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Sunset House Teams up with Swatch for a Late Summer/Early Fall Dive Special



Sunset House Swatch 1 (2)Sunset House, Grand Cayman’s Hotel for divers, by divers and one of the best dive resorts in the Caribbean, is teaming up with Swatch, the company that introduced affordable Swiss watches 30 years ago, to offer the “Swatch What’s Happening at Sunset House Special!” a promotional dive package that includes a free dive watch, a free day of diving and a free tropical drink. For the late summer/early fall promotion Sunset House is partnering with the teams at Dan Orr Consulting and Kirk Freeport, the official Swatch distributor in the Cayman Islands. The special runs from July 26th through October 31, 2014, and people who book a 5-night package can choose their Scuba Libre dive watch at check-in. With names like Deep Turtle, Clownfish and a promotional tag line Mad about the Sea, the Swatch promotion is a great fit for Sunset House.

“It’s perfect for our clientele – it fits our line of customers,” says Sunset House General Manager Keith Sahm. “There are a lot of people who say ‘I’ve loved Swatch since I was a kid.”

“The Scuba Libre model has been extremely popular since its launch last year,” says Scott Harrington of Kirk Freeport, which carries the largest selection of duty free watch brands in the Caribbean.  “Two of things Grand Cayman is famous for are diving and buying watches, so it is great when we can tie the two together to broaden both our audiences.  We are very excited about the promotion!”

Dive watches can be pricey, but the Scuba Libre, like all Swatch watches, is cased in different coloured plastic and powered by battery − keeping them affordable. Trendy and lightweight, the dive watches feature a traditional rotating bezel, a comfortable silicone strap and are approved to a depth of 200 meters. Guests will receive their Scuba Libre when they check in. They have the option of changing the Swatch at the Kirk Freeport store on the waterfront about a mile away from Sunset House.

Libre means free, so besides the watch, customers will also get one day of free diving on Sunset House’s morning two tank dive trips and a Free Scuba Libre drink at the dive resort’s famous My Bar, ranked one of the Caribbean’s favourite beach bars.

Keith Sahm is excited about promotion that brings together players in two different markets to benefit the Cayman Islands. “You’ve got two industry leaders working together; Swatch with its dive watches and Sunset House with its 50+ years in the resort dive business. What I like is the promotion’s cross metric – we want people to see how cool it is because of the tie over.”

“We hope the promotion will bring an increased and wider audience to Sunset house and to experience everything the Cayman Islands has to offer for tourists,” agrees Scott Harrington. “Grand Cayman has so much to offer dive enthusiasts and those tourists just looking to relax – incredible dives sites, breathtaking beaches, amazing restaurants, fantastic duty free shopping and much more.”

The Swatch What’s Happening at Sunset House Special! starts at US $982.00 based on double occupancy in a courtyard room. The package price reflects a 20% discount on the room rate, 20% discount on diving and it includes accommodations, morning two tank boat dives, breakfast, airport transfers and all hotel tax and service charges.  Package prices are also available for non-divers, ocean view rooms, suites and apartments. Group rates are also available. The special is valid from July 26 – October 31, 2014 and travel must be booked by September 1, 2014.

To book by email:; to book by phone: (001) 800-854-4767 or visit

Marine Life & Conservation

Komodo National Park found to be Manta Hotspot



Through a collaborative effort between citizen divers, scientists from the Marine Megafauna Foundation (MMF), and Murdoch University, a new study reports a large number of manta rays in the waters of Komodo National Park, Indonesian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, suggesting the area may hold the key to regional recovery of the threatened species.

Reef mantas (Mobula alfredi), which grow up to 5m, tend to reside and feed in shallow, coastal habitats. They also visit ‘cleaning stations’ on coral reefs to have parasites, or dead skin picked off by small fish. Courtship ‘trains’ are also observed adjacent to cleaning stations. In Komodo National Park, manta rays are present year-round, challenging the famous Komodo dragon as the most sought-after megafauna for visitors.

Scientists teamed up with the dive operator community to source identification photographs of manta rays visiting the parks’ waters and submit them to – a crowdsourced online database for mantas and other rays. Most of the photographs came from just four locations from over 20 commonly visited by tourism boats.

I was amazed by how receptive the local dive community was in helping collect much-needed data on these threatened animals,” said lead author Dr. Elitza Germanov. “With their support, we were able to identify over 1,000 individual manta rays from over 4,000 photographs.

People love manta rays—they are one of the most iconic animals in our oceans. The rise of the number of people engaging in SCUBA diving, snorkeling, and the advent of affordable underwater cameras meant that photos and videos taken by the public during their holidays could be used to quickly and affordably scale data collection,” said MMF co-founder and study co-author Dr. Andrea Marshall.

The photographs’ accompanying time and location data is used to construct sighting histories of individual manta rays, which can then be analyzed with statistical movement models. These models predict the likelihood that manta rays are inhabiting or traveling in between specific sites. The study’s results showed that some manta rays moved around the park and others as far as the Nusa Penida MPA (>450 km to the west), but overall, manta rays showed individual preferences for specific sites within the Park.

I found it very interesting how some manta rays appear to prefer spending their time in some sites more than others, even when sites are 5 km apart, which are short distances for manta rays,” said Dr. Elitza Germanov. “This means that manta rays which prefer sites where fishing activities continue to occur or that are more popular with tourism will endure greater impacts.”

Fishing activities have been prohibited in many coastal areas within Komodo NP since 1984, offering some protection to manta rays prior to the 2014 nationwide protection. However, due to illegal fishing activity and manta ray movements into heavily fished waters, manta rays continue to face a number of threats from fisheries. About 5% of Komodo’s manta rays have permanent injuries that are likely the result of encounters with fishing gear.

The popularity of tourism to these sites grew by 34% during the course of the study. An increase in human activity can negatively impact manta rays and their habitats. In 2019, the Komodo National Park Authority introduced limits on the number of boats and people that visit one of the most famous manta sites.

This study shows that the places where tourists commonly observe manta rays are important for the animals to feed, clean, and mate. This means that the Komodo National Park should create measures to limit the disturbance at these sites,” said Mr. Ande Kefi, an employee of the Komodo National Park involved with this study. “I hope that this study will encourage tourism operators to understand the need for the regulations already imposed and increase compliance.”

Despite Indonesia’s history with intensive manta ray fisheries, Komodo National Park still retains large manta ray aggregations that with careful ongoing management and threat reduction will benefit regional manta ray populations. The study highlights that marine protected areas that are large enough to host important manta ray habitats are a beneficial tool for manta ray conservation.

For more information about MMF visit their website here.

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Euro-Divers opens to guests at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives



In celebration of Euro-Divers’ 50 Years of Diving with Friends in the Maldives, the team have opened a new PADI 5 Star Dive Center at Alila Kothaifaru Maldives.

Alila Kothaifaru Maldives retreat lies at the northern edge of the Maldives in the tranquil Raa Atoll, reached via a panoramic 45-minute seaplane voyage from Male. The island has 80 all-pool-villas, 36 of which are over water with a private pool for your enjoyment and 44 beachfront villas designed seamlessly to immerse guests in the natural surroundings. In support of sustainable tourism, Alila hotels adopt Earth Check operating standards, integrating their environments’ natural, physical, and cultural elements.

Raa Atoll is well-known for the excellent scuba diving it offers. The underwater landscape of Raa Atoll is characterized by a high number of thilas scattered inside the lagoons. These underwater coral mountains are magnets for marine life including huge schools of tropical reef fish, a generous splash of colour, iconic bucket-list-must-see marine creatures including sharks, mantas (appearing during the entire year), turtles, and uncrowded dive sites—a perfect diver’s heaven for beginners and experienced divers. We offer a full range of PADI courses for different levels. From November till March, the Manta cleaning station is located 15 minutes away by boat.

The team from Alila Kothaifaru Maldives look forward to welcoming you soon.

Find out more at:

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A luxurious dive resort in the heart of Lembeh Strait. Enjoy refined services while exploring the rich waters of Indonesia.

The resort is nestled around an ocean front deck and swimming-pool (with pool-bar) which is the perfect place to enjoy a sundowner cocktail at the end of a busy day of critter-diving.

All accommodation is full board and includes three sumptuous meals a day. Breakfast and lunch are buffet meals and in the evening dining is a la carte.

Book and stay before the end of June and benefit from no single supplements in all room types!

Booking deadline: Subject to availability – book and stay before end of June 2022

Call Diverse Travel on 01473 852002 or email

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