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Diving the Mergui Archipelago



In February 2014 I traveled alone to Thailand and went diving in the Andaman Sea for 7 days on a liveaboard. The Deep Andaman Queen is not a luxury dive boat, but the cabins were clean and air conditioned (a necessity in the heat). There was always plenty of food at all meals, and the crew was exceptional. The dive masters were excellent as well. I give the boat itself a C plus, but the crew and dive masters receive an A plus! As we all know, service and safety is more important than 5 star meals and cabins (though I love the boats that pamper you). The dive platform was large and ample as well. I journaled each day and eventually turned my entries into blogs. Here is one of my journal entries about the Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar (formerly Burma):

It is beautiful here, but to be blunt, the diving is less than great.  The visibility is poor to fair, and we’ve seen nothing major to report, except for a sea snake (my first sea snake!!!).  If I was seeing large pelagics, as in the Revillagigadoes Islands  in Mexico, I wouldn’t mind the conditions, but when there isn’t much to see except coral (which is gorgeous) it is a bit disappointing.  You know how desperate I am for animals when I take several photos of sea cucumbers!  Of course, these sea cucumbers are really incredible. I’ve never seen sea cucumbers walking around on a million legs before.

Tam 1

As in so many other places around the world, we are at odds with fishing boats. It may be illegal, but there is dynamite fishing going on here, and you can see the “rubbish” and “rubble” it brings up from the bottom. The dive sites definitely show signs of having been fished in this manner.  Longtail fishing boats are everywhere and most of the dive sites have had at least one boat hanging around, ready to dynamite it for fish. It is distressing to see.

Tam 3I saw two small blue spotted rays. Except for the sea snake, that’s about as exciting as it got. If you think there are a lot of sharks in the Andaman, you would be dead wrong.  The water is nutrient rich here, huge numbers of small fish, unbelievable numbers of schools of silversides and glassy sweepers and chevron barracuda, but the question is: where are the predators and the pelagics?  Nary a one.  No turtles, dolphins, sharks, mantas, only the two small rays, and nudibranchs.  I do love the tree coral and the feather stars!  They are fascinating. I also like the huge schools of fish, but I long to see something a bit bigger.

Due to the water conditions we are not going to Black Rock, supposedly the best dive site in the area. The description speaks of whitetip and blacktip sharks, and majestic mantas and whale sharks. I was so looking forward to see Black Rock, but the ship captain knows best, and it just isn’t going to happen.

I’ve enjoyed my dive buddies, the “boys”.  Most passengers are couples, or in a dive group from Spain, so I’m hanging with Chris, the American wild and crazy guy, the Finn twins, and Mauro, from Italy but living in Finland. I seem to always hang out with the guys. So far, I haven’t run into another woman traveling and diving alone. Next to the actual diving I love meeting the divers, and being part of a group of people who love to dive as much as I do.

For more from Tam, visit

Tam Warner Minton is an avid scuba diver, amateur underwater photographer, and adventurer. She encourages "citizen science" diving, whether volunteering with a group or by one's self. For Tam, the unexpected is usually the norm!


Nauticam announce NA-A7C Housing for Sony a7C Camera



Sony’s latest full frame mirrorless camera, the a7C offers the underwater image maker one of the most compact and travel friendly full frame systems available on the market today.  The a7C features Sony’s latest stellar autofocus and a much improved battery life thanks to its use of the larger Z series battery. The BIONZ X processor delivers superb low-light performance and faster image processing. For video shooters, the a7C features internal UHD 4K capture in the wide-dynamic range HLG image profile at up to 30p.

Nauticam has housed more mirrorless cameras, and more Sony E Mount cameras than any other housing manufacturer. This experience results in the most evolved housing line with broadest range of accessories available today.

Pioneering optical accessories elevate performance to a new level. Magnifying viewfinders, the sharpest super macro accessory lenses ever made, and now the highest quality water contact wide angle lenses (the WWL-1B and WACP-1) combine with the NA-A7C housing to form a complete imaging system.

Nauticam is known for ergonomics, and an unmatched experience. Key controls are placed at the photographer’s fingertips. The housing and accessories are light weight, and easy to assemble. The camera drops in without any control presetting, and lens port changes are effortless.

NA-A7C features an integrated handle system. This ergonomic style provides exceptional control access, even with thick gloves, with ideal placement of the shutter release and a thumb-lever to actuate the AF-ON button from the right handle.

Nauticam build quality is well known by underwater photographers around the globe. The housing is machined from a solid block of aluminum, then hard anodized making it impervious to salt water corrosion. Marine grade stainless and plastic parts complete the housing, and it is backed by a two year warranty against manufacturing defects.

For more information in the UK visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

For more information in the USA visit the Nauticam website by clicking here.

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BLUE EARTH – Future Frogmen Podcast Series – The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau



A series of conservation educational podcasts from Future Frogmen, introduced by Jeff Goodman.

The Next Generation of Ocean Stewards: Lauren Brideau

We have a new host, Dr. Colleen Bielitz, and today we’ll be interviewing a recent college graduate as part of our once-a-month episode that focuses on students: the next generation of conservationists, researchers, and activists.

What are the next generation of ocean stewards doing to protect our Blue Earth? Join us as we find out by speaking to Lauren Brideau, a recent graduate of Southern Connecticut State University. Lauren started as an undeclared major but soon found her calling, now she is part of a research team conserving life below water.  She is a prime example that if you want to defend our oceans and the creatures that depend on the sea to survive, now is the time to become part of the solution.

Richard E Hyman Bio

Richard is the Chairman and President of Future Frogmen.

Born from mentoring and love of the ocean, Richard is developing an impactful non-profit organization. His memoir, FROGMEN, details expeditions aboard Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s famed ship Calypso.

Future Frogmen, Inc. is a nonprofit organization and public charity that works to improve ocean health by deepening the connection between people and nature. They foster ocean ambassadors and future leaders to protect the ocean by accomplishing five objectives.

You can find more episodes and information at and on most social platforms @futurefrogmen.


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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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