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Take in the Atmosphere

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Reflecting on our visit to Atmosphere Resorts & Spa in the Philippines, looking through our images, reminds us that whilst this is, for sure, a world class site for diving and underwater photography, it is much more than that. As you arrive, the beauty of the place is apparent immediately, with well spaced bungalows lining the lush gardens leading down to the bar, restaurant, pool, dive centre and shoreline.

You are made to feel welcome and part of the family as soon as you start the check in process and we decided to take advantage of a welcome treatment at the spa right away to refresh our travel weary bodies. The spa is incredible. I have never seen such a beautiful and tranquil place, with ponds and running water reflecting the flowers, trees and massage areas. A treatment here is the best way to start and end a diving trip.

The dive centre is very well organised and there is a large and well-equipped camera room alongside the spacious briefing area that boasts large maps of the area as well as a recent sightings board. The staff cannot do enough for you, always carrying heavy equipment to the boat for you, helping rise and dry equipment, and the guides are always available to discuss the next weird critter you would like to find and photograph.

The bar overlooks the infinity pool that looks right out to the sea, past the black volcanic beach. The staff host a cocktail evening once a week, where everyone gets together for a couple of drinks and nibbles as the sun goes down. The restaurant serves incredible food, with excellent vegetarian and vegan options, from a varied and interesting menu. You dine overlooking the sea, and we were lucky enough to also get the meet the knowledgeable in-house sommelier and do a wine tasting experience in the climate-controlled wine cellar that looks onto the restaurant. Here we got to taste some of his favourite wines on the extensive wine list and talk about what bottle we would select for our final night. This is an activity well worth adding to your itinerary.

The diving here offers incredible reefs (like those at Apo Island), and world class muck diving. As discussed in a previous blog, Atmosphere even have their own frogfish expert on site. We saw a host of amazing critters in our short stay here and would go back in a heartbeat to dive here again.

Our final day, which was of course non-diving, saw us head out of the resort to take a little local flavour. The team ordered us a local form of transport that is basically a motorbike, with a large sidecar attached and this took us to the local village of Dauin to visit Finbar, a restaurant and craft ale bar that is popular with staff and guests alike. The journey alone is worth the experience!

Alas that is it from our stay at Atmosphere Resort & Spa. It also marks the end of our trip to The Philippines. It is an amazing country and dive destination, with a diverse range of diving opportunities that would keep any diver entertained. Be sure to experience it for yourself…


Equipment Used:

  • Olympus OM-D EM-1 MKII
  • Nauticam Housing
  • Olympus TG5

For more information about Atmosphere Resorts & Spa visit their website by clicking here.

For more information about visiting the Philippines click here

Nick and Caroline Robertson-Brown are a husband and wife team of underwater photographers. Both have degrees in environmental biology from Manchester University, with Caroline also having a masters in animal behaviour. Nick is a fellow of the Royal Photographic Society in underwater wildlife photography and he also has a masters in teaching. They are passionate about marine conservation and hope that their images can inspire people to look after the world's seas and oceans. Their Manchester-based company, Frogfish Photography, offers a wide range of services and advice. They offer tuition with their own tailor made course - the Complete Underwater Photography Award. The modules of the course have been written to complement the corresponding chapters in Nick's own book: Underwater Photography Art and Techniques. They also offer equipment sales and underwater photography trips in the UK and abroad. For more information visit www.frogfishphotography.com.

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Welcome back to Roots Red Sea!

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As the UK is all about talk of lockdowns and tier levels, there is brighter news coming over the horizon, as the British award winning divers resort Roots Red Sea has re-opened for a short autumn season.

Having been through the rigorous procedures to obtain Covid Secure Certification from the Ministry of Tourism, Roots is one of a handful of hotels in the Southern Red Sea to be able to offer a safe haven for divers who have been starved of Red Sea diving for the best part of a year.

First arrivals on the day of opening were a small expedition from UK charity Deptherapy – you can follow their blog here on Scubaverse.com – and several more small groups that have booked to follow in their footsteps. To comply with the Covid regulations, Roots is limited to offering only 10 chalet rooms -reduced from the normally available 33 rooms – so opportunities to get out and savour the amazing ambiance and calm will be at a premium.

Regardless of UK Government travel advice, Easyjet are offering well supported direct flights from Gatwick and Manchester twice a week. You will need, as required by the Egyptian Government, a PCR test within 72 hours of flying but this is for your own peace of mind as much as anything. Travel and Dive insurance with COVID cover is available from Dive Assist and other companies. What you need to be aware of is on your return you currently still need to spend two weeks in home quarantine. Still you could be locked-down and working from home anyway!

This maybe your last chance to enjoy some warm water diving in 2020. Contact info@rootsredsea.com or visit www.rootsredsea.com to find out more!

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Gear News

Breaking News: Garmin Descent Mk2 & Mk2i Launch & Review (Watch Video)

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After over 12 months of rumours and speculation, the team at Garmin have finally launched the Garmin Descent Mk2 and Mk2i.

Garmin has gone all out with these, and with the Mk2i having the latest technology in air integration it looks to absolutely be the one to beat!
Why I hear you ask?? Well, they’ve incorporated their Sonar technology into the equation and called it ‘SUBWAVE’ – this will deliver an incredible transmission range of 5-8m..!
How does it work? Well, you’ll need to watch the video to find out!
The dive features are based on the Descent Mk1, while the fitness and life management aspects are based on the incredible Garmin Fenix 6.

With a larger viewable screen, bigger internal memory, and all the latest features including Garmin Pay this promises to be an absolute game changer!

Find out more at www.garmin.com


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

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