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Maya Blue takes cenote diving in Yucatán to the next level



“Good things take time” so the proverb goes and Javier Salas and his team have taken their time to create a dedicated facility for divers of all levels which is unique to the entire region: The newly opened “Maya Blue” dive centre located in the small town Xpu-Ha between Playa del Carmen and Tulum.

The 420 sqm area also hosts “Dark Zone Diving”, the tec and cave diving counterpart to Maya Blue, the “Rebreather Academy” and a 140 sqm shop with quality brands such as Fourth Element, Razor, Shearwater, Hollis, Apeks and more. The on-site “Bat House Café” offers culinary delights and was designed according to the most modern ecological guidelines.

“We’ve been gathering expertise and knowledge about the peculiarities of cenote and cave diving here for quite some time, after all we’ve been working with the best guides and providers for so many years,” explains Javier Salas, owner of the new dive centre. “Maya Blue is a PADI 5 star dive resort, designed to offer itineraries through our unique cenotes which suit every level of education.”

“Dark Zone Diving” (DZD) is reserved for technical divers, especially certified and new cave divers. At DZD, trainers and explorers recognised throughout the scene rely on first-class equipment from leading manufacturers for training, education and support, without being bound to a particular system or philosophy.

With Javier Salas being one of the first official Razor instructors, Dark Zone Diving offers GoSidemount training at all levels and also is an associated partner of TDI, IANTD and PADI Tec Rec. There are air-conditioned multimedia training rooms available, as well as a mixed gas blending system and many other amenities.

Image: Tom St George

And for those, who always wondered how it feels to dive bubble-free, long and deep, just drop by the “Rebreather Academy”, where you can test different systems to find a suitable one for you.

The new facitilies in Xpu-Ha are purpose-built to enjoy the whole range of diving as well as Yucatán’s one-of-a-kind ecosystem to the fullest.

For further information on Maya Blue please visit their website by clicking here


Frontline workers honoured with free dive trip to Yap



The remote island of Yap in the Federated States of Micronesia is among the few places in the world that remains free of Covid-19 thanks to its ocean border and a strict travel ban that has kept its residents safe.

Nonetheless, Yap has been affected, too. As one of the world’s premier, award-winning destinations for divers, this paradisiacal location in the western Pacific Ocean has had no outside visitors to its rich shores and reef for nearly a year. But while there may be no virus, the island hasn’t been cut off from the economic impact experienced around the globe.

Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers by A. Tareg

That didn’t stop Bill Acker, CEO and founder of the Manta Ray Bay Resort and Yap Divers, from doing something, though.

Last March, soon after the island went into lockdown, Bill began to realize the effect of the virus on daily life beyond the island. “Yes, we are closed, have no divers, had to send our employees home and prepare for difficult times,” he said. “But we’re lucky in that we have, for the most part, avoided the human suffering and death this pandemic has caused.”

Thinking about the problems faced by his family business, they paled when he compared them to those endured by the healthcare workers who have been fighting selflessly around the clock for months on end for the well-being and lives of others.

“One evening, while checking the news online, I saw pictures of frontline workers who were tending to desperately ill and dying people when families and friends could not be with their loved ones. It was heartbreaking,” he added.

The next day, a meeting was held with the resort’s staff and Bill invited suggestions for ways they could do something to honor healthcare workers. The result was the idea to award twenty divers who are working on the frontline to save other’s lives during this pandemic while risking their own, with a free week at the resort.

Manta ray, Manta birostris, gliding over a cleaning station in M’il Channel, Yap, Micronesia by David Fleetham

Divers around the world who had been guests at Manta Ray Bay in the past were invited to submit the names of candidates for the award by December 31, 2020. “We received nominations for 126 individuals from as far away as Germany, the U.S., Australia and Canada,” he said. “It was not easy choosing the winners but our committee of staff members took on the job and selected the 20 finalists.”

“While trying to choose the people to reward for their hard work during this Covid-19 crisis,” Bill added, “by reading the nominations we saw that every one of the nominees was doing things above and beyond the call of duty. Sadly, we don’t have the finances to offer over 100 free weeks in Yap, but we do want to recognize the contributions all of them are making to our world. So, we are offering the rest of the nominees a free week of diving in Yap which includes room, hotel tax, airport transfers, breakfast, diving and Wi-Fi.  The only requirement is that they travel with at least three other people and stay in two rooms or more.”

“We do not yet know when Yap will open its borders,” said Bill, “but when it does, we will welcome these important guests to Yap to relax and dive with the manta rays and the other beautiful denizens of the ocean surrounding our island home. They are the true heroes of this devastating, historic time and we look forward to honoring them with a well-deserved dive vacation.”

Watch out for our exclusive trip report from a healthcare worker from the UK who is one of the 20 to have been awarded this amazing dive trip!

For more information on Manta Ray Bay and Yap Divers visit their website by clicking here.

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Dive Training Blogs

Dream Dive Locker Build Out. Part I: Demolition (Watch Video)



It’s finally here! Time to start building the greatest dive locker the world has ever seen! Part I: Demolition! #dreamdivelocker

This is the first of a series of videos showing the evolution of building out my dream dive locker. My dream dive locker needs to be dive gear drying and storage, dry storage, workshop, office, editing suite, You Tube studio and classroom. That’s a lot of functions for a small space!

The first step is planning out the space and demolishing the laminate flooring. Then I taped up the walls to get a feel for the space. We have a lot of work to do!

But finally we will have a purpose built space to house all of our dive equipment! Subscribe to our channel to follow our progress! 

Thanks for watching, Team!


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This is the perfect start to your 2021 diving season… and at an incredible lead-in price of just £885 per person.

Jump on board the latest addition to the Emperor fleet and enjoy diving the famous sites of the Red Sea with this fantastic special offer. This itinerary takes in the wonderful South & St Johns from 26 February – 05 March 2021.  

Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price so don't delay!

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email to book your spot!

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