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Photo Gallery: St Eustatius



In our new Gallery feature, we let the photos tell the story… Each Gallery showcases a selection of outstanding images on a chosen theme, taken by our Underwater Photography Editors Nick and Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This week, we focus on the tiny but beautiful Caribbean Island of St. Eustatius.

St Eustatius is a Caribbean island that is very close to our hearts. We lived on this volcanic island, working as dive instructors at Dive Statia, when we first started out in the diving world. We also worked as marine park wardens for a few months at the end of our stay. We were involved in the sinking of the island’s most famous wreck, and were the first people to dive, the 100 metre long Charlie Brown. Statia (as it is fondly known) is a small island with some great diving. Almost all of its coastline is a protected marine park, and this really apparent when you head underwater and see the amazing marine life. Turtles thrive here, and are found sleeping on the artificial reefs at night. You may never have heard of St Eustatius, but once you have been there, your heart will never leave. Visit and to find out more.

Image 1: A hawksbill turtle on the Charlie Brown wreck. The turtle’s flipper briefly touches my camera dome as it swims past. The wreck of the Charlie Brown has been underwater for over 10 years now and plenty of marine life has made it their home.


Image 2: Nurse sharks live in many of the overhangs that are cut into the reef and this one surprised Caroline. As you can see, fantastic visibility is common around these waters, so when we visit, we like to shoot in wide angle.


Image 3: Huge barrel sponges sit on the tops of the reef, and Caroline has posed near this one to show off its size. If you look inside these sponges you might find a turtle, porcupine fish, arrow crabs and more.


Image 4: The bow of the Charlie Brown. The odd shape of the bow is because this ship used to be a cable layer. I think this shot works very well in black and white and the diver really emphasises the huge size of this impressive wreck that lies in 30m of water.


Image 5: The reef is in fabulous condition, as it has been a marine park since 1996 with all waters protected that are 30m deep or shallower. In this shot, Caroline approaches a trumpetfish, with her fins high in the water so as not to touch any part of the reef.


Image 6: There are a whole host of wrecks that have been sunk as artificial reefs on Statia. This tug boat is one of the oldest and has amazing coral and sponge growth on it and in it. It this shot, Caroline has gone into the wheelhouse carrying strobes that fired remotely, so that Nick could light both the bow of the boat and the inside of the wheelhouse at the same time.


Image 7: A final shot of one of our favourite wreck dives – the Charlie Brown. You can see here the amazing visibility as you descend towards to the wreck in clear blue Caribbean water. We have returned to the island on several occasions, and it has been amazing to see how the marine life continues to make this into a home. I hope we can return soon.

Want to hear more?

Here is Dive Centre Owner Mike talking about Statia:

For more from Nick and Caroline, visit

Nick and Caroline (Frogfish Photography) are a married couple of conservation driven underwater photo-journalists and authors. Both have honours degrees from Manchester University, in Environmental Biology and Biology respectively, with Nick being a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society, a former high school science teacher with a DipEd in Teaching Studies. Caroline has an MSc in Animal Behaviour specializing in Caribbean Ecology. They are multiple award-winning photographers and along with 4 published books, feature regularly in the diving, wildlife and international press They are the Underwater Photography and Deputy Editors at Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures. Winners of the Caribbean Tourism Organization Photo-journalist of the Year for a feature on Shark Diving in The Bahamas, and they have been placed in every year they have entered. Nick and Caroline regularly use their free time to visit schools, both in the UK and on their travels, to discuss the important issues of marine conservation, sharks and plastic pollution. They are ambassadors for Sharks4Kids and founders of SeaStraw. They are Dive Ambassadors for The Islands of The Bahamas and are supported by Mares, Paralenz, Nauticam and Olympus. To find out more visit


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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