourists begin the vacation of a lifetime. On the menu? Jungle covered peaks hiding rare coconut crabs under the canopy, sleepy villages waking up only for Sunday church service, and a beach worthy of an Oscar – if only ‘The Academy’ would be aware of its existence.
Snorkels come in two orientations: Front-mounted (see Figure 4) and side-mounted (see Figure 5). The first snorkel to be patented in 1938 was front-mounted, worn with the tube over the front of the face and secured with a bracket to the diving mask. Front-mounted snorkels proved popular in European snorkeling until the late 1950s, when side-mounted snorkels came into the ascendancy. Front-mounted snorkels experienced a comeback a decade later as a piece of competitive swimming equipment to be used in pool workouts and in finswimming races, where they outperform side-mounted snorkels in streamlining. Front-mounted snorkels are attached to the head with a special head bracket fitted with straps to be adjusted and buckled around the temples (see Figure 4).
Besides the six-bedroom retreat on this sugar-colored South Pacific isle, the only other thing you'll find is a whole mess of water. So, naturally, water sports are the main draw (you know, other than the fact that it's a private island). Kakula offers a healthy supply of snorkels, kayaks, and paddleboards. Other island activities include massages, scuba diving, and deep-sea fishing. And speaking of fishing: if you can catch it, the personal chef will cook it.
Just north of Point Loma, this small beach town is a favorite among locals who spend their days surfing, sunbathing around the pier, hanging out in their vintage VW vans, and strolling through the many surf shops, taco stands and antique malls. Ocean Beach has a throw-back groovy vibe of vintage SoCal, coupled with friendly locals, great dining and micro brews, and a vibrant nightlife scene.
Captain Hook’s regularly visits three Sanctuary Preservation Areas (SPA’s): Sombrero Reef, Coffin’s Patch and Looe Key Reef. They are a part of the Florida Keys Marine Sanctuary, the third largest living coral barrier reef system in the world. These are biologically important areas that help sustain critical marine habitats and species. These locations offer beautiful coral reef formations and a diversity of fish.
By the 1960s, the bikini swimsuit influenced panty styles and coincided with the cut of the new lower rise jeans and pants. In the seventies, with the emergence of skintight jeans, thong versions of the panty became mainstream, since the open, stringed back eliminated any tell-tale panty lines across the rear and hips. By the 1980s the design of the French-cut panty pushed the waistband back up to the natural waistline and the rise of the leg openings was nearly as high (French Cut panties come up to the waist, has a high cut leg, and usually are full in the rear). As with the bra and other type of lingerie, manufacturers of the last quarter of the century marketed panty styles that were designed primarily for their sexual allure. From this decade sexualization and eroticization of the male body was on the rise. The male body was celebrated through advertising campaigns for brands such as Calvin Klein, particularly by photographers Bruce Weber and Herb Ritts. Male bodies and men's undergarments were commodified and packaged for mass consumption, and swimwear and sportswear were influenced by sports photography and fitness. Over time, swimwear evolved from weighty wool to high-tech skin-tight garments, eventually cross-breeding with sportswear, underwear and exercise wear, resulting in the interchangeable fashions of the 1990s.
I found this just before a snorkeling trip to the Caribbean and I was extremely happy with it. Everyone was asking me where I got it. For the first time in 3 decades of snorkeling I had no salt water in my eyes or nose or mouth! Wonderful. It takes a little more effort to get it on the first time, but the snorkel comes off for travel and it has a float to keep the water from entering your mask if you submerge. Greatest invention yet!
Another South Pacific island group (see a pattern here?), the Cook Islands are pretty far off the map. OK, not too far, but they are considerably less visited than some of their neighbors. These tiny islands are named after James Cook, the intrepid man who discovered them. With few amenities, this is the best place to find your inner castaway and escape modern life. The islands see similar weather to the rest of the area, with temperatures hot and humid all year round.
One of the highlights of this beach is Sunset Cliffs further down the road. These rocks provide a phenomenal view of the coast and a panoramic shot of the Pacific. I can see this as a popular place for people to get married against the backdrop of a setting sun. The best part of walking along these cliffs is the feel of the ocean spray on your face and the sound of the crashing waves as well as the seagulls flying overhead. There is no shortage of local activities as this beach seems to be crowded all day until sunset. This is definitely a place worth visiting if you're from out of town and want to spend the afternoon getting your tan on.
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