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Rating 10/10

St Helena

Cape Town15 Nov 2012 - 31 Dec 2014

St Helena does not appear on the draw down list of sites so you need to find it - slap bang in the middle of the Atlantic and six days by ship from CT. Bit the voyage, which will be shorter once an airport is completed in 2016, is worth it all. Yesterday six of us snorkeled with a whaleshark; today we dived to 33m to the Darkdale, a WW2 ship sunk by a u-boat and were accompanied by a devil ray. Dives, including equipment and air, cost £20 with the excellent subtropic adventures.

diving long ledge 7
Showing 3 of 4 comments. Show all
whaleshark2

Andy Crowe

There are just two operators and so there is never more than 10 -15 divers in the sea at any time, though it may well increase once you can fly here. You have to take the ship from CT or Ascension Island. And yes, it is amazing and a real privilege to be here.

Erika Huddle

Wow sounds incredible! I better start saving :P

3

Ben Windich

2 Dive Centers.. difficult to get to.. perfect!

Rating 6/10

Nice experience but a bit early

Weligama3 Dec 2014 - 4 Dec 2014 with Weligama Bay Dive Center

This was my first dive outside my home town (UAE, Dubai) and after many research we decided on Weligama based on the report that we might see big fishes. The weather was perfect and waves not too bumpy, but the dive was a bit disappointing. We were told that since the monsoon ended late, the big fish season would start end of December/start of Jan. We have not seen any Mantas, Whale sharks, reef sharks but we did see a lot of different star fishes, small fishes, a beautiful scorpion fish and few barracudas. Also few eels.

Over all, it was very nice but I was disappointed to miss the big fishes.

As for snorkelling, it was too dusty and there was almost no coral reef near the beach due to the fishing ships, though we saw few nice marine life, it was not as much as expected.

The Dive centre staff however were extremely helpful and pretty fun. I would lie if I said I didn't enjoy the dive and the four day and I would certainly be back but next time will make sure its the right season.

PC2 PC3 PC4 PC5
Showing 3 of 4 comments. Show all
GOPR0409

Sharief Faraidooni

Hi Gabriel. This is what the dive centre told us. Starting from End of Dec is the best time for seeing big fishes.

2

Mike Bednarz

Sounds like good diving either way. Barracudas do terrify me a bit! :P

tumbler profile

Catherine Jones

Sharief, we will update the Weligama Animal Calendar to make it align a little more with your useful feedback.

Rating 10/10

Fun Octopus

Playas del Coco1 Dec 2014 - 1 Dec 2014

Had an awesome dive with two clients and we found an octopus trying to raid the nest of a damsel fish. She was darting at the octopus and he was trying to escape her wrath...He finally gave up on trying to eat her eggs

Llan

Rich Ward

Love seeing stuff like this play out!

Feature
Charles Davis

Underwater Robotics which includes ROVs also have its developers.  One of these groups is found at OpenROV. Visiting the website gives you access to the software and design plans to build your own ROV. The site also has kits with all the parts you need, except the batteries, to build your own ROV with just common tools. The kit is $849. The design includes underwater lights and a camera. A 100 meter tether not only controls the motors for depth and directional control but provides a path back to the surface for the video feed.

A number of people have built these DIY projects and are using them for different purposes. A website called open explorer showcases some of the projects/expeditions currently underway using the OpenROV devices.  A monitoring program of marine invasive species at the Madeira Archipelago, in Portugal is starting to use one of these ROVs to monitor harbors.

Rating 10/10

Cozumel: Aldora Divers

Cozumel18 Nov 2014 - 30 Nov 2014 with Aldora Divers

Aldora Divers use high pressure steel tanks with larger volume capacity: 120s and 100s, which give customers longer dives and an extra margin of safety, and the opportunity to wear a little less weight. I enjoyed having an average of seventy minutes per dive and depths occasionally visiting down to 130 feet.

They also have steel 80s.

Watch this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tUlKVvfpSgc&list=UUdeejMcnAdCzt6OJ7V__FEg

Diving groups are small and experience levels are matched for each boat so you don't get stuck with divers from the wrong end of the scale. This is extremely advantageous as you're never restricted to dive sites or bottom times inappropriate for you. If you are a new diver you can rest assured that they will take good care of you and take you to sites and depths that keep you safe and in your comfort zone.

One morning the North wind had begun to blow and all the dive operations were forced cancel their dives for the day. Aldora was set up to get us in the water, diving something new and interesting. They keep boats on the other side of the island and have previously explored some of the relatively unknown reefs, and have even found some very old canons that lie intact just off the coast.

Boat diving happens each morning and afternoon with night dives normally scheduled for Wednesday and Saturday unless a group of four or more has special requests.

They'll pick you up at designated spots depending on where you stay. Villa guests are picked up in front of the Villa which is very convenient.

Bottled water is handed out regularly and coats are provided on the boat if you are feeling chilly. With dives that average seventy minutes, two to four times a day, it pays to keep warm when you get back in the boat.

Aldora has several small boats that are comfortable for six divers and guide, and a large boat which can handle larger groups. The twin engine setup on the dive boats is a safety feature that many of the other dive ops' boats do not have.

aqua aldora2 pool
martim

Martim Silva

Always something cool about seeing old canons - such a visceral part of history.

Rating 10/10

Moore Reef Diving with Wally the Mauri Wrasse !

Cairns19 Sep 2014 - 19 Sep 2014

Aboard Reef Magic, my mum and I went to the Marine World platform, which is located approximately 45km's from offshore Cairns at a private Outer Reef Location on the pristine north eastern end of Moore Reef.

I did my 1st Introductory Dive, and then a 2nd dive and now I am studying to get my Open Water Licence (I am 15 years old). The dive company I am studying with is called Ambeau Sport & Recreation and they are fantastic (and pretty funny too).

We went down about 5 metres first, then about 20 metres on the 2nd dive. I absolutely love diving. Wally the Mauri Wrasse swam up to us and we had our photos taken with him. The dive master (Amanda) had to keep gently moving Wally along cause he was hogging all the camera time, lol.

There was so many different fish to see at Moore Reef - I saw a school of Barracuda, hundreds of Parrot Fish, a few "Nemo's", black tip and white tip reef sharks to name just a few.

You can also go snorkeling or go for a ride in the glass-bottom boat or the semi-sub. There is also an underwater observatory. These are all free activities. They have a delicious buffet lunch, which included curry dishes as well. Reef Magic is a beautiful vessel and had really comfy seats to sleep on on the way back.

I can't wait to complete my Open Water Licence and then get to the next level.

2014 09 19 13.18.2 2014 09 19 13.19.2 2014 09 19 13.19.08 2 2014 09 19 12.38.24 4 2014 09 19 12.38.24 5
liam

Liam Parker

What a great first dive location! Mine was a murky quarry.. not quite as inspiring!

John Fry

John Fry

Excellent report! Got to love Wrasse - nice one. Good luck with your OW!

Llan

Rich Ward

Nice first dives and nicely written report!

News
Charles Davis

The discovery is amazing and the potential in the medical field wide spread. For Diving it has potential, still a great deal of development is needed. A number of writers who have expanded on the scientific material in general publications also do not understand diving very well. A number of online publication have even stated that the concept is in practice. A couple of magazines even had a photograph of a free diver saying they were testing the crystals.

So until the technical achievements that are needed occur, witches and wizards will still need gillyweed.  In the magical world of Harry Potter, a handful of gullyweed allows an underwater stay of an hour. Muggles, non-magical folks, will still need scuba tanks. But for how much longer?

Feature
Charles Davis

The Guinness judge was able to adjudicate the attempt. After Gabr returned to the surface and was examined by his team of doctors, the judge declared the record. While Gabr was dealing with a long deep dive with only a few support divers, Allen Sherrod was in about 10 meters of water in his world record attempt. He had with him, two support divers that were rotated every hour, visiting divers dropping in for a visit, live radio interviews, visits by mermaids and renewed his wedding vows. Sherrod's goal was to stay underwater for 55 hours. His record attempt was just 900 feet off shore on an artificial reef. Since you may have risen your eyebrows at the mermaid comment let me explain that first. Allen and his wife Barbara live in Weeki Wachee Florida. The park there is known for its springs and mermaid show. Allen is the director of underwater safety and his wife recently retired from the show where she was one of the mermaids.

The world record dive attempt was being held in conjunction with a mermaid convention. Before, during and after his dive, there were photo shoots with some of the mermaids. When he and his wife renewed their vows, her wedding party were all in tails, mermaid tails. Sherrod wore a full face mask fitted with an underwater speaker device of his design during the entire event. It was developed as a safety device at the mermaid show. On this dive it was also fitted with a cell phone device allowing him to give live updates to local radio stations. He wore a dry suit and used a side mount set up, which make it easier to swap out tanks with the help of his safety divers. Some problems with his dry suit leaking caused him to shorten his dive. While short of his 55 hour goal, Sherrod was able to stay under for 51 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds. As he did not have a judge on site, his evidence will need to be evaluated before officially being awarded the record.

News
Charles Davis

There are number of projects that a scuba diver can get involved with as they enjoy their dive.  Divers who have taken a photograph of a whale shark are encourage to provide a copy of the photograph and dive information to the Wildbook for Whale Shark website. That site maintains a photographic index of Whale sharks and the data is used to help track the worlds largest fish. You may even be able to match your photograph against a description in the data base and find out more about the whale shark you have seen. A similar shark project is being done at Stanford university. That project, shark pulse, is gathering images of all species of sharks for its database.

The iSeahorse project would love your help to record seahorse observations. An effort of Project Seahorse of the University of British Columbia, London Zoo, and others, the iSeahorse project is a program for recreational scuba divers. Divers are asked to report sightings of seahorses to their project. They currently have a iPhone/ iPad application to stream line the reporting and provide information on different seahorse species.  The app will help you identify the species of seahorse and give you an overview of that species. They have also recently launched a PADI approved Seahorse Specialty Course that is now available in Thailand at three popular diving destinations: Phuket, Pattaya and Koh Tao. Over 30 instructors have been trained to teach the specialty course.

Rating 8/10

Night Dive at Kata Reef, Phuket

Phuket31 Oct 2014 - 2 Nov 2014 with Rumblefish Adventure

One of Thailand’s top shore dive sites, Kata Beach North Reef is opened and the diving has been awesome. With easy walk-in conditions, relaxed shallow dives, Kata Reef lets divers take their time to take photos of some of the coolest and weirdest creatures in the Andaman Sea. In our first week, we have found Robust ghost pipefish, juvenile Reef cuttlefish, Reef octopus and on Halloween Night, a first time sighting of the rare Starry night octopus.

From now until the end of April, daily day and night dives, beginners or experienced all can dive here. It's a great dive site for long, slow and relax dives. You can log as long 100 minutes on 1 tank if you're good on air.

Starry.night.Octo Justin.Lee cuttlfish.small hermitcrab.small Scorpionfish.small
moo

Nick T. Morrison

Looks good! Octopus looks a great sighting.

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