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It really is more fun in The Philippines!



#itsmorefuninthephilippines is the promotional strap line for The Philippines and we couldn’t agree more. As a diving destination it is pretty hard to beat. Our recent trip saw us visit three different islands and resorts: Magic Island Dive Resort in Moalboal on Cebu Island, Magic Oceans Dive Resort in Anda on Bohol Island, and Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in Dauin, near Dumagete on the island of Negros Oriental in a trip that lasted just under three weeks including travel.

We flew with Philippine Airlines from Heathrow to Manilla and then on to Cebu, with our return flight going from Dumagete to Manilla, and then home. To maximize our diving during this multi-island trip, we used the ferry to get from island to island, so we did not need to worry about no-fly times. If you want a bit of variation on your trip, then trying out 2 or even 3 islands is a great way to get a true taste of the region.

Throughout the trip we experienced fantastic diving, with knowledgeable dive guides expertly finding us astonishing photographic subjects. From the smallest nudibranch to the largest fish in the sea, The Philippines seems to have it all. The islands offer a perfect mix of pristine coral reefs, clear blue seas and incredible marine life. If you are an underwater photographer, then you will be delighted with the photographic opportunities you can find here, be it super macro or wide angle that floats your boat.

To read in more detail about our epic Philippines trip, follow these links:

Magic Island Dive Resort, Moalboal, Cebu

Mandarin Magic 

Whale Sharks of Oslob

Moalboal Sardine Run

Magic Ocean Dive Resort, Anda, Bohol

Magic Critters 

Meeting Shaun the Sheep

Night dive 

Atmosphere Resorts & Spa

Love Frogfish? 

Apo Island 


We had an amazing time. The people are warm and friendly, the sun was shining, the diving was incredible – we could not have asked for more.

For more information about these resorts, The Philippines and travel, please check out these links:

Magic Resorts

Atmosphere Resorts & Spa

The Official UK Travel Guide to The Philippines

Philippine Airlines

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit


Tried & Tested: INON UWL 95- C24 Wide Angle Wet Lens



The INON UWL 95- C24 is the latest wide angle wet lens released by INON and has been designed for compact cameras with zoom lenses that are 24mm at the wide end. The UWL-95 C24 has a maximum angle of view of 95° underwater. This can be increased up to 141° with the optional Dome Lens.

The lens has a versatile M67 screw mount and M52 screw mount, the M52 fitting is already built in. Because the M67 rings are screwed to the lens over this, they can’t come loose like a step up rings. Totally renewed optical design effectively suppresses flare/ghost even in backlit condition to provide sharp and high quality image.

Test Conditions

  • Location: Capernwray Quarry, UK
  • Visibility: 2-3m
  • Temperature: 9 degrees C
  • No of Dives: 1
  • Equipment Used: Canon S110 in Recsea housing
  • Test Equipment: INON UWL 95- C24 with Dome Lens Unit 111A and 67mm thread.
  • RRP of lens and accessories used: £667.98


This was an eagerly awaited new product from INON – a wide angle wet lens that can be used with hugely popular compact cameras such as the Olympus Tough and the Sony RX100 range. Testing new equipment in less than ideal conditions is always a challenge, but it is also a bonus, as for many, these will be the conditions they will experience too. Testing a new lens on an unfamiliar camera system also makes this process harder, as you need time to adjust to the new system, even though that is not what you are testing. My first impressions of this lens, before getting it underwater, was that it is very well made.

As we descended I started to unscrew the lens to ensure that any air trapped between camera housing and lens was released. As long as you do not undo all the way this works perfectly, however with thick gloves, in cold water, I would not want to have to attach the lens onto the camera using the 67mm thread very often as it feels a little fiddly.

Using the UWL-95 C24 can dramatically reduce minimum focusing distance needed between photographer and subject. As the visibility on the testing day was only 2-3m this was very good news indeed and the lens focused on subjects that were virtually touching the lens. Be careful not to get too close to anything that might scratch the lens! The lens, with the additional dome gave a really wide field of view, perfect for wreck, diver, scenic and large marine life shots.

Whilst the lens feels quite heavy on the front of a small camera out of the water, I did not notice it at all on the dive which is great, as some big lenses can require floats or very strong wrists to make them workable. This is a simple grab and go lens that does not need any additional kit or know-how to use. Alas, due to my buddy having a catastrophic dry suit flood, I only got a single dive to try it out, but was impressed with it nonetheless.

Fortunately I am taking the lens up to Scotland to try out on my Olympus TG5 whilst snorkeling and wild swimming – so watch out for more about this lens next month.

For more information visit the INON website by clicking here.

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13 year old diver wins latest Covid Diver Hero Award



The curtain is starting to close on Emperor’s #coviddiverheroes initiative, where they recognise stories of amazing divers who went above and beyond during the pandemic. Their 6th hero Lily Lancaster is a bit different from the previous five in that she doesn’t work in healthcare. In fact, at 13 years old, she has plenty of time to get into that if she chooses, but right now she has shown maturity beyond her years and great compassion and we are proud to share her story, as nominated by her Uncle Martin Lancaster:

“I would like to nominate my niece Lily Lancaster, age 13, for a Red Sea trip. Lily has influenced so many people of our community by showing care and selflessness. Throughout the year Lily does random acts of kindness by giving out chocolates, flowers and gifts to random people to make them smile. During these trying times Lily has gone above and beyond to give our community high spirits by making keyrings with kind messages on them and leaving them out for people to find. Over Halloween, as children could not go trick or treating, Lily dressed up and brought sweets out of her own money and handed out over 500 bags to the local children! Lily also brought selection boxes for children to hand out throughout December; Santa was unable to do his usual rounds so Lily arranged for him to join her in handing these out. This year at Easter Lily handed out almost 400 Easter eggs to the local children. These are only a few things that Lily does; we all have great admiration for someone so young to have such empathy and a heart of gold. Lily has made thousands of people smile during these difficult times and continues to do so.”

The Emperor Divers team have been in touch with Lily who can’t wait for her trip. Her family have been sharing the news of her award far and wide and Emperor will be so happy to host Lily on one of their liveaboard trips in the next couple of years.

Emperor Divers only have two more awards to give away! One Red Sea and one Maldives trips are still available, so we are coming up to the last chance for people to nominate their hero. In fact, entries for the Red Sea awards close on Thursday 20th May!

Do you know a diver who has been heroic this past year? Emperor know that, worldwide, people have had to step up during this pandemic which has affected so many lives. They want to reward some real heroes with free liveaboard trips in the Red Sea or Maldives.

Luke Atkinson, Emperor’s Red Sea Manager, said: “This initiative is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to all those hundreds of people who have taken a selfless interest in looking after the vulnerable in their community. Examples could include healthworkers, carers or those who have come out of retirement to volunteer locally, but really we know there are many other ways people have been heroic.“

Emperor want to hear from people who know a heroic diver who would love to have a free liveaboard trip to look forward to in the future. People need to nominate a Covid Hero Diver and tell Emperor (in 100 – 200 words) why they deserve a free trip, and whether they would prefer the Red Sea or the Maldives. A multinational panel of Emperor’s most loyal and compassionate staff will judge the entries and pick a winner every 2 weeks for the next 2 months. There is one remaining Red Sea and one more Maldives liveaboard to be earned, so get nominating and give that hero a reward for their amazing work!

Winners will be announced by 14th and 28th of each month. Final entries for Red Sea by 20th May ‘21 and Maldives 5th June ’21. Terms & Conditions apply: Please contact for details.

Entries, comments and questions should be sent to

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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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