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Only Six Weeks To Go Until DIVE 2013!



The annual Birmingham Dive Show is Britain’s biggest event for divers, and this year’s show will boast an exceptional range of features, including:

  • Top diving speakers
  • New dive gear – on display and to buy
  • Unrivalled choice of dive holidays and training courses
  • Free sessions in the Scuba Pursuits Try-Dive pool and the Rebreather pool
  • BSAC Branch Pods, PADI Village and SSI Zone
  • FREE prize draw to win an £8000 dive holiday in the Philippines courtesy of Worldwide Dive and Sail
  • No-Tanx breath-hold demos in the pool and free workshops to help you improve your flexibility and oxygen efficiency
  • Caribbean Village and Asia Pacific Showcase
  • British Isles Experience with free draw to win one of three SUUNTO computers each day
  • Expanded PhotoZone with presentations taking place on the new Centre Stage (see below)

Tickets cost as little as £8.50 if booked in advance. And once you have purchased your ticket all the above activities are free to enjoy.

Stellar Speakers

Visitors to DIVE 2013 will have the chance to interact with a stellar line-up of speakers – on the main DIVER Stage, where the accent is on adventure; on the new Centre Stage; and, with a rolling programme of seminars, in the two Ocean Theatres.

Andy Torbet, Monty Halls and Alex Mustard will be among the top divers making presentations on both days of the show. Andy’s subject will be Extreme Diving Adventures; Monty will be focussing on his new Dive Mysteries TV series; and Alex will be joined by fellow photo guru Martin Edge to tell you ‘What to Shoot and What to Ignore’.

And British cave-diver Chris Jewell, who recently led an expedition to Mexico’s Huautla system that established the cave as the deepest in the Western hemisphere, will be treating the DIVE 2013 audience to descriptions of this incredible seven-week adventure.

Among the many other speakers taking the stage at DIVE 2013 will be the inimitable Paul Rose, and TDI/SDI Instructor Trainer Mark Powell, who plans to address some of the most widely believed myths about diving – some of them still commonly taught by many training agencies.

Latest speaker news here

Appearing on the Centre Stage

The New Centre Stage is conveniently located close to the PhotoZone, and it’s where you’ll find a rolling programme of image-based presentations designed to entertain, inform and, we hope, add to the armoury of all you underwater photographers and videographers out there.

Timings have yet to be announced, but speakers already lined up include Michael AW, Paul Duxfield,Fergus Kennedy, Gavin Parsons, Saeed Rashid and Nick Robertson-Brown.

The PhotoZone is, of course, the part of the show that offers something for all levels of underwater photo enthusiast. In addition to the sensational BSoUP/DIVER Magazine Prints Competition, you’ll also be able to inspect, discuss and buy cameras and accessories to your heart’s content on the many specialist exhibitor stands.

New Dive Gear

Check out the new products Showcase when you enter the DIVE 2013 hall to get an idea of items you might want to examine more closely on suppliers’ stands (see full exhibitor A-Z here). Here is just some of the new gear that exhibitors will be showing.

• Drysuits, Wetsuits and Undersuits from exhibitors including SEAC, Waterproof (whose silver and black W4 suits are pictured), Northern Diver, Scubapro and Santi.

• Lights from Northern Diver, Metalsub, Intova, Sola and UW Fotopartner.

• Regulators including the XTX range from Apeks and Scubapro’s latest version of its G260 second stage. And don’t miss the chance to walk through the Scubapro Regulator Museum – with more than 200 models to see! (Stand 1320)

• Masks and fins from Oceanpro and Tusa (whose Solla fins are pictured)

• BCs from SEAC, and specialist items galore including camera and video housings from Underwater Visions/Nauticam, a sidemount BC and two dive computers from Scubapro, Suex underwater propulsion vehicles, and a complete range of gear for free divers from Subgear.

Read more …

Recreational and Rebreather Try-Dives

Has the Year of the Rebreather been the success the suppliers of the new wave  of closed-circuit equipment hoped for? You can ask them at the show – and can also take the latest in the ever-growing array of CE-marked CCRs in the Rebreather Pool to find out what all the fuss is about.

Non-divers of any age are invited to join in the fun as well, by enjoying a taste of diving under close supervision in the Scuba Pursuits Try-Dive Pool.

Read more …

Get Your Picture on the Wall

There’s still time to get your entries in for the prestigious annual Print Competition, run by the British Society of Underwater Photographers (BSoUP) and DIVER Magazine, the deadline for which is 15 September. An exhibition of finalists (as pictured here at the 2012 event) and judging of winners will take place in the DIVE 2013 PhotoZone. There are four categories in the Print Competition: British and Irish (images taken in UK and Irish waters); Overseas; Advanced British and Irish; and Advanced Overseas.

See details of how to enter here

For more information on DIVE 2013, click here

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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Into the Blue – Part Two



By now, you will have hopefully read the first blog from my recent trip to the Red Sea with The Scuba Place on M/Y Big Blue. If you haven’t, you can find the link to the blog here.

I’ve been diving since 2011, although I didn’t get really serious about diving until 2013. In the November of that year I joined Scuba School on a trip to Sharm El Sheikh to complete my Advanced Open Water course. That was the first time I heard about the famous SS Thistlegorm and its cult status in the wreck diving world. Unfortunately, as I, along with a lot of the group were novice divers, and so we were unable to dive it on that 2013 trip, along with a lot of the other famous wrecks from the North. Little did I know, I wouldn’t return to the Northern Red Sea until this trip in September 2022 with The Scuba Place. The wrecks remained mysterious all those years but I was soon getting the full experience. After the first two and a half days exploring the amazing reefs, it was time to break my Thistlegorm virginity and get the true “lust for rust” experience of the Northern itinerary.

A school of batfish greeted us on our safety stop after an amazing introduction to the SS Thistlegorm.

As we moored up at the SS Thistlegorm for the afternoon dive, I got a strange sense of anticipation run through my body. More so than at any other specific dive site. Strange really, as I don’t normally get excited about wreck diving, but here was a site that I’d heard so much about but was still so mysterious. I’d always thought it was a difficult dive and had a slight fear of it, as I wasn’t allowed to do it all those years back. Then, after watching a 20 minute film explaining the story of the wreck and listening to the stories of survivors,. I knew it was a site that demanded respect. As Mo went through the dive briefing, I quickly realised it seemed a lot more simple than I had in mind. I then became more excited than fearful as me and my dive buddy went through our plan. 

A diver explores one of the decks inside the SS Thistlegorm holding some of the vehicles onboard.

There was an eerie feeling as we submerged below the gentle swell. The visibility was a lot more milky compared to the clear blue I was used to in the Red Sea. However, the wreck soon came into view as we dropped down the shot line. The first thing that struck me and in my opinion just made the wreck extra special, was the life on it.

Instantly, crocodile fish and scorpion fish were spotted resting on the wreck, as we made our way to the anti-aircraft gun on the stern. I made a quick visit to take some photos before we turned back and penetrated the wreck for the first time. A surreal experience but the numerous glassfish and lionfish at the entry point kept me entertained before seeing the remnants of yesteryear. The different vehicles that still keep their place in the decks are the main highlight, but it was the boots that struck a chord with me: signs of the human lives that were present on the fateful day the bomb hit. I got a real buzz from my first time on the Thistlegorm, with a school of batfish greeting us on our safety stop finishing off the adventure. John and I ascended from a great dive with a high five, knowing I’d fulfilled a special memory.

A blue spotted stingray makes a quick turn on top of the SS Thistlegorm, on a memorable night dive.

I enjoyed three more dives on the Thistlegorm, giving me chance to explore a little more and see a little more life. Some cool nudibranch and a cuttlefish making their home inside the wreck added to the array of life I’d already seen. It was the night dive that truly hit the marine life spot. It really came to life at night and I soon lost count of the amount of scorpionfish I saw. The contrast of the dark and wreck against the blue spotted stingrays made their colours really pop as around six or seven were spotted. Eels, lionfish and crocodilefish making up the rest of the weird and wonderful sights on the wreck at night. Amazing memories from my first time exploring the Thistlegorm that will last forever.

After the two morning dives on the Thistlegorm, we headed off to the Barge wreck site for an afternoon and night dive. It’s not much of a wreck when you compare it to the others on the trip. It lies like a flat platform on the seabed with some sides rising out from the reef providing extra space for coral growth and marine life to enjoy. While it doesn’t provide a real wreck fix with penetration, it is a haven for marine life, littered with all types of hard and soft corals. Look closely and the Barge is a great spot for the weird and wonderful. The numerous nudibranch and grey moray eels provided my macro fix on the night dives, while the occasional buzz from huge hunting giant trevally provided the entertainment. A nice contrast of wrecks before moving on to Abu Nuhas.

The stern of the Giannis D remains largely intact and provides a dramatic underwater scene.

Abu Nuhas is a really unique place. Its submerged reef has been bad luck for five passing ships, with five cargo shipwrecks lining its northern slopes. While it was more than unfortunate for some, the wrecks have provided fortune for those looking for a wreck diving haven. Our day consisted of diving three of the wrecks  – The Carnatic, Giannis D and Marcus/Chrisoula K in that order.

Going into the trip, it was the Giannis D that I was most keen to dive. I’d always admired the wide angle stern shots I’d seen over the years, with it staying pretty much intact and creating a dramatic image as it lies on its side. It was a fantastic dive with some interesting and easy penetration; I also took some shots of the stern in all its glory. A huge grouper sitting inside the wreck provided the wildlife fix, as it floated with ease looking out into the blue from an opening on the wreck. I think it was the Carnatic that stole the show personally though. Her open windows out to the blue that are covered in soft coral were unique, and glassfish dancing in formation inside mesmerised into a truly memorable dive. The Marcus provided the adventure as penetration was a little more difficult to work my way through the wreck.

Bottlenose dolphins provided amazing entertainment as they came and played while we snorkelled at the surface.

The day at Abu Nuhas was the best of the trip for me and that wasn’t solely because of the wrecks….. YES!! Once again it was marine life that had me screaming with joy underwater and a buzz through my body like no other. FINALLY!!!!! After 9 years of taking photos underwater, I was able to share the water with dolphins (bottlenose in this instance) and shoot them in all their glory.

Our journey to and from the wrecks on each dive took us through the channel on the ribs, where dolphins were seen on every pass playing in the slight waves. After the second dive, the guides asked if we wanted to try to snorkel with them. It was a resounding yes and as the speedboat whipped up a wave storm, the dolphins headed to the surface to play. I dropped in with no elegance at all, as my excitement took over. I was wondering whether they would stay once we entered, but how they stayed and played was beyond anything I could imagine. Bringing seaweed to us and then, with a flick of their tails, speeding off after teasing with a slow approach. There were nine in total and they even came by to show off the baby of the group. It was definitely up there as one of my greatest moments in the water. 

One of three cuttlefish seen on an amazing night dive, on the house reef of Roots Red Sea.

We finished the liveaboard trip with three more amazing reef dives, with the highlight being a small cave full of glassfish and MANY lionfish. I entered to take photos of the glassfish before the lionfish started to sneak out of every crevice and reveal themselves from their camouflaged rest spots.

It got a little hairy but made for a truly interesting moment to finish the week on Big Blue. The fun wasn’t done though, as John eluded to the fact that I was on the same late flight as them on the Saturday and asked if I’d like to join his group for a night at Roots Red Sea. Sounds like a good plan!! Also, if we got there in time, a night dive on the house reef that’s a haven for the weird and wonderful would be on offer. What an amazing surprise end to the trip at an amazing dive resort: secluded, with a beautiful desert backdrop, sitting just metres from the sea. Thankfully, we made it for a night dive and it was as incredible as John said it would be. Reef squid, numerous cuttlefish, a bouncing stonefish jumping over sea moths AND a dwarf lionfish made this one of the best night dives ever, and a perfect end dive to a perfect trip. A final day of relaxation at Roots pool and enjoying the beautiful food finished it in style. 

For more information about diving on Big Blue:

Roots Red Sea lies in a secluded area of El Quseir, with a stunning desert backdrop and the Red Sea on their doorstop. It’s a perfect location for a relaxed dive trip.

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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. Great value for money and perfect for small groups of buddies. Price NOW from just £1195 per person based on sharing a twin cabin/room including: Flights from Gatwick to Hurghada with 23kgs baggage 7 nights in shared cabin 3 meals a day, soft drinks, red wine with dinner 6 days’ diving, guide, 12ltr tank & weights, Marine Park fees and port departure fees Free Nitrox Booking deadline: Subject to availability – limited flight seats at this price. Alternative departure airports available at a supplement. Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email More Less

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