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Back on dry land… but not for long

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The journey back from the Archipelago Revillagigedo is not a short one. Our diving liveaboard, Nautilus Belle Amie, motored for some 30 hours to get us back at our dock at 7am in the morning. Our captain was on a deadline to get us back. Why? Because half of us had spurned a day in the sun, by the pool, in our 5* all-inclusive hotel, to head to La Paz to dive with the famous sea lion colony there. Rather than taking it easy, we got in touch with our friend from Cabo Shark Dive, who organised this day trip with the team from Cortez Club. So, after a mere three hour taxi ride, a one hour fast boat ride, we were back in the water!

Diving with sea lions in La Paz is an opportunity many of us could not pass up; how often will we be in this part of the world? When we arrived at the dive centre, we were asked if we might also like to snorkel with Whalesharks on the way back – you can guess what we all said. We loaded all our dive gear and underwater photography equipment into two small boats and with some excitement headed out on flat calm seas.

Our first stop was the sea lion colony. A small rock sticking out of the Sea of Cortez is where these playful creatures have made their home, and there are huge males patrolling the water as we arrive, but it is the youngsters that we will encounter under the water. There are strict rules to dive and snorkel here, with a marine park ranger ensuring you obey the rules of not going too near the resting animals, and not touching any of the rocks. As we got into our gear, we could see them playing under the boat, and in fact they were waiting for us there as we got in. These young sea lions are fast & furious too! Every diver in our group got encounters where a piece of equipment or limb was grabbed hold of (with flippers or mouth) before the cheeky pinnipeds zoomed off avoiding being caught in the act. It was a simply magical hour spent underwater.

As we headed off to find whalesharks, we noticed a splash and stopped the boats to watch to see if there might be more and we could see what was going on. Suddenly a mobular ray leapt clear of the water and belly-flopped down making another huge splash. Then another one joined in. We were amazed to see such an exhibition. The last one even did a full somersault for us.  It was a display we thought we would only ever see on TV, and yet it was happening just a few yards away from us. Alas, our cameras were in their housings and had fish-eye lenses on, so we have no photographic evidence. You will just have to take our word for it. Motoring back to shore, we came to the whaleshark feeding grounds and within minutes, had our first giant shadow in sight. The boat manoeuvred roughly to be in front of their direction of travel, and we slid into the cool water. Again, we all had success, with one or more of these giant sharks swimming close to, or directly under us. The visibility was not very good at all (and that is why they are here, to feed on the particles) but the experience was inspiring.

Our final full day in Mexico saw us out on the water again. We really don’t do sitting on a beach or by a pool, so we booked a snorkelling trip. We were flying the next day, so diving was not an option. Jacob, from Cabo Shark Dive, took us out, again on two boats, to see if we could tempt in Mako and Smooth Hammerhead sharks. The coastline here is so rich, we saw sea lions jumping onto the back of fishing boats, and even saw sharks swimming under the boat before we had even stopped. It was not long before we were back in the water and seeing our first ever Smooth Hammerhead Shark. There was no need for scuba gear, as the shark was right at the surface, with its dorsal fin breaking the waves. We could watch it approach and then duck our heads under the water to get a shot. Amazing.

The Baha Peninsular and the diving both close to its shores and further afield have given us some of the most rewarding diving we have ever done. The sheer number of pelagics was astounding, and the close encounters a real treat for divers and underwater photographers alike. Even though it was a long and exhausting trip we were very sad to be heading home. Our 29 guests on the trip loved it, and fondly suggested that this kind of trip should be referred to as “extreme recreational diving”.

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

www.cabosharkdive.com

www.cortezclub.com

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue Expandable Tray!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue Expandable Tray as a prize!!!

The Bigblue expandable tray (176mm-287mm) has fittings and screws to attach action and compact cameras. The base and handles are made from high grade aluminium with the handles having a neoprene grip. The package also includes clamps and adaptors for 1” ball and YS light fittings.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that the Handicapped Scuba Association South Africa has announced plans to host their 6th Annual fundraising event “HSASA 50hr Dive–A-Thon 2021” this year. But on what dates will the event take place?

Is it:

  • A) 15th – 17th October
  • B) 22nd – 24th October
  • C) 29th – 31st October

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue Extendable Tray March 2021

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 14/04/2021. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Dive Training Blogs

Jeff chats to… Jim Elliott and Tinamarie Hernandez of Diveheart (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jim Elliott, Founder and President of Diveheart, and Tinamarie Hernandez who is the organization’s Executive Director.

Diveheart is a US-based, nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization which aims to provide and support educational scuba diving programs that are open to any child, adult or veteran with a disability, with the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person.

In their own words:

We’ve discovered the forgiving, weightless wonder of the water column provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, we’re all equal.

Diveheart works with individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more. Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives.

 

Find out more about Diveheart and their valuable work at www.diveheart.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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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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