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Dive Trip Report: Oman

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Oman

On the first week of February, Twelve divers from Stratford-on-Avon dive club set off for a week on the Saman Explorer diving around the Hallaniyat islands. Two of us had been on this trip a couple of years ago and were impressed with the amount of life in the seas, hence the return trip with friends.

The travelling was effortless; we were picked up on time and arrived at the boat in the afternoon. The boat has had a recent refit and the quality is superb. We all thought it was the best liveaboard we had been on which includes several in the Red Sea and others in the Maldives and Indonesia. The refit had made it more like being in a hotel than a boat. All the cabins are a good size with separate showers rather than wet rooms so the loo rolls don’t get soaking wet. The deluxe cabin is fabulous with a huge bed, TV and lovely mood lighting (I was in two minds whether to stay there and forget the diving!).

The crew were all very helpful. Mustafa, who served the meals, was never without a big beaming smile and the food was of a high standard. It is worth noting that there was no-one who had any sort of stomach problems all week.

Oman

The first day we dived two wrecks near the coast. The visibility was poorer than we had expected but it had been – and still was – very windy, which perhaps stirred up the water. However, the fish life was phenomenal (perhaps due to the large number of plankton in the water).

The next day we went to the islands, where the water was clearer but still with huge numbers of fish. If we had seen them crammed  in an aquarium like that the RSPCA would have got involved! We also noticed that they were much larger than in the Egyptian Red Sea.

We saw many varieties of rays, huge shoals of fusiliers, all sorts of reef fish, huge groupers, and we were even treated to an afternoon of Humpback whales doing a display for us.

Karim is an excellent dive guide; in fact all of the staff on the boat were all very helpful and professional. The dive platform is huge and putting fins on is still easy, even when several people have gathered at the back ready to jump in.

The diving is different from the Egyptian Red Sea with very little hard and soft corals so therefore not so much colour, but the rock formations are lovely and being among so much life was magnificent. Although we didn’t see any sharks, the rays and whales more than made up for that and I found it better than liveaboard diving in the Maldives, mainly because of the sheer volume of life. For me, although it’s a bit more expensive than the Egyptian Red Sea, it’s well worth the extra to experience something totally different.

Hilary and her club booked their trip to Oman with UK-based tour operator Ultimate Diving. to find out more about the dive holidays Ultimate Diving offer visit www.ultimatediving.co.uk.

Hilary Wilson is the Chairman of Stratford upon Avon Sub Aqua Club. She is a Dive Leader who has been diving since 1996, when she was taught by her partner Miles. He always says she was the worst student he ever had, and she’s not sure he isn’t right! They both joined the Club in 2001.

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Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera

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Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

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A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.


Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.


You can find more episodes and information at www.futurefrogmen.org and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.

 

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Competitions

This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email info@diversetravel.co.uk to book your spot!

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