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Jose: An blue o two intern’s impressions



Project Shark: Maldives

Hi everybody! My name is Jose, I’m Spanish and I am one of the new participants of blue o two’s work experience programme.

It has been 4 weeks of doing safaris so far, and this is my week off. I have been asked to write something on the blue o two blog… at the beginning I thought about writing a poem hehehe… but I finally decided to write some tips and impressions of the program for all of you that are coming after me, or are considering to apply, as I think this will be the most useful thing I can write about… I still remember when I read Luke’s comments and how curious I was to read what he had seen and done.

Please remember that this is just my personal opinion and of course other people don’t have to agree with this…

This program is intended to show you how a liveaboard company works thoroughly. You are going to learn first-hand:

  • How to handle pre-safari logistics
  • What daily liveaboard work is like
  • How a weekly liveaboard itinerary works
  • The work behind the scenes and what is done in the office
  • Many of the most important dive sites in the Red Sea

This program is intended for people that really want to learn how this business works…and it is real!!! This is a unique opportunity for someone that wants to learn and wants to work on this in the future, specifically in the Red Sea but not exclusively. I don’t think there are too many programs like this one. If you are not interested in taking this as a career option for the future please think it twice…there are too many divemasters and instructors out there looking for a real opportunity, and it wouldn’t be fair for them or all the people here at blueotwo that will support you and share their knowledge with you.

– It is physically demanding. Especially in winter and when you have done several liveaboards one after the other. You will wake up very early so try to get a good sleep at night, and if you can…squeeze a little siesta between dive and dive when you have done your tasks…but don’t forget to wake up for the next dive briefing…

– Social skills are as important as diving skills. You will have to interact with customers, Egyptian seamen and other dive guides….so far on this 4 weeks I am meeting around 20 guests minimum, the crew, and a couple of dive guides…which is more than 30 new people every week!!

– Bring yourself a notebook to write things down, don’t forget your logbook with space for maps and writing useful information about the sites.

– You are here to learn. Nobody expects you to run a liveaboard upon your arrival. Work hard, help around and everybody will be happy with you and will appreciate it. Dive guides and crew spend long weeks in the boats. Helping them as much as you can will make their job easier, appreciate you and you will build yourself a reputation.

– Be aware of the value of the interns!!! My friend…let me tell you that YOU are a very valuable asset to have in the boat. You can help so much to the dive guides and the rest of the crew…

– Maybe you will find someone with which your personal charms will not work. Don’t worry, be positive, work hard and be professional. Nothing lasts forever, especially in weekly liveaboards.

– Get the most out of this experience!!! Everybody has a lot to teach you. The dive guides, the crew, your colleagues in land, and even the guests….you will learn a lot about diving, but they also have a lot to teach you about other stuff…think how lucky you are about this!!!

– Ask questions!!!

– Be prepared to learn some basic Arabic lingo. Some of the crew members speak little English.

– You will be challenged. Under the water and out of it! Don’t be afraid to try new things!

– Don’t limit yourself to the weekly objectives blue o two will assign you. Learn as much as possible of everything every week.

– For those who will be doing safaris in winter, I suggest you to bring some warm socks, some jeans or training trousers, and a proper wetsuit for being in 20ºC water…it is not so much the cold but the wind…I would suggest you bring a scarf too…. A lot of people think this is gay: I think it is metrosexual :D. It is comfy and it will help you not catch a cold in the middle of the week.

– Perhaps the most important thing… ENJOY!!!!!!!!! Everybody is coming on vacations and you are part of it!

– Be yourself! Everybody is different, some people are very good at some things, but at the end it all balances out…exploit your good qualities, and try to improve the ones you are not so good at.

– Focus on this moment in time and the place where you are. Don’t think too much about what will happen in the future. There is so much to think about today, this week and the following weeks!!!!

And finally and not last…be prepared for some world class diving!!!! Close encounters with huge morays, dolphins, mantas, sharks, turtles, dancing with dolphins, beautiful coral reefs, shipwrecks full of mystery and so much more is awaiting for you…sometimes I come out of the water and I don’t want to talk to anybody…I’m just trying to live again what I have just seen in my head, so that I will never forget.

Miscellaneous Blogs

Book Review – The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe (2007)



It was the height of the Cold War. The Soviet Cruiser Ordzhonikidz, supported by two destroyers, had brought Soviet leaders Khruschev and Bulganin to Britain for sensitive meetings with the British Government. The ships were moored in Portsmouth harbour and the Prime Minister, Sir Anthony Eden, had expressly forbidden any clandestine inspection of them. However, on the morning of 19th April 1956 Commander Lionel ‘Buster’ Crabbe, an experienced naval diver, slipped into the cold waters of Portsmouth harbour. His top secret mission was to photograph the hull, propellers and rudder of the Ordzhonikidze. He was never seen alive again.

A badly decomposed body, with head and hands missing, was discovered by fishermen in Chichester harbour months later. It was claimed to be the missing body of Buster Crabbe – but many had doubts. The incident marked the start of a controversy that claimed the posts of several high ranking naval, government and intelligence service personnel. The author of The Final Dive, Don Hale, claims it is one that still rages and which may not be resolved even when secret government files are released in 2057.

Don Hale, an acknowledged campaigning journalist and former Journalist of the Year brings all his experience and skill to unravelling this longstanding scandal. He has drawn upon official reports and private letters, statements from government representatives, fellow officers and friends to piece together Buster’s life and events leading to his disappearance and subsequent investigation. He speaks of “inquiries blocked by intrigue, constant cover-ups and government bureaucracy coupled with threats relating to the Official Secrets Act” (p. xi). If you like reading about subterfuge on a grand scale you will enjoy The Final Dive.

Don Hale’s meticulous account of the life of Buster Crabbe is supported by dozens of black and white photos and extracts from numerous official documents. It reveals how an amazing series of civilian jobs, wartime activities and friendships with high ranking government officials, British intelligence officers, American CIA operatives. . . and now known spies, prepared him for his final dive and perhaps his fate. One of Crabbe’s acquaintances was the author Ian Fleming – of James Bond fame. Indeed, it is suggested that Fleming based the character of 007 on Buster Crabbe. After reading of his exploits, both before WWII, his bomb disposal work during the war, and afterwards it is easy to see why. Certainly, those who worked with Buster Crabbe “all agree he was fearless.” (p.59). After reading of his exploits one wonders if he was too fearless.

In the later stage of Buster’s life, prior to his disappearance, Don Hall recounts “a constant merry-go-round of overseas assignments” (p. 118) for Crabbe and how he “began to receive increasingly hazardous commissions” (p. 136). It culminated in the morning dive in Portsmouth harbour. Hale’s forsensic-like account of the events surrounding the final dive and aftermath reveals absolute panic and bungling behind the scenes as official answers conflict with known facts. He describes how “The whole incident still seems bathed in secrecy, with the true facts deliberately buried in bureaucracy, and supported at the highest level by an incredible cover-up operation”.(p. 205).

A final comment by Don Hale adds to the intrigue. He states “The only part of the Crabbe puzzle about which I am not certain is not who sent him – we know the answer to that – but why on earth he was he sent, possibly at considerable risk?” (p. 248). After reading The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe you will no doubt have your own ideas.

The Final Dive: The Life and Death of ‘Buster’ Crabbe (2007)

  • By Don Hale
  • Stroud: Sutton Publishing
  • ISBN 978 0 7509 4574 5
  • 260 pp

Don Hale was a professional footballer before becoming editor of several regional newspapers. He has received numerous national and international awards for investigative journalism including Journalist of the Year. In 2002 he was awarded an OBE for his campaigning journalism in the Stephen Downing miscarriage of justice case. He has championed several others who have been wrongly convicted.

His other books include Town without Pity (2002), Murder in the Graveyard (2019) and Mallard: How the ‘Blue Steak’ Broke the World Speed Record (2019).

Find out more about Professor Fred Lockwood, who is also a published author, at

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Miscellaneous Blogs

The BiG Scuba Podcast… Catching up with Cristina Zenato and Kewin Lorenzen



It’s a year since Gemma and Ian spoke with Cristina Zenato and produced Episodes 9, 12 and 21.  We also spoke to Kewin Lorenzen on Episode 13.  The year of 2020 was challenging for everyone but we hear that for both Cristina and Kewin it was a positive year with changes made to bring them both into 2021 with fresh ideas.  We hear how the sharks are and what amazing progress has been made with the cave exploration and the People of the Water Charity.

Have a listen here:

Find more podcast episodes and information at the new  website and on most social platforms @thebigscuba 

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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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