UK-based Oyster Diving has gained an excellent reputation for its diving courses and club trips. Launched in 2006 Oyster Diving has now established itself as one of the UK’s premier PADI scuba diving schools, winning SportDiver’s ‘Dive Centre of the Year’ on two occasions and ‘Dive Instructor of the Year’ in 2010. They recently launched their exciting new website http://www.OysterDivingHolidays.com to attract even more UK holidaymakers to the thrills of diving and snorkelling. The specialist Travel Centre is aimed at the more discerning customer who wishes to travel to exotic locations and explore life underwater.
Their specialist travel consultants have clocked up many collective years ‘finning’ around the globe, researching the most spectacular marine life and finest accommodation to create the ultimate diving and snorkelling holidays. Many of these destinations particularly suit non-divers or those who are taking the plunge to learn, as well as providing new challenges to the more experienced diver.
Perhaps you are a newly qualified diver, who has been bitten by the diving bug, and you are looking to experience for yourself some of the great diving adventures that you have heard talked about. You might be looking for a long weekend break. Or perhaps you are an experienced diver and need inspiration for your next “hit”. You might even be a non-diving partner, wanting to have the say in the choice of a holiday that has to offer diving, together with a great location for you and the family. By a stroke of genius on Mother Nature’s part, many of the best diving destinations offering the most spectacular marine life are also the locations with the nicest hotels and beaches. Oyster has carefully selected each destination to cater for all tastes and abilities, from those who wish to try diving abroad to those who just want to watch from the boat and spend time in beautiful destinations.
Mark Murphy, owner of Oyster Diving says: “I have long-believed that the opportunity to allow people to experience the thrills of diving needs to be much greater. Not only do we want to attract qualified divers who are already aware of the joys of life underwater, but we are hoping to try and generate awareness amongst people who normally spend their entire holiday with their nose in their Kindle. As fun as though that may be, it’s time they were made aware of this unique and unrivalled experience combining adventure, adrenalin, exercise, exploration, tranquillity and relaxation. Not only that it can also help bring couples, friends and families closer together by sharing unforgettable experiences”.
Oyster Diving has selected destinations that combine exceptional resorts, beaches and attractions with spectacular marine life and reef systems. Destinations on offer range from the idyllic and family friendly Cayman Islands, home to the world’s most famous shallow dive at Stingray City, to diving with 7m Manta Rays in the romantic Maldives. Hard core divers can choose to dive with Tiger sharks, or head to the Galapagos to dive with schools of Hammerheads and the gentle giants of the ocean, Whale Sharks. Of course no serious diving travel centre would be complete without offering UK favourite destinations such as the Red Sea, Caribbean and Asia.
As well as a continuously growing list of resorts and hotels to suit most budgets, Oyster offer a large selection of luxury liveaboards, allowing divers to explore the world’s finest reefs, ancient wrecks and the most breath-taking marine life. If you haven’t experienced life on a liveaboard before, there has never been a better time to get fully immersed in this fun, sociable and unforgettable way to explore underwater, offering more dives a day and more remote sites than a resort-based trip. Oyster offer ‘liveaboards’ in many locations including the Red Sea, Cocos Islands, the Philippines, Maldives and Micronesia.
To make it easier for you to select the right holiday for yourself, www.oysterdivingholidays.com offers a ‘filter system’ which allows you to fine tune your holiday around factors such as the types of marine life you’d like to see, hotel amenities, board basis and your certification levels. But if you would prefer a personal recommendation, Oyster has helpful travel consultants on hand to help with suggestions.
For people who really like to blow the budget then there is a section titled ‘Incredible Adventures’. These offer people the chance to do genuine once-in-a-lifetime holidays such as becoming an Executive Producer and joining a professional film crew, exploring the world’s top wrecks, or even flying ‘around the world in 80 dives’.
Each holiday package will be tailored around you and your needs. Oyster’s services include booking flights, boats, hotels, villas, diving courses and packages, travel insurance, airport lounge access, car hire, transfers, travel money and additional once-in-a-lifetime experiences. They pride themselves on their service, flexibility, resourcefulness and imagination allowing them to create diving holidays that really are hand-crafted to your requirements, no matter how demanding they might be.
The holiday department within Oyster Diving is being headed up by Katharine Bichard. Her career has taken her through many pathways including being a professional lawyer and a private chef. Whilst taking voluntary redundancy in 2009, Katharine decided to invest her redundancy package in travelling the globe and searching for the best diving locations on the planet. As a result, she has a wealth of experience and recommendations, and a passion for exploring underwater.
All customers who spend over £1,000 on their diving holiday through Oyster will be entitled to a free PADI Scuba Review at any of their five pool locations in Surrey, London, Berkshire, Oxford and Brighton.
Why not make your next holiday one to remember for a lifetime and visit www.oysterdivingholidays.com today, or call one of their travel experts on 0800 699 0243 or 01273 384971.
The Big Shark Pledge: Shark Trust’s new campaign kicks off with a call for support
With the ink still drying on last week’s landmark listing of nearly 100 species of sharks on Appendix II of CITES, the Shark Trust insists that this is not the time for shark conservation to take a break. The UK-based NGO this week launches its biggest-ever concerted campaign to tackle the overfishing of oceanic sharks. They are calling on people across the world to join the call for stricter controls on high seas fisheries.
The Big Shark Pledge is at the heart of an ambitious set of campaign actions. Working to secure science-based catch limits on all sharks and rays affected by the international high seas fishing fleet. The pledge will build the largest campaigning community in shark and ray conservation history to support a raft of policy actions over the vital years ahead.
Many of our best known and much-loved sharks make their home on the high seas. In our shared ocean, these oceanic sharks and rays face a very real threat from a huge international fleet of industrial-scale fishing vessels. Research published in early 2021 confirmed that over three-quarters of oceanic sharks and rays are now at risk of extinction due to the destructive impact of overfishing. They have declined by 71% over the last 50 years.
The Shark Trust is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year and has a long history of securing positive changes for sharks, skates and rays. The Big Shark Pledge will build on the success of their NoLimits? campaign which underpinned landmark catch limits on Blue Sharks and Shortfin Mako in the North Atlantic.
“While the listing of so many species on the CITES trade agreement is certainly a positive step, there remains a huge challenge in ensuring that sustainable practices are embedded in international fisheries.” says Shark Trust Director of conservation, Ali Hood. “Sharks on the high seas face extraordinary pressure from excessive fishing practices. This has to be addressed through international agreements such as those secured for Blues and makos.”
There is hope and a feeling of momentum in the shark conservation community. Just last week, in addition to the new CITES listings, the Shark Trust, working with partners in the Shark League, secured the first-ever international quota for South Atlantic Mako at ICCAT meeting in Portugal. The new campaign from the Shark Trust aims to push forwards from here, engaging a wave of support through the Big Shark Pledge to bolster policy action.
This will be a long-term international and collaborative effort. Forging a pathway to rebuild populations of high-seas sharks and rays. By putting science at the heart of shark conservation and fisheries management. And making the vital changes needed to set populations on the road to recovery.
Shark Trust CEO Paul Cox says of the Big Shark Pledge “It’s designed to give everyone who cares about the future of sharks the chance to add their voice to effective and proven conservation action. By adding their name to the Pledge, supporters will be given opportunities to apply pressure at key moments to influence change.”
Jeff chats to… Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever (Watch Video)
In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Craig Waller, Underwater Lighting Technician on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Craig is a Key Grip and Lighting Director with 10,000s of hours of Set Experience.
In Craig’s own words:
I started my career when I was in my first year of college. I always had that creative side of the brain that needed to be followed as a career. I thought that would be in designing engineering pieces but wasn’t happy about the idea of an office cubicle and drafting table.
I accidentally found my way onto a big commercial job for a week and decided “THIS IS WHAT I WANT TO DO”. I made it my career after that. This is a quick list of recent and big projects in my 35 yrs of TV / Film / Photography.
- “Black Panther 2” – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
- “Stranger Things” Season 4 – UW Lighting Technician / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
- “Suicide Squad 2” – UW Gaffer / 2nd Unit Underwater Team
- NASCAR / FOX Sports 1 – Network TV Lighting Director – 7 years / 700 races of Live BIG track TV shows
- 10,000s of commercials / music videos / tv shows
I started diving when I was 18 years old with my OW and then AOW with PADI. I was diving with lots of friends in the late 80s and early 90s and then moved onto Kayaking. I got my daughter into diving when she turned 14 and have picked up where I left off.
I have approx 5000 dives now and spend most of my free time diving.
Here are my certs:
- OW – AOW 1989
- Adv Nitrox / Deco 2020
- Cavern – Intro Cave 2021
- CCR Tech – Fathom – 2021
You can find out more at www.craigwaller.com
Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the new Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.
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