Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Diver Award winner blogs from Dominica

We headed out with Mike and Alyssia to our first dive site, Labym and descended on to the superb reef there to see what we could find. As we wound our way through a maze of giant barrel sponges and brain corals Mike promptly found a beautifully marbled moray eel. We drifted over the reefy plateau and I spotted a beautiful drum fish with it's long sail-like fin trailing behind. A few ornate little boxer shrimp with long white antennae nestled themselves in a rocky crevice. Soon we reached the impressive reef wall decorated in gorgonian and whip corals and dropped to 30 metres. We were busy spotting parrotfish, lionfish and big shoals of snapper when Alyssia switched our attention to a hawksbill turtle silhouetted against the surface above us. It swiftly glided out of sight and dived vertically down into the blue.

Our next dive was at the locally famous Champagne, the site is named as such because of the volcanic gasses released in streams of bubbles from active fumaroles beneath the reef. We dug our hands into the super-heated sand here and felt the scalding hot sediment underneath. A few tiny moray eels watched us, jaws agape, from within bright yellow tube-like soft corals. A basket starfish clinging to the edge of a barrel sponge held my fingers in an impressive grip. The sun broke through and lit up a field of bright pink sea fans. Pink-purple mats of sergeant major eggs added colour to the reef's boulders. Near the end of our dive we found an enormous scorpion fish wearing a furious expression on its face, superbly camouflaged on the rocky seabed.

A brilliant way to round off the day!

All our best, Steve and Toby.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Tanzania -Turtle Hatching, Mafia Island

July is the perfect month to watch turtles hatching in Mafia Island...

Sea turtles have been nesting on Tanzanian beaches for over 150 million years. Between June and September hundreds of baby turtles make their instinctive scramble from the white sandy beaches to the warm Indian Ocean waters. After 30 years, the female hatchlings will return to the very same beach to lay their own eggs and start this incredible cycle all over again.


The locals on Mafia are fortunate enough to be able to witness the start of this beautiful journey from the East facing beach of Juani, an island bursting with nature from the tiniest of butterflies to the large, majestic baobab trees. This exceptional experience is administrated by a Tanzanian NGO called Sea Sense. Set up in 2001, they have been working in partnership with the local communities to promote the importance and protection of marine turtles and their habitats through various projects.
 
The adventure starts with a lovely Dhow trip across Chole Bay to the breath-taking western side of Juani island. On arrival, a 40 minute walk across the island passes through a quaint Swahili village teaming with smiling faces and polite greetings from all encountered. During this walk natures true beauty becomes more apparent in the form of towering trees and acres and acres of green foliage up until the very last minute, where attention is then turned to the turtle nest hidden below African sand. Sea Sense will then assist the turtles by removing sand and other debris that have protected the delicate eggs from various predators.

The moment everyone has waited for arrives, and the little hatchlings emerge from the sand, scrambling out of their nest, flapping their fins vivaciously, racing to reach the surf and begin the next step of their incredible journey. With the image of the baby turtles crawling across the beach you'll make our own way back to the dhow to return home accompanied by a beautiful Mafian sunset, a nice drink and smiles on all faces.

 
Contact Us to arrange your next adventure to Mafia Island.

Or call us directly on 0845 130 6980 if you'd prefer to chat!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Bite-Back at Cancer - Competition Winner 2011

Steven Malone tells all about his adventure to Fiji after being the lucky winner of the raffle at the Bite-Back at Cancer Ball last year. So successful was the event, that it's going ahead again for a sixth year! Have a read of Steven's adventures and we'll tell you where you can get hold of your tickets a little later. 

"Taking off from Heathrow, we waved goodbye to the grey skies and rain. Landing in Fiji twenty three hours later, we were a little unnerved to find we'd brought the grey skies along with us! In true tropical style though, the sea breeze soon saw off the clouds and we were treated to the beginning of two weeks of sunshine.

After a night of sampling the local brew (Fiji Gold, highly recommended!) at Raffles, we jumped a taxi and headed to Port Denerau (think Port Ghalib for those of you who know Egypt) and boarded the MV Reef Explorer for our mini cruise. We spent the next three days sailing round the Yasawa islands; all picture postcard tropical paradises. In between the food and drinks, I managed to squeeze in a dive with the onboard divemaster. My UK experience came in handy as the sea had picked up and was a bit choppy by Fijian standards!! Lots of lounging on sunny beaches followed and by the end of the three days our jet lag had disappeared and we were ready for the next leg of our trip. 

Heading back to Nadi airport, we boarded our flight to the island of Kadavu. Our plane was a tiny workhorse twin prop model built back in '67. A classic! We were the only two people on the flight, so the safety briefing mostly involved the pilot turning round and giving us a confident thumbs up!! The low flight, open cockpit and big windows gave us a great view as we flew over the inviting reefs below and as we landed on the small runway at Kadavu, we knew we were VERY far from home! Making our way through the "terminal" (a small wooden building, we were met by Thomas from the Matava Eco Adventure Resort. A short bumpy truck ride later, we were being whisked out to sea and around the coast on a small open longboat. Forty minutes later, we knew were were now very definitely far from home!!!

Arriving at Matava is an amazing experience. As the boat draws in to the small jetty, the traditional Fijian thatched huts (or "bures") nestled in the lush tropical forest come into view. We were welcomed in the main bure and immediately served an amazing homecooked lunch with fresh salad from the Matava organic garden and water fresh from the spring (double filtered for purity and better than anything out of a bottle!). After lunch, we made our way up the hill to our own bure. The view was incredible and with solar heated water and lighting but no other power, our mobile phones were definitely off for the week, ensuring some much needed peace and quiet!

We spent the next seven days diving the beautiful Astrolabe reef with Te and Wise, the Matava divemasters. Plenty of healthy hard and soft coral, yellowfin tuna, Spanish mackerel and plenty of reef sharks all kept the dives interesting. In between jumping into the warm blue water, we were treated to organic home grown cooking. Fresh fruit grown at Matava for breakfast and lots of fresh fish (no shark obviously!).


Kadavu is not a densely populated island and is a great way to see some of the "real" Fiji. While the main islands are quite westernised, the outlying areas like Kadavu have remained a lot more rural. This makes for a great atmosphere, with the famously friendly Fijians treating us to a traditional Lovu feast (think buried barbecue pit) and several rounds of Kava, the traditional tribal drink.

As always, the week flew by far too quickly and before long we were back on the small longboat heading back to the airport for another ride on the little plane. After another thumbs up safety check from the captain, we were winging our way back to Nadi airport.

The last leg of our trip was at the luxury small island resort of Matamanoa, a true Tom Hanks/Castaway/tropical paradise. We'd decided to upgrade our travel plans to make the journey to Matamanoa more interesting, so after leaving the small plane from Kadavu, we headed over to the Island Hoppers office and picked up a helicopter transfer to Matamanoa! If you've never flown by helicopter, go and book a flight in a helicopter! Incredible!! Swooping low over the sea, we headed past tiny islands and submerged reefs before landing on the Matamanoa helipad. An amazing experience!

 


After a week of diving, Matamanoa was the perfect was to end the trip. White sandy beaches, palm trees, food, cocktails, sun, sea…..   VERY relaxing!!

As with all the best holidays, time flew. 

As the 747 rumbled down the runway in the direction of home, I wondered if anyone would mind if I bought a few more raffle tickets from Bite Back next year……"

S. Malone, June 2012

Bite-Back at Cancer
With thanks to Tourism Fiji, who have been a phenomenal help in making 2011 the most successful event ever. Total funds raised will just over £19,500 which is £8,000 more than the 2010 event!

Want to be part of this success?
The next Bite-Back at Cancer Ball will be held in London on 20 October 2012.
You can buy your tickets here.

Plan your own adventure to Fiji
Contact a member of the Dive Worldwide Team or visit our website for some inspiration on a wonderful destination.

Good Luck Everyone!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Diving (or not) in the Paradise of Bali – 10 days from £1280 pp


Dive Worldwide recommends Bali as a fantastic diving holiday destination. Not only is the diving superb, but it has wonderful beaches and lots to do for
any non-diving partners.


Most divers tend to head straight for Komodo or Raja Ampat and often overlook Bali which in addition to being a great dive destination for all levels of ability, has lots of non-diving activities (perfect if a partner doesn’t dive) to say nothing of its tropical beaches.

From protected, shallow bays populated by exotic scorpion fish, octopus and nudibranchs, to exciting drift diving in wild currents with sharks, pelagics and manta rays and wreck diving in Tulamben Bay, where reef fish swarm the wreck of the World War II vessel, the Liberty, and black coral growth is lush. Not forgetting the incredible mola mola sunfish that come to the Bali waters from July to October – Bali really does have it all.

For the non-diver, activities on offer include hiking to the top of a volcano at sunrise, walking or cycling tours along terraced rice fields, exploring the spice fields, visits to ancient temples and river rafting.

You can also enjoy a relaxing massage on the beach or at one of the many spas, take yoga or meditation class, learn traditional Balinese cooking, games and dancing, and learn how to prepare the daily spiritual offerings. Watersports include learning to surf or SUP (stand up paddling) and kite surfing; or simply chill out on the beach.

Dive Worldwide has a range of accommodation from simple dive lodges to luxurious five-star hotels and itineraries can be flexible to include any Bali dive sites, any number of diving days and can also include inland-tours.


For example, a 10 day holiday staying at the Scuba Seraya Resort, 3km from the world-renowned dive destination of Tulamben costs from £1280 pp (two sharing). The resort which is comprised of villas and bungalows is located in lush tropical gardens on a secluded black volcanic sand beach.

It has its own on-site dedicated PADI dive centre, with purpose built boats, small classes, and its ‘no groups’ policy makes for relaxed diving.

The price includes flights, transfers, 7 nights’ B&B and 5 days’ diving (10 dives)

Call 0845 130 6980 (www.diveworldwide.com).

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Dive the World - International Diving Magazine

Recently launched, this new look global lifestyle magazine concentrates on amazing images in their articles. They say a picture tells a thousand words...

Concentrating on extraordinary dive experiences, dive travel, exotic location and exciting marine life encounters. A relatively new idea in dive publishing, DIVE THE WORLD is for the travelling diver who enjoys easy tropical diving, marine life encounters and exotic adventures.

Editor-in-chief Jesper KjĂžller extolls what his new publication will and won’t do: ”In our opinion many dive magazines kill the underwater images by cramping too many and too small photographs together in too little space – and then they suffocate the pages further with ugly advertising. Diving is visual activity and with DIVE THE WORLD we will let the images speak for themselves. Our goal is to take the reader along with us on a dive, even if they are relaxing in an armchair or airplane seat with the magazine. Properly telling a story requires space, and we will gladly let an article fill 16 to 20 pages if that is what it takes to bring a story to life.”

The first edition features plenty of destinations featured by Dive Worldwide:
World class diving, Maldives
Sailfish Season, Mexico
Critters in Lembeh, Indonesia
Diver's Paradise, Bonaire
Whales and dolphins, Azores

Talk to an expert on these and any of our other fantastic diving holiday destinations to tailor-make your next diving holiday.

Mexico - Diving the Cenotes

A combination of various geological events and climate changes created an incredible and unique eco-system in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula. Created naturally over 6,500 years ago, the Cenotes (pronounced say-no-tay, meaning "sacred well") are filled with crystal clear, fresh water opening to a vast system of underground caverns, tunnels and chambers. For thousands of years, these caves had been dry, forming stalagmites, stalactites, columns and flowstones. In some places, the land above subterranean rivers have collapsed, creating access for divers to explore these ancient passageways. A unique dive experience, learn more here.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Dive Lectures at The Royal Geographical Society

Held in support of Scuba Trust the 2012 London Dive Lectures will once again be awakening your imagination and taking you to the edges of exploration with record-breaking cave diver, Rick Stanton and BBC presenter, Monty Halls.

The event is sold out but register your interest with London Diving Chamber and they will keep you up-to-date with availability and future events.

If you are attending, look out for Dive Worldwide on the night!

Entrance will be free, but please but please help us fill those Scuba Trust
buckets on the night and let's make sure we beat last year's fantastic donation!


Date: Friday 10th February 2012
Time: 6.30pm (doors open at 6pm)
Location:
1 Kensington Gore, London, SW7 2AR

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Maldives - Luxury Birthday Celebrations

Just wanted to let you know - another fantastic holiday! The Maldives was warm and very relaxing, much more a holiday with diving than a diving holiday. Diving was typical Maldivian, relaxing easy, quite shallow nice chance to take pictures and the dive school was great. We had been diving with Werner Lau before and a nice reminder of how good they are, very professional outfit with good kit and very helpful (lovely boat too). The villa was excellent and thanks to your hard work we were upgraded to the water villa with pool, it was mega! In all honesty it was hard to leave the room and the sun deck to go and be sociable. We did take advantage of the champagne night on my birthday for drinks with the GM. Anyway a great holiday, time to start thinking about the next one!!! Thanks for all the help again.

Sarah M, Jan 2012

Anniversary? Special birthday? Honeymoon? Whatever the occasion the Dive Worldwide Team can help tailormake your perfect itinerary, combining just the right mix of comfort, activity and adventure, to make it truly memorable. Talk to an expert now.

Indonesia - Bali and Lombok Honeymoon

Just a note to say thank you for arranging our honeymoon in Bali and Lombok. We had a fantastic time, and I am pleased to say that Ashley loved diving so hopefully we will booking more diving holidays soon! We also got a couple of "honeymoon cakes" from the first two hotels, so thanks for telling them we were honeymooning! Gili Trawangan was great - the diving was brilliant with so many turtles and gorgeous reefs! Thanks for all your help.

Sam D, Jan 2012

Looking for a similar experience or would you prefer to create your own unforgetable journey? Talk to an expert about options throughout Indonesia.

Belize - Best of Both. Reefs and Rainforest.

Just wanted to let you know we had a great holiday in Belize and saw a pod of whale sharks - a key reason for choosing the destination. Both Hamanasi and Turneffe were excellent resorts. I would definitely recommend the latter over the former for the diving as it is close to the reef and the dive operation is fantastic. The current English managers Nick and Vanda are very welcoming to all. The bar and the meal arrangements where everyone mixed in were extremely friendly and we met people we are likely to dive with again. I did a Nitrox course with Nick, given the long dive times we were doing. This having been said, there are no whale sharks near Turneffe and you cannot see the Mayan ruins, which are spectacular. So the two site option for Brits travelling that far is a great recommendation. Thanks for all your help in making the holiday so memorable.

Steve P, Apr 2011

Belize is a fantastic destination for a
twin centre holiday with opportunities for divers and non-divers alike to enjoy plenty of adventure and history aswell as the chance of a whale shark encounter in season.

Maldives - Theia Liveaboard

Just a quick note to say that we returned safely home last night after a really great week on the Theia. It surpassed our expectations. The diving was wonderful - sharks, mantas, whale sharks, shoals of snappers and fusiliers to name some of the highlights. The diving set up was excellent - diving from the dhoni was the best set up we've ever experienced on a liveaboard plus we were able to take up the option of a 15 litre tank at a cost of an extra USD10 per day. Every member of the crew was great - they looked after us incredibly well.

John & Hazel B, Oct 2011

Dive Worldwide's Maldives portofolio has been hand-picked to ensure that divers experience the best that this world-class destination has to offer.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

January 2012 Ultimate Dive Spots

Dive Worldwide continue to work hard to bring you the Ultimate Diving Collection. Working closely with our suppliers, we have created collections of Ultimate Diving Spots. These highlight some of the most popular places to dive throughout the world. We've made it personal by asking the dive staff to tell us about themselves and provide you with their top local dive sites. We trust you'll enjoy the variety and inspiration from the professionals when deciding on your next holiday destination.

January 2012 Ultimate Dive Spots

  • LUX* Maldives - Luxury in the South Ari Atoll
  • The Perfect Combination for Diving in Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines - World Class Dive Sites
  • Indonesia - Tambora Liveaboard
  • Coiba Dive Expeditions - MV Yemaya
  • Mexico - Cenotes with Dive Aventuras
  • Explorer Ventures Liveaboard Fleet
  • Indonesia - Eco Divers in Manado
  • Malta - Gozo & Comino

Click here to view our online version.