Tuesday, July 28, 2009

A water world vacation

Of course my favorite type of vacation has to have water but I have got to think about the rest of the family too. So what better place to go on vacation that has lots of water than Walt Disney World in Florida. Of course Disney World is not just one big theme park but is made up of 6 very different theme parks. Each one of them has one central theme. The Epcot park is devoted more to exploration, science and discovery than rides and has dolphins too!

The dolphins in depth tour at Epcot is a 3 hour tour that will get you up close and personal with a school of dolphins. You will have a dolphin trainer as your guide and they take you behind the scenes. You will have the opportunity to swim with the dolphins near the end of the tour so you will need to bring your bathing suit. There is an age limit, you have to be over 13 years old. Of course the cost is $175 per person so it is not for everyone.

Another opportunity to go scuba diving at the Epcot center is Epcot's DiveQuest. This special tour is for Disney World guests that are scuba certified only. Of the 3 hour tour only 40 minutes is spent in the water. DiveQuest also costs $175 per person.

You are probably getting the idea that the admission price to the parks don't include tours and some rides and you would be right. The behind the scenes tour of Epcot which includes the underground areas and takes 7 hours costs $219 per person and is for 16 year olds and up. Of course you could hire your own Disney VIP tour guide and pay them $175 to $315 an hour for that perfect vacation.

Considering the costs of all the extras that Epcot charges for you will want to get discount tickets to Disney World. You can some real deals for Disney World Tickets at orlandofuntickets.com so you will want to check them out before you buy any tickets.

A water vacation should be fun and not leave you like you just sold your soul just to enjoy yourself.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Combining vacations

While I was busy organizing my photos of the coast the other day my husband asked me if we could combine our hobby interests and go on a golf holiday. I cringed at the idea of golf, since I am not a fan of the sport. The only time I even bothered to watch it on TV was when hubby mentioned the whales playing next to the golf course on a tournament in Hawaii. The blimp taking video of the golf tournament would keep showing these 3 whales just off shore.

To appease him I said I would think about it but only if the course was next to the ocean. To my surprise he said he was thinking about Pebble Beach and the golf courses in that area. I know that the Monterey Bay Aquarium is close and so are several research study areas. I told him to look into it and I would think about it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Aquarium fish

Salt water aquarium fish can be tricky to care for but are a very satisfying pet once you have mastered their care. I prefer saltwater fish that have been tank bred rather than caught in the wild, for obvious reasons. You will need to check with the saltwater fish store that you purchase your fish from to find out where the fish came from. Stay away from a store that doesn't know or won't give you a straight answer.

Certain marine animals like live coral, sea urchins and non-vertebrates are also kept along with fish in the same tank but you should do your homework first about how compatible they are with each other. You would not keep sea anemones with seahorses unless you want to have dead seahorses. Some corals also sting so you need to know what species you have in your tank along with what part of the world they are native to so you don't put the wrong fish in the tank with them.

Before setting up a tank you should not mix different fish from different parts of the world. The salinity requirements are different according to which ocean they came from. They should also be compatible with each other. Passive fish can be kept together and aggressive fish kept on their own or in an extremely large tank with other fish and kept well fed so they don't eat your other fish.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Walking in the dunes

Sand dunes are a wonderful feature found at many west coast beaches. Walking those dunes I have seen many kinds of wildlife as well as domesticated animals that have gone feral. Cats and rats are a common sight along with the native shore birds. I can tell you one thing about walking the dunes - it is better for your body than the best weight loss supplements on the market. You legs, lungs and heart will get a workout of your life. Remember to take plenty of fresh drinking water with you when you are walking on the dunes.

My dream vacation

I have been on a few long ocean cruises and for someone who loves the sea so much I am sad to say that I get seasick. Yep, that's me, puking up my guts on board a ship even if it is in dock. Small vessels I have better luck with and row boats don't affect me at all. Even white water rafting has no ill affect. It is those large ships with the steady rolling action over time that makes me sick.

My dream vacation does involve the sea but not traveling by ship to get there. My vacation would involve the South Pacific islands of Fiji and Pango Pango (American Samoa). I have visited Pango Pango many years ago and would love to go back. I ended up visiting there because of one of those weird travel deals. At the time it was cheaper to fly from Hawaii to Pango Pango then on to Auckland, NZ rather than straight from Hawaii to Auckland.

The stop over in Pango Pango was about 15 hours but it gave me time to tour part of the island and see the clear waters that surrounded it. I have never been to Fiji and have friends that lived there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Safety around the water

Here in the Northwest USA we have very cold rivers. When ever it gets hot people flock to local rivers and streams to cool off. What they should do is visit the local lakes since they are warmer than the fast moving, cold streams and rivers.

Oregon has laws about swimming in the rivers. You cannot be in a river without a life vest. Even if you have a flotation device such as an inner tube you still have to wear a life vest. That law covers people that are in boats as well as people visiting the river and swimming in it from shore.

Almost every few days there is a report of someone drowning in a local river in Oregon. Most of the time the body is not found until a few days later. The swift under current that the local rivers have is deadly. There are lots of tree limbs and logs under the water which also makes swimming a hobby left for swimming pools and lakes. So before you venture into the water, forget about looking for affordable life insurance quotes and get a life vest. A good vest is well worth the investment (no pun intended).

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A spectacular view

Some of the views that overlook the Oregon coast are fantastic. While visiting a friends home that overlooks the beach I just had to throw open the vinyl shutters she had closed on one window to enjoy the morning mist.

If I lived that close to the beach I would not have any shades, blinds or curtains on any of my windows that faced the ocean. I would always what to look out and see the waves, gulls and water all the time.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Whale watching

There is a favorite spot of mine on the central Oregon coast that is not only a great place to eat but looks out right over the Pacific Ocean. I was there last week in Newport during the lowest tides for the year. Since it is not whale migration time I did not bring my binoculars.

It was unfortunate that I did not bring my binoculars during this last trip because while I was at my favorite eating spot over looking the ocean during lunch, a group of people were pointing out something in the water. It looked like seals feeding just beyond the surf but the people kept saying whales which I knew was not likely because of the time of year.

I wish I had my binoculars with me and I would have been able to correctly identify the creatures in the water. I had been looking at getting a newer and more powerful pair of binoculars for my trips to the coast. I heard that Nikon makes a pair of Green Binoculars that has lead free glass. Since I am becoming more of "green buyer" I might look into them.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Fat and happy

In the ocean the fish and mammals depend on their body size to survive. If they are too small for their species then they don't often live long enough to reproduce. Whales, for example, need extra blubber to survive the far northern or southern cold oceans. Their weight loss supplements are in the form of brine shrimp or large schools of small fish. Only the Killer Whales will feast on the larger prey animals like seals, dolphins, tuna and sharks.

It is not only sea mammals that need to have extra body mass but fish do too. A thin under weight fish usually has a health problem going on and lack of energy to escape from larger fish hunting it.