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Diving with… Mike Bartick, Crystal Blue Resort, Anilao, Philippines

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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…

In this post, we chat with Mike Bartick, one of the contributors to our latest publication Philippines Dive Adventures – download your FREE copy here!


What is your name?

Mike Bartick

What is the name of your business?

Crystal Blue Resort or Dive CBR

What is your role within the business?

General Manager – Background operations and client liaison

Global Marketing

Photo Pro – Im a professional UW photographer by trade and host a variety of different workshops based on photo skills, natural history and blackwater adventures. Photo coaching and working closely with guests is a large part of what I do day-to-day.

How long has the business operated for?

14 years of operation; 10 years as a resort dedicated to Underwater Photography

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

I’ve been a diver for more than 16 years with 6k dives and counting, I’m also a PADI instructor but I don’t teach diving. Being an instructor though is crucial for the successful operation of a busy dive center.

What is your favorite type of diving?

Blackwater dives are my favorite but I also love reefs, and really love macro dives. If there are any kind of critters involved, I’m ready to go and explore.

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’re a unique destination and a unique dive resort. Easy to get to, private, offer valet-style diving, family atmosphere, professional service, 23 bay camera room, trained dive guides, chef prepared meals, and small guest to boat/guide ratio’s.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

This is tough as I love all of our dive sites for different reasons. We have around 45 dive sites that include pinnacles, walls, coral gardens, sandy macro sites and of course Blackwater dives in open ocean at night.

What types of diving are available in your location?

Macro is the prime draw but we also have fantastic wide angle opportunities here in Anilao as well. We offer a specialized dive service at CBR with guides trained to work with photographers and either 2:1 ratio or 4:1 depending on the package designed for the guests.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

As a marketing person my work is global so it’s always nice to see the folks checking in from far off places, knowing that we’ve met and that they have come to see Anilao for themselves. Normally the guests are expecting a lot and Anilao never disappoints. What makes me even happier is hearing the positive feedback regarding the resort grounds, staff and dive operations, boats or guides.

What is your favourite underwater creature?

This is really hard but most of my friends know that I can’t help myself when I see a hairy frogfish. To me they are the absolute most awesome critter on the sand. Full of personality, photogenic and always up to mischief.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

We’re looking forward to re-opening the resort post Covid. We have some exciting workshops planned for the remainder of 2020 and 2021. We’re just waiting for the planet to heal.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Covid has been the biggest challenge. We are a destination for foreign travel mostly, so with the world in its current state, were not sure what the future of travel will be. The resort and staff are ready and we have passed our health dept. inspections and approved to re-open. The best news is that our community has not seen a single case of Covid since the start. We are ready to take guests when the world is ready for travel.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

We do clean-ups in the community but we also pick up plastic or remove nets when we find them. We also help install mooring balls on many of the dive sites.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

What changes would you make?  I feel that nitrox should be a part of the basic open water training and diving on 21% should be a part of tech training. I feel these two are reversed by nature of how the industry has progressed. Nitrox diving is the safest way to enjoy recreational depth diving.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Anilao is one of the easiest places to travel to. The diving is easy and the resort offers an experience more then just a dive trip. Many of our guests have visited with us 5 or more times which I feel says a lot.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Our website is: www.DiveCBR.com
Email: mike@DiveCBR.com

I can be reached and followed on Facebook or through Instagram anytime. I’m happy to answer questions and to assist in any way that I can.

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit www.frogfishphotography.com

Competitions

WIN a Bigblue Expandable Tray!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Bigblue Expandable Tray as a prize!!!

The Bigblue expandable tray (176mm-287mm) has fittings and screws to attach action and compact cameras. The base and handles are made from high grade aluminium with the handles having a neoprene grip. The package also includes clamps and adaptors for 1” ball and YS light fittings.

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that the Handicapped Scuba Association South Africa has announced plans to host their 6th Annual fundraising event “HSASA 50hr Dive–A-Thon 2021” this year. But on what dates will the event take place?

Is it:

  • A) 15th – 17th October
  • B) 22nd – 24th October
  • C) 29th – 31st October

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

Liquid Sports Bigblue Extendable Tray March 2021

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of Liquid Sports and their families. A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 14/04/2021. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Dive Training Blogs

Jeff chats to… Jim Elliott and Tinamarie Hernandez of Diveheart (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jim Elliott, Founder and President of Diveheart, and Tinamarie Hernandez who is the organization’s Executive Director.

Diveheart is a US-based, nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization which aims to provide and support educational scuba diving programs that are open to any child, adult or veteran with a disability, with the hope of providing both physical and psychological therapeutic value to that person.

In their own words:

We’ve discovered the forgiving, weightless wonder of the water column provides the perfect gravity-free environment for those who might otherwise struggle on land. Underwater, we’re all equal.

Diveheart works with individuals who have a variety of disabilities, including physical and developmental disabilities, vision and hearing impairments, amputations, traumatic brain injuries, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and more. Diveheart seeks to help its participants “Imagine the Possibilities” in their lives.

 

Find out more about Diveheart and their valuable work at www.diveheart.org.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive board basis, buffet meals with snacks, tea and coffee always available.  Add a week on at Roots Red Sea Resort before or after the liveaboard for just £725pp.  Flights and transfers are included.  See our brochure linked above for the full itinerary.

This trip will be hosted by The Scuba Place.  Come Dive with Us!

Call 020 3515 9955 or email john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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