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Diving community in B.C. celebrates 25th anniversary of the sinking of the Emerald Princess



One of B.C.’s most famous underwater attractions is celebrating an important milestone.

The world famous Emerald Princess was lowered into the waters near Powell River on the 16th March, 1989 — 25 years ago.

It is a 575-pound, nine-foot tall bronze mermaid statue that now sits 60 feet below the surface in Saltery Bay Provincial Park.

It is the creation of local sculptor Simon Morris.

But Morris says the wife of Jim Willoughby, a local diving legend, takes all the credit for coming up with the idea.

“It was Jodi who said we should put a mermaid underwater for divers, and that got us started.”

In 1986, Willoughby met Morris in a pub and started talking about the idea for the Mermaid.

“He said, I’d like to try that,” says Willoughby.

The two started drawing pictures, until Morris came up with a concept he liked.

And then, says Willoughby, he started carving.

“The guy was a magician. I have never seen anything so beautiful in my life,” he says.

Once the sculpture was finished, the duo scouted a big boulder as a permanent home for the Emerald Princess.

“I designed the Mermaid such that she could brush against it. On the left side of her tail are two rods sticking out and we pre-drilled holes in the granite boulder,” says Morris.

With the help of a crane and a lift bag, the Mermaid was lowered to its permanent home at the bottom of Saltery Bay.

“We were looking for a spot that was going to be easily accessible for a shore dive, so that divers of all levels could dive there,” says Morris.

In the last 25 years, the statue has attracted divers from around the world.

Celebrities and explorers like Prince Philip and the Cousteau family have visited B.C.’s only underwater sculpture.

Read more on this story here.




Roots Red Sea is the Travelers’ Choice



There is a remote spot on the coast of the Egyptian Eastern Desert that has been steadily developing an enviable reputation amongst the worlds diving community. It’s absolutely no surprise then that Roots Red Sea has just received TripAdvisors top award, Travelers Choice, the 10th year running it has been recognised with awards from TripAdvisor!

With a passing glance, many divers have dismissed a visit to this gem, its rustic appearance and remote location seemingly enough to deter further consideration. However, those that take a closer look have been rewarded with simply a totally unique experience with awesome diving, an unbelievable welcome and life long memories.

Winning an award once could be luck, every year for 10 years, there has to be a reason. Why not go to find out what it is?

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… with Nays Baghai



Gemma and Ian chat to Nays Baghai. Inspired by The Blue Planet as a child, Nays’ work as an underwater cinematographer and photographer has been showcased by numerous premier brands, including Rolex and Sony Alpha.  Nays was featured amongst the Top 30 finalists of the Australasian Top Emerging Photographers competition in the Portfolio and Animal categories. He is a PADI-certified Freediving Instructor and Master Scuba Diver, and can dive to 40m both with and without tanks.

Have a listen here:

Find out more:

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

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email

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