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There is Something Sensual About Saying the Words “I am going to Scuba Dive in Ibiza”

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There is something sensual about saying the words “I am Scuba Diving in Ibiza,” so I was hoping the reality was going to match up!

Arriving off our Norwegian Airlines flight on the white isle late in the evening meant an early morning rising in order to arrive at Scuba Ibiza’s dive shop by 9.30 am. I stood bleary eyed on my hotel balcony listening to the relaxing bird song which was emanating from the surrounding pine forest.

The drive from our hotel to Marina Botafoch (where the dive school is situated) took approximately 35 minutes. The roads were signposted clearly and the dive school at the marina was pretty easy to find without being given directions.

I had been in contact in the weeks leading up to the trip via email with Yaqui, the co-owner of Scuba Ibiza, and he had informed me that the boat left the harbour around 9.30 am and arrived back to shore about 13.30. As he asked me “not to be one of these people who do not turn up.” I wondered if this happened a lot in Ibiza.

The whitewashed building looked full of hustle as I peeked my head into the changing room and was directed to the shop entrance by the other co-owner Paulo.

Scuba Ibiza

Yaqui greeted us with a smile, handing us a form to fill in for the company Padi records. I paid 6 euros for dive insurance – which is a necessity whenever you scuba dive in Spain. Usually I sort dive insurance out in the UK, but this time, I thought I would try out how it all worked in Spain. It couldn’t have been easier. Arranged in just a click of a button. Within a moment, my dive insurance for the day had been sorted out.

Yaqui then took me out the back to size me up for wetsuit and fins. I noticed all were in excellent condition. I was to wear a 5 mm wetsuit with a shorty on top. Scuba Diving Ibiza had advised completing a drysuit course, as wearing a drysuit was the best option for scuba diving in Mediterranean waters at this time of year (15° is the average water temperature in the month of April, rising to a balmy 30° in the summer months), but alas I didn’t have the time, so settled for the next best thing.

Up one side of the wall, plastic boxes were laid out in rows and numbered – the shop being a safe place to leave our clothes and valuables whilst out on the dive. Scuba Diving Ibiza were making things easy.

At each step Yaqui explained what would be happening. After sorting out the correct gear, our next step was to head to the boat and connect our tank to our regulators. I always find I’m a bit rusty with this step, no matter how many times a year I dive. Yaqui advised spending a week with a dive school, so the first day nerves and jitters could be got over and out of the way, leaving the rest of the week to enjoy the diving. His advice made sense and I definitely would like to find somewhere where I can make the most of good weather, warm relaxing calm conditions (small group numbers) and great customer service to really get the best out scuba diving without feeling continuously challenged. I’d like to relax into it…

Yaqui supervised my connecting of my regulator to my tank, sharing with me the way in which Scuba Ibiza checked out the gear, leaving the tank turned off for our return back to the shop to kit up.

Once we were all ready we made our way back to the rib, where we effortlessly glided out of the harbour to our first dive site. On the way Yacqui explained the kind of dive we would be experiencing at Llado Sur just 4km from Ibiza harbour.

“Currents are normally found here, around four times a year,” was the last thing I can remember him telling me before finally kitting up, feeling claustrophobic and back rolling into the sea. This dive was one of those four times.

Paulo had thrown out a buoy line to assist with the drag of the current and to pull us to the anchor line, if needed. I needed it.

Llado South Ibiza

I realised one of the differences between scuba diving in Europe, as opposed to diving in countries such as Asia, Australia and New Zealand. When descending the group has gone down together. In the places I have dived in Europe, each diver descends individually. I found this more unnerving initially – especially knowing that I have trouble with my descent because of nerves, but here I just kept hold of the anchor line and crossed my legs behind me to stop their unconscious kicking. Then calming my breathing to a slow and steady rate, I made my way down to the others at 16mtrs – eventually hovering above a green meadow of sea grass.

The cold hit me as soon as I entered the water – an immediate headache (brain freeze) pounded me in the cold. I had chosen not to wear my hood, as I don’t like feeling enclosed, which I instantly regretted. I concentrated on my buoyancy as we began to make our way round the craggy shelf observing  a small school of barracuda. I thought I would be more nervous as this was the first time I had dived without Vinnie for a long time, but dealing with the current as Yaqui assisted the other divers, acknowledging the brain freeze as it continued and enjoying the brown octopus as it suckered itself to Yaqui’s gloved hand – held me mesmerised for the 40 minute dive.  One of the things I managed to sort out during this dive was how I let the air out of my BCD – Yacqui corrected my technique. He recognised that I wasn’t upright each time I attempted to do so, and showed me what to do with hand signals. I finally managed to get it right and it made things so much easier. One more thing I learned. Our ascent had us committing to the 5 metres, 3 minute safety stop, and as soon as my cold head broke the surface tension, Paulo was directing me to the back of the boat. He then helped me up, removed my BCD, tank and fins and I was able to flop down exhausted.

Scuba Ibiza

I was immediately hit by seasickness.

Vince had already been throwing up, after a failed attempt to snorkel in the strong current, and our pale faces were a reflection of how the other was feeling. The point on my body between my wrists and elbow seemed to be the coldest and my mind felt a tad overwhelmed and confused as I lent my head over the side of the boat and promptly brought up my breakfast, cooked for me by Michaela that very same morning. I don’t normally suffer with seasickness but today was going to be my first experience of it.

Both Yaqui and Paulo were attentive while Nuria (the other instructor) was busy helping her divers out of their gear.

“You must drink water.” Paulo said to me. “It will make you sick again but your stomach won’t spasm. Like it will with nothing in it.”

I could only manage the tiniest of sips before once again draping myself over the side and enjoying the feeling of the rise and fall of the choppy waves. There was something restful about it. I wondered if it was to do with the cold on my head, which was making me feel bad rather than the actual seasickness.

Yaqui offered me a square of chocolate to eat. I took a bit and threw it back up over the side.

Both Yaqui and Paulo encouraged me to get back in the water for the second dive. ” Your seasickness will disappear.” Paulo said. ” It is better to be in the water than on the boat.”

My head span – I didn’t think it was better for me to be in the water. Instead I stood on the back of the boat with the wind in my face. I felt exhausted.

Surprisingly the time flew by.

Scuba Ibiza

Paulo shared with us that his home country was Brazil, and he had come over to Ibiza many years ago to visit his sister and had decided to stay. Scuba Ibiza had invested a lot of money in buying drysuits recently so their customers could scuba dive in Ibiza waters all year round. Such was their passion for the local waters and they wanted to share this with others. “It’s a change of mindset, not a change of water conditions that’s needed,” We were told.

“I like September best,” Paulo continued. “The fish aren’t so sleepy. It’s a good time of year to dive in Ibiza.”

Between them, Yaqui and Paulo had many years worth of diving experience. Their customer service skills, knowledge and customer care were excellent – the best I have experienced. I felt that I was treated the way all dive shops should treat their customers on a fun dive. Scuba Ibiza placed their customers having a good time as a priority, saying to me “Well, you are on holiday after all!”  It wasn’t their fault I felt ropey and as a result how my dive unfolded.

As soon as my foot hit solid ground, once we were moored again in the harbour, I began to feel better. The tanks and BCD’s were all left on the boat – the staff sorted that out and all I had to do was make my way back to the shop.

The showers were communal but because of the way the whole dive had been handled, I actually didn’t feel uncomfortable stripping off in the communal changing area. There was a large pile of fluffy towels for the patrons to use and in the shower area, in each of the cubicles, the water was hot and each had shampoo and shower gel available to use. I thought this was a nice touch.

I walked away from Scuba Ibiza impressed with the company, particularly Yaqui and Paulo’s thoughtful attitude towards customer care. Their member of staff Nuria was always smiling, pleasant and helpful when approached.

Scuba diving Ibiza

Although the actual dive may not have been all I wanted it to be, Scuba Diving Ibiza showed me what could be achieved with a lot of thought and care put into the dive service they supplied and a genuine interest in their customers’ needs.

If you’re taking a trip to Ibiza, check them out.

What sort of Customer Service have you experienced?

As always,  I’d love to know your thoughts…

For more tales of diving from the Stringer family, visit www.travelwiththestrings.wordpress.com.

Janice Stringer is a Writer blogging on travelwiththestrings.wordpress.com exploring long haul and short haul travel, with generous shots of family experiences of scuba diving and street food and her humanistic musings on life as they appear along the way.

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Scuba Diving in Mexico: Diving Tajma Ha (Watch Video)

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In this exclusive video for Scubaverse and Dive Travel Adventures, join Richard and Hayley from Black Manta Photography as they explore Cenote Tajma Ha. This Cenote is entered by a seemingly tiny pool hidden under the overhang of a rock. One of the most popular on the Yucatan Peninsula due to its easy nature, mesmerising halocline, and stunning pockets of natural light that flood through the maze of caves!

Cenote Tajma Ha was the second of four Cenotes that Black Manta Photography had the chance to dive, before spending the rest of the time diving with the Bull Sharks at Playacar. Check back soon for the rest of the videos!

You will be able to read about Richard and Hayley’s trip to Mexico when they share their stunning photos in a forthcoming issue of Dive Travel Adventures Magazine soon!


Visit Pro Dive International to find out more!

For more from Richard and Hayley visit www.blackmantaphotography.com.

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Photo Gallery: Shark Diving in The Bahamas

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In our 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 Editor Nick and Deputy Editor Caroline of Frogfish Photography. This time they look at Shark Diving in The Bahamas.


The Bahamas offers some of the very finest shark diving experiences in the world. The islands have protected sharks in their waters creating one of the first Shark Sanctuaries in the world. Several species of shark can be seen and photographed, with each island offering a different type of shark diving, making this destination the perfect place for a multi-island, multi-shark trip of a lifetime.

Great Hammerhead Shark diving in Bimini

Bull Sharks in Bimini

Tiger Shark off Grand Bahama

Oceanic Whitetip Shark off Cat Island

Nurse Shark off Abaco

Caribbean Reef Sharks off New Providence

Lemon Sharks off Grand Bahama

For more images from The Bahamas and around the world, visit the Frogfish Photography website by clicking here.

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