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Holidays inspired by Blue Planet Live

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Buoyed by the success of 2017’s Blue Planet II, this March sees a new Blue Planet Live series arrive on BBC One.

Hosted by Chris Packham, Steve Backshall and Liz Bonnin and coming live from the Bahamas, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the USA’s east coast, the week-long show will take viewers to the depths of the world’s oceans bringing them closer to the marine world than ever before. Here’s a couple of trips from specialist dive tour operator Dive Worldwide inspired by the forthcoming programme.

BAHAMAS

The Bahamas is a diver’s paradise with over 1,000 regularly-visited sites offering pristine reefs, a multitude of exciting wrecks, spectacular walls, blue holes, caves and the chance to dive with dolphins and sharks. Just outside cosmopolitan Nassau, guests stay at Orange Hill Beach Inn, set on a hilltop overlooking the ocean, just 50 steps from a white sandy beach. Accommodation comprises 32 rooms, ranging from cosy studio rooms to a spacious cottage complete with kitchenette. Facilities include a swimming pool and small restaurant and bar. Diving is with world-renowned Stuart Cove’s Dive Centre and includes six days’ diving, guests will look out for the James Bond wrecks and Caribbean reef sharks as well as Nassau grouper. This is a great destination for divers of all abilities, as well as non-diving partners.

Price: from £1,875pp sharing, including 7 nights’ room only accommodation, return flights from the UK, 6 days diving (12 boat dives), and tanks and weights.

AUSTRALIA

Stretching over 3,000km off the coast of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural world’s most remarkable, and threatened, structures. Explore the very best of the Reef on this luxurious liveaboard adventure, departing from Cairns. The first stop is the Ribbon Reefs, a collection of coral reefs well beyond the reach of day boats where, at the famous Cod Hole, divers come face-to-face with huge groupers. Two days are spent in the remote Coral Sea, where there are incredible shark encounters, including with hammerhead, and plunging drop-offs down to 1,000m. The trip ends with a final day on the Barrier Reef, with the possibility of heading to Bougainville Reef, home to impressive caves, canyons and the wreck of the Antonio Tarabocchia.

Price: from £2,275pp sharing, including 7 nights’ full board liveaboard accommodation, 26 dive package, tanks and weights and transfers from Cairns. International flights extra.

For further information contact Dive Worldwide via www.diveworldwide.com or telephone 01962 302 087.

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TRAVEL BLOG: Jeff Goodman Dives SOMABAY, Part 3

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somabay

Today we are diving one of the outer reefs from an inflatable. As we reach the bottom, a reef octopus eases its way into the cover of a small crack in the coral while displaying it’s incredible ability to change colour. They are arguably one of the most charismatic of reef dwellers and it is always exciting for me to simply hover and watch. I would have spent longer and waited for it to come and investigate me, but as dive time is limited we wanted to move on and find a turtle.

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The waters around Somabay are well protected and hold a rich variety of marine life. The reef edges are thriving colonies of coral and shoaling fish, while nearer the sea bed plenty of wildlife is still to be found.

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Then we located the turtles. They are very used to divers and so show little concern when slowly approached. In fact occasionally one will come over to see what you are doing. There is always huge excitement when diving with a turtle. The shear thrill of sharing a moment with another species.

somabay

What a fantastic way to finish a wonderful few days diving and I would like to thank SOMABAY, ORCA DIVING and THE BREAKERS for making my stay such a good one.

I had a great time, with diving everyday either on the house reef or on one of the offshore reefs by inflatable or larger day boat. Orca diving provided high quality equipment and facilities while the staff were all very friendly and welcoming. The Breakers was right on the coast with nice rooms, good food and once again friendly staff making the whole trip a real pleasure.

somabay

Soma Bay covers an entire peninsula and is home to several resorts as well as residential  compounds.

As well as scuba diving, Somabay caters for many other sports and activities, and so is perfect for families as well as individuals and/or groups. And of course there is always time to lay peacefully on the beach under the Egyptian sun.

somabay

Book your next Red Sea dive adventure with SOMABAY! For more information, visit www.somabay.com.

Stay at the Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge when you visit! For more information, visit  www.thebreakers-somabay.com.

Find out more about ORCA Dive Clubs at SOMABAY at www.orca-diveclubs.com/en/soma-bay-en.

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TRAVEL BLOG: Jeff Goodman Dives SOMABAY, Part 2

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Day three of my trip to Somabay and we were spending the day on the Lady Christina and diving on the wreck of the Salem Express.

somabay

Diving wrecks for me is always one of mixed emotions. The excitement of diving a wreck is more than often tempered by the thought of loss of life when she sank. The Salem Express was a passenger ship and a roll-on/roll-off ferry travelling from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to Safaga, Egypt. Most passengers were of poor class travelling home from their holidays while around 150 people were returning home from their pilgrimage to Mecca.

somabay

The ship struck a reef and sank within 20 minutes. Passengers were trapped below deck and the ship was filled with fear and panic.

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The wreck area is strewn with personal belongings from the crew and passengers such as a transistor radio and a flat iron for clothes. A diver at sometime has put them in a prominent place to be seen.

somabay

Tragically only one life boat was launched while the others went down with the ship. More than 600 men, women and children lost their lives here.

somabay

It’s a stark reminder that the sea can be unforgiving and so when we dive on such wrecks we should do so with humble regard.

Returning to the surface, shoals of fish are gathered under our boat and seem to be welcoming us back into the light.

somabay

Back at the Breakers I sat in the dining area with a beer and a very good meal while my thoughts still remained with the day’s dive on the Salem Express.

Check in for part 3 tomorrow for Jeff’s last day of diving with Somabay on the off-shore reefs looking for turtles.

Book your next Red Sea dive adventure with SOMABAY! For more information, visit www.somabay.com.

Stay at the Breakers Diving & Surfing Lodge when you visit! For more information, visit  www.thebreakers-somabay.com.

Find out more about ORCA Dive Clubs at SOMABAY at www.orca-diveclubs.com/en/soma-bay-en.

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