Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Micronesia - diving Truk Lagoon wrecks, San Francisco Maru

Great footage of the San Francisco Maru by Nick Poole, Overseasmedia.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Top 5: Dive Resorts - Let us WOW you with a selection of our favourite places to stay...

HAMANASI: Belize, Central America
A small plantation-style hotel on a 12-mile stretch of beach, Hamanasi has a PADI 5-star Gold Palm centre with ready access to superb sites including Gladden Spit famous for its whale sharks. Choose a treehouse for a real rainforest experience.

BUDDY DIVE RESORT: Bonaire, Caribbean
Ideal for families, this relaxed and friendly resort has snorkelling and diving courses for children and accommodation is in spacious one, two and three bedroom apartments. A “Diver’s Paradise” with over 60 dive sites mostly accessed from the shore.

PARADISE TAVEUNI: Fiji, South Pacific
Anywhere called ‘paradise’ has a lot to live up to, but this luxury property is indeed heavenly. Ten thatched cabins face the ocean or tropical gardens, and tropical waters drop off steeply from an extinct volcano’s lava edge.

WAKATOBI: Indonesia, Asia
With an abundantly healthy house reef just 20 metres from the dive centre, Wakatobi makes diving easy. This eco-resort is true to its strong conservation principles without compromising on real luxury; there are three staff members per guest.

A short distance along the coast from the capital Muscat, the Extra Divers Lodge is superbly equipped for dive holidays, with four custom-built boats and a huge choice of day and night dives. Accommodation is in charming traditional Barasti beach huts.

For more information about our Top 5 Dive Resorts - Click here

Digital Underwater Photography Competition

Calling all photographers....

Have you got a fantastic underwater image that you thing should be published? Well here is your chance to get your images in print and online. The winning photograph will be published in our 2011 Dive Worldwide brochure and on the web site. Up for grabs is a Powergorilla laptop charger. This portable gadget will work with devices up to 24volts and will give you an extra 2 to 5 hours of power depending on your laptop specification and over 20 hours on various other electronic devices from your mobile to your iPod. Perfect for travellers like yourselves!

The competition closes on 3 September 2010
All entries should be emailed to

Here are a few that Sarah would like to share with you and she admits that she probably should go on a course and definitely needs more time out of the office and underwater in order to practice. We're sure you can do better!

Please note:
No images supplied in hard copy will be accepted, only high resolution digital files will be accepted.
All entries must be correctly labelled with your name, contact details and the location each image was taken.
Entries will not be returned. While we endeavour to publish as many photo competition entries as possible in our brochure we cannot guarantee that all will make the pages.
While the photographer retains the copyright of all images submitted as competition entries, Dive Worldwide reserve the right to unlimited use of the photos for company brochures, promotion and advertising.

Experience the Tropical Eastern Pacific onboard MY Yemaya diving Coiba National Park, Cocos and Malpelo Islands.

Aggressor Liveaboards

Last minute getaways!

There is limited space available on selected trips in August and September 2010.

Turks & Caicos Aggressor II, Aug 14-21
Palau Aggressor II, Aug 15-22, Aug 29-Sept 5
Belize Aggressor III, Sept 11-18
Kona Aggressor II, Sept 11-18
Maldives Aggressor, Sept 23-Oct 3 (10 day charter)
Utila Aggressor, Sept 4-11
Okeanos Aggressor, Sept 9-17

Book now!
Call Us: 0845 130 6980
Email Us:

From 02 Sep 2010 Utila Aggressor is easier to get to with the charter flight now originating from Roatan so it all fits in nicely with your international flights!

September is a busy month with the maiden voyage of the Baja Aggressor sailing the waters of the Revillagigedo Archipelago which include Socorro for the manta rays, Magdelena Bay for gray whales and Guadeloupe for the Great White sharks (July - November).

For an in-depth view of what's new with the Aggressor Fleet, here's their latest Cruise News.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Galapagos - onboard the Aggressor

Josh Jenson won the inaugrual Capture the World, Underwater Video Challenge
with this fantastic footage in October 2009
about life on the Aggressor liveaboard in the Galapagos.

Trip Report: Kirsteen in the Cayman Islands

In May 2010 I visited the Cayman Islands on a trip organised by the Cayman Islands Tourist Office. We flew from London Heathrow (T5) with British Airways and after a short transit in Nassau (Bahamas) we arrived in Grand Cayman on a hot and sunny Saturday evening. Upon leaving the airport we stopped at the wharf in George Town for a look at the Cayman Aggressor. Whilst the crew were briefing the new passengers before they set off for their 7 night itinerary, I had a quick nosey around the boat.

Cayman Aggressor is a 33m dive yacht, built and powered for comfort, safety and stability. Sleeping up to 18 guests, the accommodation on board includes one master stateroom with queen bed and en suite shower room; six deluxe staterooms with double and single beds and en suite shower rooms and two twin staterooms with single beds and shared shower room. All have individual climate control and TV/DVD. The Cayman Aggressor IV has a beautiful lounge; spacious partially shaded sun deck with chaise lounges and deck chairs; a bar, hot tub and grill; a complete photo centre and video editing room.

Next we headed to the East End, to
Compass Point Dive Resort. Due to its remote location car hire is recommended if you are staying on this side of the island. Driving on Grand Cayman is not a stressful experience as the roads are fairly quiet and most roads have a 30kmh speed limit. Compass Point Dive Resort offers well-equipped, spacious, 1 or 2 bedroom self-catering apartments. The resort also has a small swimming pool and plans are afoot to build a bar. The resort has bikes available for rental.

Compass Point Dive Resort is located on a small sandy beach. The diving is operated by Ocean Frontiers who offer morning and afternoon boat dives from the resort. On our first morning we dived at Lighthouse Wall and Ironshore Gardens on Ocean Frontiers boat, Eastern Skies. The water was calm, clear and teeming with marine life.

In the evening we drove to Rum Point where we joined Cayman Kayaks for a spectacular ‘bioluminescence’ kayaking trip. Bioluminescence, or light created by plants and creatures, occurs all over the world but rarely in such spectacular concentration. We plunged our hands and feet into the sea and watched tiny spangles of light illuminate our skin. It was a fascinating experience and something I would recommend to any visitor to Grand Cayman.

The following day was all about the diving. Our first stop was Babylon Reef. Here the hanging gardens are made up of dangling soft corals, massive sponges and thick forests of black coral. It's breathtaking drifting down through deep dark canyons and to then reach the top of the reef on the wall, gazing into the big blue. Here, visibility is incredible, pelagic fish abound with hardly any other divers in sight. Next up was Chub Hole, a site known for schools of Bermuda Chub and also full of Canyons, archways and tunnels.

We enjoyed lunch at the
Reef Resort and we had the opportunity to have a nosey at the apartments within this resort. Like Compass Point Dive Resort, the apartments are well-equipped and spacious. Guests can choose whether they wish to stay on an all-inclusive, bed & breakfast or self-catering basis. If you choose self-catering you’ll find a supermarket conveniently located just opposite to the resort. This resort is much bigger than Compass Point and is more of a resort which offers diving rather than a ‘dive resort’ which makes it a great choice if you have a non-diving partner or for families.

After 2 nights at the Compass Point Dive Resort we moved closer to George Town.
Sunset House is a hotel for divers by divers, with 55 rooms, a restaurant, bar and swimming pool. The on-site dive centre, Sunset Divers, offer 2-tank morning boat dives from the slipway on the property and you can also take an unlimited shore diving package. We dived with Sunset Divers on Sun Ray, and visited Blackies Hole & Devils Grotto.

The next day we headed off to Lighthouse Point on the North West point of Grand Cayman, just north of Seven Mile Beach. Lighthouse Point is Cayman's first eco-development with solar and wind power and an environmentally friendly water management system. Lighthouse Point offers nine 2-bedroom oceanfront apartments each with its own large private balcony. The diving is operated by Divetech, who have been providing quality dive services to divers visiting Grand Cayman since 1994. Lighthouse Point offers shore diving. The reef system is abundant with marine life, sponges and coral reefs and is well marked for divers navigation.

Perhaps the most famous attraction in the Cayman Islands is Stingray City. Today we had the opportunity to dive the nearby shallows known as ‘The Sandbar’ in the North Sound which provide the only natural area in the world to swim with more than to dozen Atlantic Southern stingrays that enjoy the company of humans. Our 45 minute dive with these amazing creatures was a truly unforgettable experience.

During our time on Grand Cayman we also visited Pedro St James and Mission House to get an understanding of the history of the Cayman Islands. Our visit to these historic houses was followed by a walk around Queen Elizabeth II Botanic Park where we had the opportunity to see the Blue Iguana breeding program.

After 5 days on Grand Cayman we took a short flight to Little Cayman. Bloody Bay Wall is the main attraction here but unfortunately due to flight schedules and the BA strike we were unable to dive at Bloody Bay Wall. We visited Little Cayman Beach Resort which is located on a white-sandy beach, bordered by the reef of South Hole Sound.

Then we returned to Grand Cayman for our return flight to the UK. I thoroughly enjoyed my week in the Cayman Islands and I would recommend it as a perfect destination for divers of all levels who want to dive in calm, clear and warm waters which are teeming with marine life and colourful corals.

If you are thinking of planning a holiday to the Cayman Islands
I will be more than happy to share my experiences with you.
Drop me a line or call me 0845 130 6980

Thank you for taking the time to read my trip report, I look forward to helping you with your holiday planning!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Client Testimonial: Penny B in Cuba

We are just back from our Cuban holiday, and thought you would appreciate some feedback. Firstly, I should say that we had a fabulous holiday, and the local agents were a good team to be with – very helpful and responsive (to a few minor glitches!) with a good standard of guides. However, they were surprised by the amount of baggage divers carry, and we had to keep reminding them of the size of vehicle required to cope with dive bags! Overall everything was well organised and the guides were very thorough and informative.

Our favourite diving was in Maria La Gorda which is a fantastic peninsula set in a beautiful nature reserve. The whole resort is geared for diving. The reef they dive on is one of the most pristine, intact reefs we have ever dived in the world – the corals and sponges are amazing, and the drop offs, tunnels and caves are spectacular. If the locals are to be believed, the reef goes from 10 metres to approx 2,000m deep – it does look impressive. The dive operation is very professional. If you would like some photos, we will be happy to supply some. We did lose a day of diving due to high winds, but it gave us a chance to explore a bit more around the area on foot. We also did a night dive which was fantastic. The accommodation has been improved on, and we stayed in a lovely wooden cabin surrounded by woodland and exotic wildlife.

Away from the diving, the Hotel Florida in Havana was excellent and very well placed in the old part of the city. It is a lovely old building with lots of character.

La Moka in the Vinales region, is a lovely biosphere communal village, in a spectacular setting in the hills. The hotel sits above the community, with a large tree running through its’ centre, and you can sit in your bath looking over the hills. Stunning!

Overall we had a great time, and like the majority of people we met, fell a bit in love with the country – it is definitely a place we would go back to!

Client Testimonial: Ken on Odyssey in Truk Lagoon

I just wanted to say a very BIG thank you to you for your hard work in making our holiday one to remember for all the right reasons. It was fantastic!! All the questions you answered, the recommendations you made and advice you gave meant everything went extremely smoothly and made me look great!

The flights were fine, no issues (although it was a long old slog out there). We were met at the airport in Chuuk and transported to the Blue Lagoon who were expecting us. Transfer to the Odyssey and back was easy. Transfer to the hotel in Manila was fine as well (good recommendation – everyone was very happy staying in a nice hotel for the night). Bearing in mind the number of transfers and time zone changes it was great that there were no surprises.

The guys at Blue Lagoon were great but the
Odyssey was streets ahead. Amazing service, really geared towards maximising your diving, really switched on. I’ve stayed on liveaboards in the Red Sea but this was far superior. Very very impressed with how they ran things.

Thank you once again. The group are already asking when we are going back!!

Jordan Feature - July 2010 by Beth and Shaun Tierney, Seafocus

We’re heading back to Jordan... talk about stepping back in time! When we first learned to dive over 20 years ago, we were just coming out of traveller mode. Diving took over our lives and we did two trips to Aqaba two years in row before heading off to get waterlogged all over the world. Now that we have a bit more time to travel again, we’re starting to include a bit more land-based sightseeing in our trips along with exploring the marine world.

Jordan is a fascinating country, absolutely riddled with ancient sites, medieval sites and almost everything in-between. We spent four days gazing at amazing Roman ruins, Biblical landmarks, Crusader castles and then the highlight, the breathtaking city of Petra. Without doubt, it was one of the best few days we have had in a very long time. Our guide, Majdi, was incredible and entertaining so we learned masses. We ate well (don’t go to Jordan thinking you will get thinner) and the entire experience left us wishing for more.

However, we were itching to get to the coast and although Jordan only has a tiny sliver of the Red Sea, we were as always, delighted to see the deep blue ocean shimmering under the blazing Aqaba sun. A couple of thousand dives and 21 years later, we did wonder how we would react to the sites. Seastar Watersports grabbed us from the hotel and straight round to their Club Murjan for an afternoon check out dive.

Tha’er, the manager, led us straight in for a shore dive that turned out to be very different to what we expected and far more exciting - it was a critter dive.
Within minutes we had spotted four different types of pipefish, a stonefish, two devilled scorpionfish, untold lionfish, puffers and morays and an enormous long-tail nudibranch, the likes of which we have only seen in Asia.

We suddenly realised there was a different angle to Aqaba compared to Egypt. Many of the reefs are rimmed by seagrass beds so seeing bottom dwelling critters is far more likely. We even spotted a mating pair of Pegasus seamoths on one dive. Tha’er was disappointed with that first dive – he couldn’t find the frogfish - but we saw one on almost every dive after that. We also saw a turtle on most dives and all the usual suspects when it came to Red Sea fish – anthias, damsels, clowns and butterflies. Critters aren’t for everyone but Aqaba also has some great open sites with tall pinnacles and swathes of hard coral. A few reefs run close to shore where the corals have formed a maze of tunnels and caverns.

There are three dives based around artificial reefs - the Wreck of the Cedar Pride is dramatic with the hull lying on her side across two mounds so you can swim all the way beneath. A short distance away is the wreck of an M42 tank. Sitting in shallow water, the tank plays host to a huge number of lionfish sheltering under and inside. However, our favourite dive was a site called Cables, where communications cables stretching across to Egypt have been laid beneath rocks on the seafloor and are now forming a whole new set of reef structures. Sounds weird, I know but the section where a row of huge structural supports bridge part of the reef are like something out of a James Bond movie.

For more details and images on our trip, please click here.
If you have a bit more time have a look at the video.

Beth and Shaun Tierney/

Beth and Shaun are a successful photo-journalist team. They both learnt to dive within months of their return from a round the world trek in the '80s and eventually took a career break in order to dive their way around the world. Shaun's first career was as a studio photographer but his first love is now shooting underwater. Beth worked in advertising and marketing, most recently as a consultant in the dive industry. They are both PADI Master Scuba Divers and are still working on diving around the world whilst concentrating on writing dive travel books.