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.
Unlike the fabled cities of Atlantis and Lemuria, the underwater ruins of the ancient Greek city of Helike were rediscovered in 2001. Buried underneath the remnants of a primordial lagoon, it is no longer a tantalizing mystery for writers, historians and enterprising explorers. A multitude of ancient cities and buildings have been found underneath the waters of our oceans. In the past couple of years, discovery claims surfaced of ancient underwater sites the size of Pompeii. As convincing as these claims are, no real proof has ever been found for the supposed Japan, Cambay and Cuba anomalies and these sites remain highly controversial. The following ten ruins serve as a reminder of Mother Nature’s might and of our glorious archaeological ancestry.
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
Discovered in 1996, researchers have concluded that the ruins were originally an island until volcanic activity or a landslide sunk it 1700 years ago. The buildings were drowned before the era of Mayan rule and artifacts discovered have left the impression that the area was abandoned in a hurry. Several ceremonial monuments have been uncovered as well as altars, incense burners, ceramics and other artifacts. Excavations are extremely demanding as the visibility is close to none and everything is covered with a very thick layer of silt.
Lost more than 1600 ago, Cleopatra’s palace as well as the temple of Isis was discovered in the archaeological waters of Alexandria. Legend holds that Cleopatra and Marc Anthony committed suicide to avoid capture by the Romans, who in turn destroyed and dispersed their belongings. Up to date, archaeologists have found three areas where they believe their tomb to be. More than 140 artifacts have been excavated so far, and excavation work continues to this day at the submerged royal quarters. Archaeologists are also researching the possibility of an underwater museum at the site.
Pavlopetri is unique as it is the earliest submerged archaeological city to have been discovered. It had a layout of streets, courtyards, tombs and various buildings that has largely remained as it was millennia ago. Accurately mapped for the first time in 2009, archaeologists were amazed to discover the site sprawled more then 30,000 square meters. The town was engulfed around 1000 BC by an earthquake. A protected underwater cultural heritage site as listed by UNESCO, it remains in danger of being damaged by thieves, tourists and boat anchors.
Dating from around 7000 BC, this is one of the oldest and largest submerged human dwellings ever discovered. In fact, for 9000 years the granular ocean floor preserved the site so well, that bugs can still be found in the grain stores and the skeletons are still lying peacefully in their graves. The ruins were discovered in 1984 and immediately gave rise to different theories as to how the well-developed ancient village met its ultimate demise. From a tsunami to the gradual rise of the ocean due to the systematic melting of the glaciers, the events leading to its ultimate fate will forever be shrouded in mystery.
Kingston Harbor, Jamaica
Home to prostitutes and pirates, Port Royal used to be the “Wickedest City on Earth”. Founded in 1518, it was a notorious port city and popular abode for English and Dutch privateers until their governments cancelled their commissions to confiscate Spain’s ships. As the privateers became pirates, the port became the hotspot for pirates from as far away as Madagascar. Destroyed and sunk in part after an earthquake in 1692, excavations have yielded historical documents, various buildings, thoroughfares and actual preserved food. Various plans are in the pipeline to redevelop the town into a main tourist destination.
Seahenge, also known as Holme 1, consisted of a ring of fifty-five oak trunks that formed a circular enclosure with a large inverted oak stump in the centre. The trunks were placed in a trench and not in individual holes with their bark facing outwards and split sides facing inwards. Placed about 3 ft into the ground, we will never know how tall the trunks actually were. It was built around the 21st century BC. After its discovery in 1998, the site was excavated despite protests from Neo-pagan groups and the timbers were cleaned and placed in permanent storage. A recreated Seahenge was placed at the original site and a museum opened to the public in 2008.
The Shore Temple
The famous Mahabalipuram temple has always been encased in folklore. The legends spoke of seven temples that were so dazzling; the gods grew envious and sent a flood that submerged all but one of them, leaving the Shore Temple companionless. After the Tsunami of December 2004, a collapsed temple as well as several other structures and primordial rock sculptures used in the same era to decorate walls and religious shrines were exposed. It revived theories that Mahabalipuram formed part of the Seven Pagodas the first Europeans wrote about.
Herakleion and Canopus
Abu Qir Bay, Egypt
Herakleion and Canopus were the twin cities guarding the gateway to Egypt.Herakleion was also home to Menelaus, king of Sparta, during his famous 10-year war against Troy. More than 1200 years ago, the cities abruptly collapsed when a flood turned the ground on which they were built into silt. Until their discovery in 1999, the only proof of their existence came from the texts of a few venerable historians and Greek mythology. The ancient ruins were discovered at depths of 20 – 23 feet (7 m), frozen in time, with its many temples, statues and other dwellings still demonstrating its former glory.
Bay of Naples, Italy
Baiae was the home port of the Western Imperial fleet of Rome. Playground of the filthy rich and infamous for its corruption and decadence the site has delivered numerous Roman sculptures. As a stockpile of casts were discovered, some believe a workshop probably mass-produced copies of original bronze sculptures for the Roman market. Baiae was annihilated by Muslim invaders in the 8th century AD and completely abandoned by 1500. Due to the volcanic activity of the area, the structure ultimately collapsed into the ocean.
Between 1994 and 1998, a salvage inspection was executed at the ruins of the legendary ancient lighthouse of Alexandria. Even though archaeologists had an idea of its size, they were unprepared for the extent of the site’s proportions. Dispersed over 2,5 hectares were over 2,500 pieces of stonework: hundreds of columns, sphinxes, colossal statues, pharaonic monuments and mammoth granite blocks which came from the famous lighthouse. They learned that at least three colossal coupled statues stood at the foot of the Pharos, including one of Ptolemy in rose granite from Aswan. A feasibility study to add the bay of Alexandria to the list of UNESCO underwater cultural heritage areas is underway.