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 are your names?
Raul Ibañez and Isabel Laguardia
What is the name of your business?
Divers Cabo de Palos
What is your role within the business?
Owners, Skippers, Instructors, Desk guys, cleaning crew… and everything that is needed!
How long has the business operated for?
We opened 30/04/2016, so we are now celebrating our first year.
How long have you dived for and what qualification are you?
We have been diving for almost a decade and we are both PADI Specialty Instructors. Isabel is an IANTD Instructor too.
What is your favourite type of diving?
We enjoy most the naturalist and underwater photography diving. We love to see marine life and try to learn more and more about them with every dive; discover new creatures and watch their behavioral patterns.
If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?
We are located at the gateway of the Marine Preserve Islas Hormigas. It’s a very beautiful thing to come to see: big groupers, huge barracuda banks, dentex, big octopuses and different species are the highlights of the marine preserve. There’s also many small creatures like nudibranch and smaller fishes crowding the marine dive spots.
What is your favourite dive in your location and why?
It’s very difficult to choose, so we are going to cheat a little and choose one dive each!
Raul: My favourite dive spot is the Naranjito Wreck, a cargo ship that sank on April 1946. It lies in navigation position on a 42m sandy bottom with the main deck at 26m deep. This dive spot is one of the best places to see sunfish in spring and summer. There are a lot of different species to watch here because it’s almost at the edge of the marine reserve borders.
Isabel: My favourite dive spot is the Bajo de Dentro dive site in the Marine Reserve. It’s an underwater mountain that reaches up to 5m depth from a rocky and sandy bottom of 33-40m. Full of gigantic groupers, dentex, and moray eels, this spot is one of the best to see big banks of great amberjacks that cloud the place preying on the smaller fish.
What types of diving are available in your location?
Naturalist and underwater photography, wreck diving, deep diving, boat diving, shore diving and night diving.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
Everything is challenging and exciting but the thing most rewarding is that, so far, everyone that has visited us has been very happy and pleased with the experience.
What is your favorite underwater creature?
Raul: My favourite underwater creature is the octopus. Their curiosity and behaviour fascinates me. Also, when you find a really small one in a hiding place, normally, if not disturbed or fished, you can watch how the octopus grows and changes their behaviour towards you.
Isabel: My favourite underwater creature is the “boga” (sea bream). Ok, not a boga, but the big schools of “bogas” that just look like cartoons, making shapes and moving all at once when the predators come to hunt. I could spend hours staring at them.
Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?
We think that scuba diving is evolving into a more eco friendly industry, trying to protect our marine environment more and more. We hope that we are part of this process and will see the outcome of these changes pretty soon.
As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
Right now, our biggest problem is that we don’t have all the time we need to do all the amazing stuff we want to do! We have a lot of ideas waiting for some spare time to put them in practice.
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
Yes, we are collaborating with Murcia University in their efforts to achieve a greater understanding of the marine reserve ecosystem, helping on their projects and working with them in some challenging studies. Also, recently we obtained the EcoDiver Trainer title from the ReefCheck Mediterranean organization that will improve their citizen science projects.
How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?
As we mentioned a bit above, we think that this industry is on an evolutionary process to a much more eco friendly industry and a general change towards creating bigger respect for our waters.
What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?
That they will not be disappointed by the life here! Really, we have a lot to offer and as we are a small family business, we try to accommodate our clients every need. Also, safety is our number one priority, so we have one guide for each different level of divers in order to make different dives routes in the same spot depending on the certification level or experience.
Where can our visitors find out more about your business?
On our website you can find a lot of information about our dives, such as maps, videos, photos and more. On our Facebook page you can find day to day information about the dives in the area and lots of photos and videos (and a comic!) On our Youtube Channel you can see all the videos we’ve edited so far and on our TripAdvisor profile you can read how much our guests have enjoyed their visits.
Book Release: Diving the Thistlegorm – The Ultimate Guide to a World War II Shipwreck
Diving the Thistlegorm is a unique in-depth look at one of the world’s best-loved shipwrecks. In this highly visual guide, cutting edge photographic methods enable views of the wreck and its fascinating cargo which were previously impossible.
This book is the culmination of decades of experience, archaeological and photographic expertise, many hours underwater, months of computer processing time, and days spent researching and verifying the history of the ship and its cargo. For the first time, Diving the Thistlegorm brings the rich and complex contents of the wreck together, identifying individual items and illustrating where they can be found. As the expert team behind the underwater photography, reconstructions and explanations take you through the wreck in incredible detail, you will discover not only what has been learned but also what mysteries are still to be solved.
Find out more about:
- One of the world’s greatest dives.
- Incredible ‘photogrammetry’ shows the wreck and cargo in a whole new light.
- Meticulous detail presented in a readable style by experts in their respective fields.
About the authors:
Simon Brown is an underwater photographer and photogrammetry/3D expert who has documented underwater subjects for a wide range of clients including Historic England, Wessex Archaeology and television companies such as National Geographic Channel and Discovery Canada. Jon Henderson is Reader in Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh where he is the Director of the Underwater Archaeology Research Centre. With specific research interests in submerged prehistoric settlements and developing underwater survey techniques, he has directed underwater projects in the UK, Poland, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Jamaica and Malaysia. Alex Mustard is a former marine biologist and award-winning underwater photographer. In 2018 he was made an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for “Services to underwater photography”. Mike Postons pioneered the use of digital 3D modelling to visualise shipwrecks, as well as the processes of reconstructing original ships from historic plans. He has worked with a number of organisations including the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Historic England and the Nautical Archaeological Society.
About the book:
- Release date 25 November 2020
- Limited run of Hardbacks
- RRP £35
- ISBN 978-1-909455-37-5
- 240 photo-packed pages
- 240 x 160 mm
Check back on Scubaverse.com for a review of the book coming soon!
Deptherapy’s Dr Richard Cullen becomes a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society
Dr Richard Cullen, Chairman of Scuba Diving Rehabilitation Charity Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education, has been recognised as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Fellowship of the Royal Geographical Society is a prestigious Fellowship that is open to those who demonstrate a sufficient involvement in geography or an allied subject through publications, research or professional experience.
Paul Rose, Deptherapy’s Vice Chair, and a world renowned explorer, author, broadcaster, who is a former Vice Chair of the RGS said:
“This is a huge achievement by Richard. His Fellowship is richly deserved, and a direct result of his steadfast commitment to preserving our oceans through Deptherapy’s very powerful ‘Protecting Our Oceans’ Programme. I know the top team at the RGS are looking forward to welcoming Richard into the Society.”
The RGS was founded in 1830 to advance geographical research, education, fieldwork and expeditions, as well as by advocating on behalf of the discipline and promoting geography to public audiences.
Paul Toomer, President of RAID, said:
“I have been close friends with Richard for many years and his passion for our seas, even at 70 years of age, is undiminished. Deptherapy are the world leaders in adaptive scuba diving teaching and are our much valued partners. Taking UK Armed Forces Veterans who have suffered life changing mental and/or physical challenges and engaging them in major marine biology expeditions, is to most of us beyond the realms of possibility. The skills these guys have to develop is just awesome. This is a great honour for Richard, a great honour for Deptherapy, and also for us as their partners. The diving world must come together to celebrate and acknowledge Richard’s achievement.”
Richard joins some distinguished Fellows of the RGS. Former Fellows include Ernest Shackleton and many other notable explorers and geographers.
“I am both honoured and humbled to become a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. When I was invited to apply for a Fellowship, I was, which is very unusual for me, lost for words. I hope it will allow me to take our message of Protecting Our Oceans to a larger audience and to further develop our programmes. The Fellowship is a recognition of the charity’s work to raise awareness of the plight of our oceans. The credit belongs to a group of individuals who have overcome massive challenges to let alone qualify as divers but now to progress to marine biology expedition diving”.
For more information about the work of Deptherapy and Deptherapy Education visit www.deptherapy.co.uk.
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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.More Less
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