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It’s a 24-hour dive, dive, dive for charity



Nearly 70 members of St Albans SAC recently took part in a 24-hour diveathon at the Cottonmill Swimming Pool to raise more than £1,500 for the Scuba Trust.

They whiled away the hours playing underwater hockey, hand tennis and even found time to read glossy magazines as they completed their marathon charity dive.

The event was organised to celebrate BSAC’s 60th anniversary as well as the re-opening of their newly refurbished lido pool which they lease from the local council. The open air pool has had a major £50,000 overhaul thanks to funding through Sport England. Thanks to the grant, the restoration has seen leak repairs and the refurbishment of the formerly unusable poolside changing rooms and showers.

The revamped pool means the club can offer it as a community resource for other local clubs, including a local canoe club.

Lisa Shafe, a diving instructor with St Albans SAC and one of the organisers of the diveathon, said: “The whole event was fantastic, absolutely brilliant, even if we are all shattered!

“Our aim was to have 60 divers in the pool over the 24 hour period and we beat that with 68 divers taking part. The combined dive times of all the divers amounts to 72 hours 20 minutes.

“And we had a target of raising £1,000 toward the work of the Scuba Trust, which helps people with disabilities enjoy diving, and we have easily topped that total through our on-line charity giving site and pledges.”

She added: “As a club we were delighted to welcome the Mayor of St Albans, Annie Brewster, along. She enjoyed some snorkelling with us while we also had several people come along to have a go with try-dives.

“I’m absolutely thrilled that, as a result, we have three new members signed up as club members while a further seven people are considering whether they want to join the club and take up our wonderful sport.”

According to Lisa, the scuba divers came up with all sorts of novel ways to pass the time as they completed the diveathon.

She said: “We started at mid-day on Saturday and went through until 8pm. Unfortunately, we experienced some pretty heavy thunderstorms and came out of the water just after 8pm until they cleared.

“The pool is in a residential area and out of respect for our neighbours we stayed out of the water, to keep any noise to a minimum, until just before dawn going back in at 3am and staying until mid-day on the Sunday.

“Some of our younger club members enjoyed an energetic game of ‘octopush’ which is a form of underwater hockey. Others had a game of underwater hand tennis while I decided to settle down with a good old magazine for a quiet read.

“Glossy magazines will survive being dunked underwater for a couple of hours before they disintegrate so my aquatic read proved no problem.”

She added: “As a club we couldn’t be happier, we have raised a fantastic sum for the Scuba Trust, attracted some new members to the club and also supported Help for Heroes. What a brilliant weekend!”

To find out more about St Albans Sub Aqua Club, visit


Diving with… Ana and Miguel, Siladen Resort & Spa, Indonesia



In this ongoing series, we speak to the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards from around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…

What is your name?

Ana and Miguel

What is the name of your business?

Siladen Resort & Spa

What is your role within the business?

Co owners and General Managers

How long has the business operated for?

Almost 20 years.

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

Miguel has dived since 1993 and Ana has dived since 2002. We are both Open Water Scuba Instructors.

What is your favorite type of diving?

We love all dive types, especially wall diving for the wonderful corals and looking out into the blue wondering what other animals will come up next. But as an UW photographer and videographer we both love critter hunting in the sandy slopes. We are both very fond of night dives as we always find interesting animals and different behaviour.

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

We have a wonderful location in the heart of Bunaken National Park and we have an amazing team that provides the best service to each guest. We are a fun dive resort; we constantly strive to be as sustainable as possible and safety is our number one priority. If you like sea turtles and beautiful coral reefs you cannot miss this area for diving or snorkelling.

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

If we have to choose one wall we would say Mandolin as it has beautiful and healthy corals with a wonderful and shallow reef top. We love to search for turtles in the overhangs, look for long nose hawkfish in the black coral bushes, admire the schooling snappers, and spend a long safety stop on the coral gardens on the top that are full of anthias. For critter hunting and night dives we both love Bolung. Here we can find frogfish, ghostpipefishes and nudibranchs, plus at night we often find decorator crabs, octopus and even stargazers on its white sandy slope.

What types of diving are available in your location?

There are very shallow coral reefs surrounding all five islands within Bunaken National Parkpark — beyond the shallow reef, the seabed drops away very quickly, forming the beautiful walls that Bunaken is famed for. Many of these walls are vertical with huge caverns and overhangs, however some are more gentle slopes that allow more reef building corals to form. On the North Sulawesi mainland there are black sand sites that allow amazing muck diving. Close by, we also have white sand sites, which offer some beautiful coral reefs and gentle slopes. There is even a fairly intact (entirely sponge encrusted) wreck within easy access of the resort.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Working together in a dive resort that welcomes divers and snorkellers from around the world and sharing with them our passion for diving, snorkeling and uw photography and video is a great pleasure. Besides we have the privilege to dive and snorkel at world class sites every week.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

We both love cephalopods in general for their intelligence, capacity to camouflage, change colors and patterns…. We are fortunate enough to have many encounters with cephalopods in this area, from the tiny bobtail squid to the wonderful broadclub cuttlefish, the flamboyant cuttlefish, squids and Ana even filmed reef octopus mating. We could watch cephalopods for ever. And although we see them often, Ana has a soft spot for turtles.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

The biggest problem we all face as divers and nature lovers is climate change and pollution. We need to work on these issues locally but even more importantly we need to address these issues worldwide.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

Yes, we clean our beach daily and we organise very frequent island clean-ups. Not only do we clean this area, but we also separate the garbage trying to send as much as we possibly can to be recycled. We often have activities together with local school children to help bring awareness of the dangers of plastic pollution. We reduce our single plastic use as much as possible and all our vegetables and fruit peel leftovers are composted. We also protect the nests of turtles that hatch on our beach.

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

We are partnering with Coral Eye Resort in Bangka Island so that guests can have the best service in the best areas of North Sulawesi. We are getting one more boat; we want to make sure our boats are never crowded, besides we keep working to maintain and improve all our facilities.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

The industry is doing well and I am happy to see that there are more and more avid snorkellers and not only scuba divers. We would like to see more ocean protection worldwide to ensure the future generations get to enjoy the beautiful reef corals and marine life around the world.

Finally, what would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

We give you a chance to explore some of the best snorkelling and diving sites in the world while providing you with comfortable accommodation, wonderful food and the best service. Staying in Siladen Resort & Spa you can do up to four dives or snorkelling sessions every day with very experienced guides, while staying in a safe and comfortable resort that aims to provide the best service to each guest.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

Visit our website, find us on Instagram and Facebook (Siladen Resort & Spa) and contact us:

WA +62 811 44300641

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Marine Life & Conservation

Jeff chats to… Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust about the Big Shark Pledge (Watch Video)



In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust UK about the Big Shark Pledge.

The Big Shark Pledge aims to build one of the biggest campaigning communities in the history of shark conservation. To put pressure on governments and fisheries. And make the positive changes required to safeguard awesome sharks and rays.

Find out more at: and

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

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