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Maldives in Macro (Watch Video)

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Our second week in the Maldives was spent in relative luxury on the beautiful island of Helengeli – home to the Oblu by Atmosphere resort. The resort is just a 50 minute transfer from Male, found at the top of the North Male Atoll. Because we had been so spoilt by the incredible encounters with large pelagics on blue Voyager, we opted to spend the week at a much slower pace when it came to the diving here.

Our enigmatic, affable and all round nice-guy guide Sergio offered us some amazing trips to see Manta, Sharks and a number of day trips to see cool ‘big’ stuff; when in reality all we really wanted to do was get our macro lens out and spend a few dives scouring a small area looking for tiny critters.

As luck would have it, our new Catalonian friend (he clearly stated on numerous occasions he is from Barcelona – not Spain) is a talented photographer and loves nothing better than diving with his impressive Sagadive macro lens. We were spoilt rotten again! Sergio happily spent every dive pointing out critters that were literally impossible to see with the naked eye. How he even knew where to look was beyond me!

We had everything from Ornate Ghost Pipefish and Frogfish, to Costaciella (Shaun the Sheep Nudi) and the mind blowing ‘Psychedelic Batwing Nudi’. Now these Nudibranch are just crazy tiny – we’d seen pictures before from some of the pros out there, but never in our lives did we imagine them to be so, well… small!!

You’d literally have better luck trying to video a flapping wing on the back of a fly!

The concentration and steady hand that was required was mentally draining, but I came home from that trip with a new appreciation for just how hard trying to capture any kind of video is, when there is a stiff current and your subject is smaller than a grain of sand!

We can’t recommend the resort highly enough but at the top of my list of plaudits is the Maldives in general. An amazing trip where we saw the biggest fish in the world, to one of the smallest critters you can find in any ocean. To say we are in love with the Maldives is an understatement and we absolutely can NOT wait to return!!

Next week: Moray Madness…


For more from Richard and Hayley visit www.blackmantaphotography.com.

Richard Stevens is a keen underwater videographer and half of the team at Black Manta Photography with his partner Hayley. He is a qualified TEC50 and sidemount diver who has been diving for nearly 15 years with hundreds of dives in varied locations around the world. A keen marine conservationist, with a passion for large pelagic marine animals, Richard has studied marine biology and spent time studying the ecology of sharks. Richard also has a huge ‘lust for rust’ and a burning desire to delve into the world of cave diving. Armed with his camera, his aim is to inspire others to witness the marvels in our beautiful oceans for themselves.

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World Rivers Day: Go with the flow during these river Drift Dives 

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Going with the flow is something we’ve all had to get better at doing this year. And becoming a PADI Drift Diver lets you take those skills to the next level, and just in time for World Rivers Day which is celebrated this Sunday 26 September. 

Drift diving can be both relaxing and exhilarating. The course teaches you how to enjoy going with the flow as you scuba dive down rivers or use ocean currents to glide along safely. It feels like flying – except that you’re underwater using scuba equipment. 

If you’re a PADI (Junior) Open Water Diver who is at least 12 years old, you can start your journey at home with the PADI Drift Diver eLearning course and then complete the specialty course with your local PADI Dive Centre or Resort.  

EXCLUSIVE: WIN a PADI Drift Diver eLearning course – click HERE to be in with a chance to win one of two eLearning courses from our friends at PADI to celebrate World Rivers Day!

Once you are certified as a PADI Drift Diver, you are ready to explore rivers, amongst other currents, all over the world. Here are some of the most remarkable river dive sites across the globe for you to seek adventure in. 

1. Valle Verzasca, Switzerland 

See a whole new side to Switzerland while doing a drift dive through the Valle Verzasca, which has some of the clearest diving in all of Europe. It is both an ideal place to learn to drift dive and still offers plenty of adventure for the more experienced divers. Exploring Valle Verde can be arranged through a range of PADI Dive Centres in the region and combined with mountain lake dives in the area as well. 

2. Rainbow River, Florida 

The clear, shallow and warm waters of Rainbow River in Dunnellon, Florida make it the perfect drift dive location for scuba divers, snorkelers and freedivers alike. PADI Dive Centres in the area can help organize pick up and drop offs so that you can drift down one of Florida’s most outstanding waterways. 

3. St Lawrence River, Canada

Drift diving in the St. Lawrence River can provide access to thousands of shipwrecks, including the RMS Empress of Ireland. Plus, the riverway is known to have surprisingly warm temperatures of up to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and have friendly visitors that include salmon, beluga whales, Greenland sharks and grey seals. If you plan it right, you can even dive between the two countries of Canada and the United States. 

4. Waikato River, New Zealand 

Zip by boulders and rainbow trout during a drift dive through the Waikato River on a guided dive with a PADI Dive Centre in the area. While the river water is likely to be a bit chilly, the drift dive ends at Hot Water Stream, where you can warm up and relax in a natural hot spring. 

5. Local Rivers Inspired by other PADI Drift Divers 

You don’t have to venture far to seek adventure with a drift dive. As Youtuber Scuba Jake explains on PADI’s recent Dive Stories Podcast, there is always something to discover beneath the surface—with rivers offering some of the most unique dive sites in the world. All you have to do is look below the surface and go with the flow. Your local PADI Dive Centre or Resort can give you additional insight on the best places near you.

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Win a PADI Drift Diver eLearning Course – two to give away!!!

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For this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at PADI to give away a couple of their Drift Diver eLearning courses!

The PADI Drift Diver Specialty course teaches you how to enjoy going with the flow as you scuba dive down rivers and use ocean currents to glide along. It feels like flying – except that you’re underwater using scuba equipment. Drift diving can be relaxing and exhilarating at the same time. If this sound like fun, then the Drift Diver course is for you.

You can find out more about the PADI Drift Diver eLearning course here.

To be in with a chance of being one of our winners, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent ‘Creature Feature’ on Scubaverse.com by The Shark Trust (which you can read here), it is revealed that Porbeagles look like what other species of shark?

Is it:

  • A) Tiger Shark
  • B) Bull Shark
  • C) Great White Shark

Answer, A, B or C to the question above:

PADI Drift Dive eLearning Course x2 September 2021

Competition
  • Enter the country you live in
  • Terms and Conditions: This competition is open to all visitors to www.scubaverse.com except for members of the Scubaverse team and their families, or employees of PADI and their families. This prize is for the eLearning element of the PADI Drift Diver course and does not include any of the course's practical elements). A valid answer to the competition’s question must be entered. If no valid answer to the competition’s question is entered, your entry will be invalid. Only one competition entry per entrant permitted (multiple entries will lead to disqualification). Only one prize per winner. All prizes are non-transferable, and no cash alternative will be offered. In the event that the prize cannot be supplied, no liability will be attached to www.scubaverse.com. When prizes are supplied by third parties, www.scubaverse.com is acting as their agents and as such we exclude all liability for loss or damage you may suffer as a result of this competition. This competition closes on 05/11/21. The winner will be notified by email. The Editor-in-Chief’s decision is final.

  • The following fields are optional, however if you fill them in it will help us to determine what prizes to source in the future.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Red Sea Northern Wrecks & Reefs plus Tiran

Custom built itinerary scheduled to include Abu Nuhas wrecks, the SS Thistlegorm, the fabulous reefs at Ras Mohamed including Shark Reef, then over to Tiran to dive Gordon, Jackson, Thomas and Woodhouse reefs.

You’ll visit any number of other wrecks including the beautiful Carnatic and the wrecks of the Giannis D, the Chrisoula K and the Marcus, all at Abu Nuhas.  And you can’t miss the Rosalie Moeller and the Dunraven!

 

But this trip isn’t just about wrecks – far from it! Ras Mohammed, the protected marine reserve of the Red Sea, delivers schooling fish, spectacular corals, and we drop-in numerous times on the best sites before heading over to Tiran to dive the immense reefs of Gordon, Jackson and Woodhouse.

 

What are you going to see? The most stunning corals, abundant marine life, and exceptional wrecks. Turtles, Napoleon wrasse, morays, dolphins, maybe a manta, and perhaps even whale sharks. Hammerheads off the back of Jackson Reef are a possibility, and don’t forget the little critters either! This trip delivers, time and time again.

 

From £1599 per person based on double occupancy.  Full 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 £695pp.  Stay in a deluxe chalet on a soft all-inclusive basis and enjoy 10 guided shore dives and unlimited, unguided house reef diving.  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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