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Diving the C-130 Hercules in Aqaba with Sindbad Dive Club

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After a few days to let it settle after we witnessed the scuttling, it was finally time to see the C-130 Hercules in its new home under the sea.

Our dive centre of choice was Sindbad Dive Club based in the stunning surroundings of Berenice Beach Club. With a guest pool and dive training pool overlooking the beach and Red Sea, it was a great place to start our diving day. Sindbad is the only dive centre in the area to have their own jetty within the marine park. This makes it easy to kit up and climb aboard with all the dive sites within easy reach just minutes from the jetty. In fact, the furthest site is a mere 20 minute boat journey away.

Khaled Kenawy is the managing director of Sindbad and greeted us on our arrival. He made sure every detail was discussed, putting us at ease about the day’s diving. Everything was very professional with any hired kit already prepared for us in labelled crates. The kit was taken to the dive boat for us by the crew and the boat had ample room for divers, kit and crew. Soft drinks and water were provided onboard.

The C-130 is only a 5-10 minute journey from the jetty and was due to be our first dive of the day. However, Khaled used his experience to make a detour when he saw other dive boats at the site and realised it would be a little crowded. We made our first dive at a site called The Japanese Gardens – a nice relaxed dive, alongside colourful reef life, which prepared us for our afternoon on the Hercules.

After a coffee and tea break back at the Berenice Beach Club, it was time to set out for a hopefully quieter C-130 dive site. We were all excited to experience this new amazing wreck site that will hopefully bring more dive tourism to the area.

Being a shallow dive site of only around 16 metres max, you could see the wreck from the surface as we jumped in. What struck me straight away was the sheer size of the plane. It completely dwarfed the divers that were exploring it and it was a lot bigger than I imagined it would be. The wings disappeared into the distance as you looked out from the cargo hold, while the vertical stabiliser reached up to the surface, towering over me as I swam beneath.

It was easy to penetrate the wreck with numerous wide openings that allowed access to explore inside and check out the cockpit which has a model skeleton at the wheel. I can really see this being an amazing dive site once the sea life and coral start calling it home. The reefs surrounding the plane are stunning and can be explored as part of the dive. The well-known Tank dive site is just a few minutes swim away and perfect for a safety stop, which means you can enjoy it all in one dive. As life starts to form on the wreck, you’ll probably want to spend much longer!

It was a great moment to be able to witness the scuttling of the C-130 Hercules and be one of the first divers worldwide to dive it. What made it extra special was the extremely professional dive centre that hosted us. Check out Sindbad Dive Club at: www.sindbadjo.com or email divingmanager@sindbadjo.com to arrange your trip!

Check back next week for my blogs on the other diving available in Aqaba and to read about a stunning trip to Petra.

Sean Chinn’s scuba diving adventure started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his diving and underwater photography adventure which has become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.

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Sealife Micro 3.0 Camera and Light Gift Set Popular at DEMA Show

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SeaLife Micro 3.0 Camera

The new Micro 3.0 Underwater Camera & Light Gift Set from Sealife was very well received during the recent DEMA Show in New Orleans. The Set is an ideal item for the 2023 Fall travel and Holiday season.

The camera is the latest and third generation of its popular permanently-sealed Micro camera series. The camera is leak-proof with no O-rings to lube or maintain, so there is never a worry about flooding the camera. Like its forerunners, the Micro 3.0 features an ergonomic, compact design with easy to-use controls and menus. The camera has a 16-megapixel Sony® CMOS image sensor and offers 4K ultra-high-definition video. The camera’s ease of use starts with the three wide Piano key type buttons that are easy to locate and control, even with dive gloves on. The intuitive camera’s Easy Setup feature quickly guides you through the correct settings based on the shooting environment, depth and lighting accessories being used.

For a limited time through SeaLife’s USA dealers, SeaLife is offering the Micro 3.0 Camera & Light Limited Edition Gift Set that will include a Sea Dragon 2000F Photo Video Light.

The complete camera and light set price will be the same price as SeaLife’s Micro 3.0 Camera regular selling price (alone).  Availability will be early November through SeaLife’s dealer network and while supplies last.

The camera & light gift set will also be available in other countries; however, prices may vary depending on location.

While the Micro 3.0 takes away the fuss and fiddling with camera controls that plague most underwater cameras, the Micro 3.0 does have an easy option for fine-tuning underwater images with manual white balance adjustments and the ability to capture images in RAW format, for those that want to edit their images later. The built-in wide angle 100° lens allows the diver to get close to the subjects while still keeping everything in the picture. The Micro 3.0 offers WiFi sharing ability, so you can wirelessly preview, download, and share pictures & videos to a smart phone or tablet with the free Micro 3+ app available at Google Play or Apple App stores. The Micro 3.0 “Explorer” Gift Set includes the Micro 3.0 camera, the Sea Dragon 2000F photo/video light, Flex-Connect Micro tray and Grip, light battery & charger, wrist strap, USB adapter, 3’/90cm USB cable, camera pouch & lens cap.

SRP: $599.95

Find out more at www.sealife-cameras.com/micro-3-0-sets.

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Dive into Festive Fun With PADI

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dive into christmas

Marina Scuba School’s Santa Splash Discover Scuba Experience

Join the festive fun at Marina Scuba School’s Santa Splash on the 16th of December in Crosby. While the real Santa may be busy, Marina Scuba School’s staff members will be dressed up in festive attire for a 2-hour DSD with a Christmas twist.

Open to adults, families, and children over the age of 8, this festive dive is jam-packed with Christmas treats.

The festive fun begins at Marina Scuba School, where you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and some delicious Santa snacks. During the 2-hour Discover Scuba Diving session, you’ll have the chance to learn essential skills required for scuba diving, all while searching for some Christmas goodies hidden beneath the surface.

This holly jolly dive experience takes place on the 16th of December in Crosby and only costs £40 per participant.

To book this exciting dive contact the dive centre by email: info@marinascubaschool.org

Vobster Quay

Vobster Quay in Bristol is thrilled to announce the return of the Vobster Santas, a spectacular yuletide diving event that promises to make waves for a cause. This festive fun is open to all levels of divers and invites participants to don their Santa gear and dive into the holiday season in style.

Scheduled for the 10th of December, the gates to Vobster Quay will open at 7:30 am, with a comprehensive dive brief at 09:30 am, leading up to a mass dive at 10:00 am. The goal? To surpass the previous record of 185 Santa divers in the water simultaneously, promising a visually spectacular and undoubtedly jolly spectacle.

Vobster Santas isn’t just about the joy of diving; it’s a mission with heart. The event serves as a vital fundraising opportunity for two esteemed charities, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Help for Heroes. Both hold special significance for Vobster Quay, and participants are encouraged to secure sponsorships through JustGiving to support these worthy causes.

Since its inception, Vobster Santas has successfully raised over £40,000 for these charities. This year, the bar is set higher, and Vobster Quay is committed to leading the charge. To kick off the fundraising efforts, Vobster Quay has generously donated £1000 to each charity, igniting the holiday spirit of giving.

For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to download the event poster, visit: Vobster Quay – VOBSTER SANTAS 2023

Photos: Jason Brown

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