In August we visited the incredibly beautiful island of Grenada in the Southern Caribbean. First of all, the locals are super smart, caring, and funny. And they all seem to have the gift of dance. They lay claim to a fast techno-style music called Soca (Grenada Soca to be exact). I don't think you could stop them from dancing if you tried. And there is no point in trying because they make everyone around them want to sing and dance too.
Prior to this trip, I committed myself to learning how to scuba dive by getting certified at the resort. Mind you, I'm somewhat claustrophobic, however I love to snorkel and can swim fairly well, so I figured scuba is the next step. Looking at all the bright colored fish and thousands of creatures beneath the surface is thrilling. Strapping on a tank, gear, and regulator, then dropping down 50 feet into the depths, adds its own 'color' shall we say.
My scuba guide, Curtis, had the patience of a saint and if he was any more relaxed he would have been asleep. But I guess that's one of the benefits of living in the Caribbean (nobody is in a hurry). I got through the pool training (it was only 4 feet of water, but who's keeping tack). The beach dive on the second day I must say went well (after wigging out and crying after the first day's beach dive because I felt like a failure letting fear get in the way - aborting the dive early). I regrouped after realizing I had stepped out of my comfort zone and tried something completely different (not only emotionally and mentally, but physically as well) even if it didn't end the way I'd hoped.
On the second day I actually got down to 30 feet for 30 minutes, with Curtis' kind support (aka holding my hand the whole time). I received accolades from my husband after we broke surface congratulating me on the milestone. I was feeling pretty good about myself thinking "I got this!", until the next day.
The third day was the official boat dive day where we would go a ways off shore and dive down 50 feet for about 30 minutes. Whoa! There were a lot of people on the boat so I had to keep my overwhelming fear to myself while at the same time keeping a smile on my poker face. They were all avid divers with a passion for the deep, who dive pretty often, and made out like its no big deal. I didn't want to look like a sissy.
After some last minute anxious words of panic came spewing out of my mouth just before we submerged (I later apologized to Curtis profusely for my unbridled emotions), Curtis once again held my hand and we descended slowly to 50 feet. I doubt he gets paid enough to endure a tourist's emotional breakdowns and pulling them through to the other side. While down there we checked out a sunken boat that was now a beautiful coral garden bustling with its own eco system of incredibly colored fish and other sea life. Even though I was basked in this beauty, I kept looking at my tank's air gage and thinking about resurfacing to breath 'real air' and feel a breeze on my face.
To wrap up this little tale, I can say I'm glad I stepped out of my comfort zone. There will always be fear and doubt that wants to hold me back from lots of things. I stepped out anyway, and even though I haven't yet become scuba certified, I'm proud of the underwater 'ground I've covered' and blessed by the people I met along the way. I learned that stepping out of the comfort zone isn't just about the end goal, its can be about the journey along the way.
We live in Ventura, a laid back and a bit hippyish beach side town located in Southern California. And if you know anything about California these days its that the weather is pretty darn dry and hot. Drought seems to always be knocking at the door. Perhaps that's why I think about rain a lot. I'm also beside myself with excitement about our upcoming trip to Grenada; a beautiful tropical island located in the Caribbean. I know what you're thinking, "Are you crazy it's hurricane season?" Yes, I am crazy for the Caribbean and all of its colorful glory. I'm willing to bet we'll see some rain there for sure, along with breathtaking views of the beaches wrapped in every shade of blue and teal water you can imagine.
These thoughts have inspired my new art collection called Tropical Rain. Here is a sneak peek at one of the designs. The designs will look great as wall art (in beach side resorts and restaurants, and in any home). The art in this collection will look amazing on many other products as well. Just imagine and let your beach state of mind float up. - Chris Barker
As I continue to build my body of work in coastal and surf art, I love learning about amazing people who followed their hearts and passions to make a career out of anything that has to do with coastal or island living. That could include boating, artists who focus their music around the beach or islands, and surfing.
This week I was thinking about surfing. Surfing is a bit of a mystery to me. The skill and guts it takes for someone to get up on a little board and face the giant ocean head on is crazy but awesome at the same time. I'm blessed to live in Ventura, CA where I'm around these people. All aspects of the industry are interesting - be it the incredible talent of the athletes, all of the precision gear, or the cool surfware (which expands way beyond people who actually surf).
I was drawn to surfing this week especially because of a podcast interview (Finding Mastery) with Hurley International founder Bob Hurley. His story is very inspiring and his passion for the sport and industry just pours out of him. Here it is; I hope you enjoy it. Finding Mastery - Interview with Bob Hurley
-Chris Barker, CP Coastal
We have very exciting news! A new art collection has just been released. If you need coastal art for your products we're here to help. Anything that has a coastal look makes the world a more joyful and happy place. Contact us today for ways to make your products look more beautiful.
We're here simply because people love the beach.
CPCoastal™ Releases Summer 2018 Collection
Thousand Oaks, CA, March 2, 2018CP Coastal brand, known for its mix of modern, impressionist, and vintage coastal themed art, has released its Summer 2018 Language of Boats collection. Boat flags provide a vital, universal maritime language by which the boating community communicates. The collection pays tribute to songs about boats - the stories they tell, the adventure they create, and the island places we dream they’ll take us to. The art is available for licensing or purchase.
“Music is a powerful thing. I’m incredibly inspired by the music of Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney. Their music paints beautiful, adventurous pictures of people living soulful, free-spirited, beach lifestyles - which I love. Boats are often the central theme in many of their songs. Jimmy sings about Changes in latitude… changes in attitude, Follow the Tides, and one of my favorites, Somethin’ ‘Bout a Boat. In Kenny’s song, Boats, boats are perfectly described as, vessels of freedom and harbors of healing. I strive to capture these words and spirit with my art.” - Christine Barker.
Music is a powerful thing. It inspires and moves people. I’m incredibly inspired by the music of Jimmy Buffett and Kenny Chesney. Their music paints beautiful pictures of people living soulful, free-spirited, beach lifestyles - which I love. Boats are often the central theme in many of their songs. Jimmy sings about “Changes in latitude… changes in attitude”, “Follow the Tides”, and one of my favorites, “Somethin’ ‘Bout a Boat”. In Kenny’s song, “Boats”, boats are perfectly described as, “vessels of freedom and harbors of healing”.
My good friend Justine, and her mother Augusta, gave me this set of alphabet boat flags, which were in their family for years. These flags provide a universal maritime language by which the boating community communicates. I'm so honored to have them and absolutely love creating designs with them.
My Summer 2018 design collection coming out soon is called “Language of Boats”. It pays tribute to songs about boats - the stories the songs tell, the adventures they create, and the island places we dream they'll take us to. I look forward to these designs making it onto products for boat lovers everywhere to enjoy.
This week on NPR's 1A program, they dive into the life of the octopus. Did you know an octopus can unscrew the lid off a jar, take out the shrimp inside, and screw the lid back on? How about their ability to change colors and patterns instantaneously to hide from predators?
Click on one of the images if you are intrigued....
CPCoastal brand, known for its mix of modern, impressionist, and vintage coastal themed art, has released it’s Spring 2018 collections for licensing or purchase. Below is a sneak peak at a few designs.
The designs include two collections. The first, the Barefoot Collection, features the Barefoot Beach Bar, everyone’s favorite place to grab a cocktail. Best categories for this art are wall art, cocktail napkins, coasters, paper and gift bags. The second, the Ocean Plaid Collection, takes a twist on plaid with Spring colors of light blue and bright pink creating a pattern for jelly fish, turtles, palm leaves, starfish and coral. Best categories for this art are stationery and journals, cocktail napkins, paper and gift bags.
If you are a manufacturer or retailer, contact us for more information.
There are glimmers of good news coming from the BVI's in light of Irma's aftermath. This week I touched base with Andrew Buys, boat Captain and owner of Barrington Hall Yacht Charters, to find out how his company weathered the storm. BHYC provides luxury yacht charters in the British Virgin Islands. After seeing arial shots of the hundreds of boats that were tossed about by Irma, I feared the worst. Below is Andrew's update...
"The boats placed on the hard did far better than the vessels left in the water. We have overhead pictures of our catamarans and both look to be in fine condition. Both our captains will fly back in their vacation time to be on board both catamarans as soon as they are allowed to. DOLPHIN SPLASH looks good all by herself with no other catamarans near her.
All our charters for the end if 2017 and 2018 are planned to go ahead at full steam. Today I got a list a damaged vessels and did not expect our names to be there and they are not. Other agents are calling me today to place their clients on my vessels and I am moving ahead with this. We have December charters in place and DOLPHIN SPLASH is ready and able to easily get this done. We have no plans to change our calendar. January 2018 charters are in place as well, so I see no issues.
We have all been through this in the past dating back to 1990 with my wife and I. It is so close to the storm impact right now people think negative things. To a charter yacht owner it is get everything sorted out right now and it is business as normal. Here is what happens, the rains wet the ground, the grass grows, the trees shed new buds and in two weeks the island looks lush a vibrant. I have been told (by people I am in touch on the island of Tortola) that Nanny Cay has already picked up all the vessels that were blown over. The hotel is already being worked on and temporary floating docks are planned for the marina.
November 7th - 10th, 2017 is the annual charter yacht boat show at Nanny Cay Marina and the entire industry has paid to be there. I have been to every annual boat show there since 1990 and not missed one show. The marina also makes a bunch of money so they will have everything right well before November 7, 2017. Both our catamarans are also in that same show.
DOLPHIN SPLASH is ready to do charters (and will also be at the annual boats show all spick and span) so everything with my vessels is all systems go."
For more information (and a beautiful video) about all inclusive catamaran charters in the BVI's check out Barrington Hall Yacht Charters here.
Barrington Hall Yacht Charters, 2805 East Oakland Park Blvd., Suite #397, Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33306
PH: 954-720-0475 / 800-478-2029
#YachtCharter, #SailingVacations, #Catamaran
As we are figuring out how we can best help the victims of hurricane Irma, in any way big or small, we've created this design. The Caribbean Nation is stronger than a hurricane!
You can buy a men or women's T by clicking below, or on our Shop page. All proceeds received by CPCoastal will be donated to Kenny Chesney's Love for Love City Foundation.
For details on the Love for Love City Foundation, and how you can donate directly, got to Kenny's website here.