Warm water, fantastic marine encounters and beautiful sunshine is just the tonic you need at this time of year. Choose from one of these great value holiday getaways from the Scuba Travel team:
Dive the Wrecks & Reefs of the Red Sea
With world class wreck dives and breathtaking reef dives every day, why not take a trip to the best of both worlds. Endlessly flexible, Wrecks & Reefs has become a classic itinerary which visits some of the most iconic dive sites that Egypt has to offer, as well as a few lesser known beauties. The underwater scenery is ever changing and guaranteed to leave you breathless.Your package includes return flights from Gatwick and transfers, 7 nights on a full board basis, at least 20 fully guided dives and marine park fees. At the end of your stay you will have day use of a hotel and buffet lunch while you wait for your flight home.
14th April on Whirlwind only £1195 incl. flights or 21st April on Cyclone only £1095 incl. flights.
Pelagic Magic in the Maldives
With a special focus on the whalesharks of Ari Atoll, this itinerary gives you the opportunity to get face to face with these gorgeous beasts. There are plenty of chances to fill your log book with shark and manta sightings and between your pelagic encounters, the reef dives will not disappoint. Choose to dive this itinerary from the stylish 35m liveaboard Leo with capacity for 24 and spacious communal areas, or the more traditional charming Atoll which sleeps only 12. This package is Boat Only but includes return Male transfers, 7 nights full board, free Nitrox and up to 17 fully guided dives (including 1 night dive).
26th May on Leo now only £1345 or 27th May on Atoll now only £995.
The Galapagos is a true wish list destination for nearly every diver. Hammerheads are the first and foremost attraction, schooling in vast numbers around the submerged pinnacles of Wolf and Darwin. Galapagos sharks are common and white tips hide in the reef from the larger predators. If you like your fish even bigger, whalesharks are often seen in the blue, with manta, mobula and eagle rays. This place is home to unforgettable diving which you cannot find anywhere else on the planet.
3rd May, 10th or 17th May – Dive the Galpagos and save £900.
Galapagos Aggressor 3 brings a new level of comfort for her divers. The 16 divers on board are split between the lower deck deluxe cabins and upper deck master cabins. Enjoy a variety of American feasts, barbecues and local cuisine to refuel after each incredible day’s diving.
Oman Aggressor – Introductory Offer – Save £750, only £1845
Book now to discover the Jewels of Oman and the thrill of diving in this hot new region. Diving highlights are undoubtedly the opportunity to see the resident population of humpback whales but the islands are a paradise of untouched dive sites where whale sharks, dolphins, turtles, reef sharks and big balls of reef fish wait on pristine unspoilt reefs.
The Oman Aggressor is a fantastic 45m liveaboard with a range of stylish cabins all boasting aircon and ensuite bathrooms. For relaxation after your dives you have the choice of the large sundeck, with shade, a jacuzzi and bar, or the spacious saloon area. Enjoy a variety of local Omani and international cuisine from the onboard chef. Package is Boat Only and includes 7 nights in a deluxe stateroom on a full board basis incl. soft drinks and local beer and wine with your evening meal, and up to 25 fully guided dives.
Bunaken Oasis – Save £350, from £2895
Escape to this stunning 5 star luxury dive resort on Bunaken Island. There are only 12 large, traditionally built private villas and each boasts its own unique vista out over the beach towards the mainland. The majority of the villas have king double beds, with an additional 2-bedroom family villa. Twin beds available on request. No detail – no matter how small or seemingly insignificant – has been overlooked in the building of Bunaken Oasis Dive Resort. Feast on mouthwatering, gourmet Asian and western cuisine produced by the resident chef.
With easy access to over 50 superb dive sites, the variety of diving at Bunaken Oasis resort is incredible. Watch out for further information on their new free diving and Tek offers. This is a purpose built dive resort and as such, everything you need is right here on site. Choose between 3 boat dives per day or 2 morning boat dives and an afternoon spent exploring the house reef (subject to conditions).
Package includes International flights, transfers, 7 nights on a full board basis in a traditional villa, 17 boat dives, free Nitrox and free house reef diving.
Shark Quest – 25th April – Save £150, only £1165
Join the recently refitted Hurricane liveaboard in the southern Red Sea for the incredible Shark Quest itinerary!
Come face to face with pelagics in the Southern Red Sea with the most experienced team, on board the stable steel hulled Hurricane. Avoid long transfers with a direct flight to Marsa Alam. Dive fewer sites for less at the famous Daedalus Reef, Brothers Islands, Rocky or Elphinstone, dependant on the best shark activity.
Package includes return flights from Gatwick and transfers, 7 nights full board, free nitrox and up to 18 guided dives.
British freediver sets new national record with 112m dive
British freediver Gary McGrath has set a new national record at the prestigious Vertical Blue freediving competition in the Bahamas.
Using only a monofin for propulsion, Gary swam down a measured rope to a depth of 112m (367ft), returning to the surface to receive a white card from the AIDA International judges to validate his dive.
Gary, 41, held his breath for three minutes and 13 seconds to complete the dive.
Freedivers descend underwater on a single breath of air and the atmospheric pressure on their bodies increases as they go deeper.
At 112m deep the pressure is 12 times greater than the surface, meaning the air in Gary’s lungs would have shrunk to less than a twelfth of its original volume – around the size of a golf ball.
Freedivers train to cope with the physiological strains placed on their bodies by their sport, and Gary uses his background of yoga and meditation to help his physical and mental preparation for deep dives.
He has also had to overcome physical challenges after contracting Covid last year during preparations for a previous national record attempt.
Gary said: ‘Diving below 100m is a totally unique environment, it’s my therapy.
‘This year has been extremely challenging for my mental health and freediving has helped me overcome that for sure.
‘At depth I have complete isolation from the everyday world we live in. Down there it’s just me and nature. It’s that escape that all freedivers crave.
‘There are moments of extreme mental clarity and purity that I can only achieve when underwater. The flow state that a deep dive allows me to experience is unique and addictive.’
Gary, originally from Twickenham, began freediving in 2006 and has been competing since 2008.
A former tree surgeon, he became a professional freedive instructor in 2014, and he and his partner Lynne Paddon run Yoga and Freedive Retreats in Ibiza.
Remarkably, he completed his 112m national record dive on Tuesday (August 9) despite being forced to compete wearing a borrowed monofin which was a size too small for his feet.
His entire kit bag containing his monofin, bifins and two wetsuits was lost by an airline as he travelled to the competition.
Despite his careful preparation, Gary said he suffered nerves on the morning of his national record dive, and relied on a phone call to his partner Lynne, who helped him focus on breathing techniques and visualisation to calm his nerves.
Speaking immediately after his dive, he said: ‘That was all for Lynne – this whole week has been about her. I could not do it without her. I hope that everyone finds someone they can click with, it’s the most magical thing in the world.’
Gary also thanked supporters who helped him to crowdfund to raise the money needed for him to travel to the Bahamas and compete.
Vertical Blue is considered one of the most elite events on the freediving calendar and has been dubbed the ‘Wimbledon of Freediving’.
Owned and run by world record freediver William Trubridge, the event takes place in a 202m (663ft) deep sinkhole known as Dean’s Blue Hole, off the coast of Long Island.
The previous British national record of 111m was set by Michael Board in 2018, also at a Vertical Blue competition.
All Photographs courtesy of Daan Verhoeven (www.daanverhoeven.com)
Film Review: Thirteen Lives
Ron Howard’s recreation of the 2018 rescue of a Thai junior football team is impressive. Even though we know what happens in the end the tension and drama played out is palpable.
On 23 June 2018, 12 members of a Thai junior football team, the Wild Boars, and their coach became trapped deep in the Tham Luang cave system by rising flood water. The film details the incredible international rescue efforts that ensue. And Ron Howard has judged the tone perfectly. There is no Hollywood glitz and glamour and the two leading actors: Colin Farrell and Viggo Mortensen, who play John Volanthen and Rick Stanton respectively, capture the intensity of the situation perfectly.
The diving scenes are claustrophobic in the extreme. Although I suspect that the visibility was even worse than the film depicts as you have to be able to see something in the dramatization! All the way through the film I found myself shaking my head in disbelief at the extraordinary feat these divers pulled off. The skill and bravery required still impresses after watching films, hearing them speak in public and reading about the rescue.
I loved that, whilst the divers took centre stage in the film, the heroic rescue efforts of the water engineer and his team was also given the attention they deserve, as well as the incredible Thai Navy Seals and the thousands of people that flocked to the region to help.
Thirteen Lives is a must watch movie about an incredible cave rescue. It’s sober tone hits the mark. The cinematography is skilled and creates an impressively tense experience. It is available on Amazon Prime right now.
WIN a c-monsta Wetsuit Hanger!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with c-monsta to give away one of their wetsuit hangers as a prize!...
WIN a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Liquid Sports to give away a Sharkskin Performance 40L Duffle Bag as...
Win a Vasili Lights Fish Lantern!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with Vasili Lights to give away one of their beautiful Fish Lanterns! Inspired...
WIN a Beuchat Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!!!
For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away Maxlux S Mask and Spy Snorkel!...
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