Swimming Pools & Underwater

How To Go Boating in a Hot Tub

Hot Tub Time Machine is terrible. But a hot tub boat? Now that’s cool!

Spot Cool Stuff loves unlikely hybrids of two travel products. Previously we’ve reviewed a scooter that doubles as a wheeled bag, a wheeled bag that’s also a backpack and a backpack that’s also a downhill bike, among other hybrid travel products.

In that spirit of Dr. Moreau-inspired travel ideas comes hot tub boating.

There are, surprisingly, at least two places on the planet where you can take a small boat out in the water whilst simultaneously lounging in a hot tub. One is in Seattle. The another in IJlst, Holland.

It might be the coolest travel hybrid experience we’ve found since the tent-hammock-treehouse. Our look at each:

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Badeschiff: Berlin’s Floating Pool

Swimming in Berlin’s Spree River is not something most people will want to do. But swimming in a pool that is in the Spree River—now that’s cool!

And that’s exactly the experience the Badeschiff offers.

The German word translates to “bathing ship,” which is as good a short description as any. The Badeschiff was fashioned from an old river barge cargo container filled with 400,000 liters (about 100,00 gallons) of chlorinated fresh water. The whole thing literally floats in the river, tied to a dock in the same way one might moor a houseboat.

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The Water Cube Gets Happy Magic

You may remember the Water Cube as the venue for the swimming events 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. The exterior of “The Cube,” with its translucent walls that seemed as though they were made of giant living skin cells, became one of the iconic images of the games.

The Water Cube received a lot of press at the time of the Olympics. But what most reports (including Spot Cool Stuff’s own review) left out was that the building was not designed to permanently host of swimming competitions. From conception, its real intended purpose was to be a water park.

Recently the Water Cube’s original destiny was fulfilled with the opening of the Happy Magic Watercube. (Yes, somehow “water cube” got truncated to one word during the transition). In doing so, the place where Michael Phelps once set world records in swimming is today setting the record as the world’s largest indoor water park.

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The Best Miami
Hotel Swimming Pools

When a beach-side hotel is part owned by Madonna it's got to have a stylish pool.

Water views. Frozen drinks. The smell of sunscreen. Celebrities and scantily clad socialites mixing it up. The hotel swimming pools of South Beach do indeed offer all that. But did you know you can also find the world’s largest hot tub and the world’s shallowest swimming pool shallow end? For a scene like no other hop a flight to Miami and check out this selection of the city’s best hotel swimming pools:

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Dive Into Jelly(fish)

It's a surreal diving experience, moving around in water that is itself a moving gelatinous mass

On the Pacific island nation of Palau you’ll find Spot Cool Stuff’s favorite inland scuba diving location: Jellyfish Lake. Though it wasn’t always a lake.

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The Waterproof, Durable Pentax Optio W90

Three small LED lights around the lens that illuminate subjects when taking macro photos. Very cool.

A few months ago we compared the Canon PowerShot D10 to the Olympus Stylus Tough-8000. Since then a new waterproof ultra-compact point-and-shoot has entered the market: the Pentax Optio W90. Spot Cool Stuff’s review:

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iWaterproof Your iPod and iPhone

When Spot Cool Stuff travels with an iPod we always have it in a waterproof case, whether we plan to being near water or not. A case that protects an iPod from water also protects it from sand (which, we suspect, is a more common cause of iPod mortality than water is) and from everyday dust and grime. A good waterproof case will also protect an iPod from knocks and dings.

Not all waterproof iPod cases are created equal. In fact, most are inferior. Some are little more than glorified zip-lock bags—they’ll work okay at first, not so much after a few months. Other cases are prone to accidental opening, provide an obstructed view of the screen or make operating the iPod cumbersome.

Here’s our selection for the best waterproof iPod cases. Read on or click directly to the portion of the review that interests you:

iPod Nano (4rd generation) iTouch & iPhone
iPod Nano (3rd generation) iPod Armbands iPod Classic (6th generation) Waterproof Headphones

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Eat Underwater in the Maldives

The food at the Ithaa Undersea Restaurant is quite tasty—we suggest the pan fried Maldivian white fish with fennel sauce and curry. But diners here don’t pay much attention to what’s on their plate. They are too captivated by this underwater restaurant’s 270 degree view of crystal blue water and vibrant marine life.

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