Mu Ko Similan National Park

The beautiful sea creatures of the Mu Ko Similan National Park. A total of 9 islands famous for its dive sites. The sea in the area has an average depth of 60 feet. Underwater it is full of rock formations and coral reefs in several shapes and forms, resembling such things as deer, leaves, brains, and mushrooms. It has typically two different kinds of diving. East side diving consists of gently sloping coral reefs with sandy patches with the occasional boulder in-between. The west side is known for its huge underwater granite boulders with numerous swim-throughs.

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We spent 5 days (15 dives total) live aboard on the Thai-Scubanet dive boat led by the Scuba Jam dive shop in Thailand.  From Bangkok, we flew into Phuket and took a shuttle caravan to the marine dock to board our live aboard boat.  While this is my 2nd time diving in the Similian Islands, it’s always different.  Conditions were nice for this time of the year. Visibility even on a bad day is always ALOT BETTER than Southern California.  Definitely sadden when we had to leave the Similian Islands.

Crossing the Channel Islands – Anacapa

A dive trip to the Anacapa Island this past weekend with friends (Sara, Goy, Non, Ning) to say farewell to our good  friend, Tawin Yavapolkul, who will soon return back to Thailand. I have to say of the times I’ve been to the Channel Islands, this trip was the best diving conditions I’ve seen. At least 100ft visibility, 68 degrees, and minimal currents. Overall 3 dives (1 at the Goldfish Bowl, and 2 at the Cathedral Cove) with the best dive being the last when playful seals gave us a show of a lifetime.

Anacapa-0013The island’s name was derived from its Chumash Native American Indian name Anypakh. Seeming to change shape in the summer fog or afternoon heat, the three islets of Anacapa look like an island of deception or a mirage.

Curious seal swiming towards us.
Curious seal swiming towards us.

The rocky shores of Anacapa are perfect resting and breeding areas for California sea lions and harbor seals. The raucous barking of sea lions can be heard from most areas of the island. Two overlooks (Cathedral Cove and Pinniped Point) provide excellent spots to look down on seals and sea lions in the island coves.  Anacapa’s rich kelp forests (ideal for kayaking, snorkeling, and diving) and tidepool areas provide visitors with the opportunity to meet some of the resident ocean animals up close.

Horseshoe Bend – Arizona

Horseshoe Bend: a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near the town of Page, Arizona, in the United States.  It is located 5 miles (8.0 km) downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, about 4 miles (6.4 km) southwest of Page.  Just a few miles away from Horseshoe Bend is also  the famous Antelope slot canyon

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It is accessible via a 1.1-mile (1.8 km) hike from U.S. Route 89, but an access road also reaches the geological structure, as it is part of a state park. The Horseshoe Bend can be viewed from the steep cliff above.

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The overlook is 4,200 feet (1,300 m) above sea level and the Colorado River is at 3,200 feet (980 m) above sea level, making it a 1,000-foot (300 m) drop.

Antelope Canyon – A Photographer’s Dream

A road trip to the Antelope Canyons with a few friends.  For many years, I’ve wanted to visit this place, but never headed that direction. Fortunately, a few friends were going so I tagged along on their weekend road trip getaway towards Arizona.

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Upper Antelop Canyon (Coordinates 36°51′43″N 111°22′27″W)

Antelope Canyon is a popular location for photographers and sightseers.  It is a slot canyon in the American Southwest located on Navajo land near Page, Arizona. It includes two separate, photogenic slot canyon sections, referred to individually as Upper Antelope Canyon or The Crack; and Lower Antelope Canyon or The Corkscrew.

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Antelope Canyon is visited exclusively through guided tours, in part because rains during monsoon season can quickly flood the canyon. Rain does not have to fall on or near the Antelope Canyon slots for flash floods to whip through, as rain falling dozens of miles away ‘upstream’ of the canyons can funnel into them with little prior notice.

Anything of the Great Outdoors

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