The first print and online magazine focused exclusively on the Caribbean’s numerous dive and ecotourism attractions has been launched. Blue (Caribbean), with distribution in North America, UK and throughout the Caribbean, showcases the region’s most alluring dive destinations, blending culture and other activities related to nature or water, into a publication that captivates.
Blue is the vision of publisher and founder, Solomon Baksh, whose love affair with diving began more than twenty years ago. As a PADI Master Instructor and renowned underwater photographer, he’s travelled extensively in the Caribbean and noticed a glaring lack of promotion of the dive industry through print media regionally, except for established destinations in that niche market.
“We did not have a publication in the Caribbean that promoted diving or ecotourism, beyond what individual countries were doing. This seemed bizarre and even inexcusable and it was obvious there was a need for a combined regional approach to presenting our diving sector to the international audience,” noted Baksh.
The premiere issue features Grenada, Tobago and Dominica, all chosen for their rich and healthy marine environments. The Shipwreck Diving Capital of the World showcases Grenada’s natural shipwrecks, taking the reader on a literary and visual tour of about ten sites. The editorial detail includes durations of the dives, historical facts and crisp descriptions of marine life on each dive.
Drift diving gets special attention in Solomon Baksh’s, A Drifter’s Paradise — a narrative account of what makes Tobago so famous for its exhilarating, adrenalin-pumping drift dives. Who knew that the “drama of Dominica’s topography continues beneath the waves? In Volcanoes Above and Below…” Bradt travel-guide author, Paul Crask, explores astounding wall dives in the Soufriere Scott’s Head Marine Reserve.
Each issue features at least three destinations, exploring not only the dive sites but also other aspects of ecotourism and indigenous culture, taking readers off the well-trodden path—something more than three million dive enthusiasts who travel abroad annually, will find appealing. Each magazine covers the mainstay of the countries’ economies and includes general tourist information and destination maps. Additionally, the Postcards section captivates readers with exquisite land-based scenery and wildlife.
Already, Blue (Caribbean) has garnered rave reviews from leaders in the industry, especially as it just made its international debut at the massive Diving Equipment and Marketing Association (DEMA) Show in Las Vegas last month.
Perhaps one of the most recognised authorities on diving in the Caribbean is Peter A. Hughes, President, DivEncounters, Inc. and former owner of a fleet of luxury live-aboard yachts. Peter, who spent some of his childhood in Tobago, has since taken thousands of divers to the fascinating reefs of numerous Caribbean destinations, including Grenada and Tobago. He says: “Blue is exquisite, with extraordinary photography and accurate editorial. It has lots of potential for success. I feel right at home just flipping through the pages!”
Ray Sloper, NAUI Instructor and Event Manager of the Tobago Underwater Carnival, calls Blue (Caribbean), “Eye candy for divers.”
Three issues are scheduled for 2011. The next issue, to be published in March 2011, will feature Barbados; exposure that Gavin Smith, President of the Barbados Dive Operators Association says is greatly needed: “It will raise the profile to indicate how Barbados isn’t just a place where you can go on vacation and dive. What we’re trying to do and what the magazine will do is show Barbados as a serious dive destination. With the longer, more detailed articles and clearer, hi-definition images, they’ll illustrate much better, the diving that’s around here.”
Blue (Caribbean) is also available online at http://www.bluecaribbeanmag.com and fans can engage with the magazine at its Facebook page.