The simplest type of snorkel is a plain tube that is allowed to flood when underwater. The snorkeler expels water from the snorkel either with a sharp exhalation on return to the surface (blast clearing) or by tilting the head back shortly before reaching the surface and exhaling until reaching or breaking the surface (displacement method) and facing forward or down again before inhaling the next breath. The displacement method expels water by filling the snorkel with air; it is a technique that takes practice but clears the snorkel with less effort, but only works when surfacing. Clearing splash water while at the surface requires blast clearing.
In a vast ocean dotted with infinite lagoons, perhaps the most striking of them all is to be found in Aitutaki. A short flight from the main island of Rarotonga brings you to a quiet little ‘half island half atoll’ – where nothing seems to happen and where the word ‘rush’ simple doesn’t exist. The main reasons to visit Aitutaki is to detach from the stresses of life and to explore its magical lagoon. Once you’ve completed a circle island tour on a rented scooter, head to the small motu (islets) that hug the outer reaches of the lagoon. Out here, you’ll snorkel in coral gardens and make landfall on beaches where fine white sand simply blinds your eyes on a sunny day. If you’ve always wondered where pictures of that perfect beach you see in travel magazines, posters and screensavers were taken – the answer probably lies in Aitutaki!
On my way to T.I., a twenty-four-hour vacation felt absurdly short. But in the bubble, time stretched and slowed. After dinner, I went to the sauna and spa complex, where there were crystals the size of kindergarteners and a gigantic stone elephant cribbed from an 8th century Indian temple. The flamingos hadn’t moved, but mice scurried across the jungle trails. In the lagoon, kids drunk on being up past their bedtime shrieked and swam.
While the marine life in Galapagos is dramatic, the aquatic conditions are fairly benign for us humans. Waters are relatively warm, although if you plan to be in the water for more than 20 minutes at a time then it’s worth wearing a short wet suit (these are provided on cruises). Flotation devices can also be provided, if necessary. Keep in mind that most of the marine life lives in areas that don’t have any strong currents or undertows.
One of the most incredible coral atolls in the world, from the air – Fakarava resembles a giant donut sprinkled with the sweetest of candy. So pristine are its waters that Fakarava is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, a title that draws thousands of scuba divers to its thin shores every year. But this is hardly a stressful place and you don’t need to be a scuba diver to have an excuse to visit. With beautiful white and pink sand beaches where you might spot Robinson Crusoe preparing lunch – Fakarava is a great place to relax and forget about life. Its small local population will be happy to show you around, and if you just happen to visit on a Sunday – don’t miss out on a visit to the local church!
So with all this tropical inspiration – what do you think of the top 10 tropical islands in the South Pacific? Do you have your own secret islands to share? Just remember: touching down on a South Pacific island is a fantasy that lives in the hearts and minds of so many island lovers around the world. Only you can turn your fantasies into realities! Anything is possible, and if you need any help in planning – just let me know!
I awoke at six when the babies in nearby tents did, and then again, at seven, when the heat became too much to bear. Exhausted and frazzled, I walked to breakfast. At the next table, a trio of kids excitedly debated where to start their day. It was nice to see how happy T.I. made them. But for me, sitting in the “open air” plaza beneath a completely sealed dome felt like waiting out a significant delay at the airport. Polishing off some bacon, I realized I actually wasn’t beholden to air traffic controllers or freak storms. I could spend the twenty-four hours I’d planned to, but I could also leave. With a spring in my step, I took the long way back to my tent, pausing for one last look at the sea. I felt happier than I had the entire stay. I could have gotten one of the most coveted beach chairs under a palm tree in the sand. Instead, I settled the bill I’d racked up on my faceless money watch and breezed through the turnstile.
I’d say Puerto Vallarta is a better place to retire than Oaxaca because there is much larger retiree community there, easier airport access and better hospitals. I don’t really like the Caribbean coast that much because it’s too flat for my tastes. In terms of safety and retirement communities, probably check out Phuket in Thailand, San Miguel de Allende in Mexico or the mountain and beach towns around Panama City.
9:00am, 12:30pm, 5:00pm low 3 hrs Beverages
For most parts of the Middle East, bikinis are either banned or is highly controversial. In 1966, In 1973, when Lebanese magazine Ash-Shabaka printed a bikini-clad woman on the cover they had to make a second version with only the face of the model. In 2011, Huda Naccache (Miss Earth 2011), when she posed for the cover of Lilac (based in Israel) became the first bikini-clad Arab model on the cover of an Arabic magazine.
The best snorkel reefs start shallow, and few are shallower than Glovers Reef Atoll. At low tide, coral heads pop from the sea, visible to beachgoers at the private-island Off the Wall Dive Center and Resort. Don a mask and jump in to witness the rainbow of reds, yellows and purples of the hard and soft corals, and thriving marine life. You don’t need to cover much ground to encounter diversity. Here, the best tactic is to hover above a patch of reef and check out the hundreds of species, from blenny fish, each only 3 inches long, to toadfish, a pancake-flat, whiskered bottom-dweller that betrays its hiding spots when emitting a loud croak.
Go ahead and suit yourself up for the summer of a lifetime. At Hollister, we’ve got all the hottest swimwear looks for summer. Seriously, from bikinis to monokinis, we have a swimsuit for every girl. From strappy off-the-shoulder swim tops to lace trim triangle tops, you’re hardest decision will be which suit to pick. So, go ahead, and snag a couple of pairs. That way you can mix and match depending on where ever the day or night takes you. Whether it’s a day spent splashing in the waves or a late night beach bonfire, you’ll be ready.