Florida, USA - A scubadelic pit-stop

While traveling Central-America we scheduled 10 days in Florida to attend the worlds biggest diving convention, DEMA Show. We met our colleagues from our diving center in Oslo and had an interesting week with exhibitions, seminars and networking. For us it was especially good having a proper hotel, some good steak, meet friends again and have some extra days to explore Florida.

DEMA Show is huge, many hundred brands, organisations and companies related to scuba diving attend with booths or seminars (probably 3-4 times bigger than Reiselivsmessen in Norway). We mostly went to seminars with PADI and some for scuba trips. At night we went out with industry colleagues from Scandinavia but we also met a lot of new people from around the world. Networking is a key factor in this industry, also for us who freelance as photo/videographers.

It's a lot of nice equipment out there and most of it you can see at DEMA. Melanie wants an underwater tripod for her camera and I want an underwater monitor. $$$

After a week at DEMA in Orlando at Orange County Convention Center (and a small trip to the IMAX 3D facilities to see Thor 2) we planned to travel Florida west and southbound. Our first activity was snorkeling with manatees in the Crystal River. We rented our own pontoon (see picture) and drove around beautiful waters where many holiday goers rent river-side houses. The pontoon is a brilliant creation, its sort of a floating jetty with an engine attached. Its filled with benches so we can tan, enjoy our lunch or dress for snorkeling. Whenever we heard a whale-breathing-sound we anchored up and dove in with this "little" guy.

Manatees are vegetarians and "vacuum" the river floor for grass. They are often referred to as sea cows. They can be up to 4 m and 600 kilo. 

Our floating jetty, the pontoon.

Crystal River lives up to its name, crystal clear!

What, Danish toothless divers here too? We meet this guy everywhere. #kingfish

Mysterious stories about "mermaids" in the ocean could be a misinterpretation of a manatee!

After Crystal River we slept in a roadside motel in Tampa Bay (west-coast). The next day we planned to tick an important checkbox of the bucketlist, skydiving! It was my first time and I'll tell you, this is some of the most exciting stuff I've ever done. The feeling of throwing yourself out of a plane is very hard to describe. It beats bungee jumping, paragliding AND acrobatic plane. We had 60 seconds freefall as a tandem jump, enough to train your trim, steering from side to side and accelerated flying (James Bond style). I pulled the cord myself at 6000 feet and learned how to steer and break. It is also important to land on the correct side of the wind. Thanks to my instructor TK (tent killer = once landed on a guys tent) I am now a promising student of skydiving. Only 19 jumps to go before I'm internationally licensed. Visiting Voss in Norway is tempting more than ever. It was Melanies second time to skydive and she is still eager to do the license.

One of the cheapest places in the world to freefall for 60 seconds.

My contribution to Movember! #keywest

Key West beach

Checking out the local life and beer at Key West

This is the local life in the Keys

We stayed in a "party" hostel on Miami South Beach, much because it was cheap, included breakfast (frosties and milk) and was next to the beach. The beach is world famous for its "body builders" on the (outdoor) workout apperatuses. Dangerous place to leave Mélanie alone so I took her for a ride on my bicycle and we went eating at Five Guys, one of our favorite eating places in the US and A.

The last day in Florida we went just outside town of Miami into the marshlands of Everglades. We wanted to see wild crocodiles on an airboat. 

1 hour outside Miami you can find hundres of wild crocs.

This guy was about 2 meters long, hungry and curious. They are not very aggressive unless you fall in he water.

The Buffalo Tiger native Indian who was our guide showed us some of his ancestors homeland where raccoons were now living.

1 kommentar:

  1. Have you met Borat yet in the US & A? Daddy from the other side :)