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Related Articles: Travel Check Lists, Diving, The Traveling Aquarist: How Snorkeling Culebra, Puerto Rico, Reminded Me to be a Responsible Hobbyist...  By Leah Frances Wade,

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Get out and experience the real world. Mostly Lobophora in Jamaica.

San Diego visit   8/11/11
Hi All (although intended for Bob, anyone who can help is open to do so)!
From August 21-29 I'll be visiting lovely San Diego and was hoping someone could point me to some good fish stores in the area!
<Mmm, yes. Aquatic Warehouse, TriCity Tropicals, Octopus's Garden, Fountains are my faves in town... I'd also take in the Birch Aquarium at UCSD/SIO>
Google hasn't really been much help and as an avid marine aquarist I keep finding one store that seems to be the one to check out(aquasd). I know San Diego is Bob's stomping grounds and hoped he could widen my list a little!
On a side, my girlfriend is booking a snorkeling trip while we're there, so
I guess the question is, will this be worthwhile?
<If the swell is down, Children's Pool and La Jolla Cove are my faves>
I generally have low expectations for something like this, but with her trying to do something nice I'd like this to be enjoyable!
<Welcome. BobF visiting... in Maine!>

Travel, rating hotels 03/26/2008Crew, especially Bob, I didn't see anything specific in your "travel" section of the site and was curious as to your opinion of the different groups that certify hotels and other travel destinations as to their impact on the environment. Are they honest? <Mmm, no... not always> Are some better than others? <Yes... AAA... Lonely Planet... as far as they can be up to date> Is this an issue of no one really knowing how to fact check their recommendations? Thanks and keep up the good work, Forrest <More a matter of "laws/rules" of economics... "follow the money" as usual... If folks are paying directly or not for review... there's something to be gained/lost. See "Undercurrents" re their not accepting ads... BobF>

Re: PhilS and RMF disc. re UW photo gear, now travel luggage for     2/16/08 Gracias senor! I was looking at these more for a) travel weight and b) the ability to add the floats to bring the rig to neutral buoyancy. Take a look at this wetpixel thread: http://wetpixel.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=17347 <Mmm, do like their ball ends, but not the floats... I think you'll find that rig "buoyancy" is a non-issue. BobF> OK, now how do you carry all this gear abroad? Hard cases (ie Pelican or Storm) just seem to say "steal me!" <This is so... I use Samsonite hard cases... there's some deals at time through their outlet store in Carlsbad... with lots of cheesy stickers on them... for ID and to throw off the thieves. Samsonite is an okay consumer brand, that I've had good service from... in terms of repairs, replacements. Oh, you might benefit from a perusal of this: http://wetwebmedia.com/travelchklists.htm BobF>

Re: Stocking An Angel, Koran, diving in the PNW...  8/15/07 Thanks again! So happy to hear this will work. It's certainly an addictive hobby... I want everything! Haha. I have the 90gallon and 200gallon... With two 24gallon quarantines... Wife will let me get another big tank or two when we retire (in 30 years). Until then, tough choices! <Always> Just out of curiosity... If marine fish are properly taken care of... How long would you expect them to live? 10 years? <Some only a few years... quite a few a couple of tens...> How was your diving trip to Hawaii? <Very nice, thank you> Just got back from Vancouver Island (Hornby Island). <Ahh! I do encourage you to pick up "Beyond The Outer Shores"... mostly about Ed Ricketts... http://www.fetchbook.info/fwd_description/search_9781568582986.html> Was hoping to dive with some 6-gill sharks, but non could be found... Did manage to see a pretty good size Pacific Octopus and a few wolf eels though. My first time for both! In all honesty, I think that Octopus was the scariest creature I have been diving with (more so then the lemon sharks or grey reef sharks)... I've heard stories of those arms grabbing regulators out of mouths, etc... <Mmm, if so... just out of curiosity> Unfortunately, the summer months bring greenish water and my pictures didn't turn out at all :( David Brynlund <Another time... BobF>

Travel BCD Can you help me with the name and manufacturer of a very very light weight BCD for travel, Please.        Henry <I like the Sea Quest line all the way around here... there are lighter products, but none with the combination of reasonable weight, size and features I like. Bob Fenner>

Currency exchange Antoine Bobster, any advice on how to cash foreign currency inexpensively? <Yes... travel extensively... spend it in the countries of origin... really> I got a check written in British pounds and my bank wants $20 plus another bank fee/exchange plus 4-6 weeks to proffer funds. That all seems a bit steep to me. <It's... the going rip-off... you can try the Thomas Cook frequently stolen-from club... or if you're going to do quite a bit of trade in the currency/countries... have the folks send you the currency, or deposit it in accounts there... Or credit your credit cards... I've done all of these... and just spend the money then/there now...> They did suggest that I could take the check into the big city <G> and find a bank there that may be cheaper to exchange the cheque. The funny part is that I'm not joking. <There is no such thing... it's a rip... period... and as a partial, small-time player not much you can do.... THE BANKS ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND, my friend... let's get out of here. Bob F> Ciao, bub Antoine

Re: currency exchange Antoine Wow!... illuminating, offensive and remarkable all at once... the currency exchange, <Typical> that is... not the current state of affairs with media coverage at large (add nauseating for that). <I know, and share, all (of relevance). B> Thanks bub

Hmmmm? Bob... just a curious question. I thought a remembered you saying something in conversation before about favorite airplanes and otherwise. What do you think of the Airbus A321? I'm going out to the Bay area on a 757 Boeing but the return is on an airbus. I don't remember flying on such a creature before... your brief thoughts you travel savvy jet setter? <Thanks for asking... am not a big fan of Airbus period... something about committees of nations putting anything together that I don't trust. However, this is one of their better model efforts... not as wobbly (yawing) as other "A" types. You'll soon see/feel the difference. Bob Fenner> Antoine

Inexpensive flights through SG Hi Bob Singapore Airlines is having a sort of discount on some of its routes. A group of 4 people can fly from Singapore to Sydney or Melbourne for S$600 each -about US$300. The fifth person, if he is a senior citizen aged 55 or above gets to fly for S$188 or US$90. The only catch is that you need to book by 31 January and fly by February 7. So you might want to look at your schedules again if you want to take up this offer. <Bargain> From Sydney or Melbourne, you can take up Virgin Blue's latest offer of US$5 per domestic connection. If you can afford to change your schedules you will stand to save a bundle. <I'll send this around. Thank you. Bob Fenner> Perry

Inexpensive Fares to/from SG/Maldives Hi Air Lanka is offering a cheap package to the Maldives out of Singapore. For S$675 you get 3 nights stay in a luxury hotel on one of the islands on top of the tickets. That works out to about US$300 per pax. More info at www.srilanka.lk Perry

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