Tag Archive for Diving

The world’s weirdest places to scuba dive

(CNN) — Bored of diving among the usual coral reefs and tropical fish? Looking for something a little out of the ordinary?

Ever thought about diving in a crack between two continents in some of the clearest water on Earth? Or what about swimming up to an active volcano? Perhaps underwater art is more your thing?

If so, take a look at some of the most unusual, mysterious and awe-inspiring underwater landscapes from around the world.

Continental rift in Iceland

The only place in the world where you can swim between two continents, the Silfra fissure in Iceland’s Thingvellier National Park is where the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates meet.

Not only can you dive in a crack in the earth caused by the two continental plates slowly moving away from each other (at an average of 2 cm a year), the waters are so clear that many divers are said to lose all sense of depth and even experience vertigo.

The water’s extreme clarity is thanks to year-round cold temperatures of around two to four degrees Celsius and the water’s purity. The water originates from a glacier high on Iceland’s Hofsjokull Mountain and is filtered through layers of porous lava rock before reaching the national park. Not only is it cold and clear, the water is so pure it is safe enough to drink.

The three sections of the dive include Silfra Hall, the Cathedral and Silfra lagoon.

Mysterious ruins in Japan

A long-lost civilization, the work of aliens or simply a natural wonder? The mysterious underwater ruins of Yonaguni continue to lure the most intrepid of divers.

Located in the Yaeyama Islands off the westernmost point of Japan, the tiny island of Yonaguni is remote and difficult to reach. But it remains popular thanks to the archaeological riddle submerged off its southern coast.

Exactly how the underwater pyramid structure, known as the Yonaguni monument, was formed is still under debate. Some claim the ruins to be evidence of a long lost city, while others are convinced it is a geological phenomenon. There are even a few who believe the site to be the work of architecturally-ambitious aliens.

Whatever its origin, it’s an impressive site. Estimated to be between 5,000 and 8,000 years old, the stepped structures — with smooth platform steps and right angles — appear as though they were carved out of the rock.

This is not a diving site for beginners, with the ruins located in open waters with high waves and strong currents.

Volcanic action in Indonesia

Want to see a volcano up close without the threat of lava flows and toxic air? If so, the submerged volcano of Banua Wuhu is the place to head.

Located beside the island of Mahangetan, part of the volcanic island chain of Sangihe in Indonesia, Banua Wuha rises more than 400 meters from the sea floor and is less than five meters below the water’s surface.

There is no risk from lava — instead, the underwater volcano releases ribbons of silver bubbles — sulfur gas — escaping deep from inside the earth’s crust.

“The bubbles can burn your fingers if you’re not careful,” said Roman Szalay, managing director of Ocean Rover Cruises, which charters one of the few boats that makes the journey to the volcano.

“If you bring (the gas) up in a bottle to the surface it smells horrible, but if the bubbles come up to the surface it smells like nothing,” he added.

The further you descend, the volcano’s barren sulfur-covered rocks give way to coral reefs and an extraordinary display of marine life, including huge barrel sponges, black tipped reef sharks and schools of neon fusiliers.

“If the sky is cloudy and the sun is not bright, the atmosphere is quite mystic” said Szalay, “Sometime you can also hear the roaring of the volcano.”

Underwater art in Mexico

Want a bit of culture on your next dive? Then try the tropical blue waters of Cancun, Mexico where you will find the Museum of Underwater Modern Art.

Consisting of more than 403 permanent life-sized sculptures, the art-filled sea-bed is one of the largest artificial reef attractions in the world.

The work of British sculptor and scuba diver Jason deCaires Taylor, each sculpture is individually cast and made using a special cement mix to encourage coral growth.

“It’s incredibly interesting working underwater,” said deCaires Taylor. “The colors are different, the light patterns are very different, the atmosphere and mood is otherworldly.

“The piece takes on a very different tone underwater — it has a lost feel to it and brings up all these questions that you wouldn’t have on land,” he continued.

Underwater cemetery in the U.S.

A little over five kilometers off the coast of Miami, Florida, is an altogether different, and slightly creepy, diving experience — an artificial reef that doubles as a cemetery.

The Neptune Memorial Reef, with its tagline “creating life after life,” is a man-made reef, built to encourage the growth of marine life while creating “the ultimate ‘Green Burial’ opportunity.”

People who choose the reef as their final resting place are first cremated. Their remains are then mixed with non-porous cement, sand and water, and molded into a stone shape of their choosing, such as a shell or starfish. The stone is then added to the reef by scuba divers.

The first phase of the memorial has been built in the style of a “classical re-creation of the Lost City.” Relatives of the deceased, curious scuba-divers and marine biologists are among those who dive among the coral-encrusted arches and statues of lions that line the sea floor.

When completed, the memorial will cover have the capacity to hold the cremated remains of around 100,000 people.

For more information: http://edition.cnn.com/2011/09/09/travel/weird-diving-locations/index.html?iref=allsearch

Diving October


I would like to have another training day at Vobster on the 7th October followed by a 20m dive (no training) from the diveboat Mary Jo from Swanage on the 14th. The time of this dive should be 12.00, no early start required!!

Please let me know if you are interested.



Weymouth Weekend 4th/5th September 2011 (aka “Czech Dive”).

Last September’s trip to Weymouth had seen some particularly rough weather wipe out a day’s diving and it was with much anticipation that we ventured to Weymouth early September, in the hope of a full weekend’s diving – it didn’t disappoint!

Basing ourselves at the Bunk House in Portland, most arrived Friday evening and assembled at the Cove Inn for a quick scoop before an early night. Impressively, as we all went off to bed Jeremy was landing at Gatwick airport and headed straight over to Portland to arrive in the early hours.

Up before dawn on the Saturday morning, ropes off from Weymouth quay was 0645 on Woody’s boat “RW Two”. Joining the 12 intrepid Aquanauts was “Wee Shazzy B”, tagging along as “Boat Biatch” for the day. There was some concern about how Sharon would react to spending a day on the boat with Woody, though I was more concerned for Woody, to be fair!!

Sea conditions weren’t too bad, though an unusual “corkscrew” swell began to take its toll as we headed out for the first dive of the day – the Eleanor R. Lying in circa 26-30 metres, this is a wreck which Woody hadn’t been to in around 20 years and apparently he had come out the day before especially to find it. Visibility was ok, though poor light made the descent feel more like a night dive below 10 metres. The Eleanor R is renowned for Conger Eels and there was much discussion post dive about just how many there were. Frustratingly, myself and Nick G didn’t see one!! Clearly this wreck is not dived very often, and is all the better for it in terms of fish life.

Following a surface interval close inshore to escape the swell, the second dive was a full on scallop bash off Portland Head. Fittingly in Weymouth, the scalloping was of Olympic standard with a very impressive haul brought back on to the boat.

Back on shore, several of the group elected to enjoy the weather and impressively walk the 5 miles or so back to Portland.   A celebratory high tea back at the Bunk House marked Jo’s birthday together with the ringing of bells – more precisely the fire alarm which was set off by the birthday candles, but luckily for us a Fireman was on hand. Saturday evening was a cracking trip to the local Tandoori to further celebrate. Unusually Bonz didn’t seem to have his normal appetite, though that might have been the mention of the specially requested quadruple Fahl.

Returning to the Bunk House, we chatted to some Czech divers who were also staying there and swapped a few dive stories over a shot of Metaxa, before heading off for some much needed sleep and another early start. Some got more sleep than others as our Czech friends decided to party hard  well beyond 4am, much to the chagrin of Hajo and Sarah who bore the brunt of it, and were none too impressed!!

Sunday dawned to something of a murky start as we headed out to sea to dive the Alex Von Opstal. The journey out was made all the more entertaining by Mr Willett’s world class knot tying, as he stepped into the role of Boat Biatch, in the absence of Wee Shazzy B who didn’t fancy another day at sea.

Lying at a similar depth to the Eleanor, vis and light on the Alex turned out to be much better than the previous day making for a really enjoyable dive and apparently there was a conger there as well, though I didn’t see it – again!!

Second dive was another productive scallop bash in a similar area off Portland Head, before returning to Weymouth, and a gloriously sunny afternoon.

Thanks to Christian and Vanessa for the excellent dive management and what was a cracking weekend all round!!


Cuttlefish Nick


Divefest 2012

Dear all!

Divefest 2012 May the 4th to the 7th!

Divefest 2012 dates have been confirmed!! It will be held from Friday the 4th of May 2012 to Monday the 7th of May.

This time we will be more people, so caravan space is getting tight! We need to book our caravans early so that we can all be together and can fit everybody in! So book your Sleeping Space with Tracy the Fridge Magnet now!

Diving will be shore based after the somewhat chaotic diving prep of last year (not to be blamed on the skippers! or the dive sites)!

This will also ensure that we are in full control of our own diving and that Mr Photo Blake can get that all important winning shot! in before the closing deadline 🙂

Like last time, we will be in charge of our own cooking on Friday and Sunday, so BBQ’s at the ready!

There will be another dress up on Friday of some sorts, please keep an eye on this space!



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