Travel Theme : Gardens

JamaicaGrab your snorkel dear readers. To meet Ailsa’s travel theme challenge this week we are headed to find GARDENS, an octopus’s garden that is. You didn’t think we would leave Jamaica without taking you for a plunge did you?

JamaicaNow since I have significant motion sickness, any boat travel or the bobbing of ocean waves while snorkeling leaves me in the position to be ‘feeding the fish’ if you are getting my drift.

Jamaica

So the trick is to take enough anti-nausea medication to do more than just hang off the side of the boat while not taking so much as to fall asleep and snore into my snorkel.

Jamaica

After the horse riding fiasco, Hubby was delighted with this activity and so we were off in search of photos to share with you.

Jamaica

Jamaica

JamaicaBelow a photo of the happy gardeners.

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A special thanks to Greg Urbano who is a photographer in Florida. Greg has a great blog where he often shares excellent tips. He has a special interest in HDR ( High Dynamic Range). These underwater shots are my first attempt. Be gentle with me all of you superstar photographers out there.

Greg offered to send followers of his blog a postcard with one of his HDR images. Then we were to take a photo of it in our home town. Who can resist a modern day message in a bottle game? So this one is for you Greg. Welcome to Calgary!

Calgary

Have you tried snorkeling? Any challenges with motion sickness? I would welcome any tips on managing the issue.

103 thoughts on “Travel Theme : Gardens

  1. We have been snorkeling a few times when visiting islands. It is so peaceful to float around & catch a glimpse of the world that exists under the surface. When we were in Antigua, my husband thought he had been bit by a shark, turns out he got stung by fire coral. Poor guy, we made such fun of him!

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    • Lynn I snorted out my coffee laughing at the shark bite. Poor guy. I understand that coral can be really painful. I agree that underwater such a peaceful world exists. Well save for the biting :)
      Did you enjoy Antigua? Would you recommend a trip there?

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      • Yes, we actually felt bad for him as well only because we thought he was just being a big paranoid baby! We were travelling with another couple & my husband is quite tall so he had put his legs down so that his fins could touch the bottom while the rest of us were using him as a buoy so to speak:) He has a fear of sharks and all of a sudden he let out a yelp & was yelling, something bit me, something bit me!!! We were all laughing at him trying to convince him that sharks would not be swimming in the lagoon. Picture a 6’4″ man trying desperately to raise his leg out of the water for the rest of us to have a look at. When we got back to the catamaran, our guide took a look at it and asked him, “did it feel someone put a torch on your leg”? To which he responded…YES!!!! Yup, you were stung by fire coral. We gave him a beer!

        Antigua is a lovely island. Beautiful white, sandy beaches & very safe.

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        • Lynn I think you should do a post on that experience. Oh my goodness as you describe it I am chuckling away. I think your readers would love it! Not sure if your husband would be quite as enthused but perhaps you could offer up another beer. Tell him its all in the name of good blog material. :)
          Glad to hear Antigua is everything I dream it to be.

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  2. During our airline days we would go to St. Thomas every winter for some snorkeling and winter warmth (we lived in Chicago). We kept any sailing to a minimum due to my motion sickness. Can you imagine a Flight Attendant with motion sickness? That in itself is another story LOL. My trick is avoidance because I hate the way all the motion sick meds make me feel. Kudos to you for going and the photos are beautiful. I found that last photo to be rather creative and the first one has me longing to sit on that swing :-)

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    • Ingrid being a flight attendant must have been such a challenge! When on flights I pack my own air sickness bag that’s how many times I’ve been faced with the ‘situation’. I love travel so have founds ways to work around the challenge but I can not imagine doing it daily for work. I agree the meds have their side effects so I try to make due with a quarter of the dose.
      Thank you for the kind words regarding the photos. That swing calls out to one doesn’t it? Ahhh Jamaica. :)

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  3. Great photos, Sue. Now you’ll have me singing that Beatles song for the rest of the evening. I have been snorkelling, but am not a swimmer, so even though I was wearing a life jacket, I almost drowned hubby by clinging onto him for dear life. :D Luckily for me, I never get seasick. My dad was a sailor, who also couldn’t swim. :D

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    • Sylvia you and me both with the Octopus’s Garden lyrics raging through our brains. Sorry about that :)
      I think you are a very good sport to go snorkeling if you are not a swimmer. There is something lacking in common sense to put a mask over your face and then breathe through a tube. Seems to go against basic survival instinct. At least no motion sickness for you.
      An interesting career choice for your Dad!

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      • Well, i wasn’t really a choice for my dad. He went to war on the submarines in the Royal Navy, when he was hardly out of school. He was only a sailor during the war; after that, the closest he ever went to the sea, was the beach when we were kids, and even then, he insisted on keeping his shoes and socks on. :D

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        • Oh that makes much more sense. I have this vision of him being very firm on the fact he would not get near the water again. Who could blame him? Thank you for sharing his story.

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    • Sreejith knowing what a talented photographer you are I am very humbled by your comment. I appreciate your words.
      My husband and I had great fun with Greg’s card and this shot was our favorite. The wind here caused a couple of panicked chases after the postcard. Now that would have been a good photo!

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  4. Great choice! We don’t always consider under the water as gardens, but it is colorful and beautiful! I like snorkelling :) These photos are gorgeous!

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  5. Lovely pictures! I get motion-sick, too, and I buy children’s chewable Gravol for myself. One is usually enough to take the edge off, and if I need two, it’s still less than the full adult dose. Plus it acts really fast and I can chew up a tablet any time without needing a glass of water to wash it down.

    Too bad they didn’t have them when I was a kid. My only memory of family trips is a close-up image of the interior handle of the car door. It was the only thing I could see from my stoned-to-the-eyeballs slump in the back seat…

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    • Diane that is an excellent tip about the chewable children’s Gravol. I have been taking a quarter tablet of the adult dose but if you don’t have water handy it is a nasty taste.
      Sounds like your family would have always said “Our Diane is such a great car traveler. We never hear a peep from her.” :)

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  6. Smashing photos. Wow. Nice of you to do to so much trouble in spite of motion sickness. What a soldier! :-)
    I don’t like deep water but don’t know about motion sickness, and I don’t like heights. Otherwise, I’m good. 8-)

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  7. Kudos for taking such beautiful photos Sue despite your challenges. As for snorkelling no desire to jump in the ocean since the movie Jaws. The closest I have been to motion or sea sickness is sitting across the table from my wife as she eats her favourite snack, pickled herring!

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    • Allan I am with you on the pickled herring. That causes waves of nausea just at the thought! Very funny by the way.
      The photos are a combined effort. Dave did most of the snapping and I on the editing/processing. Thank you.
      I was wondering if your childhood rafting drama turned you off of the jumping in the ocean…as if the movie Jaws wasn’t enough.

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  8. Your underwater pictures are amazing!! Gilles & I are both licensed scuba divers but we’ve never taken photos and it’s such a shame because the underwater scenery is fantastic!! Please share your tricks!
    … and yes, I too have had my share of seasickness. Unfortunately I also have a gag reaction to salt water. Not fun.

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    • Joanne and you scuba dive with all of that going on? I have held off on that step as I worry about what would happen if I needed to ‘feed the fishes’ so far below the surface. How do you manage?
      As far as the photos we bought a Nikon waterproof/shockproof camera which is good to a depth of 18 meters. I am very new to editing photos so am currently using the tools available in Picasa. these photos I have used HDR, done some lightening and increasing contrast. Really I am just playing around however the effect even with just a little bit of trying the improvement is quite spectacular.

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      • I’ve recently tried my hand at photo editing as well. The results have not been spectacular. Yours are very good.

        The trick with seasickness is that it miraculously subsides when you get below the waves. Depending on how turbulent the water is, it could be only a couple of feet. Unfortunately it also means that as soon as you get close to the surface again, the stomach remembers and wants to roll.

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        • I think the photo editing takes some time and like anything one keeps learning. You were considering a new camera too weren’t you?
          Getting down farther where the water is still would be a welcome relief. Well maybe one day I will give it a try. Never say never :)

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  9. I think your photos are beautiful. I attempted a few photos through the glass of the glass-bottomed boat off Key West while himself did his best to stave off seasickness up on deck. All in all, an unsuccessful trip not to be repeated!

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    • Oh dear that does not sound the least bit pleasant. I manage to bob along floating in and out of coma…but not feeding the fish. Thank you for the kind words about the photos. I appreciate that very much.

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  10. Were those the same swings at the excursion site? When we were there the tide wasn’t quite that high. That’s amazing! Loving the last photo! I must say, my other half and I must be land creatures because snorkeling did not turn out so well :P haha

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    • Robyn I thought I best leave your snorkeling story out of the post. How much fish feeding can one discuss after ll? :)
      Yes the swings are at the excursion site. The horses swam about a hundred meters behind there.
      The Calgary photo is fun isn’t it. You should have seen us tearing after the postcard when the wind would grab it. Now that was funny.

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  11. Sue,your photos bring back vivid memories of my very first snorkelling experience at Heron Island on the Australian Barrier Reef. My friend and I got badly sunburned on our backside as we floated for hours absorbing the beauty of the undersea world…that whole adventure rather spoiled me for subsequent expeditions in Fiji and Mexico. My snorkel equipment has long since been stashed away but I haven’t forgotten the thrills!

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    • I would love to snorkel the Great Barrier Reef one day. The idea that so effortlessly one could see so many species makes me want to move up Australia on the ‘Where to Travel Next’ list. I will have to remember your story and take extra sunscreen.
      Wonderful memories. Thanks so much for sharing them!

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    • Thanks so much Kirt. I will hope your photographer eye is not just being kind :) Either way I appreciate the comment. No motion sickness? Hopefully that means you get to enjoy the water often.

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  12. Lynn’s fire coral story reminds me of my run in with a cholla cactus in Tucson, AZ. “Come on. It’s just a plant, right?”

    The cholla cactus’ nickname is the “teddy bear cactus” but I’m not sure if that’s because of it’s round, fuzzy appendages or because if it hugs you, it never wants to let go! I was hiking in the desert and lightly brushed against it. I didn’t even notice making contact at first! It has such fine needles that they pierce the skin like acupuncture… except they also have barbs on them! Thank your lucky stars your acupuncturist doesn’t use barbed needles.

    The appendages of cholla cactus break off extremely easily too. That means that even light contact with the cholla cactus will embed a bunch of razor sharp needles in your skin and, like a bunch of Somali pirates boarding a shipping vessel, will pull a chunk of the cactus off the main plant thereby embedding a whole bunch more barbed needles in your flesh. Why? Because it’s a jerk, that’s why.

    Your first instinct is to try try and pull it out which means you get to stab your sensitive fingertips. So you wrap your fingers in a towel or shirt so that you can discover that the needles are so fine that they would laugh in the face of even a 5000 thread count. Summoning your inner MacGyver, you use the arms of your sunglasses to try and pry the damn thing off your leg while the barbs pull your skin into peaks like circus tents. A few will break loose in your leg but, thanks to the needles that haven’t let go, like the Flying Wallendas the chunk of cactus will swing back toward your leg and embed itself anew a little lower down.

    This guy had a similar experience but was better equipped: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vmhkl27I4pw

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    • Rob after reading your story and then watching the video I think I may want to take my chances with the shark! I had no idea such a cactus existed. The crazy thing is that it looks like it would be soft. Clearly a ploy to draw unsuspecting prey closer.
      Having recently watched the movie Captain Philips, your description of the cactus acting like a bunch of Somali pirates boarding a vessel created quite the vision. Well written!
      So how did it all play out? With your MacGyver like skills were you able to remove all of them or were you a causality in the ER department.?

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  13. Great photos :) looks beautiful. I don’t get motion sickness but I hear that ginger is good for it. I’ve been snorkelling a few times on the Great Barrier Reef. Snorkelling off Fitzroy Island is magic (that’s just off Cairns in north Queensland) and we also went out to a remote coral cay called Sudbury Cay – only four of us off a gorgeous catamaran. Talk about a magic kind of almost once in a life time kind of day! I love how time completely stops still and snorkelling gives an opportunity for time-out in a very complete way.

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    • Oh the second comment about the wonders of snorkeling off Australia! It sounds so amazing. I agree that when snorkeling there is a sense of peacefulness and time standing still. Truly a whole other world. You are definitely making a trip to Australia/Tasmania look more and more enticing. I’ve almost forgotten about those snakes :)
      Thanks for the tip on ginger. I’ve never tried it but certainly couldn’t hurt to give it a go!

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  14. What a lovely interpretation of gardens, Sue. Amazed at what you’ve managed to capture. I don’t photo edit (pure laziness) other than the occasional crop but it’s a whole new art form now, isn’t it? Are you due home soon? Boo hoo!

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    • Jo it truly is a world unto itself. Fascinating and overwhelming all at the same time:) I am enjoying the learning at any rate. We are now back in Calgary after our fabulous holiday. I am going to tag along with Hubby on a business trip next week to Aberdeen and London. Have never been to the UK so it will be a quick trip but very much looking forward to it.

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  15. Love the underwater pictures. I’ve never done any snorkeling, but it would be a great way to see the ocean from a different perspective. The only problem I would have with that, is ALL that water surrounding me, not to mention, what might be lurking nearby.

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    • Donna Jean it sounds like you are not very fond of swimming. Snorkeling can be a bit disconcerting; such an unknown world down there. I find that the beauty of it all is so distracting that I just breathe easy and take it all in. I’m delighted that you enjoyed the photos.

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  16. Nice Nemo shots Sue. I’ve never been a snorkeling fan, but I’m glad to see that you and Dave, under the heading of “no Caribbean stone unturned”, went for it. BTW, do you have a waterproof cover or camera? I think I’d always be a bit nervous with my camera underwater. ~James

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  17. What great photos for the theme – reminds me of the lyrics to ‘octopuses garden’ by the Beatles! I’ve always wanted to try underwater shots but never had a specialized camera – must look into this good idea.

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    • Yes I’m afraid I’ve caused those Beatles lyrics to be stuck in several people’s heads :) We have had an underwater camera for about five years and find it very handy on adventures whether that be completely submerged or in the pouring rain. Thanks so much for the comment!

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    • Mike I appreciate this kind comment very much. Thank you sincerely. Swimming through those huge schools of fish was astounding. Sorry to hear that you are in the same sea sickness boat as I.

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  18. OK, I’m typing this again because I got an error message the first time, so just ignore if you actually got my first comment. I just love these photos and I shared them on Twitter. I’ve always wondered if ginger would help motion sickness because it helped when I was pregnant and felt queasy in the same way.

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    • Thank you so much for sharing them! I am humbled by the fact that you liked them so much. I have never tried ginger for nausea. Do you just eat a chunk of it? I didn’t get a duplicate message so must have been WordPress gremlins :)

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      • Actually, I would drink a “real” ginger ale that I found at one of these hippy food marts :) I would also drink it cold, between the cold and the ginger, it just helped with the queasiness. I’ve never really been able to eat just straight ginger as it tends to be a bit strong for my taste, although I do cook with it.

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        • Thanks for that. I’m not sure I have ever seen ‘real’ ginger ale. I agree that the taste of straight ginger would be very strong. Perhaps I will do a bit more research on possible ginger options. I think health food stores may sell a ginger extract for nausea.

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    • Thank you so much. Doesn’t that first shot make you just want to sit on the swing? Greg is a great guy and I wish him best of luck in his photography sales. Thank you for your visit and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated!

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  19. Pingback: Moon Garden | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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