Take the Plunge at Dive Fest Barbados
The Caribbean island of Barbados is hosting its first ever Dive Festival between 5 and 9 July this year.
Barbados Dive Fest 2017 will give divers of all experience levels a chance to explore the wonderful aquatic life around Barbados, or simply enjoy the spectacle while soaking up some sun on the beach.
There’s a fully packed schedule with an array of activities to choose from; freediving demonstrations by experts Alex Davis and Johanna Loch-Allen, lionfish hunting for advanced divers, water awareness programs, beach clean-ups, conservation tips and of course plenty of scuba dives all over the island, including the exhilarating East Coast. The festival promises to be an enriching experience not only highlighting some of the island’s world-class dive sites but also bringing attention to Barbados’ extensive marine eco-system and why it needs protecting.
'We are delighted to introduce Dive Fest Barbados to our island for the first time. This fantastic event gives both locals and visitors an insight into all aspects of oceanic life on our island, from amazing dive sites to conservation. The festival is accessible to everyone and encourages those who have never tried snorkelling or diving to come and participate. Barbados has such a wealth of marine life and a lot of it visible in shallow water, it’s the perfect place to try it out. Dive Fest Barbados is one of the new events we have introduced on the island for Year of Sport 2017 and one that we hope will be a recurring event,' said Cheryl Carter, UK Director of Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
The festival kicks off with Celebrate the Bay in conjunction with Project AWARE ‘Dive Against Debris’ campaign in Barbados’ largest Marine Protected Area. This initiative encourages locals and visitors alike to fight back against the overwhelming amount of debris entering our oceans and beaches by doing a clean up in specific areas around the island on Wednesday, 5 July.
‘Our ocean is under siege, more than 250 million tons of plastic are estimated to make its way into our ocean by 2025’ –Project AWARE
Snorkel Day on 6 July offers snorkel demonstrations by the shore, giving non-divers the opportunity discover a variety of beautiful marine life, including turtles and stingrays, in Barbados’ shallow waters. Later that day Barbados National record holders Alex Davis and Johanna Loch-Allen will give freediving demonstrations and discuss breath-holding techniques at the Aquatic Centre. For any advanced swimmers and divers this is a great opportunity to improve your skills and get your questions answered! These wonderful activities act as a great introduction to beginners or equally, can be the perfect refresher course for those who haven't taken the plunge for some time.
Conservation Day on Friday, 7 July gives visitors the opportunity to mingle with marine scientists, shark conservationists & local dive instructors. These experts are on hand to give advice on how to protect marine animals, fellow divers, swimmers and beach goers. The conservation work will take place from 4pm – 6pm followed by the screening of the inspirational film ‘A Plastic Ocean’.
For thrill seekers and advanced divers a Lionfish Hunt – a conservation drive to remove the invasive predator from Caribbean reefs – will take place on the North and East Coast on Saturday 8 July called 'Dive On The Wild Side'. Divers will be invited to join their favourite dive centre, and the team that captures the biggest fish wins a prize. To finish the day’s hunt, lionfish tasting and samples will be served at the Bay Tavern on Martin’s Bay.
As the festival draws to an end on Sunday 9 July, 'Closing Activities' features an awards ceremony, with awards for the most debris removed from the beach, best new swimmers and of course the biggest Lionfish caught. The finale will also include rum tasting to make sure you leave the island with a real taste for Barbadian spirit and culture.
Whether diving is in your blood or you've never dipped a toe into the ocean, Dive Festival Barbados will inspire you to explore the Barbadian seas. Offering a varied range of activities for beginners who are looking to try something new or enthusiasts who are looking for their next challenge. Don't miss out on your chance to discover what lies beneath the beautiful Caribbean shores.