SCUBA News 268
(ISSN 1476-8011)

SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 268 - November 2022

Welcome to SCUBA News. I hope you find it useful. This month - beautiful nudibranchs, Thailand, places to dive in December, reader's favourite dive site and new feature on last-minute liveaboard bargains (including 70% off week in Red Sea).

We've also been trying out new social media platforms. If you're on Mastodon or Counter Social let me know and we'll follow you - email

What's New at SCUBA Travel?

Boats in Hurghada harbour

Essential Guide to Diving Hurghada

Where to dive and who to dive with.

Nassau Grouper

Where to dive in December?

Nassau grouper spawning in Belize, massive manta groups in the Maldives, hammerheads in Galapagos…

Thailand Divers

Diving the wreck of the King Cruiser

On the beautiful island of Phuket, Thailand Divers are one of Thailand's most experienced dive companies
Find out more...

What's the difference between a sea slug and a nudibranch?

Until I read a gorgeous new book on nudibranchs and sea slugs by Tim Nicholson I didn’t think there was a difference. Not so. All nudibranchs are sea slugs but not all sea slugs are nudibranchs.

A lovely white and green sea slug
A Placida dendritica sea slug. Despite their resemblance to nudibranchs, they are not closely related. Photo: Tim Nicholson

I love nudibranchs. When on a dive I am always excited to see one, especially one I haven’t seen before. I even once rejected doing another dive on “Manta alley” in favour of going nudibranch hunting instead. (And I’m quite fond of manta rays as well.) And after having read Tim’s book I’m now much better informed of how to find the nudibranchs. It’s obvious, can’t think why I didn’t think of it before, they are mostly on, or close to, their food. Find out what they like to eat and you’re half way there. Or if you see their ribbons of eggs, they are often close by.

This pretty Nudibranch feeds on the Bryozoan Electra pilosa which forms mats on the surface of kelp and other algae.
Yellow Clubbed Nudibranch, Limacia clavigera, taken on the Clan McMaster. Often spotted on kelp fronds. Photo: Tim Nicholson

The book includes 171 exquisite photographs of nudibranchs and other sea-slugs taken in the Irish Sea. It is not only a beautiful identification guide but also offers a broad introduction to the world of nudibranchs. Don’t be misled by the title Nudibranchs and Sea-slugs of the Isle of Man – it is useful both for anyone diving in the British Isles and for those elsewhere who are fascinated with the animals. All the photos, though, were taken in the Isle of Man and referenced by dive site.

Violet nudibranch, Edmundsella pedata. Previously known as Coryphella pedata and Flabellina pedata. Photo: Tim Nicholson

It’s absolutely great for flicking through to identify what you’ve just seen though, with a large photo on the right hand page and the description on the left.

30 mm long nudibranch with bulbous pinecone cerrata
Doto fragilis – a dendronotid nudibranch. Photo: Tim Nicholson

The book is now available from the Sea Search site.

Tim Nicholson holding his nudibranch book in book shop
The author at a book signing event. Image: Heidi Ingun Skillicorn

Disclaimer, Tim Nicholson is an old friend of mine – we learnt to dive in the same dive club. Many congratulations to Tim on this beautiful book. And if you are at all interested in nudibranchs – buy it.

Tim Nicholson (2022) Nudibranchs and Sea-slugs of the Isle of Man. Drinking Dragon Publications ISBN: 978-2-1-7391354-0-9

Read the full review here.

PS – And the difference between nudibranchs and sea slugs? Sea slug is the common name for any marine gastropod without a visible shell (slug-like rather than the snail-like) including sea hares, sapsucking slugs, headshield slugs and nudibranchs. A nudibranch is one type of gastropod among many.

Reader's recommended dive site: Dos Amigos Pequeña (Small Dos Amigos), Costa Rica

"Sloping reef with hammerhead feeding stations. Aside from hammerheads, Galapagos and silky sharks and a resident population of very friends dolphins. Not to mention the passing whale shark"

Read more about Small Dos Amigos

Shark patrol
Hammerhead sharks

Tell us about your favourite dive site -

10 Last Minute Liveaboard Deals

  1. RED SEA AGGRESSOR III, Egypt, SAVE 70%, Brothers, Daedalus, Elphinstone
    Until end of December. Price from USD 799 per trip.
    Red Sea liveaboard

  2. Sea Hunter, Costa Rica, Cocos Island
    05 Dec - 15 Dec 2022 (10 nights), SAVE 30%, Price from USD 3,922 per trip
  3. Truk Master (Solomons Master), Solomon Islands,
    until 30 Dec 2022, SAVE UP TO 40%, Price from USD 2,660 per trip. * Promotion applicable to bookings made up to 30 November 2022.
  4. Bahamas Master, Bahamas, Hammerhead and Tiger Shark Experience OR Grand Bahama and Beyond,
    until 19 Dec 2023 (10 nights), SAVE UP TO 30%, Price from USD 3,395 per trip
  5. Galapagos Aggressor III, Ecuador, Galapagos Islands,
    29 Dec 2022 - 05 Jan 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 30%, Price from USD 4,996 per trip
  6. Blue Horizon III, Maldives, Deep South Atolls,
    08 Jan - 02 April 2023 (7 nights), SAVE 20%, Price from USD 2,640 per trip
  7. Scubaspa Yang, Maldives, Best of Maldives,
    up to 10 Dec (7 nights), SAVE 20%, Price from USD 2,480 per trip
  8. Adora, Maldives, 27.12.2022-3.01.2023, Best of Maldive
    Group of 10 persons 15% Discount, Full Charter 18% Discount, Price from USD 1,909 per trip
  9. Quino El Guardian, Mexico
    Pay for 5 and get 1 Free, Pay for 13 and get 3 Free, Price from USD 2,999 per trip
    *Available for a limited time
  10. Solmar V, Mexico
    Pay for 10 and get 1, Free, Pay for 15 and get 3 Free. Save USD 500 for all trips until December 2023!
    *Must be booked before Nov 30, 2023 *Cannot be combined with other promotion

Diving news from around the World

Manta ray

Where are all the manta rays?
In a rare piece of good news in the marine world, scientists have found two diving areas where manta rays are thriving.

Blue shark

Shark fin trade regulated at last in landmark decision
54 species of sharks have just been added to CITES. This listing places over 90% of shark species traded internationally for their fins under CITES regulation and control - up from only 25% before.

Billfish and sardines

Seventy years of tunas, billfishes and sharks as sentinels of global ocean health
After almost three decades of decline, tuna and billfishes have begun to recover because of proactive fisheries management approaches. Sharks, however, which have received much less conservation attention, have continued to decline.

Grass footprint

Carbon offsets: A key tool for climate action, or a license to emit?
The carbon offset market has existed for 25 years, and experts say there are still fundamental problems in its structure. Some question the underlying concepts, and refuse to consider it a tool for climate action.

Tiger shark

Scientists discover world's largest seagrass forest - by strapping cameras to sharks
New study, carried out using tiger sharks in the Bahamas, extends total known global seagrass coverage by more than 40%

The waters off the coast of Israel have become so warm that carbon is crystallizing out of the sea. Photo by DepositPhotos

A Warming Sea Is Forming Crystals and Belching CO2
In summer months, the eastern Mediterranean Sea is expelling some of its carbon load, creating rock candy-like calcium carbonate crystals in the process.

Coral reef. Photo by Jill Studholme

Corals can help other corals to fight disease
Some corals are more resistant to disease just by being around other corals that are particularly resistant

Glass of milk all over the floor

Why I'm crying over spilt milk
A third of all food produced for humans globally is not eaten by anyone. These are shocking facts, right? But we most likely will not act on these facts and will probably even forget them.

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, Jill Studholme, Kristin Riser, Jianye Sui

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