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Underwater Photographer of the Year 2016

March 2nd, 2016

“Photography is a love affair with life” Burk Uzzle 1938

Winner Seahorse Italy Burk Uzzle’s timeless quote is aptly reflected in the many entries submitted for the Underwater Photography of the Year (UPY) competition. Scuba divers across the globe have embraced their passion for nature and have captured magical moments in time.

Professor Callum Roberts paints a striking picture in his forward for the UPY 2016 Yearbook – ‘This magnificent collection of photographs celebrates life in the sea in all its diversity, splendour and sheer mind-bending oddity. It brings together many of the most arresting images of the year: the shark filled waters of Cuba and French Polynesia, an octopus suspended in the night-time mid-Pacific as delicate as a flower, or a tight knit extended family of pilot whales at home in the blue immensity of the Mediterranean. The pictures thrill, inspire, and will kindle a yearning to explore and discover even in the most armchair-bound.’

The cliché, ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’, is the point of departure for the Dive The World blog post this week. Few words are necessary from us as the beauty captured by the artistry of the photographers speak for themselves. A few of the award winning images are showcased below. The Underwater Photographer of the Year – The Yearbook 2016 presents all the incredible, inspiring images that placed in this year’s prestigious competition.

We hope that the diving images with the photographer and judges comments inspire you to capture your own magical moments during your scuba diving holidays. Contact our Dive The World sales team to enquire about scuba diving vacations to Indonesia, Hawaii, Maldives, or any of the many liveaboard destinations that are pulling at your heart strings.

Wide Angle Runner Up IndonesiaFabio Galbiati shares how his ‘bad weather day’ inspired him and the result is this beautiful image that bagged him runner up in the Wide Angle category. ‘In early August 2015 I was in Bangka Island, Sulawesi. The first days the weather was bad and prevented us from going out with the boat to dive. The situation was really boring and we wanted to go into the water, why not take advantage of the pristine mangrove nearby? We decided to spend some hours in these murky waters.

It was a big surprise, many subjects everywhere and the light effects produced by the sun and mangroves were very special. I decided to make a shot at sunset, so we went there in the afternoon and after along search in the outermost part I found the right root with this nudibranch(Jorunna funebris) intent to feed. Did some tests in framing and attempts to restrict the backscatter of these murky waters and I only had to wait until the sun did his duty and…. press the shutter!’

Macro Category Runner up Kona HawaiiJudge Alex Mustard provides some insight into the challenges faced by macro photographers. ‘Helen definitely took on one of macro photography’s big challenges to produce this eye-catching image. It is not easy to shoot macro portraits of tiny, semi-transparent critters while suspended in the darkness of inner-space: an open ocean black water dive. Capturing such a pleasing composition of such an attractive species in these conditions is a great achievement.

‘Suspended in the inky blackness of the open ocean where the water is thousands of feet deep, a myriad of weird and wonderful creatures came into view in the narrow focus light beam. They were making their nightly journey towards the surface to feed, before heading back down to the depths in time to escape the light of another day. Using our lights to help locate their prey, we were truly in another world, and we did not want to ever leave. I was able to take several shots of this tiny octopus as he drifted by, but he disappeared again into the darkness all too soon.’ Helen Brierley

Reef Ballet Indonesia
Damien Mauric describes the beauty of Raja Ampat, Indonesia, where his commended image in the International Wide Angle category was taken. “I like to create images showing marine life in motion and Raja Ampat is probably the best place on earth for creating this type of image.

Every reef, every wall, every piece of rock is carpeted of an abundance of marine life while there is always something happening in the blue. While I was exploring one of the underwater garden of Pulau WayiIbatan, I noticed this large and beautiful fiery red gorgonian. Coming out of nowhere a huge school silversides started a beautiful choreography in front of my camera..What a perfect moment for the passionate diver that I am to witness this dance orchestrated by larger pelagic fishes hunting in the background. I couldn’t miss the opportunity to capture the elegance of this underwater ballet.”

International Behaviour Highly Commended Maldives

Damien McGuirk captured unexpected magic on his Maldivian scuba vacation and was awarded highly commended in the International Behaviour category. He shares this special moment. “I love looking for Longnose Hawkfish. In the Maldives, they live in the bushes of Black Frondy Coral. They are very skittish subjects but this little guy didn’t mind me looking at him, and only by studying him over a few minutes did I sense he was doing something unusual. Without warning, he shot off his perch to return a few seconds later with something in his mouth. I aimed my camera as best I could, and tripped the shutter. It was only later when I reviewed the image in my hotel room did I realise what I had actually captured. Magic!”

Create your own keepsakes now, book your next scuba diving vacation. Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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5% off Thailand 2016 liveaboards!

March 1st, 2016

Budget Similans liveaboard MV Scuba AdventureAmazing news if you are planning a diving holiday between now and the end of April 2016. On top of any other specials we’re offering an extra 5% off Thailand liveaboards!

So you can add to any specials or last minute offers a further discount making Dive The World the best place for Thailand liveaboard discounts. Combine this with any other specials you see on the Thailand specials page on our blog or on our Thailand website’s specials page. You wont find a better offer anywhere on the internet.

So you can be diving the Similan Islands this season and saving big!

The popular mid-range liveaboard MV Pawara

Low Budget liveaboards

  • Dolphin Queen
  • Similan Explorer
  • Scuba Adventure
  • South Siam III
  • Daranee

Medium Budget Liveaboards

  • Pawara
  • Hallelujah
  • Andaman Tritan
  • Deep Andaman Queen

The excellent Deep Andaman Queen liveaboard

High Budget Liveaboards

  • Deep Andaman Queen
  • DiveRACE Class E
  • Panunee
  • Diva Andaman
  • Giamani

So act now!

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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‘Famous’ Great White Sharks And Their Contributions to Conservation

February 19th, 2016

Have you ever wondered why the ocean’s apex predator needs to be protected? Are you interested to learn how certain ‘famous’ lady sharks have contributed to bringing awareness to their plight.

Let us introduce you to a couple of ‘leading ladies’ in the world of shark conservation…Nicole and Deep Blue.

Could you imagine migrating from South Africa to Australia via your ‘own steam’?
Great White Shark_1Nicole, named after the famous Australian actress (Kidman), is a female great white shark who was tracked from South Africa to Australia and back again.

This is a journey of more than 20,000 kms in just 9 months. This inter-continental, trans-oceanic migration was the first evidence of the far ranging migration patterns of great whites and was recorded by means of pop-up archival satellite transmitting (“PAT”) tags.

Nicole was one of the specimens tagged in Haibaai near Dyer Island, Gansbaai, South Africa. Recording the incredible distances covered by great whites was a major revelation and highlighted the need to protect them. It contributed to this species being listed on the CITES Appendix II in October 2004.

Largest great white captured digitally
10 years on and another great white female made the headlines and became a ‘star’ in her own right. Incredible footage was taken by videographer Michael Maier, off Guadalupe Island, Mexico, capturing a female great white. What is amazing about this particular piece of footage is that it is of a pregnant female, estimated to be 50 years old and a whopping 7m in length! She is known as Deep Blue and has since played a starring role in Discovery Channel’s 2014 Shark Week.

Local researcher, Mauricio Hoyos Padilla, released “Part 2” of the video clip on his facebook page in August 2015. This additional footage shows the magnificent, gargantuan fish interacting with the divers who are in and on top of the protective cage. “When I first saw Deep Blue, I thought one thing: hope,” Padilla says. “A shark of this size is likely 50 years old, and that tells us that conservation efforts are really working.”

This is great news for cage diving at Guadalupe Island. However, as he explains, “Great whites are protected in the area, but that doesn’t mean these sharks are out of hot water.” Padilla and his team hope to better understand the migration patterns and nursing grounds of these huge animals, so that enforcement can be placed in the most crucial zones.

Dive The World supports shark conservation
We appreciate the importance of protecting the oceans top predators and Dive The World has been supporting Sharklife Conservation Group since 2009. This is just one of the charitable organisations that we support, as do you, every time you book a scuba diving holiday with us.

Have your very own great white experience
Cage diving with great whites is an exhilarating, breathtaking experience. There are two awesome locations for you to choose from, Australia and Mexico. Rodney Fox, pioneered white shark cage diving after being a victim of a shark attack. He was passionate about educating the public about these misunderstood titans of the oceans and now owns and operates the Australian Princess II liveaboard. Dive The World also recommends a number of Mexico liveaboards that schedule cage diving trips to Guadalupe Island between August and October each year.

Tick this dive off your ‘bucket list’, book your white shark cage diving trip now.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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Special Offers on the Maldives MY Moonima

February 12th, 2016

Enjoy a cruise on MY Moonima for lessNo sooner have we launched the new Maldives liveaboard MY Moonima on our website, than we bring you more specials!

If you fancy hitting the delightful atolls of central Maldives in March or April then you can do so for less. Check out the offers below for around a 17% discount.

Plus you can combine it with our launch offer and save even more. Moonima was completely renovated and relaunched in 2015 and is now under new Italian management who operate the excellent Sachika, so you can be sure you will be well looked after.

01 – 08 October 2016
08 – 15 October 2016
Maldives Central Atolls: North Male, South Male, Ari, Rasdhoo and Vaavu Atolls.
Standard twin/double bed cabin: Was US$ 1,541 Now US$ 1,096
Save US$ 890 per couple!

15 – 22 October 2016
Maldives Central Atolls: North Male, South Male, Felidhoo, Ari Atolls.
Standard twin/double bed cabin: Was US$ 1,541 Now US$ 1,370
Save US$ 342 per couple!

Relax in your cabin on MY MoonimaCruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, return transfers to the boat from Male Airport, dives (including 1 night dive), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (6-7 divers per guide), tanks, weights and weightbelts, trips to the local islands, Maldivian bed tax and GST.

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment (US$ 35 per day), GST on all items and services purchased on board. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit cards).

Optional extras: Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, additional 2nd night dive (cost dependent on number of participants), dive insurance (can be purchased on board), torches, dive computer, Wifi internet (US$ 20 for 5 GB). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

Check out more information and images on new Maldives liveaboard MY Moonima and then spring into action to make your dreams come true.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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Gong Xi Fa Cai – Celebrating The Year Of The Fire Monkey

February 11th, 2016

Lion DanceAcross Asia and the globe millions are celebrating the Chinese Lunar New Year. Traditional celebrations include crackers, fireworks, acrobatic lion dances, Ang Pau envelopes and gatherings of family and friends sharing Yee Sang to usher in wealth and prosperity in the Lunar New Year.

2016 Is the year of the Fire Monkey, not only does it sound cool, for those who believe it could also be advantageous. For those who do not believe, it is a reminder that half of the 262 species of monkeys in the world are threatened with extinction; 58 of the threatened species live in South and Central America, 46 in Asia and 26 in Africa.

We can make a difference! We can make donations to reputable organisations that work tirelessly to protect and rehabilitate endangered primates. We can also support rehabilitation centres via entrance fees and by volunteering our time. A number of incredible dive locations are in the countries that many of the endangered primates live. Why not combine your next scuba diving holiday with a visit to one of the primate centres?

OrangutanNot sure where to start – Dive The World recommends visiting world famous Sipadan Island, or other Malaysian scuba diving destinations such as Lankayan or Layang Layang. Combine your diving holiday with an opportunity to observe ‘The wild man of Borneo’ in their natural habitat. Confirm your booking at Sepilok Nature Resort with our friendly and efficient sales team.

Other amazing diving destinations where you can observe wild endangered monkeys are:
• Belize
• Costa Rica
• Indonesia
• Philippines
• Thailand

Book your scuba diving and monkey
adventure during the ‘year of the monkey’ today!

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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Witness A Manta Feeding Spectacle This August!

February 11th, 2016

If you’re searching for the best opportunity to witness the astonishing phenomenon of hundreds of manta rays (Manta alfredi) and whale sharks (Rhincodon typus) feeding together, look no further than Hanifaru Bay, Baa Atoll.

Mantas Hanifaru Bay Guy Stevens_1Don’t miss your opportunity to experience this incredible sight! Book your August 2016 Maldives liveaboard cruise holiday with MV Adora or MV Sting Ray. Contact our Dive The World sales team (send us an email) and confirm your Maldivian diving cruise. Diving cruises include snorkelling in Hanifaru Bay and diving in sites nearby to the bay.

Why all the hype about an enclosed underwater bay approximately the size of a football field? This small, UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, locally known as ‘Vandhumaafaru Adi’, transforms into the world’s most dense manta ray feeding station between the months of May and November each year. This phenomenon happens when the lunar tide occurs during the South West Monsoon season resulting in the bay turning into a rich, soupy plankton filled smorgasbord, attracting filter feeders in the hundreds.

The typical, elegant reef-ballet displayed by manta rays fragments into chaos due to the sheer numbers and close proximity in the bay. Add a couple of the world’s biggest fish – whale sharks into the mix and you have a not to be missed Maldivian experience.

Whale Shark Snorkeler_1MV Adora will include snorkeling trips to Hanifaru Bay during their diving cruises on
• 31 July – 07 August
• 14 August – 21 August
The bay can be visited with the scuba diving liveaboard, MV Sting Ray during these cruises dates
• 06 August – 13 August
• 20 August – 27 August

Don’t delay, book today, and confirm your cabin now!

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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New Mexico liveaboard offer – Quino El Guardian

February 10th, 2016

The cheap and cheerful Quino El GuardianJoining the line-up of Mexico liveaboards operating in Socorro and the Sea of Cortez is Quino El Guardian.

Quino El Guardian is a re-purposed fishing vessel, refurbished in 2015 to become a Mexico liveaboard operated by the people behind Rocio Del Mar. This sturdy boat can accommodate up to 16 divers on budget liveaboard diving tours around Socorro Islands and the Sea of Cortez. Check out more on Quino El Guardian and its facilities.

And you can save $$$ on your next Dive The World booking with this new liveaboard launch offer.

2016 Socorro Islands – 9D/8N
Up to 22 dives
Standard 4-share cabin
US$ 2,800 per person
Itinerary: San Benedicto, Roca Partida, Socorro Island.

Book your cruise on the new and exciting Quino El Guardian by 10 March 2016 and get a US$ 100 Discount Voucher off your next dive vacation with Dive The World!

Diving Socorro and the Sea of Cortez from Quino El GuardianCruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, soft drinks, hot drinks, local beers and wine, dives (as detailed in the trips above), experienced English-speaking divemasters (1 guide for 8 divers), standard tanks, weights and weightbelts, port fees.

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment, surface marker buoy, dive computer, whistle, diving insurance, national park fee (Sea of Cortez and Socorro) US$ 28, hyperbaric chamber fee: US$ 15. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).

Optional extras: Transfers to the boat from the airport/hotel (US$ 125 rtn from Phoenix airport), nitrox fills for enriched air divers (US$ 120 per trip), trip insurance (recommended). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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Traveling to Costa Rica From Europe Has Never Been Easier!

February 4th, 2016

Costa Rica, otherwise known as the ‘rich coast’ lives up to its reputation as being ‘the Switzerland of Latin America’. It has proven to be a peaceful, safe, (well relatively for a country situated in the middle of South America) eco-friendly country, practicing sustainable tourism that is backed by a well-developed infrastructure. It is now really easy to get to for European travellers with recently announced direct flights from London.

Jaguar_Marco ZanferrariIt is therefore not surprising that it is attracting visitors in increasing numbers. Europe is the second largest source market of tourists to Costa Rica after the US, according to data from the Costa Rica Tourism Board. Last year, Costa Rica issued over 370 000 tourist visas to European passport holders.

Thomson Airways was the first airline company to offer a weekly, direct flight, from the UK to Costa Rica. In November 2015, they began scheduled flights, every Monday, from Gatwick, landing in Daniel Oduber Quirós International Airport, Liberia (approximately 215km northwest of the nations capital, San José).

British Airways (BA) seeing the potential of Costa Rica as a European tourist destination soon followed suit and is selling direct flights, with departures starting in April. Their route is from London Gatwick airport to San José’s Juan Santamaría International Airport. Travelers and divers can travel to the country many consider to be the ‘poster child for eco tourism,’ in less than 11 hours for as little as £500 return. (BA flies on Wednesday or Saturday during the summer months, or Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday in the winter months.)

MV ArgoIf you intend to dive in Costa Rica (and how could you not?) make sure you plan your trip before you arrive in this ‘Garden of Eden’. Relatively few liveaboards operate in the spectacular remote Costa Rican dive destinations. Not surprisingly, places can be booked up well in advance. Scuba divers traveling to Costa Rica can choose between diving world renowned, Cocos Island or the lesser known, but by no means less impressive, Caño Island.

You can dive Caño Island with the highly rated sister vessels Okeanos Aggressor I and Okeanos Aggressor II. These boats along with the other Cocos liveaboards can take you diving the once-in-a-lifetime, liveaboard-only dive destination Cocos Island.

Now that it is easier than ever to travel to Costa Rica from the UK and Europe. Book your Costa Rican liveaboard diving safari with our Dive The World sales team right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email and book your Cocos or Caño Island liveaboard diving safari today!


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New affordable Maldives liveaboard MY Moonima

February 2nd, 2016

The lovely new Galapagos liveaboard NortadaNew to the Maldives diving scene comes a familiar name with an unfamiliar new style. The name Moonima has been around in the Maldives for a while but it is now back and better than ever.

Under new Italian management, MY Moonima is an affordable liveaboard operated alongside its fellow fleet member MY Sachika, one of our most popular boats in the Maldives.

And you can save $$$ on your next Dive The World booking with this new liveaboard launch offer.

Maldives Central Atolls – 8D/7N
Up to 18 dives
Standard double/twin bed cabin
US$ 2,055 per person
Itinerary: North Male, South Male, Ari, Rasdhoo and Vaavu atolls.

Book your cruise on the new MY Moonima by 02 March 2016 and get a US$ 100 Discount Voucher off your next dive vacation with Dive The World!

Moonima double bed cabinCruise price per person includes: Cabin accommodation with air-conditioning, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, hot drinks, return transfers to the boat from Male Airport, dives (including 1 night dive), experienced English-speaking divemaster(s) (6-7 divers per guide), tanks, weights and weightbelts, trips to the local islands, Maldivian bed tax and GST.

Cruise price per person excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own): Scuba equipment (US$ 35 per day), GST on all items and services purchased on board. Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit cards).

Optional extras: Soft drinks, alcoholic drinks, additional 2nd night dive (cost dependent on number of participants), dive insurance (can be purchased on board), torches, dive computer, Wifi internet (US$ 20 for 5 GB). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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‘Enslavement of sentient beings’ at Nemo Aquarium in Thailand

February 1st, 2016

This Pays For ThisWhile the world moves towards banning the incarceration of dolphins, Dolphins Bay Phuket opened in November, undeterred by public objections.

Strong opinions against this facility have been expressed on the Dolphins Bay Phuket community Facebook page about Nemo. An October post by Ann Elphick provides some context to the situation: “If you go and see the Dolphins here you are supporting wild capture and slaughter of Dolphins in Taiji, Japan. Watch the film ‘The Cove’ before considering going. They have Taiji Dolphins here. If you love Dolphins don’t buy a ticket!”; Ashely Donald stated: “It’s disgusting that these beautiful creatures are being held captive here to perform when tourists and locals can see them in the wild off the shores of Phuket.”

A good point justly made! There is nothing more magical than experiencing the wonders of nature in their natural environment. The ‘Land of Smiles” or Thailand, has a tropical climate and over 3000 kilometres of coast line, making it the perfect scuba diving destination. Many areas offer you the opportunity to witness free, wild dolphins, frolicking in the waves or performing acrobatic feats out of pure joy.

Pod of dolphins courtesy of Scuba ZooYou will be spoilt for choice with over 200 dive sites that you can choose from. Dive The World offers a wide selection of liveaboards, daytrip boats or diver friendly resorts providing the best of all possible worlds for your Thailand diving vacation. To learn more about the diving wonders of Thailand, e-mail our friendly and efficient Dive The World sales team send us an email and book your Thailand liveaboard diving holiday today!

What can you do to ensure that these intelligent, gentle mammals stay in the world’s oceans where they belong?

Do not visit the Nemo Dolphin Bay in Phuket (that was built for approximately 100 million Thai Baht!) or other dolphinariums and contribute to their profits from the inhumane treatment of marine animals.

Do have a voice and sign one of the many petitions aimed at protecting dolphins. Ric O’Barry’s Dolphin Project has a number of petitions for you to choose from – or sign them all!.

Support non-profit organisations in their fight to protect our dolphins and whales. One such organisation is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who broke the news way back in 2014 that the dolphins selected to perform in Phuket are wild females captured from the infamous killing “cove” in Taiji, Japan. CITES (Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species) records verify that the Ukrainian company Nemo, had imported Tursiops truncatus gilli, Pacific bottlenose dolphins from Taiji. We need these organisations to keep abreast of the atrocities that are occurring in our oceans, and we need to do our part to stop these barbaric practices!


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Magical Encounters in Mexico

January 26th, 2016

Snorkeler and Blue Whale_2

Renowned wild life photographer Norbert Wu, recently captured a once in a lifetime experience for a very lucky snorkeller, off the coast of Baja California, Mexico.

This incredible image encapsulates the moment when a mere mortal came along side a gentle giant. At approximately 25 metres long and upwards of 200 tons, Blue Whales are the largest animals to have lived on earth.

Baja California is the gateway to diving in Mexico. Mexico’s bucket list sites, such as Socorro, Sea of Cortez and Guadalupe are remote and ideally suited for liveaboard diving holidays. Dive The World offers you a range of liveaboard charters in Mexico. Don’t miss the opportunity to have your very own once in a lifetime experience.

Who knows, yours might be to dive with schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks, be awed by a whale shark experience or witness an oceanic manta ray dance.

Contact our experienced Dive The World sales team right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email and book your Mexico liveaboard diving holiday today!


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Check out our new Thailand Specials Page

January 21st, 2016

Hello to lovers of all things Thailand. Are you planning a Similans liveaboard? How about a land-based stay in Phuket, or Krabi or Phi Phi with some awesome daytrip diving? Maybe you are planning to take your first or further steps on the ladder of dive education? Thailand is the perfect dive destination for all of these things.

If any of the above apply to you then you should check out our new Thailand specials page. Here you will find your way to all sorts of money-saving offers including:

  • Early bird discounts and season long specials
  • Returning customer discounts – up to 10% off
  • Our lucky draw discounts
  • Daytrip specials – up to 10% off
  • Pay only on arrival or balance on arrival schemes

Whatever way you cut it, Dive The World Thailand is your best buddy when it comes to exploring the magnificent waters of the Andaman Ocean and beyond.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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Saved By The Bell

January 21st, 2016

Tragedy followed by litigation
After suffering the tragic loss of both his girlfriend and friend (while diving The Blue Hole off Malta’s island, Gozo) in June 2015; BSAC diver, Stephen Martin, has been living with the prospect of being extradited from the United Kingdom to Malta on charges of involuntary manslaughter. On Monday, a mere two days before he was to appeal at the High Court in London against a request to extradite him to the Mediterranean isle, all charges were dropped.

Stephen Martin_1The diving world was in shock when the bizarre charges were brought against Stephen almost 20 months ago. The events of that fateful day were ruled as accidental deaths by Brighton and Hove coroner’s court in February 2015. However a Maltese magisterial inquiry was held without Mr Martin’s input or presence, resulting in involuntary manslaughter charges being levied against him.

This dramatic turnaround came about after BSAC (British Sub Aqua Club) representatives met with the Malta Attorney General and appealed for all charges to be dropped. BSAC chief executive, Mary Tetley said: ‘The decision today brings to an end the horrendous ordeal which Stephen has suffered since he was charged, and we are both delighted and relieved for him.
We remain dismayed that these charges were ever brought in the first place as a UK coroner had already ruled the deaths a tragic accident.‘ Never in BSACs 63-year history have criminal charges like this have been brought against BSAC divers relating to a diving fatality or accident. ‘It is a victory for common sense that these charges have now been dropped, allowing Stephen to move on with his life, and grieve in peace.

Diver’s legal responsibilities
The Blue Hole_2As scuba divers we are all aware that our sport is considered to be high risk. Our training makes us keenly aware of the potential risks that our much loved recreational pursuit holds. We acknowledge that we are personally responsible for the risks we choose to take and accept the potential consequences.

The best we can do is dive within our limits, dive our plan and remember our training. Fortunately for Stephen he was affiliated with a great organisation, BSAC, who provided invaluable support in his time of need. Would your training agency come to your aid in similar circumstances? Possibly not, especially if getting P-A-I-D is their only real concern. The very least we can do is ensure we have full and up-to-date scuba diving and travel insurance.

Questions to ponder
Is this a once off incident or should we be looking into liability insurance to cover the costs of possible litigation? Will we be placed in the awkward position of asking our friends and family to sign personal injury liability release agreements before taking the plunge into the realms of the blue?

At the moment, there doesn’t seem to be a need to panic and take on the services of lawyers…


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New Mexico liveaboard Nautilus Belle Amie

January 12th, 2016

Exciting news for lovers of big fish action comes with the Dive The World launch of a news Scorro and Guadalupe liveaboard, the gorgeous Nautilus Belle Amie.

The lovely new Mexico liveaboard Nautilus Belle AmieThe 41m long, steel-hulled Nautilus Belle Amie has a wide beam, a deep draft and a bulbous bow and is heavily sound-proofed. This results in a stable, comfortable Mexico liveaboard experience for the maximum 32 guests.

This motor yacht is built to meet SOLAS safety standards, is audited annually by BV Bureau Veritas, and provides free Nautilus lifeline lost diver devices. This all provides peace of mind on diving trips to the legendary Socorro Islands and the shark haven of Guadalupe Island.

And you can save $$$ on your next Dive The World booking with this new liveaboard launch offer. So check it out and you will soon be diving with sharks, mantas, dolphins, seals and more

Socorro – 9D/8N
Up to 18 dives
4-share cabin US$ 2,935
Standard double/twin bed cabin US$ 3,355
Superior double/twin bed suite US$ 3,880
Premium double/twin bed suite US$ 4,510
Itinerary: San Benedicto, Roca Partida and Socorro Island.

Book your cruise on the new and exciting Nautilus Belle Amie by 12 February 2016 and get a US$ 100 Discount Voucher off your next dive vacation with Dive The World!

The lovely new Mexico liveaboard Nautilus Belle AmieCruise price includes: Cabin accommodation, breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, drinking water, soft drinks, hot drinks, transfers (for Guadalupe trips) to the boat from the hotel, dives (as detailed in the safaris above), experienced English-speaking divemasters (1 guide for 8 scuba divers), standard tanks, weights and weightbelts. CD of photos/video at the end of the tour.

Price excludes (mandatory, unless customer provides own) : Scuba equipment (US$ 215 per week), diving insurance, port fee (US$ 65). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival (cash or credit card).

Optional extras: Transfers (for Socorro tours) to the boat from the airport/hotel, alcoholic drinks, steel and specialised tanks, nitrox fills for enriched air divers, rebreather support (including zorb), gas mixes, WiFi internet (US$ 100 per device per trip). Unless otherwise stated, all the listed items need to be paid on arrival.

This offer can be used in addition to other special offers including your Dive The World returning customer 5% discount. Voucher is transferable. See here for the discount voucher Terms and Conditions.

Contact Dive The World right away on +66 (0)83 505 7794 or send us an email.


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Should El Nino affect your choice of dive destination?

January 12th, 2016

El Nino. What is it?
El Niño and La Niña are opposite phases of what is referred to as the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) cycle. This cycle is a a description of temperature fluctuations between the ocean and atmosphere in the east-central Pacific region. El Niño means The Little Boy in Spanish and is not a new phenomenon. It was originally recognised by South American fishermen in the 1600s, who noticed the unusually warm water in the Pacific Ocean. The name was chosen based on the associations of the term El Nino with the baby Jesus, since the warming tended to occur around December.

Close-up of the El Nino effect
So where gets affected most?
From the image, you can see the areas most affected, with red being the highest temperature range. So you would expect this event to be felt anywhere in this region and possibly further out as the effect spreads. Most obviously in the firing line are the coastal regions of the south-west of the USA, and Pacific coastlines of Mexico, Central American and South American nations. Out in the Pacific itself islands in the area such as Galapagos and Cocos are obviously going to see some effects. Depending on the severity and duration of the warming event, effects may spread to islands and nations on the other side of the Pacific Ocean such as Fiji, Hawaii, the Solomon islands, Palau, Australia and Indonesia and to a lesser extent, worldwide.

Is the diving affected right now in world-class destinations?
We have been asked about El Niño by quite a few customers. So we put our feelers out to get a clearer picture of what was being experienced on the ground (or under the water). Below is some feedback from a variety of the places we have been asked about, by people with intimate knowledge of the diving in those places:

Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Sky: “We receive weekly reports back from our Captains and Dive Guides with water temperatures, water visibility and lists of the marine animals they encountered on their dives. While I am not a scientist, just a diver reading reports back from our dive guides, from our reports it appears that the water temperatures are warmer in the southern islands of Galapagos compared to 2014. The northern islands, Wolf and Darwin, have very little or no change from last year. When comparing animal encounters from November & December 2014 to November & December 2015, we are seeing very little or no change. Our divers are still having amazing dives and seeing all of amazing creatures of Galapagos.”

Cocos Island
Okeanos Aggressor I and II: “There is no doubt that El Niño has affected not only our area, but in general, the whole world, Europe and America for example are having super warm temperatures for this time of year.

El Nino from a wider perspectiveIt is also true that not all weeks have had the same marine life or maybe they have been a little deeper and this year, in Cocos, we have had great diving weeks with all you can see, tiger sharks, hammerheads, whales, mantas you name it.

and also some weeks where the hammerhead schools were seen in less numbers of specimens but they have been constant all year around, as said, maybe not in huge number of sharks like when the water is colder, but it also happens between rainy season and dry season, or simply because that week hasn’t been that good. Having said that, in Cocos, we are lucky as when sharks are maybe not that present, we get manta rays or other kind of pelagic fish. For now, we have had a good diving year and hopefully water will be back to normal soon.”

Mexico
Solmar V: “Yes we have experienced warmer water but the diving has remained very good. Many of our encounters such as the giant mantas and dolphins are not affected by warmer water.”

Nautilus Belle Amie: “We are definitely seeing the effects of El Nino at Socorro and Guadalupe Islands. Water temperatures are 2 – 3 degrees warmer than normal. Manta and dolphin sightings and interaction at Socorro is unchanged.

We saw far fewer sharks than normal in November and early December at Socorro when water temps were in the mid – high 80’s. Shark sightings are back to normal with winter water temps ie. I expect to see 75 – 76 F water temps in Feb instead of 73 which is warmer than normal but still a very good range for hammerhead sharks and all our other favourite sharks. Our experience during the previous El Nino was that we actually saw more hammerheads than normal. My guess is that we got the benefit of sharks migrating further north than normal and right into our waters.

Our humpback whale season has started slowly. We are seeing fewer animals than normal. Not sure if this is because the humpies don’t like the warmer water or if they are choosing not to migrate south from Alaska because food was scarcer than normal for them this past year. White shark sightings were normal with the exception that we saw far fewer of the enormous giant “big momma” females than normal in October.

THE BIG THING to point out to your clients is that we are seeing different weather and storm patterns than normal. We actually had a hurricane go through Socorro Island in late November which is unheard of. We believe it’s solely because of El Nino. For this reason, we highly recommend that all guests purchase trip insurance – it’s especially valuable in case of a weather event this year.”

Australia
Spirit of Freedom: “We have not experienced any effects from the El Nino other than the monsoon trough dropping a little earlier than usual. So its a bit wet at the moment, but the trough may lift in January, we shall wait and see.”

Fiji
Nai’a; “We are happy and relieved to report that El Nino has had a very positive effect on Fiji’s coral reefs. While other reefs in the region have experience bleaching due to ocean warming, starting last fall, the water temperature in Fiji dropped and stayed right along the line of lowest temperatures we have recorded on NAI’A.

While this means a bit more time layering up with neoprene before each dive, the visibility has been tremendous and the hard coral in Fiji is as healthy as it has ever been! As a consequence of this, we are seeing an abundance of the rest of Fiji’s reef creatures. Gradually, the temperature has started to climb again, but it is still unseasonably cool.”

Beyond the Pacific?

Maldives
Orion: “The Maldives is a designation more for fish, notably Sharks and Mantas. This far we have seen no effects on these due to El Niño. As for Coral there have been some reports for bleaching however this is more in the shallows where it affects snorkelling, not so much at depths that divers frequent. We have seen little to no effect to the type of diving that we strive for. The diving has been excellent this season with plenty of Manta and Shark action to entice our ever happy clients.”

Choosing the right liveaboard destination can be a tricky balancing actOther operators we have been in touch with in places like the Red Sea and Indonesia also report no meaningful impact of El Nino with diving conditions being great. So it is a bit of a mixed bag. Some places are affected and it is changing the behaviour of the marine life there, some are seeing no effect. The situation may change depending on the severity and duration of the warming event.

Generally speaking it is not good news for the marine life and coral of our most beloved dive destinations. However many have bounced back well since the last significant El Nino.

While the impact of this El Niño remains to be fully realised, things are clearly not all doom and gloom. There is plenty of good diving out there and we should not be put off simply because El Niño is in the news.


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