Friday, September 14, 2018

Three Places to Scuba Dive in Turks and Caicos

A Florida resident with a diverse professional background, Bill Oliver draws upon experience gained at companies such as Vicrin IGF Pharmaceuticals in Charleston, South Carolina. Currently a medical sales representative in Sarasota, Bill Oliver pursues a diverse range of hobbies, including kayaking and traveling, in his free time. An avid scuba diver, he has performed dives in Turks and Caicos.

One of the premier scuba diving locations in the world, the Turks and Caicos Islands feature crystal clear waters, coral reefs, and vibrant marine life. Here are three of the best dive spots in the region:

- Salt Cay. Situated near the Columbus Passage, the secluded Salt Cay features a British shipwreck and series of caverns to explore. In the winter months, divers might even get a chance to see humpback whales passing through as they migrate to their breeding grounds.

- Columbus Landfall Marine National Park. The largest national park in the islands, this protected Grand Turk marine preserve features more than two dozen dive sites and a reef that extends more than 1,000 feet from shore.

- Northwest Point Marine Park. Situated off the coast of Provo, this protected marine area is characterized by soft and hard coral and a wall that starts in just 35 feet of water and descends to more than 3,000 feet beneath the surface. Diving at this park offers opportunities to view barracuda, yellowtail tuna, and other aquatic creatures.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

An Introduction to Firebreaks

A former resident of Charleston, South Carolina, Bill Oliver leads a varied career. Now living in Florida, he has worked in the sales, mechanical, and R&D industries. Before relocating to Florida, Bill Oliver served as a first line firefighter for the Columbia Fire Department for five years.

Also known as fuel breaks and fireguards, firebreaks are an important tool for preventing the spread of wildfires. These temporary or permanent barriers usually measure between 10 and 60 feet wide. However, some firebreaks are more narrow, while others are as wide as 3,000 feet to accommodate the area and the specific fire burning around it. 

Different types of firebreaks are used for different reasons. Most commonly, firefighters and property owners use disturbed bare-soil firebreaks to combat the spreading of flames. These firebreaks are made by removing soil and vegetation from a strip of land using a plow, bulldozer, or other type of equipment. If prepared too early, vegetation will grow back in these areas, thus reducing the effectiveness of the bare-soil firebreak.

Another type of firebreak, roads are produced using dirt, pavement, or gravel. While roads can move firefighting equipment more easily around areas with fires, they often have fences or utility lines along them that require additional firefighting labor and water. Further, property owners who want to perform a controlled burn up to a road must check with their local authorities to make sure such an event is approved for the area.

Water, elevation changes, and wet lines also serve as potential firebreaks. Bodies of water and elevation changes usually require little to no prior preparation before they are made; however, they can prevent access to fires that break out along the elevation change or shoreline. Meanwhile, wet line firebreaks are temporary and simply involve spraying vegetation with water to reduce the risk of it catching fire.

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Staying Balanced in a Kayak

Because of his varied professional background, Florida's Bill Oliver has experience in industries as diverse as microbiology and mechanical engineering. The former resident of Charleston, South Carolina, now works in medical sales. In his free time, Bill Oliver enjoys kayaking in Florida.

While the narrow design of kayaks helps them move smoothly through the water, the shape also makes them prone to wobbling and flipping over. For this reason, kayakers must constantly maintain good balance by keeping the upper body upright and straight. This requires the use of the core muscles.

As the body is kept upright, the lower back and legs must be kept loose. This lets kayakers move freely and smoothly with the kayak. Jerking a kayak in any direction increases the risk that the craft will overturn.

Good balance in a kayak also relies upon the direction the kayaker is looking. Kayakers should keep their eyes on the horizon at all times and avoid looking at the bow of the boat.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Great Calusa Blueway Paddling Trail Offers Several Points of Interest

A former salesperson in Charleston, South Carolina, Bill Oliver now works in medical sales in Sarasota, Florida. In his free time, Bill Oliver enjoys kayaking, particularly in the Great Calusa Blueway paddling trail of Florida.

A 190-mile canoe and kayak trail, the Great Calusa Blueway winds its way through the coastal waters and tributaries of Lee County. Lee County Parks and Recreation created the trail along the state’s west coast.

The trail begins in the Gulf of Mexico, moves through the bays of Sanibel and Captiva, and then passes into sheltered creeks. Those who traverse the waterway can view a variety of marine life and shorebirds.

Several stops along the trail include:

* Tarpon Bay. Located in the J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge, this protected body of water is an ideal kayak launch site.

* Orange River. Live oaks adorned with moss drape the river, and kayakers can wave to the many people sitting on their porches overlooking the calm waters. During the winter, kayakers may get a glimpse of sea cows swimming near Lee County Manatee Park.

* Mound Key. An island near Estero Bay, the key features shell mounds, one reaching 31 feet tall, and two paddle craft landings.

Three Places to Scuba Dive in Turks and Caicos

A Florida resident with a diverse professional background, Bill Oliver draws upon experience gained at companies such as Vicrin IGF Pharm...