Prince William wants Prince George to learn to scuba dive, he has revealed.
William has told of his love of the underwater adventure sport which he hopes to pass onto his baby son.
He spoke of his hopes as he is today announced as patron of the British Sub-Aqua Club, the UK’s governing body for Scuba Diving, following in the footsteps of his father Prince Charles and grandfather Prince Philip.
William said: “I have been fortunate enough to have dived in some stunning locations around the world.
“Scuba diving really has opened my eyes not only to many extraordinary sights, but also to the responsibilities that we have as guardians of the underwater world.
“I hope that one day my son, George, will also experience the wonders that snorkeling and scuba diving have to offer.”
Since learning to dive as a boy, William has had the opportunity to explore some of the world’s most stunning stretches of ocean on regular holidays in Mustique, the Maldives and Seychelles.
On his solo visit to Australia in 2011, he told one woman in Queensland: “I love scuba diving, I have always wanted to dive the Great Barrier Reef.”
He marked his new presidency by writing a foreword for SCUBA, the Aqua club’s magazine.
The Duke wrote: “Just like my grandfather and my father, I am proud to say that I learnt to dive with BSAC, and share your passion for the sport and the underwater world.
“As BSAC’s new President, I hope to continue my father’s legacy of striving to preserve and protect our precious marine heritage and environment for future generations.
“I look forward to encouraging even more young people into the sport, for they are the next generation of underwater explorers, pioneers and protectors.
“The skills and experiences gained through snorkelling and scuba diving can have a positive and lasting impact on their lives, giving them confidence and building their aspirations.”
BSAC has 120 dive centres and more than 1,000 family friendly and sociable clubs, run by volunteers, up and down the country and abroad.
It represents more than 30,000 scuba divers and snorkellers.
Prince William is now in a “transitional year” combining royal duties with charity work and other projects as he prepares to one day be King.
He left the military in September and now helps the Queen carry out investitures.
A Japanese bunker on the shores of the lagoon. Picture: mattk1979. Source: Flickr
REMOTE, hard to get to and relatively untouched by modernisation, Chuuk in Micronesia may be a speck on the world map, but it has played a huge part in history.
Home to the world’s largest graveyard of ships, the ghostly remains have become a destination for diving enthusiasts who make the long and expensive journey to swim among eerie wrecks and haunting relics.
The hull of an aircraft is a fish playground. Picture: mattk1979.Source: Flickr
Wrecks rust on the bottom of the ocean floor. Picture: mattk1979.Source: Flickr
The story of this unassuming island dates back to World War II when it served as Japan’s main base in the South Pacific for its operations against the allied forces. It was considered the most formidable of all Japanese strongholds in the Pacific.
But in February 1944, Chuuk was devastated in one of the most important naval attacks of the war. Named Operation Hailstone, the attack by the USA lasted three days and sank 12 Japanese warships, 32 merchant ships and destroyed 275 aircraft making Chuuk the biggest graveyard of ships in the world.
Creepy masks lie scattered on the floor bed. Picture: gratiartis.Source: Flickr
Artificial reefs have formed on the ruins of war. Picture: mattk1979.Source: Flickr
The incredible submerged ship burial site is like an underwater museum with hulls virtually intact and remnants of aircraft scattering the seabed.
Many of the wrecks lie in crystal clear waters less than 15 metres below the surface where divers can explore the ships holds containing tanks, mines, bombs, radios, weapons and aircraft.
The wrecks have become beautiful coral gardens and artificial reefs that are home to hundreds of tropical marine animals and fish.
An underwater museum of life during WWII. Picture: gratiartis.Source: Flickr
Life in Chuuk remains firmly embedded in local culture with fishing and subsistence agriculture sustaining the majority of the population. While tourism has contributed to its economy, infrastructure and services are still massively underdeveloped.
Vibrant coral has overtaken the hulls of ships. Picture: mattk1979.Source: Flickr
Haunting scenes of life. Picture: gratiartis.Source: Flickr
The wreck of an aircraft has become part of the sea bed. Picture: mattk1979.Source: Flickr
The inside of a sunken ship is popular with divers.Source: News Limited
Divers wear a weight system to counteract the buoyancy that other diving equipment creates, such as diving suits and aluminum diving cylinders. They have to be weighted down, so that they are negatively buoyant by default. The wrong choice of weight belt or harness, however, will create the opposite effect, making it difficult to float with the water at eye level. To avoid this kind of problem, the right weight accessories must be bought, based on several factors.
Weights are unnecessary when snorkeling, but it is vital when free diving, scuba diving and spear fishing. When diving, divers can weight themselves with a flexible or traditional weight belt. Another alternative would be to directly weight down the buoyancy vest.
As for spear fishing, divers can choose between a weight belt and harness style. The latter, however, is recommended only for experienced spear fishers who are diving at minimum depths.
In the case of free diving, weights are used mainly to neutralize the exposure suit’s buoyancy. Weight belts must have a quick release buckle for emergency purposes.
Weighting system varies based on how they are fastened. Some weights are quickly put on and removed, while others have to be attached firmly. Ideally, weights must be released instantly during an emergency, yet stays locked during normal diving activities.
Weight belt. This is the most common weighting system used, especially for recreational diving. Weight belts can be made of nylon webbing or rubber. The former is more economical but less comfortable, while the latter adjust to fit your waist and stay in place. Rubber weights are popular with freedivers, because they contract on descent. The most common weight belt comes with a rectangular lead block with two slots.
Weight harness. Compared to a weight belt, the harness allows the weights to be carried comfortably on the lower part of the body, which keep divers from curving their back. Divers who don’t have a discernable waist or with a waist that is too high to trim correctly, uses the weight harness.
BCD integrated weights. Weights are stored in the pocket built into the buoyancy control device (BCD). Either a Velcro flap or plastic clip is used to hold the weights in place. A handle is provided that will be pulled to release the weights.
Clip-on weights. As the name suggests, these weights are attached directly to the harness and can be released using a clip mechanism. They’re also used to add weight to traditional weight belts.
Backpack weight pouch. Some rebreathers come with a pouch filled with balls that are over an inch diameter. Divers can release the weights by pulling a cord.
Then, there are also fixed weights that are added to the gear. These include tank weights, ankle weights, metal backplates and steel diving cylinders.
How much weight divers need to compensate against buoyancy, is calculated based on the body weight, exposure suit, buoyancy control, tank and the rest of the equipment (reg, gauges, knife, fins, etc). The total calculation would be very close to a diver’s target ballast weight requirement.
Calculating the body weight is done on the water, with a diver just wearing a swimsuit. The appropriate weight can be measured when a diver hangs motionless for half a breath, and then sink when he exhales.
Note that weight needed for freshwater diving is different from when diving in saltwater. To make adjustments, weight calculation has to be done all over again.