SCUBA News (ISSN 1476-8011)
Issue 279 - October 2023
Welcome to SCUBA News. This month Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer, gives some excellent tips about preparing for liveaboard diving. We have our regular dive boat discounts courtesy Divebooker, and a special discount code from our friends at AquaMarine Diving Bali.
Curacao has diving for everyone. From the shallow tugboat wreck to wild drift dives. With beautiful seascape of corals and sponges, plus sea-going animals like eagle rays and turtles.
Wrecks, caves and an inland sea. Kathryn Curzon covers Malta's nine best dive sites.
Always a delight to see underwater, where in the world to dive with turtles?
We bring you news of the latest dive boat deals, specially selected for us by Divebooker.com, the liveaboard specialists. Including 7, and 10 night trips.
By Kathryn Curzon
Liveaboard safaris open up a whole new world of diving, allowing you to reach remote destinations far from land, with uncrowded dive sites and incredible marine life. It is one of the best ways to go diving but choosing the perfect liveaboard can be overwhelming. The good news is it doesn't have to be. With these top tips, you can take the hassle out of dive planning and make your dream trip a reality. Let's dive into our top liveaboard diving tips.
Looking up dive destinations is one of the best parts of planning any dive trip. It is so exciting taking a virtual tour of the world to find your top liveaboard destinations. There are so many places to choose from and an endless array of dive experiences, but this can make it confusing at times.
Narrow down your choices with these key considerations:
Marine life: Do you have any bucket-list marine life that you simply must see? If so, look up the 'best places to dive with' your favourite marine life and make a list of potential destinations.
Time of year: When can you go diving? Search online for the 'best places to dive' in the months you are available to find the best places to go.
Other activities: Do you want to join a liveaboard safari that is all about diving, or one that includes non-diving activities and excursions?
When you're choosing your liveaboard, it is easy to get carried away by idyllic destinations and forget about your dive preferences and needs.
Make sure you think about the following:
Once you have a list of your dive needs, it is easier to narrow down your liveaboard options and make sure your trip is a success.
Not every boat is built the same. They may all look beautiful but different boat styles and facilities matter for your comfort at sea.
Make a list of vessel features that matter to you. You may want to find out about:
There is nothing worse than joining a dive trip and discovering your dive gear is damaged or not working. Make sure you get your gear serviced by a professional before your trip. Visit your nearest dive center to get a recommendation or help with gear servicing.
Access to spares can be limited during liveaboard trips, especially if you are going somewhere remote. Pack some essential spares such as a mask, fin straps, a mouthpiece, O-rings, a spare mask strap, and a handy container to keep everything together.
It is always a good idea to pack spare rechargeable batteries for your camera and keep them fully charged each day. There is not always enough time to recharge batteries between dives, so a spare set is invaluable for a quick swap before you dive back in.
And if you're diving in cold waters, remember that batteries can drain very fast and don't always last the entire dive.
If you are a light sleeper, pack a few pairs of earplugs. Boats can be noisy at times from creaking, waves breaking against the boat, anchors, and engine noise. It's all part of the fun of being at sea, but a good pair of earplugs will help you sleep well.
Even the most seasoned diver can suffer from motion sickness, so be prepared by packing a few remedies:
Make sure you eat a light meal before diving, keep your eyes on the horizon, and sip water regularly to stay hydrated. If nothing else works, lie down and close your eyes. It is a fast-acting remedy that can help you rest and recover until the ocean calms down.
Putting on cold, wet swimwear for your dives is a horrible way to begin any dive. Make sure you pack a few sets of swimwear, so you can dive in dry swimwear each dive whilst your spare sets are drying on the boat.
It is easy to get cold when you are diving multiple times per day and are out in the elements - even at warm destinations. Take a few items with you to keep warm during your surface intervals and during chilly nights:
You will naturally get cooler as your liveaboard trip progresses and you do numerous multi-dive days, and you might also visit a dive site with a cold thermocline. With that in mind, it is a good idea to invest in exposure protection that you can layer up and down as needed to keep warm.
A full-length wetsuit or semi-dry suit and a shortie that fits on top works well, as does packing a thermal rash guard.
Many liveaboards offer exciting land-based excursions, such as hiking and visits to nearby beaches and islands. Make sure you take a good pair of shoes, a light-weight long-sleeved top, and trousers for those days.
Make sure your travel insurance covers diving down to an appropriate depth. Also, some liveaboards require a recent medical if you are over 45 – if this applies to you check with the liveaboard before you go.
Kathryn Curzon, a shark conservationist and dive travel writer for SSI (Scuba Schools International), wrote this article.
For the full article see our news site.
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Photo credits: aul Kennedy, Carol Buchannon, Dewald Kirsten/DepositPhotos, Tim Nicholson, Jill Studholme
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