Thursday, April 17, 2014

3 Great Places to Dive With Sea Turtles

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

1. Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands

They’re small, but they’re frisky: Since 1981, approximately 31,000 hatchlings have been released from Grand Cayman’s turtle farm. They grow up, but they don’t go far. Last year at Omega Reef, Michael Maes, island resident and underwater videographer, had an encounter that might make an onlooker wonder what he rubbed on his lens. A hawksbill beelined for him and proceeded to keep his beak pressed to the glass for what must have been nearly 20 minutes. It stroked its way to the surface, then returned right to Maes. Maybe it’s the farm’s annual turtle release — or lack of predators — that explains the boldness of these young turtles — or maybe it’s just something in the water.

Learn more about diving the Cayman Islands here:

Bequia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines

2. Bequia, St. Vincent and The Grenadines 

The first two years in a turtle’s life are its most vulnerable — hunted on shore and sea. On Bequia, Orton “Brother” King learned of sea turtles’ mortality rate, and the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary was born, creating a safe haven for juvenile hawksbills. It has become one more reason the Grenadines maintains a healthy turtle population. For divers and snorkelers, one of the best areas to target for encounters is the Tobago Cays Marine Park east of the island of Mayreau. This protected zone includes the reefs around five uninhabited cays, which also serve as turtle nesting grounds.

Interested in learning more about diving in these lovely islands? Check out our Complete Dive Guide to St. Vincent and the Grenadines.

Makaha Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

3. Makaha Beach, Oahu, Hawaii

In Hawaii, it’s a challenge to walk the beaches without stepping on throngs of basking green sea turtles — which, by the way, would be illegal because these animals are heavily protected in the Aloha State. Underwater, dive guides can take you to sites such as Makaha Beach off Oahu for known cleaning stations. And it’s full of entertainment. The turtles are about as active as they are on the beach, so although you might not get nose to nose literally, you’ll gain abundant face time — a coup for those who didn’t get enough Instagram fodder from simply walking the beach.

Learn more about diving Hawaii here:

Image: Sport Diver


Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Thursday, April 10, 2014

PADI Dive Tables Introduction 101

Here's a tutorial video on how to read PADI Dive tables for beginner scuba divers.

For questions, please drop us a line or two below. Thank you!

Video Courtesy of ScubaNashville

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Beginner's Guide: What You Need to Know about Scuba Diving

In order to encourage the growth of the sport and to change existing misconceptions it is time to release more facts about scuba diving and thus dispelling the old myths.

Only good swimmers can dive
Good news, you don’t have to be a keen swimmer to learn to dive. In fact, I have done introduction diving with people who didn’t even know how to swim. Of course it is best if you can but your diving abilities won’t necessarily be related to your swimming abilities. Fortunately, you don’t swim underwater like you would at the surface (imagining this makes me laugh every time…). Whilst diving, arms are useless and the only propulsion comes from the legs, so a gentle kick with the fins is more than enough and you don’t need to be an Olympic swimmer to do so. In my opinion, the most important things to remember when moving underwater are to remain calm and to have good balance so you don’t rock from side to side waving your arms.

Aquatic life is dangerous
For many people sharks are the reason to stay on dry land. I hope this is no longer the case thanks to Dispelling the Myths of Scuba Diving but I hear you saying “Yeah, and what about moray eels, fire coral or jelly fish?” There are two main rules in scuba diving, the first one being “never hold your breath” and the second one that I call the 3Ts “do not Touch, Take or Tease”. If you follow those rules you will be absolutely fine unless you are diving with piranhas.

There are actually 2 fish that can be aggressive even if you follow the 3Ts rule: the trigger fish and the clown fish (yes! Nemo is not only a cute little fishy fishy) both are extremely territorial and would protect their eggs if you get too close no matter what size you are, which is actually quite admirable given the fact that a clown fish is only a couple of centimetres long. However, as rare as it might be, if you ever find yourself threatened by a trigger fish (should I give you a tip as well if you feel in danger of Nemo?), the best thing to do is to swim away always keeping an eye on it and never towards the surface as its territory has the shape of a cone starting from the bottom all the way up to the surface.

Dangerous nitrogen narcosis

Well… the truth is yes and no. No it is not dangerous in itself but its consequences could be if not taken seriously. Let me explain a little bit more about it. Little is known about nitrogen narcosis but what is certain is that at a particular depth (it can start at 30m), nitrogen becomes toxic to us. To keep things simple, our neurons are formed of axons which are there to send information to our brain via electrical impulses.

These axons are made of fat and nitrogen loves fat, so some of this nitrogen stays on the axons thus slowing down the entire process of information delivery. Some people are more prone to narcosis than others and it seems like stress is another important factor. The diving conditions can trigger narcosis too, temperature, visibility, current… As a novice diver you won’t be able to recognise the symptoms and that is when it becomes dangerous as it has an effect on behaviour.

I have seen people sharing their air with fish or staring at a rock with nothing on it. But don’t worry, the more experienced you get the later narcosis occurs and you will also be able to recognize the symptoms. Your instructor or dive master will be on the lookout for the tell-tale signs and will know what to do, which is to come up a little bit for the effect to disappear. Simple.

…Still in doubt about becoming a diver?

Any more scuba diving myths you have heard off? Post a comment here and we will try to set the record straight. 


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Scuba Choice Top Picks of the Week!

Find out which scuba diving product would suit you best!

Palantic Techical Diving Stainless Steel Backplate w/ Harness System & Crotch Strap


Scuba Diving Spearfishing Low Volume Silicone Camouflage Dive Mask with Complimentary Defog Spray

For those looking for a new diving mask, here's a special offer for only $48.98.

Black Spearfishing Free Dive Ultra Low Volume Comfort Fit Silicone Dive Mask

This mask has a similar design to Omer Zero Cube Mask with a retail price of $79. Think about the savings while getting the same quality!

Go on, get a new mask or replace your old one today!


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Top 3 Destinations for Lake Diving in Alaska

If the Creator showered all the natural beauty and resources into a single area, then He must have picked Alaska to be the chosen one. The lushness of its forests, the clarity of its water forms, and the diversity of its wildlife is enough evidence to conclude that indeed, America’s Last Frontier is very blessed by Mother Nature.
One of the most spectacular attractions that lure tourists and locals alike into this beautiful state is the lakes. In Alaska, there are about three million lakes, 3,197 of which are officially named as natural lakes. Therefore, adventure seekers have taken advantage with such abundance, exploring what lies beneath the crystal clear waters. If you are one of those people who are fond of discovering what is usually unseen on land, why not try lake diving in Alaska?

For starters, you can head on to the Birch Lake is located about 60 miles southeast of Fairbanks, on the Richardson Highway. This body of water is full of lily pads and vegetation however, you will be able to enjoy practicing your scubadiving skills here. There is no current on the lake and the average depth is just 9.1m—perfect for beginners. You have to be careful though as boat traffic can be a danger to you while diving.
If you are looking for an interesting underwater world, why not try diving in the Summit Lake in Hatcher’s? When looking through the water, you will discover a number of animal bones, marine creatures like shrimpy bugs, and some beautiful boulders. You have to watch out, however, because the water can get very cold and the visibility begins to fade anywhere below 15 feet.
Another water form to discover is the Andrew Lake on the Adak Island. The view on land is very amazing; wait until you see what is hidden under the water and be stunned! Explore the beautiful lake with a dive with your friends and surely, you’ll never want to stop diving ever again.