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Get ready for BLUE 2014




Ocean and Industry Celebrities, Artists, Explorers, Policymakers and ‘Eco-preneurs’ to gather at BLUE Ocean Film Festival & Conservation Summit November 3-9

BLUE 2014 draws an ecosystem of ocean all-stars: Jeremy Irons, Sir Richard Branson, Sylvia Earle, David Doubilet, Kelly Rutherford, Kathy Castor, Jenifer Austin, Don Walsh, Cousteau family members, and many others

The power of BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit (BLUE) to catalyze cultural change and to shift global consciousness has drawn an A-list of ocean stars from all walks of life. Extraordinary people, stories and discoveries will take center stage at BLUE 2014, November 3-9 in St. Petersburg, Florida.

BLUE is a unique public event with global reach, where advanced ocean technologies are showcased in concert with inspiring films, and an amazing and diverse collection of other venues. Founded in 2006 by Debbie and Charlie Kinder, it has become internationally renowned for its unique ability to spark important discussions in areas of ocean science, conservation and exploration, and as a platform for professional development among industry leaders, students, and marine enthusiasts all over the world. “BLUE is a unique gathering of filmmakers, storytellers, and technologists who come together to figure out how to ignite public passion for the ocean,” said Jenifer Austin, Manager of Google Ocean Program.

The weeklong event includes Jeremy Irons’ presentation of documentary feature Trashed, James Cameron’s film on his death-defying 7-mile solo submersible dive, Fabien Cousteau’s 31-day underwater living experiment in the Florida Keys, remarkable new images from Google Ocean Program, Sylvia Earle’s presentation of documentary Mission BLUE, screening of Island President under the stars, workshops, special events, professional roundtables, and surprise appearances.

BLUE 2014 Highlights:

  • Academy Award winning actor and advocate Jeremy Irons will host a special screening of his award-winning ocean pollution documentary, Trashed.
  • Opening night special screening of James Cameron’s DeepSea Challenge 3D. The Oscar Award- winning director’s journey to fulfill his lifelong dream of diving to the deepest part of the ocean will be showcased in 3D, ultra high-definition, at The Mahaffey Theatre. The expedition team will be on hand and James Cameron’s actual diving sphere will be available for viewing throughout the event.
  • Presentation of Making Waves Award to Sir Richard Branson.
  • An address from Katherine Anne “Kathy” Castor, U.S. Representative for Florida’s 14th congressional district.
  • 75 International Fulbright Scholars by special invitation from the U.S. State Department.
  • Rising Tides: Sea Level Symposium with guest speaker Dr. Gary Mitchum, oceanographer at University of South Florida St. Petersburg, who will lead an important discussion that is close to home in Florida and everywhere around the world.
  • Fabien Cousteau’s Mission 31. The first grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau will share footage from his recent expedition living 31 days submerged in the Aquarius, the world’s only underwater marine habitat, located off the coast of the Florida Keys.
  • Special screening of Mission Blue, which follows Dr. Sylvia A. Earle around the globe on her life-long mission to protect the ocean. Widely recognized as one of the world’s most influential ambassadors for the ocean, Dr. Earle has been called a “Living Legend” by the Library of Congress, and the first “Hero for the Planet” by Time Magazine.
  • Exclusive goliath grouper exhibit and slideshow by National Geographic photographer David Doubilet. Doubilet has produced nearly 70 stories for the National Geographic Magazine since 1971, is a feature columnist, author of twelve books, award recipient, and founding member of the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP).
  • Renowned Australian photographer, explorer, Senior Fellow at ILCP, and author, Michael Aw, will be exhibiting photographs and giving workshops throughout the festival. Aw was named one of the world’s most influential nature photographers by Outdoor Photography.
  • Sir Robert Swan, the world’s first person to walk to both the North and South Poles. Sir Robert Swan will deliver the keynote, “Leadership on the Edge.”
  • Google Ocean Program and Catlin Seaview Survey will present an exclusive preview of new StreetView images from the Florida Coast.
  • Environmental journalism workshop hosted by Poynter Institute.
  • Other speakers include Dan Basta, Director of National Marine Sanctuaries, Paul Baribault, VP at Disney Studios, legendary underwater filmmaker Stan Waterman, Mote Marine Laboratory’s founder and pioneering scientist Dr. Eugenie Clark “The Shark Lady,” and more.
  • Special appearance by “Gossip Girl” actress, Kelly Rutherford.
  • Screening of 150+ films, Q&As with famous ocean celebrities, art exhibits, the prestigious BLUE Carpet Awards, fun family activities, Ocean Voyagers, a special collaborative screening and live score presentation by The Florida Orchestra, and much more.

Registration and schedule here.

For more  information about 2014 BLUE Ocean Film Festival and Conservation Summit, visit

Gear News

Jeff chats to… Sean Webb, Director of O’Three, about diving in the UK and the O’Three brand



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Sean Webb, Director of O’Three, the well-known UK-based manufacturer of custom drysuits and wetsuits.

After a bath time quarrel with his sister, Sean’s Mum taught him a lesson.

She held his head underwater for what she thought was long enough for that lesson to sink in (We are talking the mid 60’s here), but the lesson learned wasn’t the one that was intended. It was then that Sean realized he was comfortable, in or under the water. He was six.

The coasts of Devon and Dorset became his playground. 17 years later, with a trip around the world and some incredible diving under his belt, Sean Webb founded O’Three.

Now in its 32nd  year, O’Three has evolved from a business with roots that are unashamedly rooted in UK diving, to a niche brand being enjoyed all over the world by discerning recreational, technical and commercial divers alike.

Find out more at

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

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Cool Drysuit Dives



In the mood for a snowy holiday when you can get back into the water? Why not get back to your favourite underwater sport instead of hitting the slopes like everyone else? Check these incredible dive sites and explore a new underwater world in your drysuit!

Rummu Quarry, Estonia

The quirkiest and spookiest ice diving site in Europe is only 45 minutes driving from the capital of Estonia, Tallinn. Rummu Quarry used to be a limestone mining site and a prison. When the excavation labour ceased in the 1990s, pumps that kept the quarry dry were shut down. Soon water started flooding the entire site. After the prison closed in 2012, Rummu became an adventure centre where you can practice different outdoor sports including diving in the crystal-clear waters of the quarry and explore the sunken ruins of the prison. Diving in Rummu Quarry is also available in the winter, making it a one-of-a-kind ice diving spot. Will you dare to do it?

Who to Dive With:

Adventurecenter Rummu

PADI 5 Star Center

Sireli Tanav 11, Harju Maakond, Rummu Quarry, Estonia 76102

+372 588 733 78

White Sea, Russia

Image by Viktor Lyagushkin

If diving in frozen lakes, which have almost no aquatic life, is not exciting enough for you, Russia is the place to go to practice marine ice diving. At the level of the Arctic Circle, the White Sea is the only sea that freezes in winter as all other places are warmed up by the Gulf Stream. Leaving from the shores of the region of Karelia, between St Petersburg and the border of Finland, you can go ice diving from December to April. In addition to impressive ice formations, you can also enjoy on the rocky sea-bed a surprise abundant marine fauna with soft coral, starfish, crabs, shrimps, sea urchins and sea anemones. An important point to remember, salt-water freezes at -1.8°C!

Who to Dive With:

Arctic Circle

PADI Dive Center

Nilmaguba, Loukhski Region, Republic of Karelia, Russia

(7) 495 105 7799


You won’t find salty seas in Switzerland, but alpine lakes and rivers make for unique and mystical scuba diving.

Lake Geneva has a variety of dives to discover. Wall dives and freshwater scenery can be perused beneath the surface. There is even a wreck dive – a stellar spot for more advanced divers to take the plunge.

Another is Lake Zurich, where you can head to excellent scuba spots right from the shore. The lake is serene, with lofty mountains cascading upward from the lakeshore. Glacially fed, the lake has sublime visibility.

River divers will be blown away by the Verzasca, an impossibly clear river found just south of the Alps near the border of Italy.

Who to Dive with at Lake Geneva:

Scuba-Shop Villeneuve

PADI 5 Star Center and Instructor Development Center

Route D’Arvel 106, Villeneuve, Switzerland 1844

+41 21 9601535


Salzburg Lake Image by Manfred Steidl

Landlocked Austria wouldn’t seem a good place for diving, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.

The Salzkammergut region of Austria has almost 170 lakes. A favourite is lake Attersee, where there are dive sites galore to check out, in this, the largest of the area’s lakes. Nazi treasures were once held in Wolfgangsee, and though you can’t take them with you, you can still see them on a dive.

During a trip here you can swim in the cold, gin clear water, checking out park benches, trees, and trails, all on a carpet of green grass. It’s unreal!

Who to Dive with at Salzburg Lakes:

Joe’s Wassersportcenter

PADI 5 Star Center

Innsbrucker Bundesstrasse 53, Salzburg, Austria 5020

+43 662 890259

Inspired to start your own ice diving adventure? Find out more about the PADI Ice Diver specialty and head to PADI Travel to look for amazing destinations.

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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

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