If you’ve ever had Barbados on your bucket list, next month might be a great time to go.

The island nation will be holding its first dive festival July 5th to 9th.

From novice to advance divers, there’s something for everyone at Dive Fest Barbados or you can simply spectate 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 advance divers, water awareness programs, beach clean-ups, conservation tips and of course plenty of scuba dives all over the island, including the East Coast. The festival promises to be an enriching experience not only highlighting some of the island’s dive sites but also bringing attention to Barbados’ extensive marine eco-system and why it needs protecting.

Cheryl Carter, UK Director Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., says:

“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 snorkeling 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.”

Dive Fest Barbados Will Take Place In July 2017
Dive Fest Barbados Will Take Place In July 2017

The festival will kick off on Wednesday July 5th with “Celebrate the Bay” in conjunction with Project AWARE’s “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 Thursday July 6th, “Snorkel Day” offers snorkel demonstrations by the shore, where snorkelers can 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 demos and breath holding techniques at the Aquatic Centre.

On Friday July 7th, “Conservation Day” will give visitors the opportunity to mingle with marine scientists, shark conservationists and local dive instructors. These experts will be 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.”

Saturday July 8th will feature a Lionfish Hunt with prizes for teams of advanced divers on the North and East Coast called “Dive On The Wild Side.” 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 July 9th, closing activities feature an awards ceremony offering 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 visitors leave the island with a real taste for Barbadian spirit and culture.

For more info, go to divefestbarbados.com.

John Liang

John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

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