Tobago is set to host the first ever dive festival, June 11-18, 2010
Tobago, sister island to the home of the world famous cultural explosion, Carnival, and a classic example of old-world Caribbean charm, will be taking the party beneath the sea this year with its first dive festival. Themed,Underwater Carnival, the event is designed to showcase the destination’s rich and diverse eco-system and the explosion of marine life that can be found off the island’s shores. Hosted by the Tobago House of Assembly Tourism Division (THA), the Association of Tobago Dive Operators and with the support of the Tourism Development Company (TDC), the week-long event is scheduled to take place from June 11-18, 2010.
“This is the first event of its kind on the island and we hope that dive enthusiasts and lovers of the sea will travel to Tobago to enjoy all the events we have scheduled,” said Warren Solomon, director of tourism for the THA. “Trinidad is known for its annual celebration of life, Carnival, and our goal is to put the spotlight on Tobago’s amazing undersea world and one-of-a-kind aquatic offerings.”
With the wide selection of scheduled activities, the festival will provide both experienced and amateur divers opportunities to fine-tune their skills while exploring the enchanting world beneath its aquamarine and cobalt blue waters. Key events include: an amateur underwater photography competition with cameras supplied by Sealife—a leading manufacturer of underwater cameras and accessories for marine photography; dive and photography seminars hosted in part by Dive Training, Scuba Diving and Sport Diver magazines; dive and snorkel gear demonstrations for both adults and kids with equipment supplied by Scubapro—a premier producer of scuba diving equipment; Discover Scuba for kids and the Rogest Kids Gallery, a two-day aquatic art workshop for children between the ages of six and eleven, hosted by renowned Canadian artist, Ron Steven.
During the festival, Sealife, a leading manufacturer of underwater cameras and accessories for aquatic photography, will provide marine shutter-bugs with free product samples to use on dives as well as tips on taking photos and techniques to review and edit images. In addition, Scubapro, a premier producer of scuba diving equipment and a proud member of the Johnson Outdoors Inc. family of companies, will provide festival participants with the opportunity to tryout snorkel and dive equipment throughout the weeklong event.
Tobago’s coast is a haven for tarpons, turtles, sharks and even the occasional manta ray due to the slow flow of the Guyana current that moves up the eastern coast of South America and washes the southern and eastern shores of Tobago. Divers and underwater photographers have the opportunity to see more than 400 species of fish and marine creatures in the island’s waters. In addition, the destination is home to the world’s largest recorded brain coral, spanning over 20 feet wide, off the coast of Speyside.
Registration for the Tobago Underwater Carnival is $75 USD and includes access to event seminars, discounts on select land-based tours and restaurants, free snorkeling equipment rental, free entry into the amateur underwater photography contest and dive package specials. For more information on hotel partners and schedule of activities, visit www.tobagounderwatercarnival.com.
Photos courtesy of Lorry Heverly