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After the Storm

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Jeff 2My wife Kate and I joined the crowds at Sennen in Cornwall during storm Imogen to watch the great seas march into the cliffs and small harbour. It was very exciting and the atmosphere was filled with an energy that only uncontrollable nature can provide. Then twenty four hours later it had gone and the seas had returned to the normal winter state.

We walked the beach to look at the aftermath which all said and done wasn’t too bad. There were a few feet of railing and granite blocks torn away from the steps to the beach and huge boulders had been thrown around which sooner or later would have to be moved. All fixable.

Jeff 3The sand had been drastically shifted again as it has been all winter, but I suspect if nature does the same as previous years, all the sand will return by mid summer.

Along the beach small piles of fish netting caught my eye and entangled in one of them was a dead Gannet. Very sad to see, but it wasn’t clear how it had died. It may have been caught up in the net while at sea and drowned, or it may well have died some other way and got washed in with the net.

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Jeff 5Then I began to see all the plastic washed up and deposited between the rocks and caught in the shallow tide pools. Bags, bottles, plastic rope, and a host of undetermined synthetic detritus. But there was worse to come and yet not so obvious. Piles of small bits lined what was the high water mark. I always look closely at this stuff to see what little creatures have been stranded in what should be broken and mashed up sea weed. But it wasn’t organic, hardly at all. In fact I guess that around 90% was tiny bits of broken up plastic. This mini plastic waste is now well and truly ensconced into the marine food chain and has become a substantial part of the marine animals lives. Birds, fish, seals, whales, dolphins, all of them. These mini plastic pieces are eaten, clog the intestines and give no Jeff 6nutrition at all. Ultimately the animals starve to death or become so weak that they fall prey to disease or are unable to survive harsh conditions such as the storm we just had. Maybe that is how the Gannet died.

Soon, perhaps even on the next high tide, all the plastic and possibly the dead Gannet will be taken back out to sea and so out of mind. But for those animals who live in and on the sea, the plastic won’t disappear so easily.

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Jeff 9While walking back and as I contemplated the waves of plastic still out there, Kate picked up a few bags and a bottle to put in the bin in the car park. It wasn’t much really, but imagine if everybody did the same. Walking along the beach and picking up a few bits of plastic to put away safely. Try it next time you are down by the sea.

If you would like to know more about plastic in our sea visit www.plasticoceans.net.

Jeff Goodman is the Editor-at-Large for Scubaverse.com with responsibility for conservation and underwater videography. Jeff is an award-winning TV wildlife and underwater cameraman and film maker who lives in Cornwall, UK. With over 10,000 dives to his credit he has dived in many different environments around the world.

Gear News

Typhoon International’s new Storm3 Boot

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Typhoon International has introduced the Storm3 Boot, a wonderfully comfortable semi-soft boot that combines the comfort and thermal protection of a ‘wetsuit for the feet’ with a sturdy midweight sole for getting around on the water’s edge. A reinforced heel and toe provides even greater durability while maximising support at the same time.

The Storm3 Boot is made of 3mm neoprene, a popular thickness for year round use.  The neoprene fabric is super-stretchy so your feet and ankles can bend and flex the way they want to without any restriction.  A comfort-curved side zip makes the boot quick and easy to get in and out of.

The Storm3 Boot is perfect for dinghy sailors, surfers and windsurfers, in fact for all watersports enthusiasts, to give protection from the cold water. The boot is available in adult and children sizes. Also, as part of the 2021 Typhoon footwear collection, is the Storm3 Shoe.

The Storm3 Boot is part of Typhoon’s exciting new Storm3 range of watersports clothing which includes wetsuits, footwear and gloves, so water lovers can be dressed top to toe in Storm3 from Typhoon.

Visit www.typhoon-int.co.uk to see the full range and to find details of your nearest stockist.


Sizes:

  • Youth, 12 (30/31) UK1 (32/33), UK2 (34/35)
  • Adult 6 (39/40, 7 (41, 8 (42), 9 (43), 10-11 (44/45, 12 (46/47, 13-14 (48/49)

Prices:

  • Storm3 boot adult  £41.95 inc VAT
  • Storm3 boot child  £28.95 (VAT exempt)
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Dive Wild in Cocos!

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Cocos Island has been one of those bucket list dive destinations for all of my diving life. Back in around 2009/10 my friend was continuously encouraging me to take up diving knowing I loved the water and wildlife so much. It still took me some time to commit though and that commitment came after watching his videos from his Cocos Island trip. Seeing close up video of an abundance of sharks was something I could definitely sink my teeth into.

Fast forward nearly a decade and I was fortunate to win Undersea Hunters “Dive Wild” Instagram Photography Competition in 2019. This was a dream come true for me as having a young family meant the expense of such a dive trip was a little out of reach. Now I had the opportunity of a lifetime to dive one of the most sort after dive locations in the world. A trip was planned for May/June 2020 and the excitement with each passing day was immense BUT then Covid hit. Unfortunately, as Covid took a hold around the world the trip had to be postponed on four different occasions until I finally got my chance in May this year to visit Costa Rica and the infamous Cocos Island with Undersea Hunter onboard Argo.

My trip on the Argo began on May 16th. A 130-foot vessel that has a mix of research work ship and luxury yacht, providing 9 spacious rooms to accommodate 18 guests (14 on this particular trip). It also offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to dive a few hundred metres below the surface on the DeepSea Submersible. A trip on the DeepSea Submersible comes at an extra cost but would be such a unique opportunity that was unfortunately not available for our specific trip. Argo’s ability to transport the DeepSea Submersible meant the dive deck and outside space was more than enough for the 14 dive guests plus guides to get ready and then board the two dive skiffs to transport to the dive sites. A large and comfortable lounge and dining area coupled with a large sundeck provided ample space for relaxing on the long journey and between dives.

Once everybody was checked in onboard and all luggage accounted for, we set off on the mammoth voyage to Cocos Island around 350 miles into the Pacific Ocean. This was going to take around 36 hours and gave us plenty of time to get organised for the 7 days of diving we had planned over the coming week. Thankfully, after having not been on a liveaboard for 2 years and on a boat at sea for 9 months the crossing was very kind to me. A gentle swell meant any sea sickness was kept at a bare minimum and I was able to function and pay attention. Particularly important for the boat briefing and one that I was very impressed with.

Our host for the trip Juan Manuel was entertaining and kept us engaged throughout. The dedication to safety is what really resonated with me. It’s easy to get complacent when it comes to liveaboard diving and forget about the dangers that come with living on a boat. While Covid protocols were obviously dealt with, it was the issues with potential fires etc that I was impressed with. Unfortunately, we are probably all aware of the devastating liveaboard fires in recent years.

With times of adversity comes lessons and in some cases change. I believe safety has always been paramount, but with the fact that one of the fires was attributed to an electrical charging fault, it was particularly encouraging being told that anything left on charge in the common areas unattended at night would be unplugged for safety reasons. It was also pointed out that members of the crew would take it in turns to do 20-minute checks and sensors are used to ensure checks are being made. While we were all tired from our busy diving days and early nights were common throughout the guests, I did happen to stay up later one night to watch a film. It was pleasing to witness these checks first hand as the captain walked through numerous times marking the sensor each time.

It’s safe to say I felt completely at ease on the Argo for my trip to Cocos Island. The staff were accommodating for all our needs and went above and beyond to make sure our trip was safe and comfortable. The food was a delicious buffet and there were always alternatives if you didn’t eat a particular dish, while the diving from the two skiffs was well run with great help onboard and great guiding. I also feel I need to make a special mention for the theatre that was the scene of our entertainment – the island itself. Cocos Island was one of the most awe-inspiring places I’ve ever visited. An island of a thousand waterfalls and dense tropical rainforest it left me amazed with each passing turn – and underwater it was pretty special too! Stay tuned for my next blog with an overview of the week’s diving and also look out for the full article in Dive Travel Adventures soon.

More information

www.underseahunter.com

www.visitcostarica.com/en


Find out more about Sean, his photography and his hosted trips at: www.greatwhitesean.com

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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