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Scuba Diversion launches ‘Off The Chart’ Myanmar Expedition

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Bespoke expedition to Black Rock and the Burma Banks offers the opportunity to participate in conservation research and learn new photography skills

Scuba Diversion has launched an exclusive new 2019 liveaboard expedition to dive Black Rock and the Burma Banks as part of its successful series of ‘Off The Chart’ expeditions. Led by host Ric Parker, guests will have the opportunity to contribute to manta ray research, improve their photography skills and take part in a Blackwater Dive. Joining Ric will be special guests Anna Flam – a leading Manta Ray scientists from the Marine Megafauna Foundation and the global coordinator for MantaMatcher.org – and Alex Tyrrell, a professional underwater photographer and founder of dive4photos in Koh Tao.

The trip, which takes place from 10-18 March 2019 and costs from 65,990 Thai Baht per person (approx. £1,506/2,004 USD) not including donations and fees, will be returning to the best areas of the Mergui Archipelago following an outstanding 2018 expedition which saw lots of action: from giant mantas on the very first dive to a whale shark on the very last.

The 2019 expedition will start at Black Rock in the hope of seeing similarly spectacular manta action as last year. The liveaboard will also visit other manta aggregation sites in the Mergui Archipelago before heading West to the Burma Banks. More dives are planned at the famed Banks than ever before, offering the chance for more exploration and some special activities. Based on new areas discovered in 2018, positive coral recovery and encounters with huge malin, nurse sharks and juvenile silvertip sharks and a successful mapping project at West Canister Island, the expedition might also attempt to map the Banks. As much is yet to be learned about manta migration patterns, the itinerary will be somewhat flexible to allow the expedition leaders and scientists to decide which are the best sites for manta encounters.

Guests will also have the opportunity to try Blackwater Diving – a popular style of extreme night diving which is loved by underwater photographers in particular. The dive is conducted in deep water whilst drifting along with the current. A downline attached to a buoy with a string of powerful lights acts both as a reference for the divers and to attract the marine life. On this dive, the aim is to see larval creatures, open ocean drifters and, possibly, even deep water species that migrate up to shallower water after dark.

There will be several onboard presentations about what was learned about mantas during 2018’s expedition, which was the company’s most fruitful to date in terms of manta ray research with a record-breaking number of encounters at Black Rock.

Anna Flam will be collecting data on the manta rays encountered throughout the trip and guests will be able to participate by helping with her research. Over the past four years with MMF, Anna Flam has been collecting vital information on manta ray population size, structure and connectivity. Her data can be used to further understand populations and guide the development of management and conservation strategies.

Anna said: “2018’s expedition was a huge success.  We saw 40 mantas over three days at Black Rock. 20 females, 17 males, and three of unknown sex. 34 of these mantas were new to the database and six had been seen before. Of those, one of our resighted mantas (TH0258B) was last seen in Koh Bon, Thailand, in 2016 making her a new addition to our confirmed international migrators. We have now recorded 19 mantas making the migration between Thai and Burmese waters. Thanks in large part to photographs from expeditions like this one we have the largest database of giant mantas in the Indian Ocean. There are now 519 identified mantas in the Thailand/Myanmar region!

Alex Tyrrell will be on hand for camera set-up advice, shooting tips, photo-related questions and troubleshooting throughout the trip. He will also hold a series of presentations concentrating on wide angle shooting. The talks cover: wide-angle ambient lighting with colour correction filters, using strobes with wide-angles and the basic editing of wide-angle images with Adobe Lightroom.

Places for this exclusive trip are limited. For more information or to book, please visit: www.scuba-diversion.com/off-chart/myanmar-2019

Competitions

WIN a Beuchat Air Light Bag!!!

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beuchat-logo-1-300x58.jpgFor this week’s competition, we’ve teamed up with our good friends at Beuchat to give away an Air Light Bag!

The Air Light Bag from Beuchat is a practical travel bag that takes up minimum storage space.

  • Material: 600 denier and 1,000 denier nylon/PVC
  • Soft roller bag, easily stored in its mesh bag
  • Internal retaining straps
  • Zip fastener with eyelets for padlocks
  • Side compartment for fins
  • Outer document pocket with coated zip and carry strap
  • Backpack style straps concealed behind the foam back-plate
  • Drainage vents
  • Red over-moulded wheels; detachable wheel block

To be in with a chance of winning this awesome prize, all you have to do is answer the following question:

In a recent post on Scubaverse.com (which you can read here), we reported that Mexico is to host the first annual Cancun International Boat Show and Marine Expo this year. But when is the event due to take place?

Is it:

  • A) 9th – 11th July
  • B) 16th – 18th July
  • C) 23rd – 25th July

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

Beuchat Air Light Bag February 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 Beuchat and their families or employees of Suunto Diving UK and their families. 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 07/04/21. 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.

  • Date Format: MM slash DD slash YYYY
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Miscellaneous Blogs

Jeff chats to… Jill Heinerth – underwater explorer, author and presenter (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Jill Heinerth.

Jill is one of the world’s premier underwater explorers, and the first person to dive inside iceberg caves. According to filmmaker James Cameron, “More people have walked on the moon than have been to some of the places Jill Heinerth has gone right here on earth.”

An acclaimed polar explorer, cave diver, author, speaker, filmmaker, and climate advocate, Jill is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. She is the inaugural recipient of the Sir Christopher Ondaatje Medal for Exploration and Canada’s Polar Medal.

Jill leads expeditions into extreme environments to advance scientific and geographic knowledge. Her projects have been broadcast on the CBC, BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel, and television networks worldwide. Jill was announced as the recipient of the William Beebe Award from the Explorer’s Club and was inducted into the International Scuba Divers Hall of Fame in fall 2020.

Her bestselling book INTO THE PLANET – My Life as a Cave Diver  has drawn acclaim from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and O Magazine. Heinerth details her journey into the extreme world of underwater cave exploration, where she has had to overcome fear in order to go where no one has gone before.

Find out more about Jill and her work at: www.intotheplanet.com


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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Competitions

Explore the amazing triangle of Red Sea Reefs - The Brothers, Daedalus and Elphinstone on board the brand new liveaboard Big Blue.  With an option to add on a week at Roots Red Sea before or after. 

Strong currents and deep blue water are the catalysts that bring the pelagic species flocking to these reefs. The reefs themselves provide exquisite homes for a multitude of marine life.  The wafting soft corals are adorned with thousands of colourful fish. The gorgonian fans and hard corals provide magnificent back drops, all being patrolled by the reef’s predatory species.

£1475 per person based on double occupancy.  Soft all inclusive 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 £725pp.  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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