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Diving with… Peter Grannum, West Side Scuba Centre, Barbados

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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…


What is your name?

Peter Grannum

What is the name of your business?

West Side Scuba Centre

What is your role within the business?

Owner

How long has the business operated for?

Since 1993, so 25 years now.

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

I have been diving sine 1992. I am a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer

What is your favorite type of diving?

I love both reef and wreck diving.

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 on the most beautiful beach in Barbdos, called Carlisle Bay, next to the oldest wrecks in our waters. The seven wrecks lie in 20 – 55 ft of water (6 – 18m) and are spaced out in a way that can be covered in a hour long dive. We are also very close to all the reefs on the south and west of Barbados and 15 minutes away from the biggest wreck in Barbados called the SS Stavronikita. We are an eco-dive facility with high safety standards; our attention to detail with small and large groups is exceptional. All our staff are medical first aid trained and are there to assist you should the need arise.

Barbados reef and wrecks offer some of the richest variety of fish and corals found in the Caribbean and we have lots of sea turtles. We load from a dock, and not from the beach, as we leave the sand on the beach for the turtles to come up and lay their eggs.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

All the reefs and wrecks around Barbados because they are so enchanting and I never know what I will bump into.

What types of diving are available in your location?

We have plenty of reefs, wrecks and piers that attract lots of marine life.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

All the people I meet from around the world and how nice they are.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

All of them – it is too hard to choose!

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

My new location! I am back at the beach! We are at The Boatyard…come and see us.

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

When to take a break from diving! As I love to dive with all of my guests…

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Just underwater clean-ups in Carlisle Bay, as I would love to see the day it will be a marine park with no plastic on the ocean floor.

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

I see it as a prime income for Barbados, as we are surrounded by water and we have beautiful reefs and wrecks and some amazing creatures that greet us every day – we never know what we will see. I would love the fishing pots to be removed and the government to ban spear fishing of fish and other creatures on the reef and make it where all fish have to be a certain size before they can be caught – if this does not happen, soon there will be no fish on our reefs.

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

We are an Eco Dive Facility and West Side Scuba Centre is playing the part to protect the reefs and wrecks here, making all our divers aware of the environment. We enjoy what we do and make all of our clients happy.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business? 

Our website is www.westsidescuba.com.

 

News

Get moving with the new RAID DPV training programs

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The thrill of speeding through the water behind a diver propulsion vehicle (DPV) is an experience that really gets the blood racing. Using a DPV provides divers both immense fun and the means to achieve goals that would be impossible without their use.

RAID is proud to announce the new two-tier DPV training program with certifications for DPV and Advanced DPV.

Why DPV and why now?
Recreational and technical divers are using DPVs to access sites that would be difficult to reach and explore using traditional propulsion methods; to help propel large amounts of heavy equipment; to increase the safety of dives in areas of strong current; or just for the pure exhilaration of shooting through the water at speed and performing underwater acrobatics.

By extending your capabilities and extending your range, using a DPV opens new vistas for exploration and fun.

DPV
This certification option is aimed at the recreational diver who wishes to learn how to use a DPV to enhance their diving by using mainly natural navigation.

Advanced DPV
This certification option is available to anyone who is familiar with longhose configuration, has logged a minimum of 20 dives and is certified as Navigation specialty divers.

This certification option is aimed at the slightly more experienced diver with preexisting navigational training and diving on a single, twin or sidemount setup with a longhose. Although this level is slightly more challenging, the more advanced navigation exercises provide an important base for more complex types of DPV diving within a team.

PREREQUISITES
You must:

  • Be a minimum of 12 years old.
  • Be certified as RAID Open Water 20, Junior Open Water or equivalent.

Just visit www.diveRAID.com to put some extra dash into your dives.

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Marine Life & Conservation

Beers raise cash for ocean clean-up

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The Driftwood Spars Brewery, a pioneering microbrewery based on the North Cornwall coast, is donating a percentage of all profits from its Cove range of beers to Fathoms Free, a certified charity which actively cleans the ocean around the Cornish peninsula.

Each purchase of the small-batch, craft beers – there are four different canned beers in the Cove range – will help generate funds to purchase a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) and fund retrieval dives; every brew will raise the equivalent cost of a fully-funded dive. 

Fathoms Free is a Cornwall-based charity whose day-to-day mission involves dives from their fast-response specialist vessel to recover ghost fishing gear; abandoned nets, pots, angling equipment and other plastic causes severe damage to the marine environment and the death of countless seabirds, seals, dolphins and other sea life.

The campaign to raise funds for an ROV is a new initiative which will take the clean-up work to a new level; the highly manoeuvrable underwater vehicle will be used to scour the seabed, harbours and remote parts of the coastline for abandoned fishing gear and other marine litter.

Project Manager Natallia Paliakova from Fathoms Free said: “Apart from helping us locate ghost gear underwater, the ROV will also be capable of recording underwater video which is always great for raising awareness about marine pollution issues.”

She added: “We are really excited to be partnering with The Driftwood Spars Brewery and appreciate the proactive support of Mike and his team in bringing the purchase of an ROV a step closer to reality.”

Head Brewer Mike Mason personally approached the charity after their work was featured on the BBC 2 documentary, ‘Cornwall with Simon Reeve’.    

He said: “As a keen surfer I am only too aware of the problem of marine litter and had heard about Fathoms Free, but seeing them in action prompted me to find a way of contributing. The scale of the challenge is scary, but the determination of organisations like Fathoms Free is inspiring.”

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

Photo by Beagle Media Ltd

The Driftwood Spars Brewery was founded in 2000 in Trevaunance Cove, St Agnes; the microbrewery is just a few steps away from it’s co-joined brewpub, The Driftwood Spars; both pub and brewery are well-regarded far beyond the Cornish cove they call home. 

You can hear the waves and taste the salt on the air from the door of both brewery and pub, and the rough seas along the rugged North coast often throw up discarded nets and other detritus; Louise Treseder, Landlady of The Driftwood Spars and a keen sea swimmer, often collects washed up ghost gear on her daily beach excursions.     

Louise commented: “This is a great partnership to support a cause close to our hearts – I know the money we raise will have a positive and lasting impact. The Cove range was inspired by our unique surroundings and the artwork – by local artist Jago Silver – reflects that. Now donations from each purchase will contribute towards the vital ocean clean-up taking place right on our doorstep.”

The Cove range can currently be purchased online here, and is available in good independent bottle shops in Cornwall.

To find out more about Fathoms Free visit their website here.

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