Having been a swimmer for most of my life, when snorkling the first time in the Maldives
and getting to the outer edge of the island's coral, looking down into the deep blue was
rather scary; but two days later I did my PADI Open Water Diver certification and
it is one of the many things I heavily recommend to people: go scuba diving!
If you enjoy the nature above the water, you will love the beauty that the blue offers
with the added benefit that it is even more quiet than in the middle of a forest.
Even though I have been diving for a few years now and qualify myself as a good and safe diver,
I am still learning a lot on every dive and try to keep on improving my skills: air consumption, buoyancy, movement, equipment use etc.
As a Divelog I use a good old paper log for the stamps but I also keep the records in
which gets fed from my Suunto EON Steel along with an Integrated Air Pod.
Indeed, improving breathing techniques is an important thing: the less air one uses, the longer one can dive.
The EON Steel along with Subsurface allows me to visualize these metrics as any other performance and metrics junkie would.
Yoga helps a lot with controlling air consumption btw as it improves calmness and breathing style.
I am a DAN Europe member and support all the
magnificent creatures in the ocean, which includes the mighty sharks and beautful mantas and rays.
Do note that I am just a vacation diver who likes proper equipment.
Amazing Locations and Dive Masters
Below I list a few of the special spots that I have had the honor of going scuba diving
along with the people who have made those experiences very special.
One cannot thank the dive masters enough, not only do they show the beauty of their
workplace, they also teach valuable diving techniques.
Going diving with any of these guys or gals will guarantee a great experience and
I heavily recommend them for a good dive.
I did my PADI Open Water Diver with Christian, who is a great teacher as is evidenced by my diving.
Vilamendhoo and the Maldives in general are amazing place to learn to dive, warm water, right off the island for everything, great surroundings with many things to see above and below water
Enrico and Luca trained me for the PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy which is a must have for any diver as it teaches you to control your buoyancy much better which results in a smoother dive and less air used and consequently longer dive times.
Il Grande Blu has a underwater playground that one has to navigate, without touching the sandy bottom and walking/jumping like on the moon are awesome ways to improve your skills.
Thanks to Enrico and Luca I float the way I float and my diving skills have improved even more thanks to them.
Of the many places we have been in the Carribean, Roatan takes the cake for diving by far.
Subway Watersports operates out of Turquoise Bay which has beautiful snorkling and diving sites.
They work together with the Coral Restoration Foundation to preserve the environment, which also means a much prettier dive site.
With Osman's 17000+ dives (he has been diving in Roatan since childhood) he knows every nook and cranny of the reef, along with his calmness the dives we did there where amazing.
In the 12 days we where on the island, I did 14 dives, do I need to say more about how I love this place?
When going here, I definitely recommend doing a dive on Warren Thila, if one loves drift dives and some adrenaline.
I did both my Nitrox (PADI Enriched Air Diver) and PADI Advanced Open Water certifications here and had an absolutely amazing set of dives here thanks to the team on the island.
Thanks, especially Max Ihlow, for the many great dives and the techniques I learned and improved.
Trevor and Emma used to dive in the cold, no-visibility waters of the United Kingdom, but Matamanoa, Fiji is quite the opposite: nice warm waters with near endless visibility and lot s of sealife.
As Trev and Emma did the UK diving for many years they are extremely well trained and keep a great focus on diving safety.
When one wants to visit Fiji, definitely go say hi to the friendly group at Deep Blue on Matamanoa island, they will show you the beauty of underwater Fiji.
Tikehau is an amazing dive location with lots to see.
Antoinette takes you on a genuine diving safari: she guides you through the Tikehau dive spots so that you see everything Tikehau has to offer.
In addition to the pure enjoyment of diving, I again learned a great deal more about discovering the bottom of the ocean, peeking into crevaces and remaining even calmer and breath shallower and be able to dive longer.
Diving with Antoinette is an absolute pleasure and I can only recommend visiting and diving with hr.
One day when I return to the other side of the world I'll look her up for another dive!
Dive Locations Map
Following is the above map in list form, click on a location to quickly pan/zoom there.
As a scuba diver one has to learn a variety of skills to make a dive safer.
I've done the following scuba certifications:
PADI Open Water Diver [ISO 24801-2]
PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy
PADI Enriched Air (Nitrox 40%) [ISO 11107]
PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
SSI Dry Suit Diving
Next to of course the base OWD certification, I personally think that
the Peak Performance Buoyancy might be one of the more
important certifications there is. When taught right it
will make diving not only much more pleasant but more importantly safer.
While scuba certifications gives one a checkmark that one has made
it through that certifications tests, many diving skills can only be
learned by doing: the more one dives the more one learns.
From my experience, diving with different people is extremely valueable
as they tend to give tips and tricks which makes diving safer and better.
Thanks to the many dive buddies that I have encountered on my dive trips,
you guys and gals made me a better diver which in turn made me able to enjoy it all much better!
Diving does involve quite some equipment and I tend to buy gear that can be trusted,
is reliable, is easy to use and can stand the test of time and has the features I want.
That does mean I tend to buy gear from the higher range of equipment, sometimes with
features that I don't utilize fully yet as I am still learning a lot of things.
The brand is not a primary factor in selecting equipment, but the ability to get
gear serviced is.
Becoming familiar with gear is a good thing and learning to properly use it,
is one of the many goals I have, proper research is done when acquiring
a new component to know what it is capable of and what the pro/cons of an item are.
Scubaboard can be a great help here.
While it is a long list of gear, most of it is clipped and/or hidden away in pockets
or stays on the boat when suspected of not being needed.
The less things that can snatch to something in the water, the safer the dive.
Following is a list of the items that keep me safe and comfortable.
The list mostly exists so that the page auto-calculates the travel weight for me,
quite important as I am mostly a vacation diver and the gear goes by plane which
has restrictions as listed at the bottom of the table.
The BCD ends up in the suitcase quite often due to space and other tech like
my big camera that needs to go into my carry-on.
But it is als there as some people wonder what gear people dive with, this
can serve as a reference for those who are interested in what I use.
In case of questions about any of these items, don't hesitate to ask.
Altogether that is quite a bit of weight. Fortunately one does not need many actual clothes in tropic environments...
To mark my gear, for avoiding any possible confusion, I use a 'Scubapro Gear Marker' in both Orange and Fluorescent colors in strategic locations.
Those marks in combo with the Orange pockets on the BCD and the Red fins should also avoid confusion in the water as it gives a unique color combination.