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Winning Trip: A blog from the Scubaverse holiday competition winner



When I opened an email from Scubaverse advising me I had won the Scubaverse diving holiday to Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei, little did I think that I would be on a Royal Brunei Airlines flight a mere eleven days later. Thanks to the efficiency of In Depth Tourism Marketing, my husband and I found ourselves enjoying a trip of a lifetime where everything had been organised for maximum enjoyment and minimum stress.

Our trip began with a night in Singapore. New to this city, we took the advice of the friendly Furama Hotel concierge and went to Clarke Quay for a Singapore Sling and a bite to eat. Singapore is fascinating: spotlessly clean, safe and vibrant, it comes alive at night when the skyscrapers light up the skyline.

Next morning’s transfer to Mersing in Malaysia was an enjoyable and comfortable car ride through palm oil plantations and jungle. Headed for Rawa Island Resort, by lunchtime we had arrived by boat and were enjoying a delicious buffet.  Owing to its close proximity to agricultural land, Rawa’s dive sites do not enjoy the best visibility, but there is an abundance of soft corals and a plethora of marine life. It was encouraging to see entire families being taught to dive together by Orca Scuba, as it is very safe, relatively shallow and non-taxing diving. Orca Scuba also took us to wreck and coral reef dive sites by boat and shore dives around the jetty, but the best dives were actually shore dives at the north end of the island where there are even more corals. The dives with Orca Scuba were not part of the prize, but my husband and I were happy to pay for them ourselves.

After four nights on this tropical paradise, we returned to Mersing and were taken back to the Furama Hotel in Singapore. This time, armed with local knowledge gleaned from fellow divers, we headed straight to the Fullerton Hotel’s roof top bar “The Lantern”. Drinks here were not cheap, but we had the perfect viewing point for the Marina Bay Sands Hotel’s light and laser show, a sight I am glad we did not miss.

The next day we flew from Singapore to Brunei and, yet again, everything went smoothly and exactly to plan. Poni Divers in Brunei collected us daily for boat dives, and in two days we had dived three, coral-covered boat wrecks, an oil rig and a coral garden. The diving off Brunei is wonderful: colourful, full of life and with good visibility. Puffer fish, sting rays, huge shoals of fish and every type of coral are in abundance. I would thoroughly recommend adding Brunei to any diver’s wish-list of places to visit, especially as it is still relatively unknown and therefore in pristine condition.

The ten days we spent on holiday were spectacular! Thank you to Scubaverse, In Depth Tourism Marketing, Royal Brunei Airlines, The Furama in Singapore, Rawa Island Resort, Orca Scuba, The Radisson in Singapore, and Poni Divers in Brunei.

Lucy McCorkindale


Photo Gallery: Dive Fest Barbados



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 reflect on their visits to the Caribbean Island of Barbados for the annual Dive Fest celebrations.

Dive Fest Barbados is a week of celebrating the marine life, diving and snorkeling this idyllic island has to offer. There are activities organised each day for all those that attend that include wreck diving, marine conservation, learning to dive, snorkeling and one an unusual dive for us – riding a submarine to the bottom of the Caribbean Sea! Dive Fest Barbados allows divers to get the very best out of a trip here, with plenty of diving, but also to sample the unique atmosphere, mouth-watering food and drink, stunning scenery and beautiful beaches.

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

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Marine Life & Conservation

Video Series: The CCMI Reef Lectures – Part 4 (Watch Video)



Introduced by Jeff Goodman

Never before since human beings have had major influence over our earths climate and environments, have we come to so close to the brink of global disaster for our seas and marine life. We need to act now if we are not going to crash headlong into irreversible scenarios.

A good start to this is understanding how the marine environment works and what it means to our own continued survival. We can only do this by listening and talking to those with the experience and knowledge to guide us in the right direction.

CCMI (Central Caribbean Marine Institute) are hosting an annual Reef Lecture series that is open to the general public and Scubaverse will be sharing those lectures over the coming months.

Part 4: Stop Whining! Life as an Ocean Ambassador; Ellen Cuylaerts

Ellen Cuylaerts shares her insights on how to act, practice what you preach and use your voice to contribute to constructive change. Ellen is a wildlife and underwater photographer and chooses to take images of subjects that are hard to encounter like harp seal pups, polar bears, orcas, beluga whales and sharks, to name a few. By telling the stories about their environment and the challenges they face, she raises awareness about the effect of climate change on arctic species, the cruel act of shark finning and keeping marine mammals in captivity.

During this seminar, Ellen will take you on a virtual trip and show you the stories behind the shots: how to get there, how to prepare, how to create the most chances to come home with a shot, and how to never give up!

Ellen Cuylaerts is an ocean advocate, underwater & wildlife photographer, explorer, and public speaker.

For more information about the CCMI click here.

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Sharks Bay Umbi Diving Village is a Bedouin-owned resort with stunning views and a lovely private beach. It is ideal for divers as everything is onsite including the resort's jetty, dive centre and house reef. The warm hospitality makes for a diving holiday like no other. There is an excellent seafood restaurent and beach bar onsite, and with the enormous diversity of the Sharm El Sheikh dive sites and the surrounding areas of the South Sinai, there really is something for every level of diver to enjoy.

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