WEST BAY, ROATAN - One of TAPinto’s Publishers is producing the live broadcast of the Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition in Roatan.
Travels caught up with Erich Templin to get his insights on the Competition and the Island of Roatan. Erich is the Publisher of TAPinto’ s travel brand.
What is the Caribbean Cup Freediving Competition?
It is the great sport where the athletes test their ability to depths into 100 meters plus without scuba gear. It is a beautiful sight to see. You must check it out.
How did you come to be involved in the broadcasting of the Competition?
I volunteered last Sunday. They have a wonderful team from International Diver Magazine already on the ground and they adopted me into their team. Now, I am a producer, rotating director, underwater cameraman, and even on air host.
Does that happen a lot in the industry?
No. it doesn’t and it’s very refreshing. Normally, publishers are very protective of their turf. Randy (the Publisher of International Diver Magazine) and I sat down last Sunday and had a great conversation. Rather than do two separate broadcasts, we decided to join forces to produce the best possible product for the sponsor and the event.
Who is the sponsor?
Cressi. They are a great Italian company that designs diving and Freediving gear. They got started in 1954 as a spear fishing supplier and have been going strong ever since.
Is filming the event a challenge?
It would be a challenge is we were filming it. We are going to a whole new challenge...broadcasting it live!
Is that considerably harder?
Under the conditions it is the most challenging way. For starters, you are on a boat. Everything is rocking and you have to contend with the noise from the wind. It makes it really hard to get steady images and to reduce the background noise. Second, you are surrounded by salt water. It’s in the air, on your hands...so it gets on and into the equipment. We have had multiple equipment failures and it is isn’t even day three of shooting. The biggest challenge is cell reception though.
Why is cellular reception so important?
Normally, we would broadcast using redundant cell phone carriers and numbers. Here we only have two carriers and the signal is quite weak offshore. We want to provide the best broadcast possible for the athletes, the fans, and for our sponsor, so we are constantly tweeking the production for the best results.
Can you tell us about some of those fixes?
My favorite one is our semi-submersible diving box. Luis, the head of the local Cressi office, came up with this simple, but really effective solution. He had a transparent box made that partially submerges. We just put all our equipment in the box and film. I used it for the footage yesterday.
What does the box do?
Well. It provides a clear field of view to see the divers underwater. More importantly, cell reception is lost the moment you submerge. Because we are maintaining an opening with the surface air, you still have a few cell signal.
That is amazing?
It really is. We are in a pretty remote position off the island in the middle of the Caribbean, but we are broadcasting live footage. It is almost miraculous if you think about it.
What products are using to film?
We didn’t plan to work together, so we didn’t bring necessarily the best complementary equipment and we can’t buy or rent gear here. Our solution was to dumb it down. We almost exclusively shooting on iPhone and iPads. Our audio gear is a hodgepodge of different microphones to work in the ever changing conditions.
How do you feel about the results?
We always want it to be perfect. That’s impossible though, so it I should easy to get frustrated. One of the athletes reminded me that perfect isn’t necessary though. She said here family hated the sport, but they loved watching it and her on our broadcasts, That told me all I needed to hear.
What is your opinion of Roatan?
I own a home here, so I am kind of biased. I am more of a Hamptons type guy and never though of living on a Caribbean. Roatan is a unique treasure. So, I am always staying on an island...either Manhattan or Roatan.
For more travel articles, please visit the travel section by clicking here. For our most recent content, please visit and follow our Facebook page by tapping here. To sign up for our eNews and skip all the work, sign-up here