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Check out these great diving holidays from Divequest

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Looking for something different from your next dive holiday? Divequest can help.

Over the last few months, the UK-based tour operator has been busy working on some fantastic new trips and destinations to offer you, including:

NAD LEMBEH CRITTER GEEK WEEK, SULAWESI, INDONESIA

Just £822 per person twin share

warring frogfish.jpgDivequest have teamed up with dynamic photographers Simon Buxton and Serge Abourjeily at NAD Lembeh to offer a Critter Geek Week in the peak of the Lembeh season, September 2016.  For just a small fraction more than the cost of a normal stay at NAD you will get inhouse workshops, a welcome dinner, guided tuition, a Critter ID quiz night and an amazing 1 guide to 2 diver ratio.

 

CRYSTAL BLUE ANILAO CRITTER GEEKS, PHILIPPINES

Just £1455 per person twin share

alleni sunball.jpgSituated in one of the macro photography meccas of the world in Anilao, the Philippines, talented photographer and critter identifier Mike Bartick will be hosting a sensational Critter Geeks 10 day trip from his home at Crystal Blue Resort, at the Critter Capital of the Philippines – Anilao. Combining workshops in macro photography, natural history and critter ID, the trip will end with a farewell party at the resort for the group and everyone will get a free T-Shirt.  It’s only a tiny bit more than a normal stay at Crystal Blue.

SWIM WITH THE HUMPBACK WHALES,  TONGA

mum.jpgStarting this month, Divequest now offers you the opportunity to swim with the incredible Humpback Whales of the Southern Ocean in Tonga.  You will never forget the first time you swim with whales, it is a life changing experience.  Divequest has teamed up with Tongan Expeditions and the owners of The Reef Resort in Vava’u to offer you a chance to swim with the whales while staying on one of the most secluded, romantic islands in Vava’u.

 

FIJI and TONGA

From September this year, Fiji Airways are introducing direct flights between Vava’u and Sydney, so why not think about a combined trip to Tonga for the whales and then fly to the soft coral paradise of Fiji to dive after?

ULTIMATE MANADO, INDONESIA

diver.jpgSpaces are also filling fast to join Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown from Frogfish Photography in Manado for their Ultimate Manado trip this September.  Dive with two of the best underwater photographer guides from the UK on a journey that will take you to the northern reefs of Sulawesi then into the jungles of Tangkoko to view some incredible wildlife including Spectral Tarsiers and Black-crested Macaques.

 

 

SPECIAL RESEARCH EXPEDITIONS

CHAMBERED NAUTILUS, AUSTRALIA

nautilus.jpgHave you ever wanted to join researchers on an expedition to find out more about marine life?  Work alongside the researchers of the Central Queensland University in Australia on a unique trip to the Coral Sea tracking and tagging Chambered Nautilus, one of the most iconic cephalopods in the world.  Contact Divequest if you want to get up close and personal with these gentle, shy creatures and work alongside scientists at the same time.

 

MINKE WHALES, AUSTRALIA

minke.jpgMinke Whales arrive in Australia in numbers during the winter months of June and July.  Why not join research scientists to monitor their behaviour and movements in the field? During some Minke trips you will also get a chance to night dive the northern Ribbon Reefs of the Great Barrier Reef which teem with fish and sharks.

 

UNIQUE EXPEDITIONS

RAINE ISLAND AND THE NORTHERN GREAT BARRIER REEF, AUSTRALIA

raine island.pngRaine Island in northern Australia is the largest Green Sea Turtle rookery in the world. From 24th November to 1st December, a northern Great Barrier Reef expedition will start in Cairns and end in Horn Island, the Torres Straits to dive some of the most remote reef sites on the Great Barrier Reef, many of which are in pristine condition and offer stunning levels of biodiversity.

 

 
SS YONGALA, AUSTRALIA

yongala.jpgClassified as one of the best wreck dives in the world, two special charters to dive the SS Yongala will be running in November and December this year and they will combine dives on the Yongala with the superb 1000m plus walls of the Coral Sea.

 

 

WORLDWIDE BIG FISH

chinchorro_crocodiles_2014_008.jpgAmerican Crocodiles, Humboldt Squid, Belugas, Killer Whales and Sawfish are all animals that represent the pinnacle of aquatic experiences any diver can expect to have in the world. Contact Divequest if you are keen to get in the water with any of these creatures.

 

 

For more information or to book, contact Divequest now by calling +44 (0)1254 8256322, email divers@divequest.co.uk, or visit www.divequest.co.uk.

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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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