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Oyster Diving | PADI Scuba Diving Blog

All the latest news about scuba diving, travel and PADI training courses from Oyster Diving.

PADI Open Water Course at Rye St. Antony School, Oxford | Easter 2018

PADI Open Water Course at Rye St. Antony School, Oxford | Easter 2018

 

I had a lovely weekend in Oxford and really enjoyed teaching the students and teachers of Rye St. Antony, a lovely private school based in Oxford. They asked us to complete the PADI open water referral for them so that when they went to Honduras on the summer school trip they had the ‘boring’ part of the PADI course already completed.

Saturday 14th April 2018

Mark, our instructor, started the course off by doing some basic theory in one of the classrooms. While he was doing that myself and Scuba Paul, the other instructor were busy placing all of the dive kit by the side of the schools’ outdoor heated pool.

After successfully completing the first knowledge reviews and quizzes the students came down to pool where we showed them how to set up their equipment. It wasn’t long before they were jumping in the pool and started the process of learning to dive. The pool was heated to a balmy 31 degrees and the sun shone for the entire duration of the confined water session.

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The Best Wreck Dive in Sussex

The Best Wreck Dive in Sussex

The City of Waterford Wreck, Sussex

 

There are many great wrecks along the Sussex coastline such as the P&O passenger liner SS Oceana that was built in 1888 and various wrecks from both World Wars. However the City of Waterford is the wreck that brings the most smiles to divers faces. Sitting at a depth of 30m about 10 miles from Brighton she is easily accessible by any diver with an Advanced Open Water certification or equivalent.

 

She measures 270 x 37 feet and had berths for 40 passengers. Her main route of service was between Dublin and Europe (Belgium, Holland and Germany).

 

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The World’s 5 Best Diving Locations

The World’s 5 Best Diving Locations

For divers, there is nothing better than exploring the underwater world’s our planet has to offer and whether you’ve been diving for many years or not, there are some dive locations you simply do not want to miss! This article lists 5 of the world’s best diving locations that you have to see to believe. Check it out!


1. The Galapagos Archipelago  

The Galapagos was recently featured on The Blue Planet and we were reminded of this diving paradise. The Galapagos Archipelago holds some of the most beautiful diving locations in the world. A group of 13 major islands, The Galapagos Archipelago is one of the best places to see sharks, with Hammerheads seen all year round. Each of the Galapagos islands offers up something different for divers to explore. However, Darwin Island is one of the most popular islands for diving and is the best place to see sharks. The Galapagos is one of the best places on the glove to dive and divers get to see an abundance of fantastic marine life.


2. Malapascua Island, Cebu, Philippines

 

Malapascua Island in the Philippines is an idyllic diving location situated off the north coast of Cebu. World-renowned for its incredible diving opportunities, Malapascua provides the chance to dive with thresher sharks, see displays of varied marine life and explore beautiful coral reefs all year round. What’s more, Malapascua Island is one of the only places in the world where divers have the opportunity to see thresher sharks up close. To experience one of the most unique and beautiful diving locations in the Philippines, Malapascua is the place to be!

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Top 5 Best Wreck Dive Sites in the World

Guest post by Myryame Angers

Travelers love snorkeling and scuba diving as it allows some thrills and beautiful discoveries along the way. Most of us think of transparent water, cute coral fishes, and colourful coral gardens. In fact, that’s what we find while diving the most iconic destinations such as the Maldives, the Caribbean, and Australia. Yet, some divers imagine dark shapes, holes and mysterious treasures hidden on the seabed. Indeed, wreck diving is amazing for many, and a little spooky for a few!

Scuba divers that are into wreck diving will go half way around the world to find the best wreck dive sites. There are a few things you need to consider while planning a wreck diving oriented holiday. In fact, there are different types of wrecks, lying at different depths, and coming from different ages! So, you need to consider both your interests and your certification level before you book anything!

First, some shipwrecks are older than others, and some have a long history behind their walls. Plus, shipwrecks can be intentionally sunk to create a reef, or there can be a tragic story behind their sinking. You might want to choose a specific area to dive on shipwrecks if you have a thing for history. In fact, areas like the Truk Lagoon are very well known to be historically rich dive sites, with all kind of wrecks dating back to the second World War. Secondly, you need to make sure you have the proper certification to dive on shipwrecks. Indeed, some wreck dives are deeper than others, make sure you are certified to reach them. Plus, if you wish to enter the shipwrecks and navigate inside, a certification is required, and available with all the agencies such as PADI, CMAS, SSI, etc.

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Should I Join a Scuba Diving Club?

Why Join a Scuba Diving Club?

 

Many divers simply stop diving when they complete their open water course. The main reason for this is that they do not have anyone to dive with. Either their partner doesn’t dive or their friends aren’t interested in it.

So the main benefit for joining a dive club is that it gives you a reason to go diving, and as you know scuba diving is one of life’s greatest pleasures!

There are many other benefits to joining a club other than just to go diving. Diving frequently makes you a much better diver, and generally speaking the better you get the more you enjoy it.

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My first winter being a diver in the UK

My first winter at Oyster Diving

You’ve probably (hopefully?) read my first few blog articles about first few weeks here at Oyster Diving.

Since my last post a lot has happened. I’ve attended some school presentations where we will hopefully be teaching their students to dive, and fingers crossed even take them to the Maldives next year.

At the beginning of February, I was with Nick and Mark at the outdoor pool in Brighton. With an outside temperature of 3 degrees I thought I was going to freeze when I jumped in the water. However, both myself and our students were pleasantly surprised at how warm the pool was.

Despite the long winter months, we have been busy. I guess a lot of people have been jumping on planes and going on holiday to warmer climates. I’ve done a few pool sessions at the pool in Soho in central London, Surrey & Berkshire, Oxford and Kent.

The weekend that really stands out was on the 3-4th March when we went to Wraysbury. The country was covered in snow and ice, and the air temperature peeked at around 3 degrees. We had ten brave customers there completing their PADI open water and dry suit courses. The water was a chilly 3 degrees which quickly made my flippers go numb. All the students did really well and despite the cold all, but a couple completed their diving courses. On the plus side Wraysbury was crystal clear with viz of around 10m. It was a great weekend, and everyone had huge smiles on their faces despite the cold.

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What is a good set of diving equipment for not much money?

What is a good set of diving equipment for a beginner or a holiday diver who does not wish to spend too much money?

 

A bit like cars there is a vast variety of diving kit out there to choose from. But you probably wouldn’t buy the top of a range car if you’ve just past your driving test.

Most people who buy diving kit only do so once in their life, unless they are a gadget head or become more serious divers.

The equipment I have selected below is ideal for a new or occasional diver and that doesn’t want to spend a fortune. It is all great quality kit and assumes that you will do most of your diving in warmer water.

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The UK's Best Scuba Diving Magazines

Best Scuba Diving Magazines in the UK

 

Dive magazines are one of the best places to keep up to date with the latest information in the dive community. They often have offers from holiday suppliers and equipment manufacturers. Tips of safe diving, equipment recommendations and independent reviews can also broaden your knowledge and help you make informed decisions on where to spend your hard-earned income.

To get the best deal most of the magazines offer an annual subscription and often include a ‘free’ sweetener to hook you in.

Here are our top 5 dive magazines in the UK:

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Too old to Scuba Dive? Nah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We very often get asked the question 'How old can you dive to?'. I always answer that you can dive until you can no longer dive! Basically that means that there is nothing to stop you from Diving just as long as general health allows you to. It's not like the generalisation of sport where a competitive edge can have an affect on participation. Scuba Diving is non-contact, non-competitive, age irrelevant and gender irrelevant. We recently had the great privilege of welcoming a very interesting and lovely couple, Frances (73) and Hamish (74) to the Soho pool venue who were going on a trip to Tanzania where they were going to do some diving. With this in mind they had booked onto one of our Reactivate courses to refresh their skills. Following the class I had a good chat with them both about their lives and diving, Frances kindly agreed to put pen to paper and give us a bit of an insight into how they have enjoyed diving and continue to do so. Here's what she had to say, a fascinating read..............enjoy!

 

Frances wrote.....................

Too old to dive?

 

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The final blog of the Maldives Trip 2018

Dive Day 6, trip day 8 (Saturday)

Dive 1 the last dive (Embudhoo Express) Sadly this was it, our final dive was about to happen. We were woken as always with a lovely fresh brew of tea in our cabins, a little later than usual as we had all (apparently) been very good all week! 0645 came the rat tat tat at the cabin door and our friendly crew man was standing there with his usual big grin on his face. Briefing next where Albert gave his usual spin on the briefing with his wit, banter but great information. We always knew exactly what to expect and do once we left the lounge heading for the Dhoni. Cameras all in our grasp we headed out and began kitting up. Once we hit the spot it was all go go go and we all jumped into the clear blue waters for the last time this trip. What amazing things were we about to see and witness? This was a channel dive so we all ascended quickly to ensure we all hit the right spot at the right time. As we approached the rocky bed we prepared our hooks to hook in and I grabbed my camera. There were amazing sights to see with the passing shark life, eagle rays, grouper and barracudas drifting past merrily as their days began. I was snapping away content in the thought that I would surely capture yet more great memories. To my left was Hayley with her ‘Eeyore’ Donkey which she had been determined to take on her final dive, accompanying Roger on his last until Silfra. All was going so great until…………dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuun! The true horror of the rookie mistake dawned on me. Looking at the back of my camera I saw the horrific scene we all dread to see when we are in the midst of capturing these memories on film. NO SD CARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! How could this happen? I’m a professional! This DOESN’T happen to a professional, DOES IT? Luckily my amazing friends in Chris, Ian and Alison offered up their shots once we surfaced and I came clean. I had already shown Hayley mid-dive what I’d done to be met with a huge chuckle at 25m which even I could hear through her regs! The dive passed without further incident and we drew the safety stop out as long as we possibly could, none of us really wanted to surface. Another awesome dive spotting all manner of creatures.

A list of just some of what we saw on this dive: Grey reef, turtle, school of eagle rays, school of barracudas, grouper, octopus etc etc

                                                                                                                    

There were some incredible photographers on this trip that have produced some real works of art. I hope that non-one feels left out as I couldn't possibly put them all in to this blog but I have put a couple of my faves here, I hope you don't mind. Sophie and Albert are both incredibly talented photographers and I could have flooded this series of blogs just with their work however I'm sure that if you google both Sophie Grisard and Albert Saiz Tezanos you will easily find some of their incredible shots. Tony Felstead, you're an awesome talent too and also amazingly clever at fixing other peoples cameras too when some heavy handed Scuba Instructor messes around with his SD card ;-).

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Dive Day 5, Trip day 7 - Barby night and Dolphin pod!

Dive Day 5, Trip day 7 (Friday)

Dive 14 of the trip (Devana Kandu) First dive of the day and another nice little relaxing drop down to around 24m straight onto the rocky bed and a reef hook dive. Pretty uneventful and not a lot to report to be honest, just very nice to start the day like this. Hovering gently above the rocky bed, suspended by a thin rope, hooked into the rock we just lay there watching the fish and small sharks drift by at the start of their day. As with every dive you are surrounded by little macro life too so it is always worth a stare at the surrounding topography there are always some fascinating little critters to admire including nudis and all sorts!

Species spotted: Grey reef sharks, white tip, eagle rays, giant moray, octopus

          

 

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Dive Day 4, Trip day 6 Night Nurse!

Dive Day 4, trip day 6 (Thursday)

Breakfast roll call at 6.15am meant another interesting time listening to the dive brief for the pre-breakfast dive (Dive 11 for the week Rangali Madivaru), looking forward to this one as it appears to be a nice relaxing start to the day. Off we trot to the Dhoni and begin heading out to the open ocean alongside what can only be described as a true tropical paradise. As we descended it would appear that the visibility has gotten even better over night since the brief storm we had earlier in the week had now long passed. The sun is shining constantly now and the waters are so lovely and warm, some are even diving with no neoprene at all these days. Soon we were drifting gently along the reef walls, complete with rocky overhangs hiding all sorts of interesting soft coral hangings and fish life hiding from the sun as it streams down through the water. No dramas on this one and lots to see too including white tips, white mouth moray, baby clown trigger fish, banded pipefish to name just a few. Roger had another outing today dropping down to his deepest dive yet, certainly no deeper than 30m though......obviously!

Dive 2 (Maamigil) proved to be a fascinating drift dive once again with only a gentle current gliding us along all eagerly looking out for the whale sharks which are occasionally in the area. Great excitement was apparent just before we entered the Dhoni when Ian shouted ‘Shark’ at the back of the main boat. I think that maybe his own keen anticipation may have been playing tricks on his mind but who knows, they say Loch Ness doesn’t exist either yet many have seen it! I have decided to give him the benefit of the doubt and say he did he see one as sadly we didn’t spot any others on the dive. Even at the end of the dive whilst doing a perfectly executed safety stop with Ian, Hayley and Jen we were all still gazing about us willing just a brief encounter – it just wasn’t meant to be I suppose. However highlights of the dive were seeing a turtle feeding, another one sleeping and many other fascinating sightings of rare and amazing creatures including white tip sharks, marble rays, bird wrass, parrot fish, morays and many varieties of sea cucumbers.

 

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Feeding time - Dives 8, 9 and 10 Maldives 2018

Dive Day 3, trip day 5 (Wednesday)

The morning again began with a freshly brewed cup of tea being brought to our cabins at the ungodly hour of 6.15, however if we are to have time to experience these amazing times then ‘the early bird catches the worm’. How right they are!

Again we were in for an extraordinary batch of treats in the sea. Briefing 1 of the day revealed that we were going to head off ‘for a day of cleaning’. The first dive (Himendhoo Rock) of the day was to head toward a Manta cleaning station. Briefing over we jumped in with keen anticipation, dropping down to a comfortable 15-20m we were positioned in a circle, just as we had done the night before, but this time surrounding a huge piece of rock. On this rock were hundreds of tiny fish all positioned ready and waiting from the Mantas to slowly glide in, not like the feeding frenzy we had seen the previous night, but more a graceful flight in to allow the cleaners to indulge themselves  on whatever they could glean from the skin of the Mantas. Again and again they swooped in and then disappeared into the blue. We sat and watched this peaceful operation for over 40 minutes until slowly fellow divers had to retire from their positions in search of the surface as air depleted.

                          

Dive 2 (Moofushi Manta point) briefing was a little more in depth as we were given a strict set of rules to adhere to. Mainly due to the human nature of us divers ‘fighting’ for a view as the 2nd dive spot we were heading to was an alternative but evidently much busier cleaning station. We were not left disappointed! There wasn’t too much jostling for a position either which I was particularly pleased about. Immediately we arrived at the station we were greeted but a stunning display of huge Manta Rays swooping in for their ‘wash’n’brush up’. Amusingly we were also told to look out for the baby eagle rays who seemed to have an identity issue (they think they are Mantas too!). They looked so cute swooping in, just like the Mantas, yet they were a 10th their size. Equally beautiful and agile just a little more cute. As air began running low we headed away from the station to begin our safety stops and ascents, the journey out was simply stunning as we were met by hundreds of bright yellow snappers and many other varieties of fish, nudis, barracudas and even a lone Spanish dancer jigging her way around Hayleys BCD eagerly exploring to see what this strange bubble blowing creature was! What an awesome way to celebrate your 100th Dive Kirsten, well done and many congratulations.

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Dive day 2, trip Day 4 Surprise!

Dive day 2, trip Day 4 Surprise!

Dive Day 2, trip day 4 (Tuesday):

The morning began at 6.15am with a lovely brew being brought to the cabin before the 6.30 1st dive briefing (Rasdhdo Madivaru repeated). What a day they had in store for us today. The briefing gave us all a quick lesson on ‘reef hooks’ and how to use them. A particularly handy class for those that were a bit rusty on their use and there were also a lot that hadn’t used them before. Focus being on safety but also respect for where they were to be hooked onto. Dropping down we were soon onto the edge of the channel, hooking on it was supposed to be a waiting game but it certainly didn’t prove to be a long wait. It was like a shark super highway! Right in front of us there were silver tip sharks, white tip sharks, grey sharks amongst many thousands of variety of fish and fauna. All going about their regular business completely oblivious to the 20 or so sets of eyes gazing at them in complete awe. We spent nearly 40 minutes just watching them drift along then gradually as air began getting low our fellow divers began to depart heading to the surface for the safety stops and excited discussions to be had once surfaced. Roger had his first dive of the cruise watching out for his former friends and foes! Luckily he managed to avoid any potential dangers and had great fun with Paul and the rest of us. He even got his picture snapped with Thithi the dive guide! Then came a delicious breakfast of omelettes, sausages and beans plus loads of fruit! More fruit than I have seen in an awfully long time anyway!

                                        

Following nap time came dive 2 (Gangehi Pass) briefing and back into the Dhoni. A short ride out to the reef and we were soon plunging into the warm blue waters of the Indian Ocean. Dropping down to around 25m we were met by a beautiful coral face with quite literally thousands of sea creatures, some swimming, some crawling and some doing, I don’t know what! A huge sea cucumber was spotted, square in profile, about 20cm across and thick and it must have been 3 feet long! There was a rather unfortunate happening on this dive at the start when Ian’s high pressure hose literally exploded just as he dropped in off the Dhoni, very unfortunate as he had to sit  out the dive, even more unfortunate for his hose though (RIP HP hose, you will be fondly remembered for all your faithful service over the years – a quote from Ian!) I really went with a huge bang under the water, we all thought it was when Richard had done his giant stride entry! (hee hee only joking Mr Dennis 😉).

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Trip day 3 Dive Day 1 Maldives 2018 Manta Ray first sighting

Trip day 3 Dive Day 1 Maldives 2018 Manta Ray first sighting

Monday 5th February

6am call with a cup of tea at the cabin door. What new experience were in store for us this fine day? Safety and dive briefing over we headed over to the Dhoni for dive 1 (Kurumba). A check dive they called it, what a check dive! During this 40 minute submersion into the beautiful warm blue waters we saw Hawksbill turtles, Black tip sharks, White tip Sharks and thousands of other varieties of coral dwellers. If this was a taste of what we had to come then bring it on. What could dive 2 possibly have in store…………………………………………………       

                

Following a hearty breakfast and time for a little R&R catch up the bells rang calling us for briefing no.2 (Rasfari). A few minutes later we were all back on the Dhoni gearing up for dive 2. None of us could ever have anticipated what this dive had in store for us. We were separated into the groups Albert had suggested and we dropped off the boat into the warm water. Negative entry, so we were quickly descending into the unknown. The reef was soon in sight and we all gathered for our swim along, keeping the reef on our right and just 7 or 8 minutes into the dive we heard the clacker from the guide. Coming in from ‘the blue’ was my first ever open water sighting of a Manta Ray! Majestically she glided toward us, like an undersea angel, followed by 2 more of these spectacular creatures. So aware of us yet seemingly inquisitive of us. What must they be thinking when they see us strange ‘’bubble blowing’’ blobs floundering about in their world? They glided in and around our group as if to try to work it out, then they were off, effortlessly, just as quickly and gracefully as they had entered, our lives they left it.  My first Manta Ray experience was over. We then continued on, dumbstruck by what had just happened. There was just so much to see down there and enveloped in the warm tropical ocean I never wanted to leave. Air getting low, it was time to think about surfacing when all of a sudden another Manta came to say goodbye. Gliding in and out of our group, in what looked like slow motion, she came and then went. It was now time to begin our ascent. The buzz on the Dhoni was extraordinary, the spirit was so alive with the excitement of what we had all just encountered. Some people I had never met before, yet in just 24 hours, had now shared such a magical experience with. Discussion over pizza in the mess was filled with excitement and anticipation  on what this week was to hold for us all.

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Maldives 2018 Dive trip day 1

Saturday 3rd February / Sunday 4th February

Heading out from Brighton on Rogers first foreign assignment, this time to the Maldives. Who knows where his adventures will take him next. Chris and Kirsten have already messaged to offer their assistance with the extra kit so I already knew this was going to be a great trip. Train journey went great and the first to join the group was Kirsten waiting on the platform. Chris was there somewhere too but there are 3 exits and we were at different ones! Anyway Chris soon found us at the end of the travellator. We then all took a walk toward the terminal when we were then met by Jennifer. The group was slowly taking shape……….once Chris had had his last ciggie for a few hours we went toward the check in. We were soon joined by Richard, Ian, Fiona, Alison and Natalie. There was only one left to join us now……………………..WHERE’S HAYLEY? No dramas actually she was just a few minutes behind the rest of us so while Hayley was having her last minute battle with the M23 traffic Ian, Fiona and a few others went off to get us a nice area in the lounge. Hayley was soon there and we headed through security, everything was going so smoothly. The entire group had arrived and we were all heading toward our rendezvous in the No1 lounge, North terminal.

Ian and Fiona had got us a cracking position right next to the bar so I could see what kind of trip this was going to be……………………😉 Especially when the bar tender offered a Champagne lager blend which was complimentary with the pass! Boarding not until 1925 so food and bar time resumed.

First group shot followed our exit from the lounge and we headed to the most enormous plane I have ever seen. We really were on our way to the Maldives. Flight arrived early at Dubai, our short stop, resulting in the longest transfer from one aircraft to another in living history……………………a 1 hour bus journey (well it felt that way!). Plus a 20minute hike through the terminal to our gate for the 2nd flight of the day. No dramas though plus they sold square doughnuts which is always a bonus! Roger had his fill of them and we were then called through for the next leg of our journey. All was going so well, what could possibly go wrong…………………….erm……………………nothing until we got to our final descent into Male! Looking at the screen our arrival time into Male all of a sudden changed from 10 minutes to 45 minutes, strange. Then came the announcement……………..”This is your Captain speaking, you may have noticed our arrival time has changed. Unfortunately the runway needs repairing before we can land as other aircraft have reported damage. Your safety is our most important consideration so we have enough fuel to stay airborne until the repairs have been completed’. In summary we circled for almost 2 hours!!!! This did mean that I could watch the end of the Muppet movie though so every cloud eh!?!?

On arrival at Male we were greeted by a very friendly Albert and his team who took us on the incredibly long transfer from terminal to port……………..literally a 200m walk across a car park and onto the Dohni. The Dohni is our dive boat or tender for the whole week. We had a short crossing of about 20 minutes until we arrived home, the MY Voyager, our luxury cruising floating hotel for a week.

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What are the top 10 most deadly sharks on the planet?

The top 10 most deadly sharks 

This is a question we are constantly asked when we take our customers on holiday on our shark diving trips. If you look at the statistics sharks do have an undeserved reputation that plays on our primal fears - such as more people get killed in america by vending machines than sharks. If you read articles about shark attacks then these are often agreed as being to 10 top most deadly:

 

1.       Great White Shark

The beast of a shark is the ultimate predator. The apex fish has been hunting in our oceans for at least 34 million years and until man came along had few natural animals that prey on it (although killer whales sometimes do target them). They can reach 14 feet and their favourite food is seals. They are one of the few sharks that are warm blooded which means they can hunt in cold seas.

2.       Tiger Shark

These camouflaged beauty’s generally stick to warm water. They are very curious and are often referred to the garbage trucks of the ocean, due to the strange contents found in dead shark’s stomachs. They are believed to be able to only taste their food once they swallow it. Most other sharks tend to take a test bite and if you’re not a natural food for them then they spit it out.

3.       The Mako

These are the Ferrari’s of the shark world. Slender and sleek they are the fastest shark in the sea with recorded speeds up over 40mph (try and run in the shallow end of the pool to see how difficult it is to move fast in water). Due to their great hunting techniques they are a endangered species due to shark finning by man.

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Swimming Pools Wanted for Private Hire

We are looking for swimming pools to rent

 

We are looking for new swimming pools that are available for private hire to teach our PADI scuba diving courses. Renting out your pool can provide a welcome income source to help pay for the expensive upkeep of a swimming pool.

The pool should have a shallow end and a deep end of 2m or greater. Ideally the pool will be heated to at least 29 degrees and kept in good, clean working order. There needs to be changing rooms and easy access for our scuba equipment.

Your pool doesn’t have to be massive as much of the time training our divers is kneeling down on the bottom. If you have a large pool such as those found in schools then we would be happy to share with another club. We are flexible on days and times but evenings and weekends would be a preference. 

The places we are currently looking for pools to hire are in Manchester, Birmingham, North London, East London, Portsmouth and Brighton, but we are open to looking at other locations too. Our instructors are caring and will ensure that your pool is properly cared for. All of our equipment is clean and our tanks all have rubber bottoms to protect your pool tiles.

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Support the London Dive Chamber

This is an e-mail that we received from our friends at the London Dive Chamber who are potentially facing closure....

URGENT: POTENTIAL CLOSURE OF HYPERBARIC CHAMBERS

NHS England’s public consultations for hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) opened recently - see https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation_finder/?keyword=hyperbaric and below for the specific policy on decompression illness:

https://www.engage.england.nhs.uk/consultation/comm-pol-hyperbaric-oxygen-therapy-decompression

They include a proposal to reduce the number of current chamber facilities from 10 to 8, with the closure of one London chamber and one in the South. The link to this consultation is here:

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Easy Guide to Egyptian Liveaboard Itineries

Here is the Laymans Guide to Itineraries in the Egyptian Red Sea

Having lived, worked and dived all over Egypt during the last 16 years I thought I'd make it easy for you work out which is the best Red Sea itinerary for you:

Wrecks and Reefs – this a trip where you dive some great reefs but also a number of wrecks including the SS Thistlegorm. This is one of the most famous dive’able wrecks in the world as it was discovered by Jacques Cousteux. The British supply ship was on its way to supply munitions to the allied forces in Africa when it was bombed by the Germans. It now lies in 30m of water and you can still see the motorbikes, trucks, steam engines and plane wings in the ship. Ideally you need to be Advanced with 20 dives to do this trip.

Best of wrecks – this is for true heavy metal fans and as the name suggests involves diving lots of wrecks. Some of the wrecks are on reefs and act as artificial reefs but if you want to see lots of marine life and coral then this is probably not for you. Ideally you need to be Advanced with about 35 dives for this trip (the Deep specialty certification is also useful as one of the wrecks is around 40m)

Simply the Best – This is one of my favourite itineries if you like adrenalin fuelled dives. The trip focuses on reefs hundreds of miles out to see. Due to the rich nutrients this means the coral life is excellent and it attracts large pelagics such as sharks, tuna etc. There is also an option to do a ‘Project Shark’ version of the trip where you are accompanied by a member of the Red Sea Shark Trust (aka the Shark Lady). She does really interesting presentations about sharks and the future conservation. I’ve done about 5 trips with her and never get bored – if there are sharks in the water she knows where to find them! There can be some exciting drift dives here so for this trip you need to be ideally Advanced open water with 50 dives+

Deep South – This takes you to some of the more remote and pristine reefs in the Red Sea. It’s great if you want to see lots of corals and aquarium like dive sites. It is much more relaxed then Simply the Best and can be enjoyed by anyone who is Advanced or more

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