Saturday, February 09, 2008

See what the fish do when they think no one is watching...

I have always thought one of the coolest things ever would be to ride in a tiny submarine, exploring undersea reefs and wildlife. Yes, I could scubadive instead (if I ever get around to getting certified!), but I prefer the idea of being surrounded by metal and glass. The reason for this likely has something to do with too many viewings of Jaws, not to mention the fact that scuba just doesn't seem as glamorous now that they've done away with the glass head globes of yesteryear. :)

Now that you know this, imagine my delight after coming across articles recently about the 2 tour companies below. While each offers a different experience, I think either would be amazing.

In Honduras, a 30-something American man named Karl Stanley has built a small submarine, just large enough to hold a captain (himself) and 2 passengers. Expeditions range from 1 1/2 hours to 8 hours, going down as deep as 2000 feet. Both day and night trips are available. It's not super-inexpensive (prices start at $600 for 2), but would absolutely be worth the money for such an amazing and unusual experience. Karl and his Roatan Institute of Deepsea Exploration are currently one of only 2 operators in the world offering trips like this. The other can be found here: (click on DeepSee). My husband and I are considering a trip to Honduras later this year, and we will definitely be booking a trip with Karl the moment we have our plane tickets!

For more information:

In the Bahamas, a company has come up with an idea that also lets you explore undersea without the hassle of getting PADI certified or dealing with a snorkel and foggy mask. Like those celebrity "What would their child look like?" mashups on Conan O'Brien, these so-called underwater motocycles are how I would picture the spawn of a jetski, scuba diver, and submarine. At just $110 per person per trip, this excursion is more wallet friendly than many other undersea options, and looks as though it would be a good bet for those who want to look for Nemo but are not quite ready to commit to a true sub ride.

For more information:


I recently came across this site, which allows you to keep track of every flight you've taken since the beginning of time (literally--I was amused to note that the date option box scrolled back to at least the 30th century B.C.!). If you want to keep it simple, you can just put in the airport codes for each flight. For more detail, it also offers options to input your travel dates, flight times, flight number, airline, seat number and type (aisle, middle, window), class of service, and reason for the flight (personal, business, or virtual/simulator). If you are really ambitious, there are even sections to fill in for type of airplane, airplane name and registration number, and comments. Registration and basic use (includes all the features I mention here plus a few more) is free, and all it takes to get started is a user name and password. My only real complaint is that there's no way to put in round trip flights together--instead you have to go through the process for each leg.

Once you have filled in your flight data, clicking on the "statistics" tab will give you tons of info about your flights, organized into various sections such as flight distances, amount of time spent flying, number of flights (broken down into domestic, transcontinental, etc.), longest and shortest flights, top ten airports and routes, and so forth. You can view this data all together, or break it down by year. My favorite feature is the map that shows each route you've taken.

I just stuck with the airport codes and dates, but must admit, I still spent way more time than I probably should have filling in data for all my flights since February 2004. What can I say, I'm a total nerd when it comes to statistics, especially those that in any way relate to my travels!

A few of my stats (Feb. 04-Feb '08)
Flights taken: 84
Miles flown: 115, 417 (equivalent to circumnavigating the globe 4.63 times!)
Longest flight: Atlanta, GA (ATL) to Athens, Greece (ATH) 5,694 miles / 10hr 41min
Shortest flight: Tahiti, FP (PPT) to Moorea, FP (MOZ) 15 miles / 32 min
Total airports: 31
Total routes: 62
Total countries: 11

Ok, so I know these are not the most impressive numbers in the world, but I'm working hard on getting them up as quickly as possible!

My full FM profile:


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