I wanted to shake up my life and go sailing (or learn on the job, so-to-speak) so headed to Florida to crew on a catamaran. This is about how it went or, rather, didn't - and my life since. Hopefully it will lead to a catamaran on the clear aqua blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, watching the sunset, a coconut rum and coke in hand. You must START AT THE BEGINNING of the blog, April 2009, to get the whole story...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Yesterday it was two years ago that I stood on the most gorgeous beach I had ever been to and watched my beautiful daughter marry her wonderful husband. And so it was with much excitement and happiness that I got into my car yesterday, and took a little road trip; it was in preparation for my return to that gorgeous beach.

It was a wonderfully sunny day and I set out on the hour long trip to Point Roberts, just across the border from Tsawwassen to pick up two of four items that I ordered on Amazon this week for my upcoming trip back to the British Virgin Islands.

Many items that we as Canadians attempt to order online are from the USA and can not be delivered to Canada, for some strange unknown reason. Especially when ordering from Amazon.com. It's very frustrating. I have, in the past, had items shipped to a friend in Palm Springs when I knew he was headed up this way shortly. But that is inconvenient for him and he isn't making a trip here any time soon. So what to do? I recently ordered a sweat shirt for my son-in-law and had it shipped to my daughter's friend who has a cabin just across the border. But that won't work for things I want for me. To the rescue - a friend online who happened to notice my FaceBook post voicing my frustration. He recommended a service in Point Roberts, called The Letter Carrier, that accepts packages for a nominal $3 fee. And the important point is, it's not a post office box number as most USA orders won't send to one of those either.

On this trip I am picking up a waterproof bag to use at the beach. As I am traveling alone, I won't have anyone to watch my valuables when I go into the water. This small pouch (6"x5") is just the right size to hold my passport, credit card, and cash. The second item is a watertight case for my digital camera.

Since my last few snorkeling experiences were so amazing, I have decided I need to take underwater pictures. I looked into an underwater camera, but I would have to spend $250 - 300. Canon makes a really nice one for just under $300 but I really don't want to spend that right now and I already have a great little digital camera that takes really good pictures. So online I went to see what a watertight case for it would cost. The hard plastic fitted ones cost more than the underwater camera I liked, so that would never do. But in my search I found soft, ziplock-type, bag ones.

I found two that fit my camera. One was the Vivitar for $34.89 (just the case, not all the accessories pictured below) , and the other was the DiCAPac for 21.38. I ended up going with the DiCAPac, and I am now wishing I ordered the Vivitar. As you can see from the photos, the Vivitar has a pouch built into the bag that holds the camera in place; the DiCAPac doesn't which means that it is tricky to keep the camera in place inside the bag. It's also difficult to work the buttons on the top of the camera and I think the fitted bag would make that much easier.

I first did a watertight test with the bag, placing a wad of tissue inside and then submersing it in a kitchen sink full of water. Once I determined that it was indeed watertight, I then took a couple of pictures with the camera in the bag (but not submersed). At first I thought it wasn't going to work at all as the camera had a problem focusing and then shut down with a message on the screen 'Please turn off and try again'. I tried several times and got the same message, and one other that said something about focus malfunction. I then realized that I needed to insert a rubber ring that came with the case into the lens compartment on the inside. This extends the compartment so that the zoom lens on the camera can extend all the way out. Once I did that, the camera started up with no issues and the photos I took were of excellent quality. I can't wait to try it snorkeling. I will definitely be posting pictures on here once I do.

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Here's my Amazon Store called Sandra's Selections, full of my favourite things and constantly updating it as I discover more fav's. It's more for fun than anything as I've never made a cent off of it.