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Introducing MY Big Blue

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Pharaoh Dive Club owners Clare and Steve have been working and diving all around the Red Sea for close to 30 years. Over the last 10 years, they have built and developed the multi award-winning Roots Red Sea, which has put El Quseir on many diver’s bucket lists. They have now expanded their horizons even further and launched their own safari boat MY Big Blue.

Clare and Steve have managed and operated safaris since the early 1990’s where they worked with Chris Scott and Peter Collings pioneering liveaboard safaris in the Red Sea on board the Xanadu. From the tip of the Gulf of Aqaba down to the Sudanese border and back up again through the Gulf of Suez, they have experience of diving to all corners of the Egyptian Red Sea. Its therefore no surprise that they finally decided to launch their own boat to take complete control of their safari operations.

Dive Deck

As you would imagine with that much experience, Big Blue has been designed to provide a perfect base for diving. The first consideration was space: space to eat, space to sleep, space to shower and, of course, space to dive. Big Blue offers all these in trumps.  She is a massive 38m long and 7m wide which would normally mean you could expect the license for groups to be 30 to 40 divers! Big Blue offers a maximum of 24 berths.

Lounge

Diving on MY Big Blue is also different, there would be no point in giving you lots of space on the boat to then throw you in the water as a group of 24 divers! Everything is at a relaxed, no -rush pace; the divers are set into four groups of up to six and sent out at intervals. Of course if you are a bigger group and want to dive together that is also fine. Their simple mantra is what’s the rush to get in, we have all day, take your time and enjoy the uncrowded dives!

As a principle supporter of the military charity Deptherapy, making sure Big Blue was ideally suited for divers that use wheelchairs was high on the priorities. Accordingly the main deck is completely accessible with two designated cabins for wheelchair users and, most importantly, divers with disabilities are more than welcome on board.

Mobility Cabin

There is so much disruption to dive travel around the world at the moment, making planning very difficult for everyone, but there is also the feeling that divers are desperate to get back in the amazing Red Sea. For this reason, Big Blue have planned to start the 2021 season on the 6th March with two back-to-back trips with a ‘March Madness’ 15% discount special offer.

  • 6th March 2021  – HRG to HRG – Northern Wrecks Tour  – £665pp sharing excluding flights
  • 13th March 2021 – HRG to HRG – Safaga and Brothers Tour – £765pp sharing excluding flights

Should there still be Covid restrictions that cause cancellation to flights or your government bans travel to Egypt the trips are 100% refundable or transferable.

What a perfect opportunity to book your worry-free return to the Red Sea!

To find out more contact info@mybigblue.com or check out www.mybigblue.com

Gear News

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

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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 www.othree.co.uk


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

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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

info@barrakuuda.ee

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

sever@dive.ru

Switzerland

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

phil@scubashop.ch

Austria

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

info@wassersportcenter.at

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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Competitions

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 john@thescubaplace.co.uk

www.thescubaplace.co.uk

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