Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc. (BTMI) is pleased to announce Dive Fest, a festival dedicated to celebrating the underwater world of Barbados, featuring incredible experiences from scuba diving, underwater photography, lionfish hunting, a boat race for rafts made entirely from recycled materials, an underwater photography contest and an Ocean Awareness Program for kids. Whatever the level of participants in the festival, The BTMI’s objective is to not only encourage people to explore, and enjoy the fascinating underwater world, but also to come away with a greater appreciation for, and a desire to conserve it. This festival is designed to have something for all levels of experience, whether first time divers or those who are more advanced, and are looking to take their love for life beneath the waves to a whole new level.
“As an island nation, the ocean is the lifeblood of Barbados. It has played a vital role in our history, helped to shape our culture, and to this day defines our everyday lives. Dive Fest celebrates that connection, and seeks to inspire generations to love, and take care of this natural phenomenon. The festival offers both visitors and locals alike the chance to get involved in appreciating the world beneath the waves, and to learn how we can all play a part in preserving it for the future.” said Cheryl Carter UK Director of Barbados Tourism Marketing.
The festival kicks off on Tuesday 3 July in Copacabana Beach Club Barbados, with a conservation film screened during the Opening Ceremonies. Wednesday 4 July will include reef and wreck diving in the azure waters of Barbado, a combination of underwater and beach clean ups is then hosted by the PADI Project Aware conservation movement ‘Dive Against Debris’. There are free scuba and freediving trials and demonstrations available on Thursday 5 July for beginners, followed by an exhilarating night dive scheduled that evening, with a myriad of colourful marine life to discover. Divers can then suit up Friday 6 July, and participate in the hunting of lionfish – an adventurous spin on conservation against the invasive species. Other activities include helping the island’s efforts to build its coral nurseries, or joining the Barbados Sea Turtle Project in tagging our local sea turtles. On Saturday 7 July, divers will head to the rugged shores of the East Coast to dive out of Consett Bay. There will also be a clean-up of the east coast beach, and an opportunity to learn more about the lionfish, especially its potential as a highly sustainable seafood option.
The last day of the festival will feature a Recycled Boat Race where participants will race their hand-crafted creations (without the use of any store-bought items) across a section of Carlisle Bay ending with an awards ceremony at Copacabana Beach Club the afternoon of Sunday 8 July.