I am going to be in Singapore for a cruise the beginning of October - the reports I've read are not that complimentary about the dive sites - is it worth taking the time to dive there or wait for Cambodia, Thailand or Vietnam?
While the Thresher sharks are the headliners of the local diving, there is a great variety of other diving as well. There are currently over twenty dive sites in the area including ship wrecks and drift dive sites. Of the twenty sites over a dozen are within a few minutes of the island. There is diving available from training sites for those just learning to dive to those who are advanced divers. Gato island is a special two dive trip that most dive center make a few times a week. The area is a hour away and is known for its abundant corals and sponges as well as a great place to see sleeping white tip sharks and sea snakes. Advanced divers looking for something different will find it here as well. A tunnel runs under the island that advance divers can transverse. Back on Malapascua, Just off shore from the island's lighthouse is the, well, the lighthouse reef. It is a shallow reef that is used as an open water training site by some dive centers. The beautiful coral gardens make for a wonderful relaxing dive. As wonderful the reef is for training, it is a very special sunset dive. The reef is the home of a vast number of Mandarinfish. Generally considered the most colorful of the reef fish they are also known for their exotic mating dances. Starting around twilight the males start their dances hoping to attract a female to dance with them.
We have just returned from a 2 week break in Khao Lak.
A lovely quiet location in a fabulous resort (La Flora).
Unfortunately, the diving I am unable to report upon, as we were unable to dive Similans just an hour or so from the resort :(
We looked on many websites (as we normally do) to find how good the diving is, what is on offer and so on. Then when satisfied we booked our flights and hotel.
Then we sent emails requesting pricing and options to discount if we paid in advance etc ...
At this point it was clear, that off peak in Khao Lak means off completely!!
The Similan Islands are a national parks that shut from the 15th May until September due to the weather conditions and to let the life rejuvinate.
There is no notification on any of the websites we visited and as to this fact!! We therefore went to Phuket for a few days to make the most of our time - this was good.
The location Khao Lak is great and it is a very chilled atmosphere. I wanted to warn that if you want to go there to dive do it after September and before mid April (Thai New Year) for optimal results.
Is it Safe to Dive during my Period?
Is it safe to dive whilst I am on my period? A commonly asked questions and the answer is yes… pretty much.
Many divers feel a concern over menstruating underwater. Be it shark attack, weakness, visual or hygienic issues this is a question asked over and over again in the dive community. Here to put your mind at rest I can tell you that you will be physically safe, however you may need to take a couple of safeguards into consideration.
Is there a chance of shark attack if I dive on My Period?
Thankfully, sharks are not going to smell your blood and come pursuing you because you’re menstruating. The warning that a shark can smell blood from three miles, or five kilometers, away is taken as fact, but this does not mean the smell makes the shark any more interested in you as it would be a floating log.
While diving is a year round sport in many locations, the number of divers and dives greatly increases in the summer months. As we head towards that time of the year, there are a number of items we should do to get the most out of our dive season.
1. Annual Services
Certain items of your kit, such as your regulators, needs to be services annually by certified technicians. Some manufacturers of regulators will provide lifetime service parts, however, to stay under the terms of the warranty you must have the piece of equipment services annually. Missing a service can mean no more free service parts. While not an annual requirement when you have your regulator serviced, ask to have your Submersible Pressure Gauge (SPG) checked. Most dive centers have a calibrated pressure gauge. They can compare what your gauge reads to their calibrated gauge at different pressures. Few SPG can be adjusted, however, a gauge giving different reading might not need to be replaced. As an example, if your gauge reads 10 bar higher than the calibrated reading at different pressures, you just need to remember that and adjust your dive plan accordingly. A dive plan that calls for an accent at 70 bar, would be 80 bar on your SPG. However, if the test show a variation that differs at different pressures (ie shows 290 at 300 bar ten low, but 60 at 50 bar ten high) the gauge must be replaced.
After diving the Red Sea in January I was hooked. My next destination Malta,the trip was a learning experience for me as it was my first solo trip and had no idea what to expect.
Unfortunately Malta resembles a building site at the moment with all of the roadworks and developments underway but that wasn't why I was there.
After settling in on my first day, day 2 the diving began. I met up with some friends who were already there and doing their last day of diving and headed to St.Elmos Fort/harbour for the first two dives.
It was good to get back in the water, but typically me, I forgot my rock boots and had to dive in my brand new trainers. It was that or no dive. I can't remember the name of the wreck now, but we dived it twice and it was a great experience ideal for the first day after a couple of months break.
The water was still a little cold, so I bought s hood and gloves for the remainder of the week.
The remainder of the week much of my diving was at Cirkewwa with a guide from Scubatech, diving the P29, the Rozzi and the various reef dives. Nice to spot the Madonna.
Dive day 3 we headed for Gozo and the Blue Hole. Two dives again and both were majestic, the Blue Hole was a beautiful dive and the cliffs, drop offs are amazing. The inland sea was another fabulous dive and a very basic introduction to narrow gulley diving. My confidence was building.
Dive day 4 was back to Cirkewwa due to weather, but it was different again, beautiful swim throughs and a revisit of the P29.
All in all my trip to Malta was a great experience, I would have preferred going a little later in the year with warmer water, but I gather it gets swarmed with divers in the summer and what I love most about diving is the solitude.
Where next? I have yet to decide.
After completing my Open Water PADI certification at inland quarries in the UK (Wraysbury and Vobster), I embarked on a real adventure to the Red Sea on a liveaboard with friends.
Our provider was Blue O2 and they were excellent. Our first diving day was delayed due to bad weather so day 2 became day 1.
My first dive was a bit of a disaster, lost a fin and skimmed my head on a rib so dive 1 got scrapped, a great lesson :)
I eventually got into the swing of it and was diving in beautiful water for the rest of the trip, we dived numerous reefs and wrecks, the highlight being the Thistlegorm. I became hooked.
BA fly to Grand Cayman via the Bahamas from LHR
Cayman Brac is the smallest of the Cayman Islands.
We stayed here http://www.bracreef.com/cayman-islands-resorts/ which has a dive operation attached run by Reef Divers. ThEYhave two or three boats depending on demand each of which comfortably seat up to twenty or so divers. Various packages are available for permutations of two dives in the morning and one in the afternoon.
The diving is, in the main, fairly easy. On our trip we dived on the northern side of the island as the winds made the sea on the south side too rough. This also meant that no night dives were available.
Even the farthest dive is probably only 15 minutes or so away, which gives you ample time to kit up.
The general rule is a deep dive for the first one and then shallow ones for the next two.
You can go off on your own but the leader will meet you under the boat and escort however many people want to follow.
Dive times are usually about 45 minutes. The guide will get you back to the boat after about 30 minutes where you can stay until you need to get out.
The dive sights are a mix of coral reefs, walls and an extremely good wreck, a Russian frigate the 356, a remnant of the Cold War from Cuba.
The is little large stuff here. Eagle rays are fairly common as are stingrays. There is a large grouper population some of which are astonishingly friendly and will follow you for the entire dive. There are some very large barracuda that may also escort you on your dive.
Turtles are fairly common and many of these are used to divers so provided they are not crowded will hang around for as long as you do.
There is the usual collection of Caribbean reef fish, a variety of morays big and small, huge lobster and crabs, as well as small shrimps and other critters.
Good visibility, relatively shallow depths a fairly constant 28 C water temp and no currents
The resort is closing for three monhs later in 2015 for refurbishment.
In the early days of scuba diving, a military surplus life preserver, nick named a Mae West, was an often used flotation device on the surface after a dive. This was replaced by a horse collar style flotation device, which itself was replaced by early BCDs. The double hose regulator was mostly replaced with a regulator with one hose, Oval face masks were replaced with low volume mask. The development of the wet suit provided an alternative to the rubber dry suit in certain waters and the dry suit itself saw changes. The list of improvements even lead scuba diving away from a He-man activity to a family sport.
Do You Consider A Dive Computer A Mandatory Device?
Electronics in general and dive computer specifically have greatly evolved over the last few decades. Dive computers go beyond the recommending of dive dives and depths. Most models allow a connection to a computer to transfer detailed information. Dive logs can be examined with a range of different information being provided. Many recreational divers see a dive computer as mandatory as a depth gauge, pressure gauge and a watch are. In many cases the gauges have been replaced with a dive computer that has a pressure functions built in.
I recommend only 3 dive sites off Kona, but it spectacular:
1. Night dive with mantas. Every night you can see more than 6 mantas in one place ( I saw 25). For me it best night dive sites in the world!!!!
2. Harbor . In harbor lives 3 tiger sharks. One of them probably 5 meters and so fatt ( it biggest tiger shark what I see). During dive you can meet eagle Ray , gray reef shark, Dolphins , mantas, turtles and etc etc etc. I meet also monk seals.
3. Manta cleaning station.
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