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Check out the latest diving deals from the Scuba Travel Team

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If you’re in need of a diving fix, check out the latest dive holiday specials from our friends at Scuba Travel:

Emperor Serenity I Maldives I 12 August I Save £600, only £2395

Emperor Serenity is a contemporary, spacious liveaboard where fine accommodation and service is standard. This sleek liveaboard was built in the Maldives specifically for divers. Stand out from the crowd as you moor in the picture perfect Maldivian atolls. All diving is done from Emperor Serenity’s large, 19.8m dhoni tender, giving you more living space on board and getting you to the perfect dive spot every time. She is rebreather-friendly and offers free NITROX, all diving and safety equipment as well as a photography charging station and four dive guides.

This popular itinerary with year round departures that delivers what it says on the tin – the Best of the Maldives! Dive the classic sites that made the Maldives so famous. Focusing on the hottest sites around Male & Ari atolls, there are pelagics a plenty, with manta, sharks and even whalesharks.

Package includes: Return flights, 7 nights on a full board basis (twin/double share cabin), enjoy a complimentary glass of wine with dinner, average of 17 fully guided dives (including 1 night dive, All marine park fees, 12lt tank and weights and FOC nitrox.

Click here to find out more…


Turks and Caicos Explorer I 25 August I Save £500, only £3095

The Turks & Caicos Explorer accommodates 20 passengers in 10 cabins which all have a private ensuite and AC.The saloon and dining area are welcoming but it is the covered sun deck where many guests spend their time relaxing between dives catching the Caribbean rays.

With over 40 islands (only eight of which are inhabited) to explore, the quality of diving will astound even the most seasoned diver. There are dramatic wall dives, opulent corals and sponges, pelagic encounters and healthy reef dives to enjoy.

Package includes: Return flights to Provo, 7 nights on a full board basis (twin/double share cabin), up to 5 fully guided dives per day. Flights are usually with via the States from Heathrow – you may require an overnight en route and must have a valid ESTA for transit through the USA. Please note the final trip cost will depend on flight availability at the time of booking and seasonal liveaboard rates. Excluded are the transfers, departure tax, fuel surcharge $40, port fees $95, alcohol, fruit juice and fizzy drinks.

Click here to find out more…


Caribbean Explorer I 7 October I Save £300, only £2275

Caribbean Explorer II sleeps up to 18 divers and is 35m,  the saloon is located on the upper deck with entertainment centre, comfy chairs and the bar. Meals are served here and your package includes free alcoholic drinks after the day’s diving is done. Or head towards the sun deck to work on your tan, enjoy a read or just soak in the glorious view. The boat will stop at islands for a beach excursion during the trip.

Discover the diving of Saba and St Kitts on board Caribbean Explorer 2. St Kitts is well known as being one of the most picturesque Caribbean islands and has incredibly varied diving to boot. Saba Island is home to exhilarating wall dives with pelagics and swirling fish balls. Virgin reef systems and coral gardens as well as shark dives and drifts await.

Package includes: Return flights to St Kitts, 7 nights on a full board basis (twin/double share cabin), up to 5 fully guided dives per day. You will require a one way flight from St Maarteen at the end of your trip. Please note the final trip cost will depend on flight availability at the time of booking and seasonal liveaboard rates. Excluded are the departure tax, fuel surcharge $30, park fees $115.

Click here to find out more…

To find out more about Scuba Travel and the dive holidays they offer, call 0800 0728221, email dive@scubatravel.com or visit www.scubatravel.com. You can find the latest summer specials at www.scubatravel.com/lastminute

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Diving below the waves of the Western Cape, South Africa – Long Beach at night (Watch Video)

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Head under the waves of False Bay and explore the incredible diversity that is found along the Western Cape. The bay has popular dive spots from diving amongst the biodiverse underwater kelp forests to jumping in with the playful and friendly cape fur sealions (Arctocephalus pusillus). The bay along with the rest of the South Africa coast is known for the range of shark species that are found from the shallow coastal shores out into the open oceans. The coast is also home to numerous endemic shark species such as puffadder shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) and Pyjama shark.

Longbeach is a shallow shore dive close to the coastal town of Simonstown on the Western Cape. The dive is mainly made up of diving across the sand with a few wreckages, rocks and outcrops where there’s algae growing. A pipeline can be found at the site which provides locations for species such as Pyjama Sharks (Poroderma africanum) and octopus (Octopus vulgaris) to shelter. Diving at night at the site provides the opportunity to see species that are more often hidden during the day such as cape Squid (Loligo reynaudii) and Biscuit Skate (Raja straeleni). Other shark species such as the small Puff Adder Shyshark (Haploblepharus edwardsii) are also occasionally seen at the site.

Diving with the local dive club – Cape Town Dive Centre.


Follow Jake aka JD Scuba on the YouTube channel @Don’t Think Just Blog.

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Miscellaneous Blogs

Book Review – The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe (2007)

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It was the height of the Cold War. The Soviet Cruiser Ordzhonikidz, supported by two destroyers, had brought Soviet leaders Khruschev and Bulganin to Britain for sensitive meetings with the British Government. The ships were moored in Portsmouth harbour and the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, had expressly forbidden any clandestine inspection of them. However, on the morning of 19th April 1956 Commander Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabbe, an experienced naval diver, slipped into the cold waters of Portsmouth harbour. His top secret mission was to photograph the hull, propellers and rudder of the Ordzhonikidze. He was never seen alive again.

A badly decomposed body, with head and hands missing, was discovered by fishermen in Chichester harbour months later. It was claimed to be the missing body of Buster Crabbe – but many had doubts. The incident marked the start of a controversy that claimed the posts of several high ranking naval, government and intelligence service personnel. The author of The Final Dive, Don Hale, claims it is one that still rages and which may not be resolved even when secret government files are released in 2057.

Don Hale, an acknowledged campaigning journalist and former Journalist of the Year brings all his experience and skill to unravelling this longstanding scandal. He has drawn upon official reports and private letters, statements from government representatives, fellow officers and friends to piece together Buster’s life and events leading to his disappearance and subsequent investigation. He speaks of “inquiries blocked by intrigue, constant cover-ups and government bureaucracy coupled with threats relating to the Official Secrets Act” (p. xi). If you like reading about subterfuge on a grand scale you will enjoy The Final Dive.

Don Hale’s meticulous account of the life of Buster Crabbe is supported by dozens of black and white photos and extracts from numerous official documents. It reveals how an amazing series of civilian jobs, wartime activities and friendships with high ranking government officials, British intelligence officers, American CIA operatives. . . and now known spies, prepared him for his final dive and perhaps his fate. One of Crabbe’s acquaintances was the author Ian Fleming – of James Bond fame. Indeed, it is suggested that Fleming based the character of 007 on Buster Crabbe. After reading of his exploits, both before WWII, his bomb disposal work during the war, and afterwards it is easy to see why. Certainly, those who worked with Buster Crabbe “all agree he was fearless.” (p.59). After reading of his exploits one wonders if he was too fearless.

In the later stage of Buster’s life, prior to his disappearance, Don Hall recounts “a constant merry-go-round of overseas assignments” (p. 118) for Crabbe and how he “began to receive increasingly hazardous commissions” (p. 136). It culminated in the morning dive in Portsmouth harbour. Hale’s forsensic-like account of the events surrounding the final dive and aftermath reveals absolute panic and bungling behind the scenes as official answers conflict with known facts. He describes how “The whole incident still seems bathed in secrecy, with the true facts deliberately buried in bureaucracy, and supported at the highest level by an incredible cover-up operation”.(p. 205).

A final comment by Don Hale adds to the intrigue. He states “The only part of the Crabbe puzzle about which I am not certain is not who sent him – we know the answer to that – but why on earth he was he sent, possibly at considerable risk?” (p. 248). After reading The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe you will no doubt have your own ideas.


The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe (2007)

  • By Don Hale
  • Stroud: Sutton Publishing
  • ISBN 978 0 7509 4574 5
  • 260 pp

Don Hale was a professional footballer before becoming editor of several regional newspapers. He has received numerous national and international awards for investigative journalism including Journalist of the Year. In 2002 he was awarded an OBE for his campaigning journalism in the Stephen Downing miscarriage of justice case. He has championed several others who have been wrongly convicted.

His other books include Town without Pity (2002), Murder in the Graveyard (2019) and Mallard: How the ‘Blue Steak’ Broke the World Speed Record (2019).


Find out more about Professor Fred Lockwood, who is also a published author, at www.fredlockwood.co.uk.

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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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