Sunday, 29 July 2012

Olympus Stylus Tough: Camera Review

It is bitter sweet that we are writing this camera review for our Olympus Stylus Tough 8010. This water proof, crush proof, freeze proof camera was the perfect companion for our periodically adventurous lifestyle. It met its demise in the clear waters of Fiji’s Beachcomber Island.
We purchased this camera nearly 3 years ago specifically for snorkelling, (it was waterproof to 33 feet). Up until Fiji we found that it took great bright daylight photos, and was awesome for short underwater trips. One of the draws for the underwater camera was the LED light which actually made a difference for lighting up underwater photos. This was a very easy camera to own simply because you never had to worry about being careful with it, (the look on my brothers face when he dropped it was priceless… he thought it was doomed. HA!). We always found it easy to clip to a bag or carry by its floating or normal strap without worry about the effects of the elements on it.
The big drawbacks of this camera were battery life due to the LCD screen, horrible night photos, limited zoom due to the internal lens, and slow start up and processing speeds.
We would have been happier if the camera lasted longer, but for a low level point and shoot camera it had met every need and more for our adventures. Below is a collection of some of our favourite photos taken on the camera.
So long Olympus!

Fiji 2012: Sun & Surf

I would have to say that the highlight of our trip was snorkelling on Beachcomber Island, but we were also able to get in other water sports that we love just as much: Stand Up Paddle boarding and kayaking. We were able to kayak for free from our resorts, and SUP only cost us $50 for an hour at the nearby marina. Once again I stayed on the dry side of my board, while Jeff fell in once right at the end of our first outing. As you can see my board was HUGE, and so I was much more stable when we hit some minor ripples. On our second SUP trip I tried a much smaller board which was more challenging and a great workout.

Of course we always made time for our intense lounge reading sessions. Jeff read 7 books on this trip, while I followed far behind with only 3…

Thursday, 26 July 2012

Fiji 2012: Finding Nemo


We are now back from our two week vacation in Fiji. Here is our first collection of photos from snorkelling on Beachcomber Island. Sadly our camera died during the making of this trip, and so our underwater pictures are limited.

Beachcomber Island was a 25 minute boat ride from our resort. There was great snorkelling on the reef around the island. The coral is large but not as vibrant as we've seen in Hawaii.

This was the only fish interested in us...

Fish party...

This is the spot where we saw a sting ray swim by. Jeff followed him for a while and he "just kept swimming, just kept swimming"...

Safety first. Jeff in his full body UV protectant condom.

Take me to your leader!

Indigo Starfish!

We will update with more pictures and info about where we stayed soon.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Familiar Faces

After almost 7 months of new faces and new experiences, it was great to get a visit from our friends Neal & Laura. They came to Auckland for a 10 day visit and we made memories to last a lifetime.

We introduced them to the city we’ve grown to call home, as well as the people we now call our New Zealand family. Of course they fit right in with everyone at the weekly scheduled family meal. Neal and Jeff created Caesars from scratch – they don’t have Clamato here, but it was very easy to re-create. The evening moved to the streets and we had a great night/morning of signing at a karaoke bar downtown.

Ceasar Shots... this made for some interesting events throughout the night. What happens in Auckland, stays in Auckland...

Karaoke circle of love...

We had an incredible time on Waiheke Island for our last weekend together. The weather was great, the food was yummy and the wine was delicious!

Giant star fish - we created a rescue team for the star fish who didn't make it to water when the tide was out.

We rented a car and roamed the island to show the sights. This of course included a stop to recharge our batteries...
We ate at THE SHED on the te motu vineyard.

Cheers to a memorable visit!
See you again soon Neal and Laura.