SCUBA News 213
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 213 - February 2018

Welcome to February's SCUBA News. I hope you find it useful. This month a reader asks for advice on choosing an underwater camera, some fabulous competition-winning photos and a Belize dive site review (no, not the Blue Hole) from "Travel Beat".

You can download a pdf version of SCUBA News here.

What's new at SCUBA Travel?
Liveaboard Deals
A Dive Site in Belize...
Thistlegorm shot wins Underwater Photographer of the Year
Diving news from around the World

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What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Green Turtle

India: Gorgeous Diving at Lakshadweep and the Andaman Islands

We've all heard of Goa, but the better Indian diving is at the offshore islands.
Learn More…

Ionian Sea

Norway: Opening up for Wreck Diving

Albania has 418 km of coastline on the Mediterranean. The country is trying to attract diving tourists so if you fancy an little-dived area in a quiet spot give it a look.
Learn More…

Spotted Eel

Cayman Islands: Which One to Choose?

Each of them has some good diving, but only Little Cayman has one of the world's top 20 dive sites
Learn More…

Liveaboard Deals

30% Off French Polynesia Master Liveaboard

Dive the Marquesas

French Polynesia Master Liveaboard

For hammerheads, melonheaded whales, dragon eels, nudibranchs plus dramatic walls and reefs.

Learn More…


Just ran through my 1st edition of scuba news online. Fantastic, you have added so many sites to my dive list.

Brian Kipf

Best compact underwater camera?
What is the best underwater camera? I am looking at the GoPro5 Action and the Sealife compact. I don't like rigs with lighting. Any ideas?


Answers to and we'll pass your message on - thanks!.

A Dive Site in Belize

Right in front of Ambergris Caye and not too far from Caye Caulker, protected from the deep blue by Turneffe Islands, lie the calm waters of Spanish Bay.

Diving Spanish Bay

Both wall and shallow part are teaming with life. Loads of varied species of: Gorgonians, Anemones, Sponges and Spaghetti Worms to name a few. Also you might encounter the occasional Eagle Ray, Nurse Shark or large friendly Groupers. Moray Eels, Turtles, Tarpon, Spotted Drums, Pederson Shrimps, Cleaner Shrimps, Arrowhead Crabs, Southern Sting Rays, Squid, French Angelfish are common sightings. That of course if you have a good eye and an experienced Diveleader.

Had a great time with Black Durgon Dives on Caye Caulker.

by Travel Beat. You can see Beat's video of this dive site here.

We love your dive reports - send them to

Thistlegorm Photo wins Underwater Photographer of the Year Prize

A panoramic photograph of British World War II military vehicles deep inside the wreck of the Thistlegorm in the Red Sea sees German photographer Tobias Friedrich named Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018.

"Cycle War" was taken in Egypt and shows Norton 16H motorbikes loaded in Fordson WOT 3 trucks, with soldierfish schooling above. Friedrich explains "I had had this image in mind for a few years, but it is impossible to capture in one photo, because there is not space inside the wreck to photograph this scene in a single frame. My solution was take a series pictures and stitch them together as a panorama."

Chair of the judges, Peter Rowlands, said "this is a quite extraordinary shot which must be viewed as large as possible. The artistic skill is to visualise such an image and the photographic talent is to achieve it." See the photo.

Roar by Man BD

Malaysian Man BD was named as Up & Coming Underwater Photographer of the Year 2018 for his image "Roar", showing a pair of nudibranchs with the jaws of a moray eel in the background, photographed in Indonesia. "When shooting these nudibranchs I was focusing on getting the shot," explains Man, "when suddenly a moray eel appeared behind. It still took me about 30 minutes to get this shot."

Wide Angle - Highly Commended 'Cenote Nariz' - Herbert Meyrl
Cenote Nariz by Herbert Meyrl

Highly Commended in the wide angle section was this photo of the Cenote Nariz by Herbert Meyrl. This is the entrance to a large cave system in Yucatan, Mexico.

Macro winner - Seahorse Density by Shane Gross
Seahorse Density by Shane Gross

Shane Gross won the macro category. "The pond I was in has the highest density of seahorses on Earth, but I've never seen three together like this before. I was camping on shore and had all night to shoot with the idea of backlighting a single seahorse, but finding three together was a real gift."

Underwater Photographer of the Year is an annual competition, based in the UK, that seeks to celebrate photography beneath the surface of the ocean, lakes and even swimming pools. This year's judges were experienced underwater photographers Peter Rowlands, Martin Edge and Alex Mustard.

See more of the winning photos here.

Diving News From Around the World

Our round up of the best underwater news stories of the past month. For breaking news see our Twitter page or RSS feed

The beautiful Waow liveaboard

WAOW Liveaboard Sinks
Traditional but luxurious Indonesian liveaboard, the WAOW, has been lost to fire during a storm.

Plastic bottles

What if third world countries could help the oceans by turning plastic into cash?
There may be a way to change the tide and remove plastic from the seas, land and lives of those who are most in need.

Face of a seal

Seal whiskers inspire vortex sensor
The new whisker sensor is made of polyurethane, graphene and copper tape and can detect an underwater vortex with very high sensitivity.

Swooping seabird

Why do seabirds eat plastic? It smells like fish to them
A sweeping look at 10 species of seabirds gives insight into why their numbers have plummeted over the past 60 years.

Diver retrieving nuclear waste

Scuba divers haul radioactive waste out of the nuclear fuel storage pond
The diving technique apparently has a lower environmental impact

Fishing map

Half of world's oceans now fished industrially, maps reveal
Commercial fishing now covers a greater surface area than agriculture, raising fresh questions about the health of oceans and sustainability of trawler fishing.

map of Bermuda

Bermuda Guide to sea life
Describes the most common species in the Atlantic Ocean and includes their endangered status based on the IUCN Red List.

Really understand diving

The Theory of Recreational Scuba Diving
Understand what is happening and why it happens before, during, and after a dive. Tides, currents, waves, marine life, physics of diving, physiology, decompression - new book tells you everything you need to know.

SCUBA News is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. This means we are happy for you to reuse our material for both commercial and non-commercial use as long as you: credit the name of the author, link back to the SCUBA Travel website and say if you have made any changes. Some of the photos though, might be copyright the photographer. If in doubt please get in touch.

Photo credits: Tim Nicholson, Andrew Reay-Robinson

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