We’re counting down the days to this weekend’s GO Diving Show at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry, UK. It promises to be an exciting weekend packed with top speaker presentations, the latest in underwater gear and imaging, as well as plenty of travel inspiration for your dive adventures in 2020. Here’s just a selection of some of the many great exhibitors at the show; plus a taster of their special offers exclusively for visitors to GO Diving. Join them in celebrating all things diving this weekend!
Bunaken Oasis redeﬁnes diving in Bunaken. Positioned very much at the luxury end of the spectrum, our aim is to provide a 5-star experience whilst keeping our ecological footprint to a minimum.
Pay for 6 nights and get the 7th night free, or pay for 12 nights and receive the 13th and 14th nights free. Bookings must be made by the 31st of March 2020.
Dominica, also known as ‘The Nature Island’, is a paradise for scuba diving lovers. Unspoiled and unforgettable, the seascape surrounding the island is as breathtaking as its towering mountains bathed in tropical mists. The water is clear, the marine life varied and the weather warm enough to spend an entire day in the sea.
The waters here are so good in fact that Dominica is the only country in the world where a pod of mighty sperm whale resides year-round! On dedicated whale-watching trips, sightings of these majestic creatures are common, along with dolphin pods, humpback and killer whales.
There are dive sites all along Dominica’s west coast, many of which reflect the steep and dramatic topography topside, with steep drop-offs, walls, and volcanic pinnacles. With the incredible abundance of wildlife, Dominica will truly be one of your most enjoyable dives in the Caribbean.
Discover Dominica have teamed up with Dive Worldwide to offer one lucky traveller £500 off their next diving trip to the island! Simply answer the question correctly here to win: https://bit.ly/3bsOB5Q
Magic Resorts Philippines offers the best getaway for your diving holiday. With 2 resorts on 2 different islands, it gives you the perfect opportunity to explore the best of the Philippines.
Experience Western quality combined with the world-famous Filipino hospitality, discover the most exciting critters, dive with over a million sardines and even Whale Sharks!
Both resorts offer more than 25 dive sites within a short 40-minute boat ride, as well as an incredible house reef. With only 10-16 detached native-style cottages, you will arrive here as guests and leave as family!
Step by our stand (#AP16) and take advantage of special discounts!
Treat yourself to the ultimate Magic experience by combining the 2 resorts and explore the best of the 2 different islands (12-night stay, incl. daily breakfast & 3-course dinner, local transfers and a 15 dive package for only £1535 pp).
Or get the best out of one destination (7-night stay, incl. daily breakfast & 3-course dinner, local transfers and a 10-dive package, starting at £855 pp).
Of course a customised package can be made based on your wishes!
Mike Ball Dive Expeditions operates exciting 3, 4 and 7-night liveaboard scuba diving expeditions departing from Cairns to some of the best dive sites on the Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. Enjoy spectacular biodiversity on the northern Great Barrier Reef including the world-famous Cod Hole, or venture out into the remote Coral Sea for exciting big fish action, shark encounters and excellent visibility.
Spoilsport is Australia’s most awarded dive liveaboard, custom-built for diving and with a twin-hull design that maximises space, stability, and comfort. Plus our procedures allow greater freedom for divers with an ‘open dive deck’ policy resulting in no restrictions on bottom time.
Great diving, just as you like it.
Come and meet with Craig Stephen, our Managing Director at the Go Diving Show! Craig has been working in the business for 25 years so he is a wealth of information on all our expeditions and the Great Barrier Reef in general. He loves a good chat so come with all your questions!
1. 10% discount on Expedition Bookings. Expires 7 days post-show.
2. A chance to win $500 Mike Ball Dollars towards an Expedition when you sign up to our newsletter.
Founded in 1960, NAUI Worldwide is one of the scuba industry’s largest not-for-profit agencies whose purpose is to enable people to enjoy underwater activities as safely as possible by providing the highest quality practical education, and to actively promote the preservation and protection of the world’s underwater environments. As a pioneer in diving education, NAUI has developed many of the programs and concepts accepted throughout the diving industry. NAUI: A Higher Standard!
As part of NAUI’s 60th Anniversary this year, NAUI are offering a FREE Instructor crossover course together with 5 free certifications to all Instructors at the GO Diving Show in Coventry on 21-23 February 2020!
Here at the Scuba Dive Store we only supply Aqua Lung & Apeks diving equipment. We believe in selling only the best equipment to our customers. We are able to supply everything for the beginner right through to the professional.
Because we only supply Aqualung & Apeks the Scuba Dive Store are able to supply the complete range of equipment: BCDs, Masks, Snorkels, Regulators, Wetsuits and Dive computers all at competitive prices. This is backed up by our excellent customer service and fast delivery.
We have new and exciting products from Apeks & Aqualung on show and for sale including the New Apeks, MTX-RC Regulator, the feature rich Apeks SMB, the i470TC watch style Computer from Aqualung, the long awaited Aqualung Legend Series Regulators and many more.
We also have a dedicated Dive Show Sale page on our website featuring all the latest show prices:
Scuba Travel, established in 1995, has been arranging award winning holidays for 25 years.
Our experienced team are committed to crafting memorable diving holidays around the globe. We create bespoke itineraries that are as individual as you are. Join the thousands of travellers that trust Scuba Travel to make their dreams come true. World class diving is just a phone call away.
Fully ATOL and ABTOT bonded for you financial protection.
Plan your 2020 dive adventure at the Go Diving show Feb 22nd & 23rd. Swing by stand 66 and talk to the experts at Scuba Travel. We’ve got the dive deal you are looking for!
Jump aboard Whirlwind or Hurricane and dive the best of the Red Sea – from as little as £1225 including flights from Gatwick! Dive with manta in the Maldives, with liveaboards starting from as little as £1025pp.
Indonesia and the Philippines are easier than ever to get to, and our boutique dive resorts deliver fabulous diving at affordable prices, from only £745pp! Make 2020 your bucket list year. Save hundreds on liveaboards to Komodo, Socorro, Galapagos, and Cocos. Set sail on hot new itineraries in Oman and Romblon. Get away from it all as you dive in Hawaii, Palau, Turks and Caicos and St Kitts.
Dive into Festive Fun With PADI
Marina Scuba School’s Santa Splash Discover Scuba Experience
Join the festive fun at Marina Scuba School’s Santa Splash on the 16th of December in Crosby. While the real Santa may be busy, Marina Scuba School’s staff members will be dressed up in festive attire for a 2-hour DSD with a Christmas twist.
Open to adults, families, and children over the age of 8, this festive dive is jam-packed with Christmas treats.
The festive fun begins at Marina Scuba School, where you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and some delicious Santa snacks. During the 2-hour Discover Scuba Diving session, you’ll have the chance to learn essential skills required for scuba diving, all while searching for some Christmas goodies hidden beneath the surface.
This holly jolly dive experience takes place on the 16th of December in Crosby and only costs £40 per participant.
To book this exciting dive contact the dive centre by email: email@example.com
Vobster Quay in Bristol is thrilled to announce the return of the Vobster Santas, a spectacular yuletide diving event that promises to make waves for a cause. This festive fun is open to all levels of divers and invites participants to don their Santa gear and dive into the holiday season in style.
Scheduled for the 10th of December, the gates to Vobster Quay will open at 7:30 am, with a comprehensive dive brief at 09:30 am, leading up to a mass dive at 10:00 am. The goal? To surpass the previous record of 185 Santa divers in the water simultaneously, promising a visually spectacular and undoubtedly jolly spectacle.
Vobster Santas isn’t just about the joy of diving; it’s a mission with heart. The event serves as a vital fundraising opportunity for two esteemed charities, the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) and Help for Heroes. Both hold special significance for Vobster Quay, and participants are encouraged to secure sponsorships through JustGiving to support these worthy causes.
Since its inception, Vobster Santas has successfully raised over £40,000 for these charities. This year, the bar is set higher, and Vobster Quay is committed to leading the charge. To kick off the fundraising efforts, Vobster Quay has generously donated £1000 to each charity, igniting the holiday spirit of giving.
For more information, sponsorship opportunities, and to download the event poster, visit: Vobster Quay – VOBSTER SANTAS 2023
Photos: Jason Brown
Diving into the World’s Fastest Tidal Rapids
In the mystical waters just north of Vancouver, Canada lies a narrow channel called the Skookumchuck Narrows, or simply “The Skook.” It’s a hidden gem in the Salish Sea that boasts a unique spectacle – a tumultuous dance of tides and currents that draws adventurers and spectators from far and wide.
Imagine this: a channel so narrow and shallow that a single tide can unleash an astonishing 200 billion gallons of water, creating a tumultuous display of standing waves, whirlpools, and currents surging at 16 knots (18 mph or 30 kph). Such speeds may seem mild when driving a car, but the erratic water is a different ballgame. Skookumchuck Narrows is a contender for the title of the world’s fastest tidal rapids, rivaled only by Nakwakto Rapids further up the British Columbia coast.
But there’s a twist – this aquatic battleground isn’t just for adrenaline seekers; The Skook is an oasis for life beneath the waves. April 2023 marked a rare convergence of perfect conditions: a celestial alignment allowing divers to witness The Skook in all its glory. And who better to guide this daring expedition than Porpoise Bay Charters, a family-run venture led by the seasoned Kal Helyar and Ann Beardsell?
Raging currents = an abundance of life
The allure lies not in the danger but in the vibrant marine ecosystem fueled by the relentless currents. Ocean currents act as nature’s turbochargers, transporting nutrients that transform places like Skookumchuck Narrows into underwater havens with colorful life thriving amidst the rocky terrain.
It’s important to debunk the myth that this is a reckless plunge into chaos. Diving The Skook is not about courting danger but choosing the right moment: at slack when the tide turns, the water experiences minimal movement, and the currents are a mere 4-5 knots. Picture this – a scuba diver slipping gracefully between tidal changes, maneuvering with precision as the water changes its course and gradually picks up speed. Timing is everything, and finding the rare dates when daylight piercing through the emerald-green water coincides with navigable water conditions is critical. April 2023 granted us a mere handful of these golden days of nature’s alignment for the first time in four years.
Entering the abyss
As our vessel, under the watchful eye of Captain Kal, approached the infamous Skookumchuck rapids, a tangible excitement filled the air. These cold-water adrenaline-filled dives are the scuba diving equivalent to scaling Everest. The unpredictability of The Skook, where currents can whisk you in any direction, demanded respectful caution from our experienced salty crew.
With a reassuring smile, Captain Kal dismissed the notion of a toilet bowl experience, where divers are pulled in a circular direction by the currents as if flushed down a toilet. He emphasized that they only dived during an easy drift in the current, which was hard to fathom possible in such treacherous waters. Approaching the narrowest section of the channel, where the current was fastest, Kal’s experienced eyes scanned for the telltale signs of slack tide. Tidal ripples slowed, and we entered the water in the few precious minutes within the next year when it was possible to witness Skookumchuck in all its sunny glory.
As we descended into the underwater world, a mysterious algal bloom cast a dark green haze, unveiling a breathtaking palette of colors below. Bright red and pink anemones, neon orange encrusting sponges, and deep purple ochre sea stars adorned the rocky canvas, showcasing nature’s artistic prowess.
Surrendering to the sea
Descending further, we felt the force of the tide, like a river yet to subside. Gripping onto rock holds and kicking into the current, we felt like underwater rock climbers. Adjusting our underwater camera settings and getting comfortable with the flow of the water, we marveled at the transformation of the underwater landscape. Slabs of rock, once pounded by the current, now hosted a vibrant community of marine life.
After a mesmerizing twenty minutes of relatively gentle water, the current intensified, signaling the roller coaster drop ahead. We surrendered to neutrality, letting the current guide us along the wall. Boulders and back eddies added a touch of unpredictability; with trust in our abilities and Captain Kal’s promise of a safe pickup, the thrill was exhilarating rather than menacing.
As the current ebbed, we found ourselves in a tranquil cove adorned with green sea urchins, marking the end of our underwater odyssey. The Skook had shown us its splendor: a delicate balance of chaos and life beneath the surface – leaving us with memories as vivid as the colors we witnessed.
About the Author
Nirupam Nigam is a dedicated underwater photographer and fisheries scientist. While growing up in Los Angeles, he fell in love with the ocean and pursued underwater photography in the local Channel Islands. He received degrees in Aquatic and Fisheries Science and General Biology, as well as a minor in Arctic Studies, at the University of Washington. After working as a fisheries observer on boats in the Bering Sea and North Pacific, Nirupam became the Editor-in-Chief of the Underwater Photography Guide and the President of Bluewater Photo – the world’s top underwater photo & video retailer. Check out more of his photography at www.photosfromthesea.com!
US-based divers: explore more close-by dive destinations with Bluewater Dive Travel here.
All photos: Nirupam Nigam
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