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Diving with… Black Rock Divers, Tobago



In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…

What is your name?

Markus Baumgartner

What is the name of your business?

Black Rock Divers, Tobago

What is your role within the business?

Owner, Director, Master Scuba Diver Trainer

How long has the business operated for?

15 years (from 2002 – 2016 as Extra Divers Tobago) and since November 2016 as Black Rock Divers, Tobago. We are based at Grafton Beach Resort, Stonehaven Bay, Black Rock, Tobago.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

For more than 30 years; PADI MSDT, SSI DiveCon Instructor, NAUI Instructor Trainer, CMAS *** Moniteur, TDI Ext. Range Instructor, DAN O2 Instructor, EFR Instructor

What is your favorite type of diving?

Tropical Water, Drift Diving, Wreck Diving, Night Diving, Shark Diving, Critters and Easy Diving

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Individual Service, small groups, relaxing, stress free diving environment, short distance to dive sites, healthy reef, rich marine life, shallow to moderate depth, safety first, good quality rental gear, DIN / Yoke valves, metric / imperial gauges.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

Cove Ledge, for nurse sharks, rays and turtles

Japanese Garden, for the most diverse coral reef on the island

Divers Dream, for the most pristine coral reef, large schools of Snapper and Grunt, Nurse Sharks and Eagle Rays. Plus, very strong current!!!

What types of diving are available in your location?

Reef Diving, Drift Diving, Night Diving, Wreck Diving, Shore Diving and Boat Diving

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Sharing my passion for diving and for tropical reefs and wrecks with my customers. I can also have a positive impact on my dive students and divers regarding safety, good dive practice, environment awareness and protection & respect for the marine environment.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Manta Ray

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Unfortunately not.  We are lobbying the government to recognise that a healthy marine environment can make a positive contribution to tourism in both Trinidad and Tobago.  We are striving to maintain a healthy marine environment and would love to see the creation of protected marine parks, some artificial reefs and wrecks.  Initiatives such as these would help to support the dive tourism industry on the island and bring wider island wide benefits.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Tobago is still relatively small in terms of tourism which has pluses and minuses for us and our visitors.  The lack of numbers means that we can offer a more personal service and give divers a rewarding experience.  On the negative side it does mean that we are not able to invest more in improving our facilities.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Lion fish control / survey work, Sharks and Rays Survey project, beach & reef clean ups, support for Turtle protection initiatives.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

I am concerned about how diving is becoming a ‘grey’ market. We have to find ways to attract more young people into the activity again. If we succeed we can ensure that we still have customers in the coming 25 years or so. We would love to be able to tempt younger people away from cyber world activities back to the real world!

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Rich Marine Environment, healthy reefs, huge variety of marine species, good chance to encounter Nurse sharks, Reef Sharks, Sting Rays, Eagle Rays, Manta Rays and different types of sea turtles, great for drift diving lovers, small privately owned dive operator, no mass tourism industry, all year round season, outside of the hurricane belt, decompression chamber / hyperbaric facility on the island, appropriate dive sites for beginners and experienced divers available, water temperature between 26 – 29 degrees Celsius!

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?


Call: +1 868 741 3945


Get moving with the new RAID DPV training programs



The thrill of speeding through the water behind a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) is an experience that really gets the blood racing. Using a DPV provides divers both immense fun and the means to achieve goals that would be impossible without their use.

RAID is proud to announce the new two-tier DPV training program with certifications for DPV and Advanced DPV.

Why DPV and why now?
Recreational and technical divers are using DPVs to access sites that would be difficult to reach and explore using traditional propulsion methods; to help propel large amounts of heavy equipment; to increase the safety of dives in areas of strong current; or just for the pure exhilaration of shooting through the water at speed and performing underwater acrobatics.

By extending your capabilities and extending your range, using a DPV opens new vistas for exploration and fun.

This certification option is aimed at the recreational diver who wishes to learn how to use a DPV to enhance their diving by using mainly natural navigation.

Advanced DPV
This certification option is available to anyone who is familiar with longhose configuration, has logged a minimum of 20 dives and is certified as Navigation specialty divers.

This certification option is aimed at the slightly more experienced diver with preexisting navigational training and diving on a single, twin or sidemount setup with a longhose. Although this level is slightly more challenging, the more advanced navigation exercises provide an important base for more complex types of DPV diving within a team.

You must:

  • Be a minimum of 12 years old.
  • Be certified as RAID Open Water 20, Junior Open Water or equivalent.

Just visit to put some extra dash into your dives.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Beers raise cash for ocean clean-up



The Driftwood Spars Brewery, a pioneering microbrewery based on the North Cornwall coast, is donating a percentage of all profits from its Cove range of beers to Fathoms Free, a certified charity which actively cleans the ocean around the Cornish peninsula.

Each purchase of the small-batch, craft beers – there are four different canned beers in the Cove range – will help generate funds to purchase a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and fund retrieval dives; every brew will raise the equivalent cost of a fully-funded dive. 

Fathoms Free is a Cornwall-based charity whose day-to-day mission involves dives from their fast-response specialist vessel to recover ghost fishing gear; abandoned nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life.

The campaign to raise funds for an ROV is a new initiative which will take the clean-up work to a new level; the highly manoeuvrable underwater vehicle will be used to scour the seabed, harbours and remote parts of the coastline for abandoned fishing gear and other marine litter.

Project Manager Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free said: “Apart from helping us locate ghost gear underwater, the ROV will also be capable of recording underwater video which is always great for raising awareness about marine pollution issues.”

She added: “We are really excited to be partnering with The Driftwood Spars Brewery and appreciate the proactive support of Mike and his team in bringing the purchase of an ROV a step closer to reality.”

Head Brewer Mike Mason personally approached the charity after their work was featured on the BBC 2 documentary, ‘Cornwall with Simon Reeve’.    

He said: “As a keen surfer I am only too aware of the problem of marine litter and had heard about Fathoms Free, but seeing them in action prompted me to find a way of contributing. The scale of the challenge is scary, but the determination of organisations like Fathoms Free is inspiring.”

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

The Driftwood Spars Brewery was founded in 2000 in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes; the microbrewery is just a few steps away from it’s co-joined brewpub, The Driftwood Spars; both pub and brewery are well-regarded far beyond the Cornish cove they call home. 

You can hear the waves and taste the salt on the air from the door of both brewery and pub, and the rough seas along the rugged North coast often throw up discarded nets and other detritus; Louise Treseder, Landlady of The Driftwood Spars and a keen sea swimmer, often collects washed up ghost gear on her daily beach excursions.     

Louise commented: “This is a great partnership to support a cause close to our hearts – I know the money we raise will have a positive and lasting impact. The Cove range was inspired by our unique surroundings and the artwork – by local artist Jago Silver – reflects that. Now donations from each purchase will contribute towards the vital ocean clean-up taking place right on our doorstep.”

The Cove range can currently be purchased online here, and is available in good independent bottle shops in Cornwall.

To find out more about Fathoms Free visit their website here.

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E-Newsletter Sign up!


This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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