The Ocean Revival project, a new underwater reef system and marine habitat for divers visiting the Portuguese Algarve has now been completed with the sinking of the final ship on the sea bed. The sinking marks a very successful conclusion to a seven year project where four ex-navel ships have been scuttled to form a series of artificial reefs. The Hydrographic ship Ex-NRP Almeida de Carvalho A527 sank below the waves on Saturday 21st September amidst great celebrations and applause from the extensive Ocean Revival team as well as excited onlookers.
Scubaverse’s very own Jeff Goodman, who was at the event, had this to say: “Cameras were working constantly from the small surrounding boats as a helicopter circled above taking aerial images. We had a five minute and then a one minute warning over the radio before the first of the explosive charges went off, shaking us all out of any daydreams we may have been having. The rest of the explosions followed immediately after, blowing debris and smoke into the air. Then silence. To everyone’s relief the bow slowly started to go under with the stern rising exactly according to plan.”
“As the last part of the stern disappeared in a mass of froth and bubbles we all were excited for the navy divers to do their check and then give us the OK to go down and have a look for ourselves.
“It’s quite strange diving on a ship you were looking at on the surface only a short while ago. It had already taken on quite a different demeanour. In some way it had gained an air of mystery and hidden secrets. The lines had become softer, the colours paler. I look forward to revisiting next year when wildlife begins to take control of the now bare metal.”
This dream of Luís Sá Couto, the project leader and owner of the SUBNAUTA Diving Centre, had finally come true. Luis said that the first of the ships that were sunk are already home to many fish and other reef species. It is a habitat that will only get better each year.
Video Courses with Ocean Revival in the Algarve
These amazing wreck sites and rich local reef systems are the backdrop to a series of underwater video courses run by Jeff, in association with UK based tour operator Hidden Depths and Subnauta Diving.
Cameras, lights and editing facilities are all provided for free for those who do not have their own equipment. There are introduction weekend sessions as well as full five day courses. Also on offer are GoPro speciality courses which come into their own when diving the wrecks.
The Algarve is located in the south of Portugal and is where the Atlantic Ocean mingles with the Mediterranean sea, resulting in water temperatures between 14º to 22º Celsius. It is a place where temperate species mix with sub-tropical, and is a very exciting location for filming underwater wildlife.
The courses are very flexible and can cater for the complete beginner to the budding professional.
All students for these underwater courses must have a minimum of an Open Water Scuba Dive Qualification.
For more details contact:
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…
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 www.siladen.com, find us on Instagram and Facebook (Siladen Resort & Spa) and contact us:
WA +62 811 44300641
Jeff chats to… Paul Cox, CEO of the Shark Trust about the Big Shark Pledge (Watch Video)
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.
Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.
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