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Diver & Skipper setup pop up vegan restaurant and bar on ex Royal Navy minesweeper



Canadian opera singer and diver Janet Fischer and British skipper Chris Beer have launched a vegan pop-up this summer onboard their 107ft ex-RN Ham class inshore Minesweeper MV Tongham moored on Gillingham Pier in Kent. Launched in 1957 and now on the National Historic Ships Register, Tongham is the most intact of her class and Janet & Chris will be maintaining as many of her features as possible during her refit. She will ultimately house three music teaching studios, a yoga suite, restaurant & coffee house and a microbrewery.

This summer they are running a Vegan Pop-Up restaurant and bar on her decks. “We wanted to get people involved and excited about the project, and there is no better way than to have them onboard and enjoying her” said Janet. “Gillingham and the Medway towns have a long standing relationship with the Navy through the docks at Chatham, and we are offering another way for people to engage with their marine heritage”.

Both committed to environmental sustainability, there will be no single use plastics on board – all of their tableware for the summer is home-compostable and will be used to grow next year’s vegetables on their local allotment. Chris & Janet have chosen a vegan menu because they want to offer people options that have less of an environmental impact and to demystify plant-based eating. “We are Not-Just-For-Vegans, people can come here and enjoy fresh, locally-sourced, seasonal food that tastes great, is comfortable and familiar in an interesting setting and that also happens to be Vegan. As a man who has spent his life working on the ocean I would like to see more people take small daily steps towards reducing their plastic consumption and environmental impact” Chris said. Janet added “As a diver who has seen first-hand the impact of over-fishing and poor waste management on dive sites around the world, giving people choices that they can incorporate into their daily lives that we feel passionately about, and we are excited to work with our local community to educate and inspire’.

Freyr’s Restaurant onboard MV Tongham will be open:

17-19th August

24-27th August

31st August – 2nd September

There will be more events during the winter of 2018/19 including a supper club and one off pop-ups before the vessel is fully opening in the summer of 2019.

For more information:

+44 7551 243 015


Freyr’s Restaurant

MV Tongham

Pier Approach Road,



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


Scubaverse UWP Winners Gallery: Sofia Tenggrono



Each month we give the winner of the Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition the opportunity to show off a little more of their work in a gallery. The September winner was Sofia Tenggrono.

What equipment do you use?

I work with Olympus TG-6 camera, Nauticam CMC-1, 2 Inon S-2000, minigear snoot dive torch

Where can our readers see more of your work?

To enter the latest Scubaverse Underwater Photography competition, with a chance to win some great prizes as well as have your own gallery published, head over to the competition page and upload up to 3 images.

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Samantha Falcucci



Gemma and Ian chat to Samantha Falcucci. Samantha is a technology professional in New York City, STEM mentor, and ocean and space exploration advocate. After studying Information Systems & Marketing at the University of Texas at Austin, she launched into a business-technology career and has worked at Microsoft for six years guiding enterprise customers through their unique digital transformations. She has fostered a passion for science all her life and is dedicated to hands-on scientific research and communication in both space and ocean related fields.

Samantha earned her Advanced Scuba certification at 17 and is passionate about diving and marine science. She is a citizen scientist volunteer recording microplastics presence at the Jersey Shore for the Plastic Wave Project and is a member of the NYC Sea Gypsies scuba club. In August 2021 she became a trained analog astronaut and helped lead a Mars simulation in the Mojave Desert with an international crew.

She dedicates her passion for science to her late grandfather who was an entomologist and loved launching model rockets together. She strives to set an example as a citizen-scientist while advocating for diverse backgrounds needed in exploration. Her advice to aspiring conservationists is to find unconventional ways to study and care for the ocean regardless of your age or if it is directly related to your job and studies. She looks forward to sharing all of her upcoming space and ocean related experiences on her Instagram blog.

Have a listen here: 

Find out more here:

Find more podcast episodes and information at the new  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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