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Family time in Fujairah – Part 1

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First in a three-part blog from regular Dive Travel Adventures contributor Sean Chinn about finding time for both family and scuba diving on a trip to Fujairah and Dubai in the UAE…


It had come to that point in the year where it was time to look for a holiday with my girlfriend and our 2 year old daughter. While searching through different holiday destinations and ideas, by chance a holiday flashed up as an alternative to an unmatched search I’d typed in. It was a holiday to the U.A.E stopping 7 nights in Fujairah and a couple of nights in Dubai.

The price was very inviting and with travelling with a 2 year old we didn’t fancy a long travel with connecting flights. This seemed perfect and I hadn’t heard of Fujairah as a holiday destination before but after some research I also found out the diving’s not so bad there either! So we took the plunge and our holiday took us to the desert in the Middle East.

It was the longest flight journey we have been on with our young daughter and were a little apprehensive as to how she would cope for 7 hours stuck on the plane. Thankfully when flying with Emirates there’s plenty of room on the new Airbus, as well as entertainment to choose from on the screens for each seat. And Relax! With an overnight flight our daughter managed to sleep pretty much the whole journey. I don’t know what we were worried about and soon enough we were at our first hotel of the trip – Le Meridien Al Aqah Beach Resort in Fujairah.

It’s hot here, like, seriously hot. So where better to be than a hotel with an array of pools to choose from to keep cool from the desert sun. Including the world’s biggest pool – our beautiful ocean. Situated on Al Aqah beach at the foot of the Hajar Mountains, the hotel offered great sea views, a choice of bars and restaurants, a lovely outside pool area and friendly helpful staff. It’s ideal for the holiday we were looking for with our 2 year old daughter. The icing on the cake being Al Boom Dive Centre located on site.

Al Boom Dive Centre is your one stop water sports adventure shop. Providing many activities such as parasailing, kayaking, snorkelling e.t.c. While also boasting a retail shop onsite with an array of the latest dive equipment on offer. The main reason for my visit to Al Boom would be the diving in the area. Regarded as the best diving in the U.A.E, you are a stones throw away from the Gulf of Oman in the Indian Ocean. With sites easily reachable no more than a 20 minute boat ride away, it’s not long before you’re cooling down from the hot desert sun.

Check back for Part 2 tomorrow…


Find out more about Sean, his photography and his hosted trips at: www.greatwhitesean.com

Sean Chinn’s scuba diving adventure started in a freezing cold quarry back in January 2011. Maybe the reason he wasn't instantly hooked! However, after an amazing trip to Indonesia in 2013, he realised he needed to see more of the underwater world. With no photography background, he enlisted some help in developing both his diving and photo skills. This kickstarted his diving and underwater photography adventure which has become something of an addiction. Seeing and photographing wildlife is Sean’s real passion in diving but he is always keen to try new ideas.

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Jeff chats to… Underwater Photographer Ellen Cuylaerts (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ellen Cuylaerts about her diving and underwater photographic career.

As an underwater and wildlife photographer, Fellow of The Explorers Club and having a front seat in exploration being part of the Flag and Honours Committee, Ellen is also a Member of the Women Divers Hall of Fame. She travels the world and tries to make the most of every destination and the path that leads her there. Ellen acts as an ocean citizen and believes as divers we should all be ocean ambassadors and lead by example. She is now based in the UK after many years in Grand Cayman.

Find out more about Ellen and her work at www.ellencuylaerts.com


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

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Marine Life & Conservation

Huge thresher shark is the latest of six murals to be painted around the Solent this summer

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The murals celebrate the Solent’s extraordinary marine life – marking National Marine Week.

Secrets of the Solent have commissioned street artist ATM to paint a series of marine-themed artworks at various locations around the Solent this summer. The latest mural to be finished shows a thresher shark on the Langstone Harbour Office. Langstone Harbour is an important area for wildlife as well as a bustling seaside destination for sailing and water sports.

Artist ATM, who is painting all six murals, is well-known for his iconic wildlife street art. This, his second artwork of the series, took three days to paint freehand, from a scaffolding platform. The thresher shark was chosen out of six marine species to be the subject of the artwork by the local community, who were asked to vote via an online form or in person on the Hayling Ferry.

Secrets of the Solent hope the mural will become a landmark in Langstone Harbour and inspire visitors to learn more about this enigmatic oceanic shark. The project, which is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, works to celebrate and raise awareness of Solent’s diverse marine environment.

Aiming to highlight the exotic and unusual creatures found close to our coasts, artist ATM says: “I really enjoyed painting the thresher shark because it’s such an amazing looking animal, with a tail as long as its body. I hope when people see the murals, they will become more aware of what lives under the waves and the importance of protecting the vital habitats within the Solent.”

Dr Tim Ferrero, Senior Marine Biologist at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust says: “The thresher shark is a wonderful animal that visits our waters every summer. It comes to an area to the east of the Isle of Wight, and this appears to be where the sharks breed and have their young. Not many people know that we have thresher sharks in our region, and so having our mural here on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building is a fantastic way of raising awareness of this mysterious ocean wanderer. I really hope that people will come away with the knowledge that the Solent, our harbours and our seas are incredibly important for wildlife.”

Rachel Bryan, Project Manager for Secrets of the Solent at Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust comments: “We are really excited to have street artist ATM painting a thresher shark on the side of the Langstone Harbour Office building. We chose this building because of its prominent location right on the entrance to Langstone Harbour so that anyone who’s visiting, whether that’s walkers, cyclists or people coming in and out of the harbour on their jet-skis or sailing boats, will all be able to see our thresher shark. People on the Portsmouth side of the harbour will also be able to see the mural from across the water.”

The thresher shark is a mysterious predator which spends most of its time in oceanic waters. It uses its huge whip-like tail as an incredibly effective tool for hunting its prey. Herding small fish into tight shoals, the shark will lash at them with its tail, stunning several in one hit and making them easier to catch.

Secrets of the Solent hope to work with the species this summer to discover more about its behaviour.

Dr Tim Ferrero explains: “Nobody really knows where thresher sharks go in the ocean. Later this summer we are hoping that we are going to be able to attach a satellite tag to a thresher shark and monitor its progress for an entire year. This will provide really important information that will help us learn so much more about the shark’s annual life cycle.”

The new thresher shark mural is a fantastic start to National Marine Week (24th July – 8th August), which celebrates the unique marine wildlife and habitats we have here in the UK. Over the two weeks, Wildlife Trusts around the country will be running a series of exciting events to celebrate the marine environment. We really hope people will be inspired by our murals and want to learn more about each chosen species.

Events in the Solent include the launch of a new Solent marine film on the 29th July, installation of a new Seabin on the 4th August to reduce marine litter, and citizen science surveys throughout summer.

For more information click here.

Header image: Bret Charman

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