Do you have a good camera and don't know how to use it?
I can teach you all the buttons, dials and menus you can handle.
Start taking photographs that you like!
Hands on instruction: 1 person-$60/hour and a half; 2 persons-$100/hour and a half
Contact me: klmilstein@aol.com

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Yucatan - Underwater caves and cenotes

The area around Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya is fast becoming a vacation destination. The ancient Mayan civilization has spawned such adventures as The Mayan Experience, Xel Ha (a natural water park) and large resorts designed to look like Mayan cities. And there are many experiences available for the adventurous spirit as well.

The Yucatan Peninsula is composed of a large and intricate system of beautiful underwater caves and cenotes (pronounced say-no-tay). The word cenote refers to a large natural sink hole whose limestone covering has caved in to reveal the running stream below. Cenotes played a large role in the lives of the Mayan peoples of the past and continue to do so today. Mexico is fairly dry, with relatively no rivers or streams on the land surface so the underground water beds provide an important source of water.

The Yucatan's Dept. of Ecology has identified and mapped over 2,200 cenotes. Some of these are accessible to tourists for exploration on foot or by scuba diving.

RIO SECRETO gave us an incredible afternoon of exploring the beauty of the caves! The images above were shot by the very talented team of photographers on site and, of course, are available for purchase. Since we were doing some swimming cameras were not allowed.

The four of us hooked up with a guide and another family, showered, donned our wet suits, water shoes and helmets with lights and began our trek through the jungle to the cave entrance. We felt like explorers as we scrambled, sloshed and swam our way through the cave system. The kids loved it and it was the first thing they told friends about when we got home.

I say, go and experience this part of Mexico before it gets too built up and touristy. It was wonderful!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Diving Cozumel, Mexico

Underwater photography is a whole new challenge! The Milstein family is now a scuba diving family and our moto (coined by my husband, Geof) is, "A family that dives together, thrives together!" The images in this blog are all by Geof and editted by me.

Geof decided to record our first family dive. He bought a small 10 megapixel camera that can be converted to an underwater camera by placing it in a waterproof housing. One or two underwater flashes can also be added. Another bonus are two settings: a blue water filter and a green water filter. As we discovered, it will take several dives to figure this all out! As you can see Geof got some very good shots on his first try! The divers are Alyssa and I with our divemaster, Allen, of Deep Blue Diving in Cozumel. Aaron joined us for a couple of weeks of R&R from his job with the 82nd Airborne.

The reefs that lie off the western coast of Cozumel are protected as a National Park of Mexico. We did 4 open water dives over 2 days to complete our PADI scuba diving certification. On the second day we took a boat out to a section of the reef called Palancar Gardens. This is a beginner to advanced area with a depth of 20 to 90 ft. It is a beautiful reef full of coral and gorgeous fish. We felt like explorers in an underwater garden. We stayed in the 50-60 ft. range. We saw a tortoise, a nurse shark and hundreds of different fish, coral, and sponge.

This was an incredible thing for us all to do together. Diving is relaxing and peaceful in part because it is silent and almost weightless. A whole new part of our world to experience and to photograph!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Vacation on the Playa del Carmen!

The Milstein family flew down to an all-inclusive resort in Playa del Carmen, Mexico. We all agreed this was one of the best family vacations we ever had! Look at a map, it's just 45 min. south of Cancun and a 45 min. ferry ride to the island of Cozumel! There was so much to do that 5 days did not begin to satisfy us! I'll be sharing my blog with other photographers as I describe the fantastic adventures we had in Mexico!

Our all-inclusive resort, The Royal was delicious and relaxing! The food was 5 star and served with flair and friendly faces. We spent wet afternoons on the white sand beach in the warm tourquoise water and warm evenings strolling along the tiny town's 5th Avenue of shops. "Hey, amigos, come into my shop and have a look!" Stay tuned for a blog devoted to our scuba diving adventures in the reef just off the island of Cozumel and one of our exciting spelunking trip into the Rio Secreto!