In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…
My name is Aydin Dinc.
What is the name of your business?
The Cenote Guy – Cenote Diving.
What is your role within the business?
Founder. I’m guiding in the Cenotes and I’m the manager of the business.
How long has the business operated for?
We started in February 2018.
How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?
Professionally diving since 2017 in Mexico.
Got certified in 1998. I was mostly diving for fun during vacations in the Mediterranean.
2017 MSDT Padi instructor
2017 TDI full cave Diver
What is your favorite type of diving?
For sure, cavern diving. I also love Ocean diving, the Big Blue and marine life.
Cavern and Cave is more like a living style, a daily ritual, a spiritual thought process for me.
Diving in caverns in very addictive. I enjoy the caverns on a daily basis and practice cave diving on my days off.
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 specialized in cavern diving and that´s what make our strength. The dives are tailormade taking into consideration the diver’s experience and skills. We are not doing any courses; we are not doing Ocean dives. We want to give you the best in cenote diving. Fully concentrating on GUIDING. Safety being our biggest focus. And, word of mouth, that’s how our customers choose us. That’s a niche we have chosen because it is not “regular diving.” It’s special, it’s Cenote Diving.
What is your favourite dive in your location and why?
Little Brother is by far the most enchanting dive of all. My personal favorite. Incredibly beautiful and with the most features you can have in Cenote diving. I am proud to guide in this place where you have the feeling of being on another planet, where the words are missing when trying to describe the experience.
What types of diving are available in your location?
We only do cavern diving. So, the main parameter is how much you get inside the overhead environment. I personally categorise them as:
Semi open water dives: The open water surface is wide and easy to spot, like Kukulkan, little brother, eden, Barbie line, carwash, casa Cenote etc.
Penetration dives: You have this real feeling of getting under the ground and tunnels, adventure lovers are welcome! Tajmaha, Batcave, dreamgate etc.
Open water dives: Technically open water dives, but all around 30 meters / 90 feet of depth, for advanced divers. Like Angelita, zapot , Kinha etc.
What do you find most rewarding about your current role?
I’m into guiding and sharing my passion with my fellow divers is the best reward. It’s amazing how diving creates bonds after having done a Cenote dive. I have seen people crying after the dives, being moved. It’s impacting, calming and so out of this world. It’s a spiritual calling. And believe me, to be someone witnessing the emotion and in a way being the one that is facilitating such moments, is the greatest reward. Back in time, my first cenote dives were the most exciting things I have ever done in my life. And I know that it’s the case for the majority of our divers. A life changing experience.
What is your favorite underwater creature?
My favourite underwater creatures, that we are lucky to spot in a couple of cenotes, are the crocodiles. They are laying on the rocks and watching us calmly. They are the real inhabitants of the cenotes. They are small and very inoffensive. Always a nice encounter for our divers.
As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?
The fast growth of the region is somehow menacing our beautiful cenotes. We would like to keep this activity as an off the beaten path one!
Is your center involved in any environmental work?
We care about the environment and we are trying to reduce our footprint. No plastic cups and bags, no chemicals in the cenotes. We are helping and working with the local Mayan community to minimize our waste.
Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?
We are very happy and proud to have very competitive pricing. Having a high demand, we are doing way better in our offer for the people willing to have a very private experience to celebrate birthdays, honeymoons and special days in the cenotes. As our team of instructors is getting bigger, it’s easier to separate private divers from the other divers. We are into diversifying our offer to match with the demand. Keeping the quality and the safety as our main concern.
How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?
From what we can see in the Riviera Maya, tourism activity is increasing. This region is the pearl of Mexican tourism. Radical measures should be taken to allow this blooming to be regulated in order to respect the nature. Unfortunately, the educative ‘pink’ approach is not working anymore – my humble opinion.
From the Airport on arrival to the departure day, the tourist should be hammered with preventive (and punitive) measures to make sure the preservation and protection of the environment is ensured.
Finally, what would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?
Cenote diving is a different way of diving. The open water certification is more than enough to enjoy this very amazing adventure. We have seen a lot of divers never going back to “normal” ocean diving after having experienced Cenote Diving 😊
Where can our visitors find out more about your business?
WhatsApp messages only: +52 984 100 78 65
Hunting Lionfish Safely and Responsibly in Curaçao
Curaçao, a picturesque island in the southern Caribbean, is not only renowned for its stunning beaches and vibrant culture but also for its commitment to preserving its marine ecosystems. One of the key threats to these delicate ecosystems is the invasive lionfish. To combat this menace, responsible hunting practices are crucial.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore how to hunt lionfish safely and responsibly in Curaçao, including the use of pole spears (the only legal method in Curaçao). We will provide you with the top 10 safe hunting practices, including the use of a Zookeeper. We will also address what to do if you are stung by a lionfish and emphasize the importance of consulting with local experts before embarking on your lionfish hunting adventure.
Why Safe and Responsible Lionfish Hunting is Important
Lionfish (Pterois spp.) are native to the Indo-Pacific region but have become invasive predators in the Caribbean, including the waters surrounding Curaçao. Their voracious appetite for native fish species and rapid reproduction rates poses a severe threat to the delicate balance of marine ecosystems in the region. The introduction of lionfish has led to a decline in native fish populations and the degradation of coral reefs.
To counteract the lionfish invasion, responsible hunting practices are essential. Hunting lionfish can help control their population and protect the native marine life of Curaçao’s waters. However, it is imperative to follow safe and responsible hunting techniques to minimize the impact on the environment and ensure the safety of both divers and the marine ecosystem.
Understanding the Pole Spear
In Curaçao, the only legal method for hunting lionfish is using a pole spear. It’s important to note that a pole spear is distinct from other spearfishing equipment, such as a Hawaiian sling or a spear gun with a trigger mechanism. The use of Hawaiian slings or spear guns with triggers is illegal in Curaçao for lionfish hunting due to safety and conservation concerns.
A pole spear consists of a long, slender pole with a pointed tip, often made of stainless steel or fiberglass, designed for precision and accuracy. Unlike a trigger-based spear gun, a pole spear requires the diver to manually draw back on a rubber band then release towards the target, providing a more controlled and selective approach to hunting.
How to Hunt Lionfish Using a Pole Spear Responsibly
When using a pole spear to hunt lionfish, it’s crucial to do so responsibly to ensure the safety of both the diver and the marine environment. Here are some essential guidelines on how to hunt lionfish using a pole spear responsibly:
- Safety First: Always prioritize safety when diving and hunting. Ensure you have the necessary training and experience for hunting lionfish. Consider the Lionfish Scuba Dive Experience offered by Ocean Encounters. This opportunity allows participants to learn under the expert guidance of local scuba diving professionals.
- Check Regulations: Familiarize yourself with local regulations and restrictions related to lionfish hunting in Curaçao. Respect no-take zones and marine protected areas.
- Target Only Lionfish: Use your pole spear exclusively for lionfish hunting. Do not attempt to spear any other species, as this can harm the fragile ecosystem.
- Aim for Precision: Approach your target lionfish carefully and aim for a precise shot to minimize the risk of injuring other marine life or damaging the coral reef.
- Use a Zookeeper: A Zookeeper is a specialized container designed to safely store and transport lionfish after capture. It prevents the lionfish’s venomous spines from causing harm and keeps them secure during the dive.
- Respect Lionfish Anatomy: Target the head of the lionfish and stay away from its venomous spines. Aim for a clean and humane kill to minimize suffering.
- Avoid Overhunting: Do not overhunt lionfish in a single dive. Limit the number of lionfish you catch to what you can safely handle and process.
- Practice Good Buoyancy: Maintain excellent buoyancy control to avoid inadvertently damaging the reef or stirring up sediment, which can harm marine life.
- Dispose Responsibly: Once you’ve caught lionfish, carefully place them in your Zookeeper. Do not release them back into the water, as they are invasive and harmful to the ecosystem.
- Report Your Catch: If applicable, report your lionfish catch to local authorities or organizations involved in lionfish management to contribute to data collection efforts.
In the Unlikely Event of a Lionfish Sting
While lionfish stings are rare, it’s essential to know how to respond if you or someone you are diving with is stung. Lionfish have venomous spines that can cause pain, swelling, and even more severe reactions in some cases. Here’s how to respond to a lionfish sting:
- Signal for Help: Notify your diving buddy or group immediately if you are stung.
- Remove Spines: If the spines are still embedded in the skin, carefully remove them with tweezers or a clean, sterile tool. Be cautious not to break the spines, as this can release more venom.
- Clean the Wound: Rinse the affected area with warm water to help alleviate pain and reduce the risk of infection.
- Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help with pain and swelling. However, if you experience severe symptoms, seek medical attention promptly.
- Seek Medical Help: If the pain and swelling worsen or if you have an allergic reaction to the venom, seek medical assistance immediately.
Consult Local Lionfish Experts
Before embarking on a lionfish hunting adventure in Curaçao, it’s crucial to consult with local and responsible dive shops or organizations dedicated to lionfish management, such as Lionfish Caribbean.
These experts can provide valuable insights, tips, and up-to-date information on how to hunt lionfish safely and responsibly, hunting locations, safety measures, and environmental conservation efforts.
Start Planning your Next Caribbean Adventure
Knowing how to hunt lionfish safely and responsibly in Curaçao is not just an exciting underwater activity but also a crucial step in protecting the island’s marine ecosystems. By using a pole spear and adhering to the top 10 safe hunting practices, including the use of a Zookeeper, you can contribute to the control of the invasive lionfish population while preserving the delicate balance of Curaçao’s underwater world.
Remember that safety should always be your top priority when diving and hunting lionfish. In the unlikely event of a lionfish sting, knowing how to respond can make all the difference. By consulting with local experts and following ethical and legal guidelines, you can enjoy a rewarding and responsible lionfish hunting experience while safeguarding the beauty of Curaçao’s marine environment for generations to come. Please always dive safely and responsibly, and together, we can make a positive impact on Curaçao’s underwater world while learning how to hunt lionfish effectively.
SCUBAPRO Free Octopus Promotion 2023
Free Octopus with every purchase of a SCUBAPRO regulator system
Just in time for the festive season, divers can save money again with the FREE OCTOPUS winter promotion! Until December 31st SCUBAPRO offers one of the two new Octopus models S270 or R105 for free with every purchase of a regulator system!
The S270 OCTOPUS is free with purchase of a MK25 EVO/D420 or MK19 EVO/D420, MK25 EVO/S620Ti or MK19 EVO/ S620Ti in INT or DIN versions. A R105 OCTOPUS is free with purchase of a MK25 EVO/S600 or MK17 EVO/S600, or MK25 EVO/G260 or MK19 EVO/G260 or MK19 EVO BT or MK25 EVO BT/ G260 CARBON BT in INT or DIN versions.
SCUBAPRO offers a 30-year first owner warranty on all regulators, with a revision period of two years or 100 dives. All SCUBAPRO regulators are of course certified according to the new European test standard EN250-2014.
Available at participating SCUBAPRO dealers. Promotion may not be available in all regions.
Find an authorized SCUBAPRO Dealer at scubapro.com.
More information available here: SCUBAPRO Free Octopus Promotion 2023
Blogs2 months ago
Discover Peace and Tranquillity in Egypt’s Eastern Desert and its Amazing Red Sea
News1 month ago
Emperor Echo liveaboard sustains “irreversible damage” in lightning storm at Fury Shoals
Blogs2 months ago
A Flying Visit to Nusa Penida, Bali
Blogs2 weeks ago
My week on Scuba Scene: simply the best Red Sea liveaboard experience
News2 months ago
2023 Ocean Art Underwater Photo Competition Announced
Marine Life & Conservation2 months ago
Book Review: The Lives of Octopuses and Their Relatives
Equipment2 months ago
Oceanic+ Now Has Freedive Mode on Apple Watch Ultra
News2 months ago
Miss Scuba UK on Bridging the Gender Gap in Commercial & Recreational Diving