The first two dives of open water training are almost all skills, with little time for exploring. The third dive is mostly a repeat of your first two and if you do good you generally have some extra time. In my open water training, my third dive started on a small patch of sand and after a few skills practices we swam over to a small wreck. The wreck was of a LCU, the Landing Craft Utility.
Every so often the media run stories about a new artificial reef being created by sinking of an old ship. Sometimes it not even a ship that gets sunk, but cars, tanks and off the coast of Ocean City Maryland you will find schools of fish taking up residence in retired New York City subway cars. When these items are placed purposely underwater they must be fully cleaned and all the hazards materials removed.
Being informed about the environment is important, empowering, and oftentimes depressing. For those that are tired of reading about how the ocean is falling apart and would like to do something about it – there are plenty of things you can do! Scuba divers interested in volunteering to help the environment have options, here are a few.
As typhoon Yolanda tore through the Philippines it was inevitable that there would be significant damage to the diving infrastructure in the areas that were affected. It is important to remember that the Philippines is a large country and despite the scale of the typhoon the majority of islands were not affected.
If you have a trip planned - we recommend checking with the Dive Centre you have booked with before you go – and perhaps if they are in an affected area if there is anything you can do to help with the relief effort.
Our feature writer, Charles Davis, who is based in the Philippines reached out to Dive Centres to see if there were any on-the-ground updates and we will post updates on dive locations as they come in.
The following report comes from Rock Steady Dive Center- they are based on Coron, a small town on Busuanga Island – the largets island on the Calamianes Group located in the north of Palawan.
They are running an appeal in conjunction with a local guest house where you can donate direct to them where they can efficiently deliver aid and support to the local people who need it most. You can donate by sending a PayPal payment to email@example.com - They are posting a screen shot of every donation here.
Typhoon Yolanda Report – Karin and Gerd – RockSteadyDiveCenter
“Coron was hidden badly from the typhoon, Coron divers lost complete their shop and 3 boats, SeaDive lost their big boat blue and a newer boat, Dive Cal lost all their boats, Amphibi Ko lost all their boats. Corto Divers and ourselves were really lucky to have only minor fixes required – e.g. plywood. We will operate on Monday again as our staff is out on the streets to help with relief goods for people in need.
Nitrox is simply air, as it is a word formed by combining nitrogen and oxygen. On earth this describes the air we breath as it is 79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen ignoring the .1% other gases. When we refer to Nitrox we are really talking about a combination where the natural balance of the two gases has been changed. Nitrox 70 as an example is a gas with only 70% nitrogen leaving the oxygen to make up 30%. In scuba diving we call diving with gas that has a different nitrogen oxygen balance as Nitrox diving.
Coral reefs are not as healthy as they used to be – in fact, they could really use some help. Scientists estimate that about a quarter of the world’s reefs have been destroyed in the past few decades, including half of the Great Barrier Reef, up to 80% of Caribbean reefs, and much of the Coral Triangle. The reasons for corals’ rapid decline are all related to human activities.
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I want to dispel a myth that worried me before going to Sipadan. I had read that only advanced divers should contemplate diving Sipadan because of the unpredictable currents. My wife and I dived Sipadan with Sipadan Mabul Resort (I think they call themselves "SMART Divers") and found the experience to be superb. My wife had only done 9 dives before going to Sipadan while I had done over 100 dives. The SMART divemaster we had was exceptional. Everything was kept relaxed and drama-free, there was no rush and when we encountered currents or other challenging situations he would help the group navigate throught hese with no problems. With a cautious and conservative divemaster like we had, diving Sipadan for beginners is not a problem at all and you just need to relax and enjoy the huge turtles, sharks, schools of barracuda and moral eels.
This was an awesome adventure with the world's largest fish. We encountered 10-12 Whale Sharks averaging 1-2 Tons in the bay at La Paz, Mexico. At one point, however, I was caught in the water between the boat and a very friendly Whale Shark (see You Tube "Whale Shark Body Slam")... I would recommend this snorkeling adventure to anyone. They are too fast to actually dive with, because you have to be prepared to get in and out of the boat quickly to keep up with them. You must try to stay away from the mouth and the tail plus not touch them with your bare hands. I would do this adventure again and again. These are friendly fish and big! So be careful. Before you go, check your seasons for the best results and most active areas.
West Caicos was not an option of location so I put the next closest island
Two great dives today in Turks & Caicos. We headed out to West Caicos with Dive Provo. Boat wasn't too crowded and the staff was top notch. Had some small issues with my secondary but other than that everything was perfect.
Tank 1 - not too much out of the ordinary to report on this dive, some others saw a shark but other than that highlights for us included a huge puffer fish (18-24 inches) and a coral formation that had 3 huge lobsters in it.
Tank 2 - the gully - We saw a shark from the surface in between dives. This dive location much better dive, right under the boat we caught a glimpse of a spotted eagle ray, there were a couple schools of yellow jacks circling below, there was also a large grouping of garden eels. While cruising along the reef, we saw a spotted moray complete out of its hole. Saw 2 huge french angel fish, a huge hogfish, some really nice mushroom & sponge coral.
Did not see Lionfish on either dive which was good.
We had an amazing dive on the Grey Nurse Shark Colony off Sydney - taking lots of photos for the Grey Nurse Shark Watch program run by our local university.
The number of sharks varies from dive to dive - the most being 22 counted three months ago.
Next dive planned in two weeks.
I completed my open water this year because my partner wanted to do it, I have since done 4 dives in Dominican republic which were great. I really enjoy diving but have a fear of sharks. I'm going to masa alam in Egypt next year on a diving holiday and just need to know what I should do if I see a shark or one approaches, I'm not worried about the reef sharks but the bigger ones. From research I may see oceanic white tips hammer heads or a tiger.
Is there a chance I might see mantas and hammerheads closer to Cabo?
Going in December.
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