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Check out Scuba Travel’s latest offers

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Check out the latest dive travel offers from our friends at UK-based Tour Operator Scuba Travel…

Hurricane

Save £155 onboard Hurricaneon 27th June with this early bird discount.

Dive the fabled Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone with the most experienced team on board the stable, steel-hulled Hurricane. Avoid long transfers with a direct flight to Marsa Alam. All fees, 12 L tank & weights and FREE NITROX are included in your package

Simply the Best lives up to its formidable reputation. Diving here can be unpredictable and you never know what is passing in the blue. After a check dive local to Marsa Alam, the Brothers is always your first big wall stop off. Sailing overnight means you can wake up to be where the action is. Little Brother is the stage for adrenaline fuelled shark diving, whilst Big Brother sports the highlights of the Numidia and Aida wrecks. Another overnight journey and you are whisked to Daedalus Reef. Daedalus is a huge triangular chunk of a reef, whose vertical drop offs rival the Brothers. Giant hard coral structures sprawl the walls and schooling hammerheads are frequently found off the northern point (spring). Currents pulse over a garden of splendid anemones, whose damsel residents dart between tentacles. Rounding off the week is Elphinstone reef, completing a trio of unparalleled wall dive destinations.

Book your place now for £1195!


 Whirlwind

Save £155 on the Wrecks and Reefs trip

Sail away on 13th July on the ever popular, award winning Whirlwind. This is a classic itinerary in the Northern Red Sea with up to 22 dives over the week. Departing from Hurghada, you will spend 7 nights on board on a full board basis (twin share cabin). All marine park fees, 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package. Flights are with Easyjet from Gatwick and transfers are also included. At the end of the week, you will have day use of a hotel and buffet lunch while you wait for your flight home.

Wrecks and Reefs is the ideal itinerary whatever your experience level. A popular route for those new to the Red Sea, the varied depths across dive sites suit all abilities – from novice to tekkie. Visibility is crystal clear and the warm blue waters are perfect for even the longest dive times. Water temperatures typically range between 20 and 28 degrees throughout the year. Diving can be accessed whatever the season, either by boat or RIB. Currents push nutrients rich water from north to south, giving you plenty of opportunity for exhilarating drift dives. Travel times between dive sites are short leaving more time for relaxing. Few other dive destinations can offer the same quality and quantity of top dive sites. This itinerary will fill your log book with both wrecks and reefs that are envied the world over.

Book one of the last 4 places for £1195…


Indonesia

 

Dive Raja Ampat and save £2900 PLUS FREE NITROX onboard the amazing Dewi

Travel off the beaten path and discover Raja Ampat on board the elegant and luxurious Dewi. Over your 11 night adventure and with up to 4 dives a day the expert guides on Dewi will share some of the most exciting dive sites on the planet. This is pure diving escapism. Your trip starts on arrival in Jakarta with a night at the airport hotel, before your onward flight to Sorong, where you board Dewi. Your holiday package is based on a deluxe stateroom with all meals, snacks and beverages (not incluing wine and spirits) – master cabin upgrades are available. All trips are fully guided by 4/5 expert dive guides and include 12lt tank, weights. Excluded are marine park fees ($255 paid locally), alcohol, additional kit hire, excess baggage on the local flights and any souvenirs or private guiding services. At the end of your trip, you will return to Sorong and fly back to Jakarta. UK passport holders are able to obtain an Indonesian tourist visa on arrival.

This holiday excludes international flights to Jakarta CGK. Do ask for a competitive quote to add flights from a number of UK airports to your holiday. If you plan to book your own flights, please check with your travel agent before finalising any tickets to ensure that you have sufficient time to make your domestic flight connections.

* Prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking.

Book your place here!


Caribbean

Save £1000 – 10 NIGHTS FOR THE PRICE OF 7 onboard the Bahamas Aggressor

Dramatic walls, lush coral reefs and exciting animal encounters, especially the big fish! The Bahamas is high octane diving for all experience levels. Your Aggressor package is based on a full board basis in a deluxe cabin. A 12lt tank and weights, soft drinks and a selection of local alcoholic drinks are included in your package. Pack in up to 5 dives per day. All trips are fully briefed by expert guides. You have to pay the port fees locally, currently $158 for a 10 night liveaboard. Due to local regulations, transfers are not included, but taxis are readily available. Excluded are the departure tax, nitrox, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. Dinner on Friday night is not included. Please advise if you would like to prebook any courses on board or have any dietary requirements.

This is a BOAT ONLY holiday. The cost does not include any international flights to Nassau international airport NAS. The Scuba Travel team is able to add flights with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel. Do be aware that if your flight routes through the USA you must have an ESTA prior to travel. Local regulations prohibit prebooked transfers – the crew will assist on arrival with taxis and give directions (approx $35pp each way).

* Prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking.

Book your place here!


Indian Ocean

£900 off Oman Aggressor on 8th June

Experience Oman onboard the Oman Aggressor and save £900

A truly magical itinerary for divers that love reef diving and abundant biodiversity. You have 7 nights in a deluxe stateroom on a full board basis, including all soft drinks and a limited selection of local beer and wine with your evening meal. There are master cabin and suite upgrades available; simply ask your travel consultant at the time of booking. Over a 7 night trip, you can clock up an impressive 25 dives. 12lt tank, air fills and weights are included in your package. All trips are escorted with 2 expert divemasters. There is a USD200 Port/Marine Park fee per person to be paid on board. Excluded are the Oman entry visa, alcohol, additional kit hire and any onboard souvenirs. Please let the Scuba Travel team know if you would like to prebook any PADI courses on board or have any dietary requirements. Dinner on the Friday evening is not included, although the crew will assist with recommendations and reservations. Transfers will be pre-booked but have to be paid for locally in cash USD35 per person per way – the transfer time will be advised locally.

This holiday does not include any international flights to Muscat airport MCT. Flights can be added with a wide range of airlines, including regional departures. Please ask your consultant for a competitive quote for any flight option. Do not book any flights until your boat space is confirmed by Scuba Travel.

* Prices are subject to change according to availability at the time of booking.

Book your place for £2525!


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.

Marine Life & Conservation

Exhibition: Protecting UNESCO Marine World Heritage through scientific research

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From now until 30 October, the photo exhibition “Protecting UNESCO Marine World Heritage through scientific research” features 21 photographs at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, as well as a digital edition.

Exceptional photographs highlight how innovative marine experts and scientists take the pulse of the ocean by exploring ecosystems, studying the movement of species, or revealing the hidden biodiversity of coral reefs. Scientific discoveries are more important than ever for the protection and sustainable conservation of our Marine World Heritage. This memorable exhibition comes ahead of the launch, in 2021, of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (“Ocean Decade”). The exhibition was jointly developed by UNESCO and the Principality of Monaco.

The 50 marine sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, distributed across 37 countries, include a wide variety of habitats as well as rare marine life still largely unknown. Renowned for their unmatched beauty and emblematic biodiversity, these exceptional ecosystems play a leading role in the field of marine conservation. Through scientific field research and innovation, concrete actions to foster global preservation of the ocean are being implemented locally in these unique natural sites all over the world. They are true symbols of hope in a changing ocean.

Since 2017, the Principality of Monaco supports UNESCO to strengthen conservation and scientific understanding of the marine sites inscribed on the World Heritage List. This strategic partnership allows local management teams to benefit from the results obtained during the scientific missions of Monaco Explorations. The partnership also draws international attention to the conservation challenges facing the world’s most iconic ocean sites.

The exhibition invites viewers to take a passionate dive into the heart of the scientific missions led by Monaco Explorations in four marine World Heritage sites: Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park (Philippines), Malpelo Fauna and Flora Sanctuary (Colombia), Rock Islands Southern Lagoon (Palau), and the Lagoons of New Caledonia: Reef Diversity and Associated Ecosystems (France). It is also an opportunity to discover the work of a megafauna census; the study of the resilience of coral reefs and their adaptation in a changing climate; the exploration of the deep sea; and the monitoring of large marine predators through satellite data.

To visit the Digital Exhibition click here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Deptherapy returns to its Roots – Part 7

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Join Richard Cullen from Deptherapy for the final part of his Blog about the charity’s recent expedition to Roots Red Sea, El Quseir, Egypt.

Deptherapy expeditions do not just magically happen, they need planning and they need funding.  This expedition was funded by our long-term partners the Veterans’ Foundation.  The funding is part of a grant they awarded us for programmes this year, which were then put on hold because of COVID.

All charities in the Armed Forces’ Sector are struggling for funds. Deptherapy desperately needs support going forward and every penny counts.

We know what we do works and at the end of this blog you will find details of the research studies into Deptherapy’s programmes and how they impact on the lives of our beneficiaries.  This includes details that are hot off the press about the latest study that reports that what we offer through scuba diving and 24/7 support has benefits beyond those found in other sporting rehabilitation programmes.

Well tomorrow we fly home, late in the evening with the journey home for some of the guys who live up North taking around 15 hours after leaving Roots.

We want to make the most of today but with the tide running we are not going to be able to dive until later this morning which means only two dives today.

Oatsie and Swars about to start their sidemount dives

Things, however are really busy over at the dive centre with Swars and Oatsie putting their sidemount kit together for their training dives with Steve Rattle leading to their RAID sidemount qualification.  It has been nice to be able to offer the guys this extra training, given the amount of work they have put in this week.  They have needed to get through their theory quickly but given the RADI online learning system this has not been too arduous.

Steve came diving with us yesterday to get some more photos and was really amazed at the progress that Corey had made. He was quite open in his praise, as in his view Corey has gone from a non-diver to being a very competent OW diver capable of diving, unsupervised, with a buddy.  Praise indeed.

Other than the sidemount course we are diving as a group today: Corey, Keiron, Michael, Moudi and me. Corey has been given some tasks – SMB deployment on both dives and the afternoon dive will be a ‘naturalist dive’.  Guy Henderson has set Corey a task: ‘to identify three species of fish and record the time into the dive and the depth at which each one was spotted’.  Guy runs Marine Biology courses on the reef and knows where the fish are to be found, how long into the dive, and at what time.

The two Toms are getting put through their paces. They have walked their cylinders down to the entry point, but Steve sends them back to the dive centre to collect other kit they should have brought with them.

Our general dive goes well and the sidemount guys appear from their sidemount dive some 90 minutes after dipping their heads under the water.

Corey enjoying being a RAID OW20 Diver

Lots of bubbly chat at lunchtime, a group of really happy divers. Corey really has benefited from the week and over lunch thanked the team for making him a diver. He has very quickly become part of the family and after returning home he published an amazing post on Facebook about his experience.  Corey really gets Deptherapy and had soon realised that we see past mental and physical injuries and see the person inside and work with that person.  He also realised that we want beneficiaries to see their fellow beneficiaries in the same light.  He knows he now has another ‘family’ – a family of brothers in arms who have two things in common, they served their country and they have suffered life changing injuries or illnesses.

Back into the water for the afternoon dive and Corey identifies the fish and records the details on a slate.  The two Tom’s complete their second dive and qualify as RAID Sidemount Divers. Great!

Kit packed away and it is time to return to the camp for a few well-earned last night drinks.

I am often asked why we use Roots as our exclusive base for diving. I have mentioned before that it offers us an ideal retreat, away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We are secluded and there are no distractions such as late-night bars etc.

Roots Accessible Room

The second reason is the amazing welcome we receive from Steve, Clare, Moudi and the team.  We have been going to Roots since 2014 and many of the staff have become good friends, they understand our needs and are the friendliest people you could ever wish to meet.

The third reason is the huge investment Steve and Clare have made in making the resort and dive centre accessible for those with physical injuries including those who need to use wheelchairs.  All our beneficiaries can enjoy Roots and, in fact, love it here.  The reef is perfect for us and in non-COVID times we can travel to the Salem Express and other dive sites to enjoy more of the Red Sea experience.

Accessible toilet on the Roots beach

After discussions with the team I was very proud to be able to tell Corey that his progress had been such that we were inviting him on the Armed Forces Covenant Fund Trust sponsored two-week Marine Biology Course at Roots in June 2021. There is lots of homework to undertake under the guidance of Dr Debbie McNeill of Open Oceans and Corey will be sent the Red Sea Guide which is the basis for study.

While on that programme, Corey with fellow beneficiary Dale Mallin, will complete his RAID Advanced 35 course.  This all builds to a 10-day Red Sea liveaboard in 2022, onboard Roots’ new boat Big Blue where 18 beneficiaries will compare the coral and aquatic life on the wrecks of the SS Thistlegorm and the less known SS Turkia that is to be found in the Gulf of Suez and is rarely dived.

Paul Rose, our Vice President, is supporting the programme and is seeking the support of the UN and the Royal Geographical Society. A comprehensive report will be submitted to our partners in the project and to the Egyptian Authorities.

Last night and chill

What we do works:

In recent years there have been three academic studies into our work:

2018 – A study by a team from the University of Sheffield Medical School.

2019 – A study by The Centre of Trauma at Nottingham University.

Both these studies reported very positively on Deptherapy’s work both underwater but also in terms of the provision of 24/7 support.

The following is from our press release which was issued on 26th October:

‘A new study into Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy’s approach to supporting Armed Forces veterans with psychological injuries such as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) through the medium of scuba diving has been carried out by Petra Walker in conjunction with Hanna Kampman of the Posttraumatic Growth Research Unit at the University of East London.

This study, which used Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), demonstrates that scuba diving has rehabilitation benefits beyond those found in other forms of sporting rehabilitation exercise. IPA is a qualitative methodology that examines the experiences of participants and has been used in previous studies of Posttraumatic Growth (PTG) in para-athletes.

Petra is an experienced diver herself and was exploring the wellbeing aspects of scuba diving as part of her Masters in Applied Positive Psychology and Coaching Psychology when she came across a previous study on Deptherapy. Past studies have mainly focused on the medical aspects of diving, so the opportunity to examine the mental health side of rehabilitative scuba diving was impossible to ignore. The full study is currently embargoed until it is published at a future date in an academic journal, but it follows similar academic research into the work of Deptherapy by the University of Sheffield Medical School (2018) and the University of Nottingham (2019).’

This is amazing news and sets us apart from other sporting rehabilitation programmes.

We are currently working with our VP Richard Castle who is a Consultant Psychologist and our Dive Medicine Advisor Mark Downs to identify further areas of psychological and physical dive related research.

We end the week on a happy note.  A young man who has learned to dive properly with a RAID OW 20 certification, a new RAID Master Rescue Diver, two new RAID Sidemount Divers, 5 new RAID O2 Providers, many assessments for our DMs but most of all a week of learning, of making new friendships, renewing old friendships, and building on our family ethos.

Until we meet again…

For us, Deptherapy is a journey, a journey that continues to push boundaries in the use of scuba diving in the rehabilitation of those suffering life changing mental and/or physical challenges.  On our journey we want to change the way the scuba diving industry views diving for those with disabilities.

In the new year, we will be launching, with our diver training agency partners RAID, a new and exciting adaptive teaching programme that will offer diving to the disabled community. We can’t wait to share it with you!


Find out more about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education at www.deptherapy.co.uk

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