Posts filed under 'Travel'

A New Chapter Begins – AtlasOmega

“Woah!” you say, an actual blog entry from Calvin here? Yes, egads, it has been a long time. I have been a very busy bee, and here are the highlights:

I left Newsvine/MSNBC at the end of June 2010 to follow my dreams of diving around the world and shooting underwater photography along the way. In fact, despite my absence here on, I have been quite busy publishing (what I think is) fantastic content over at my new online abode, AtlasOmega, where I have teamed up with a number of professional outdoor athletes, photographers and fellow gearheads.

“AtlasOmega” is a name I decided upon, that encapsulates the group’s intention to explore and showcase the last known boundaries of our natural world. My motley crew of contributors and photographers include people who spend vast amounts of time in frozen places, on mountains, in the water and in all sorts of extreme environments. We aim to share tales of faraway places and fantastic adventures, so that we may inspire you to get off of your keyboard and out into the wild, whether it be a weekend hike or a monthlong mountain climb – AtlasOmega promotes an active and engaged lifestyle through photos and in-depth articles.

To get started, you’ll want to check out the beautiful photo galleries, divided into categories of Land and Water (to begin), as well as the captivating narratives and equipment guides from our collection of writers.

I haven’t yet decided what to do with this Blog, but for now I’ll keep it up for posterity’s sake. Please do me a favor and add AtlasOmega to your Google Reader or bookmarks, and follow my activities and antics over there. Thanks for reading 🙂

January 26th, 2011

Review: Amazon Kindle 2

kindle2I just got my Kindle 2 last night and here are my first impressions. Downloads are extremely fast. I bought a Malcolm Gladwell book, Outliers, from the Amazon web site. Within about a minute I looked down and my Kindle was telling me it was downloaded and ready to read. I also subscribed to a few magazine free trials, like Newsweek, The New Yorker, The Motley Fool, Asimov’s Science Fiction, and US News & World Report. All of them updated really quickly.

Continue Reading February 26th, 2009

Divers Threaten to Boycott Sabah Over Shark Finning

KOTA KINABALU: Sipadan conjures up an image of a serene, protected underwater world — one of the world’s top dive spots. But just a half-hour boat ride away off Pulau Mabul, the blood of magnificent sharks, crudely finned and gutted by the boatload stains the sea red. Shark finning has been going on here for several years, and the stark contrast between Sipadan and Mabul has caused an uproar in the international diving community, with some threatening to boycott Sabah entirely.

This is very sad. I did some fantastic diving off of Sipadan Island (dive report; photos), and I remember there being more sharks than anywhere else I’d ever been (non-coincidentally, also home the most sea turtles). High shark population density is a very good thing, indicating a healthy marine ecosystem (they’re apex predators and only exist where there is a sufficient food base). I’m sick of the negative way that the press continues to portray areas of the ocean as “shark-infested waters”, such as in movies about divers lost at sea on the Great Barrier Reef. No, we should not harvest shark fins, but we also need to stop thinking about sharks as nasty animals that seek out and prey on humans. That goes for you too, Discovery Channel.

February 23rd, 2009

Kauai Diving & The Andaman Shootout

I added a couple new galleries to my collection, but hadn’t yet posted about them here. Last year I had the pleasure of shooting some photos in the Andaman Sea off of the coast of Thailand. We were based out of Krabi – where we stayed at the beautiful Centara Resort. I did some dives out near the Phi Phi islands and the quality of subjects there surprised me. This was not just another fun trip to Thailand, I really did enjoy the diving there (previously, I held the view that the diving in Thailand was pretty mediocre compared to the surrounding waters). Anyway, check out the photos from those dives here

Last August I got a number of dives in off of the Hawaiian islands of Kauai and Ni’ihau. While the trip out to Ni’ihau was brutal (a few hours each way on a boat with the beating sun and no covering, with and clanging AL80s smashing together the whole way), it was well worth it to dive with monk seals, a species that is quickly going extinct. These seals were even more docile and just as curious as our harbor seals are here in Seattle. This was also my first outing with the new Subal ND-30/Nikon D300 rig I’m shooting now. Enjoy!

Hawaii Shots

January 14th, 2009

Diving Cabo San Lucas

fish-frenze.jpgIn the past I’ve written about the great diving on the Caribbean side of Mexico, the Mayan Riviera, Cenotes and Cozumel. Though the Pacific side of Mexico is generally thought to be much worse in terms of visibility and marine life, I found diving out of Cabo to be better than I expected. If you can get past the fact that you’re asked to buy a time share 4 times an hour in this town, you’ll likely also find some great fun to be had in CSL, including some pretty good boat diving. With steep walls that seem to go on forever, sand falls dropping perilously into underwater canyons and waters filled with hundreds of species of tropical reef fish and invertebrates – Cabo offers more than tequila and beaches.

Continue Reading May 26th, 2007

American Idol Uses My Bush Baby

big eyes4s.jpgLast night on American Idol, the nation’s most watched show on television, a contestant was brought on stage and apologized to by Simon Cowell. During his audition, the contestant was likened to an animal called a ‘bush baby’ (a nickname for a Tarsier Monkey). It was later found out that he was extremely offended by the comparison and has a mild form of autism. In what turned out to be somewhat of a PR nightmare for Cowell, and a media circus about his typical treatment of contestants, American Idol had to do some damage control so they brought the contestant back and donated $1500 toward the care of a bush baby at the Milwaukee County Zoo in his honor. Why the heck am I writing about this?

Continue Reading May 24th, 2007

Cozumel Reef Conditions Update – 2007

coz-fish.jpgBased on feedback from my last Cozumel update, I figured it was about time to post an update about one of my favorite dive destinations. Around the same time, my friends down at Deep Blue sent me an email giving me the local scoop on the current state of recovery after Hurricane Wilma, as well as a heads up about their new Cozumel Dive Guide. I’ve also borrowed from a few divers from my local dive club who have recently traveled to Cozumel and offered their accounts of the diving down there. Cozumel still has plenty to offer, even if the effects of Wilma aren’t completely gone yet.

Continue Reading March 6th, 2007

Travel Guidebook Review: Diving The World

Picking a travel guidebook is like putting yourself into the hands of a complete stranger. It can make the difference between being on an idyllic getaway on the white shores of turquoise waters, or landing yourself in harm’s way. In this sense, the travel guide you choose is one of the most important choices you can make, even though you make this decision long before you head off the airport runway.

For divers, the options are quite slim for all but the most popular (and overrun tourist) destinations. Up until now, I’ve been able to find regional dive travel guidebooks with good coverage. But, drawing conclusions on a comparative basis between the available books is a shot in the dark, at best. When either trying to put together an itenerary that stretches across different seas, most divers have to turn to a travel agent or someone who has been to those places. Beth and Shaun Tierney recently provided a third option, their new book – Diving the World.

Continue Reading August 7th, 2006

Mayan Riviera – Diving Cozumel & Cenotes

I’ve been seriously slacking lately on the photo gallery, but my recent post on Cozumel prompted me to get off my duff and upload my photos from Mexico. This album is made up of photos mostly from Cozumel, but a few from diving the cenotes on the Yucatan peninsula. Cozumel is a small island off the Eastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula. It is located opposite Playa Del Carmen on the mainland, a vibrant town full of party life and home to white sand beaches. Cozumel has long held the reputation of a diver’s paradise. Nearly every street in the small town of San Miguel has at least one dive shop on it. There are many dive operators there, ranging from those who run cattle boats to those specializing in taking experienced divers out for some challenging dives. The best thing about diving off of Cozumel are the strong currents.

Continue Reading December 26th, 2005

Beautiful Cozumel – Current Conditions

cozumel_shore.jpgCozumel is probably the top place in my mind for tropical diving anywhere close to home. This year the island got slammed by a coupla hurricanes. I was glad that I’d been there several times before the storm came through and got to see the stunning reefs and swim-throughs there. I’ve been slacking big time on writing up my Cozumel trip reports and uploading my galleries from there, due to my present commitments to Newsvine. I was finally prompted to write this short post on Cozumel by an email I received from my friends down at Deep Blue, the dive operator I did my PADI Rescue Diver with.

Continue Reading December 20th, 2005

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