SeaLife Launches Handheld Sea Dragon Mini Fluoro Underwater Light

 

 SeaLife, in collaboration with Fire Dive Gear, introduced the new Sea Dragon Mini Fluoro light at the DEMA (Dive Equipment & Marketing Association) tradeshow in early in Orlando in early November. Featuring the same LED and filter technology as the full-size Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam, the Mini Fluoro emits a powerful blue-light beam and adds an integrated dichroic filter creating the optimal light wavelength to “excite” underwater life.  


How does it work?

Here’s how fluorescence works to give underwater viewers an incredible underwater light show: When energy emitted from the fluoro light strikes an atom on the surface of an underwater marine organism, it knocks an electron up to a higher energy state. When the electron decays back to its normal state (usually instantly, after a few nanoseconds), it emits a photon of light (in the visible, lower energy part of the color spectrum). In much simpler terms — when illuminating marine life with the Mini Fluoro’s light, a colorful energy reaction occurs and the sea creature emits its own light.

The compact, handheld Fluoro light uses a blue LED and a special mirrored “dichroic” filter to pinpoint the light wavelength needed for an optimal energy, or light response. The light also includes a yellow-mask barrier filter, which eliminates excess blue light remaining in the viewing area and maximizing the fluoro viewing effect.  



“The Sea Dragon Mini Fluoro’s compact size and affordable price makes it ideal for anyone to explore the marvels of underwater fluorescence” says Bjorn Harms, SeaLIfe’s VP and lead product developer. “It’s also the perfect light for dive operators to run nighttime fluoro dives and equip everyone in the group with a Mini Fluoro light and barrier filter.”

The Mini Fluoro light boasts an impressive seven watt/M² brightness at full power, more than enough to get a spectacular display of color, and while fluoro diving and viewing is most visible at night, the light is certainly effective in daylight. Unlike UV lights, Mini Fluoro is powerful, but not harmful to human eyes or those of sea creatures.

The light runs for eight hours on one 18650 rechargeable Li-ion 3400mAh battery at quarter power or two hours at full power.  Two single-use CR123 may also be used with four-hour run time at quarter power and one hour at full power. The battery grip features an integrated safety pressure-release valve that relieves internal pressure built-up in the vent if the battery becomes damaged. The light is sold with or without batteries.

The Mini Fluoro light is constructed of an anodized-aluminum machined body for maximum durability and corrosion resistance. The dual O-ring design ensures a reliable waterproof seal down to depths of 330 feet (100 m).



Featuring simple one-button operation, the Mini Fluoro can cycle through three brightness levels: 100 percent, 50 percent and 25 percent brightness.

The Mini Fluoro light includes the universal mask barrier filter with protective cover, lanyard with BCD clip, two spare O-rings and O-ring lube.

The Sea Dragon Mini Fluoro will be available for shipment in November of 2017 and retails for $159.95

SeaLife launched its first fluorescent dive light, the Sea Dragon Fluoro-Dual Beam, also in partnership with Fire Dive Gear. one of the world’s foremost experts in fluoro diving and imaging. Favored by divers for its spectacular show of color and impressive nighttime display of emitted energy, fluorescence or “fluoro” diving with specialized lighting has become popular. The Fluoro-Dual Beam is already available at select SeaLife dealers.

 

About SeaLife

SeaLife Underwater Cameras are made by Pioneer Research in Moorestown, NJ and were first introduced in 1993. In 2000, SeaLife developed the world’s first digital underwater camera. In 2007, SeaLife developed the first non-housed digital underwater camera, and in 2013 SeaLife introduced the powerful Sea Dragon Lighting system and its innovative Flex-Connect tray, grip, arm, and accessory system. In 2014, SeaLife introduced the Micro HD, the world’s first permanently sealed underwater camera, followed by the new Micro 2.0 in 2015 and the cutting-edge DC2000 underwater camera in 2017.  SeaLife cameras, lighting and accessories are sold and serviced in 64 countries around the world.    

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Scuba Diving in Tela, Honduras

Occasionally, dive spots come along that stand out above the rest. They are often far from the epicenter of diving and take some commitment to access, but the payoff is usually well worth the effort. The scuba diving in Tela, Honduras perfectly fit the bill for a great under-the-radar location. Five minutes into my first dive I was lost in endless fields of coral. My underwater navigation skills are on point, but Tela had me swimming in circles, captivated by the colossal size of the reef.

Tela is located southwest of the Bay Islands, Roatan and Utila, both the top destinations for divers visiting Honduras. You can get to Tela by taking a ferry or airplane to the mainland from the Bay Islands and then a bus or taxi from San Pedro Sula or La Ceiba. The trip will take you between 2.5 and six hours, depending on the route you take.

We came across this rare Drynomena (Pink Meanie) jellyfish while diving in Tela
The coral reef in Tela runs in shallow ridges starting at 33 feet (10 m). The ridgetops are covered in thin leaf lettuce coral (Undaria tenuifolia) and the sides are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia and Montastrea.
The coral reef in Tela runs in shallow ridges starting at 33 feet (10 m). The ridgetops are covered in thin leaf lettuce coral (Undaria tenuifolia) and the sides are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia and Montastrea.
Large boulder brain coral holding its ground among a sea of lettuce coral

Scuba Diving in Tela

If you’re diving in Honduras, it’s well worth your time to take a weekend or a few days to dive in Tela. Note, however, that you can only dive for six months in Tela — from April to September, give or take a month on either side. During the winter, low visibility, winds, and currents restrict most diving activities.

Tela Bay is still quite undeveloped, and the only dive shop is in the Tela Marine Research Center. Diving is personalized and relaxed. Because the reef is fairly shallow, dives typically last 60 minutes or longer. Tela Marine is a PADI dive center open to certified and non-certified divers. If you want to complete a scuba course, check ahead to make sure an instructor is available before your arrival.

The coral reef in Tela runs in shallow ridges starting at 33 feet (10 m). The ridgetops are covered in thin leaf lettuce coral (Undaria tenuifolia) and the sides are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia and Montastrea.
The coral reef in Tela runs in shallow ridges starting at 33 feet (10 m). The ridgetops are covered in thin leaf lettuce coral (Undaria tenuifolia) and the sides are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia and Montastrea.
The coral reef in Tela runs in shallow ridges starting at 33 feet (10 m). The ridgetops are covered in thin leaf lettuce coral (Undaria tenuifolia) and the sides are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia and Montastrea.
We were lucky enough to have a reef names after us! Nikki’s Reef was one of the nicest reefs we found in Tela.

The Tela reef

The best way to describe the Tela reef is to close your eyes and imagine you’re sailing the Caribbean on a pirate ship hundreds of years ago. You find the perfect cove to anchor your boat and then hop in the water. What you would see then is how you are seeing the reef today —that’s how old and intact the reef really is.

Tela Bay is 24 miles (38 km) wide. The coral reef runs parallel to the coast in a thin band, in the center of the bay. The reef starts around 33 feet (10 m) below the surface, and corals cover the ridges down to 66 feet (20 m). The best diving however, is between 40 and 52 feet (12 to 16 m).

The ridgetops are covered in thin, leaf lettuce coral so abundant that it easily overpowers slower-growing coral like gorgonians. The sides of the ridges are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia cactus corals and the happiest great star corals I’ve ever seen.

What really stuck with us about this reef was the sheer volume of coral. In a 2015 survey, Tela boasted over 70 percent coral coverage. It’s safe to say, though, that some parts of the reef feature 100 percent coral coverage. When you look through the cluster of lettuce coral you can see more corals growing beneath them. 

Sea urchins rule the reef in Tela
Sea urchins perform an important task keeping algae at bay
The coral reef in Tela runs in shallow ridges starting at 33 feet (10 m). The ridgetops are covered in thin leaf lettuce coral (Undaria tenuifolia) and the sides are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia and Montastrea.
The coral reef in Tela runs in shallow ridges starting at 33 feet (10 m). The ridgetops are covered in thin leaf lettuce coral (Undaria tenuifolia) and the sides are dotted with colorful Mycetophyllia and Montastrea.

Why is the Tela reef so healthy?

The reason might surprise you. Tela has an unusually high number of black long-spined sea urchins, Diadema antillarum. These spiny echinoderms are the perfect reef cleanup crew, with a voracious appetite for algae. Before 1980, the urchins covered the entire Caribbean. But in 1983, the urchins underwent a mass mortality and populations plummeted by as much as 97 percent.

Therefore, a leading theory on why the reef in Tela is so healthy credits the abundance of Diadema inhabiting the reef. Researchers are currently looking at ways to rear sea urchins and reintroduce them to degraded reefs around the Caribbean.

We loved Tela so much that after a few days we decided to extend our trip another month. And to our good fortune, we explored new reefs — and I was lucky enough to have a reef named after me. While diving in Tela might not be for everyone, if you are a coral enthusiast and want to see how a Caribbean reef should look, it’s time to add Tela to your bucket list.

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Glamping in an ancient forest on the Kauri Coast

Everyone knows New Zealand for its epic snowcapped mountains, lakes so blue they seem unreal, and of course, the Lord of the Rings.

But perhaps one of my favorite areas of New Zealand is often the least represented – the forests.

Nerd alert!

New Zealand used to be almost entirely covered in incredible ancient forests until humans arrived and cleared the land for farming and chopped down trees for logging. Damnit.

This is why we can’t have anything nice, guys.

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

Luckily now many of the forests are protected and kiwis are working hard to bring back the native trees again and if you look you might even be lucky enough to find an old growth forest around.

Because New Zealand was so unique as an uninhabited island for so long, 80% of the trees are only found here and nowhere else, even if most of them have been chopped down since. Whenever I find myself in a forest, it really feels like I’ve stepped back into another time, or maybe even Jurassic Park.

Imagine dense temperate rainforests that smell damp and earthy with eerie birdsong and huge ferns and beech forests that snake their way up the mountains. Down in Fiordland it’s so wet that all the trees are covered in moss and are so green that I often have to desaturate my photos because it doesn’t look real.

Conclusion? I am a bonafide tree hugger.

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

One place I had been dreaming of visiting for years here and hadn’t made it to yet was up to the Kauri Coast in Northland, the region that is the very top of New Zealand. The west coast of the top of the North Island is covered in giant ancient forests, rugged coastline, crazy sand dunes and a whole lot of history and culture.

It’s also home to the stunning luxury camping spot of the Highfield River Retreat. I am a big fan of glamping, and couldn’t wait to check out this gem of a spot.

Being mid-winter, I definitely had Northland to myself, but with much more mild weather than Wanaka, it was still really pleasant and the camp site is totally comfortable even in the colder months with a woodburner in the tent (dare I call it a tent?) and heater in the cabin.

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

A few years ago you might remember I went glamping with my friend Laura at Hurunui Jacks on the West Coast, and being tucked away in the rainforest, this felt really similar. There is just something so profoundly cozy and comforting about being tucked away under some blankets with a hot water bottle next to the fire as soft rain drips from the trees onto the thick canvas tent. In a onesie.

It’s my kind of place to hideaway for a few days with just a book for company. Boyfriends be damned.

Smack bang in the middle of nowhere, tucked away on an old farm net to a bubbling river and amongst beautiful big old totara trees, if you’re like me and you like to properly get away from it all, Highfield is the place for you.

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

With no reception and solid directions I made my way to the farm and through the gates along dirt roads before I arrived at the site.

Like I said, you’ll have the place to yourself. Until at night when you hear high pitched bird calls as your half asleep and then realize it’s from the kiwi in the area! Let me just say how incredibly special that is to hear in the wilds in New Zealand. And also annoying. But more special.

It’s not often you get to say that you woke up to wild kiwi calls. Unless you live in the Hutt.

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

There is power on the site so you have lights but also there are plenty of candles about to add a bit of atmosphere after dark.

I spent most of my time hanging out in the little cabin cooking, reading, writing and relaxing, taking outdoor baths, repeat. For someone who gets to travel a lot, I really enjoy when I can just BE in a place and throughly enjoy it for what it is, instead of feeling like I need to do stuff.

I’m definitely the kind of person who needs to relax and recharge alone. Preferably in a luxury tent in the forest surrounded by birds.

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

In fact, during my little vacation at Highfield, I only left once to go explore the famous Waipoua Forest and to finally meet Tāne Mahuta, New Zealand’s biggest kauri tree. Over 2000 years old, his name in Māori means “Lord of the Forest,” and that is what he sure is today.

He’s huge. Fern Gully much?

As you drive into the Waipoua Forest you’re immediately met with thick ferns and beautiful huge kauri trees that soar towards the sky. It doesn’t seem real. In fact, it shouldn’t – these trees are some of the most ancient in the world.

According to Māori stories and legends, Tāne Mahuta is the son of Ranginui (sky father) and Papatuanuku (earth mother). Tāne was the child that split his parent’s embrace apart, until his father was high in the sky. He clothed his mother with vegetation in the forest that is now what is left today. All the creatures of the forest are regarded as Tāne’s children.

glamping kauri coast

Finally meeting Tāne Mahuta in Northland

glamping kauri coast

glamping kauri coast

In conclusion, I love big trees, being alone and fancy camping.

Done.

What about you? Do you enjoy being in the forests like this? Ever been glamping before? Spill!

glamping kauri coast

Many thanks to Canopy Camping for hosting me at Highfield. Like always, I’m keeping it real, all opinions are my own, like you could expect less from me. 

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