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Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Cyprus Dive Sites- Green Bay, Protaras

A sleepy Mediterranean Island hiding a multitude of Dive Sites for Scuba Divers of all certification levels? say hello to Cyprus.

We love diving here and, although, like much of the Med, our seas are overfished, the variety of species you can find when diving here are phenomenal!

So let me tell you a little about our Dive Sites, starting with the most frequented... GREEN BAY!

A stormy sky over Green Bay, the moon just visible in the sky


Green Bay is a great dive site for all certification levels. It has an easy entry/exit point where you can just walk in and out of the water. Put your fins and mask on in waist deep water and drop down below the surface into the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

The Bottom Contour

green Bay protaras, and the barracudaThe bottom slopes gradually down from 0 metres to 3 metres where it levels out over the rocks, so if this is as far as you are comfortable, there is no need to go further.

For the more adventurous, you can drop over the step to a 6 metre ledge, then down a sandy slope where you are flanked by Poseidonia Sea Grass, to a maximum depth of 9.5 metres. If you want depth here, you will have to bring your own shovel!

What can a Diver See?

fish around a diver at table rock
In the shallows, you can find small wrasse and maybe an octopus but as you head down to 3 metres, you come across table rock where you will be swamped by hungry sea bream, damsel fish, ornate and rainbow wrasse and parrot fish.

A little deeper and you may see a lone (or shoal of) barracuda or a couple squid depending on the time of year you are here. Keep your eyes open for the morays and octopus around here as there are plenty of holes for them to hide in.

Around the 6 metre area, you can also find ancient amphora pottery fused into the rocks and crevices and this is reminiscent of old Grecian seafarers drinking the night away on their ships.

If you are brave enough, you can head down to 9 metres to discover our very own Atlantis.

Statues and podiums for divers to pose and weave through make this an excellent destination for the underwater photographers out there.

diver posing on underwater podium surrounded by fish


Conclusion

Green Bay is the busiest dive site in Cyprus for a reason. Everything about diving here is easy; shallow depths, gradual descent, and the fish life is amazing.

Where you have to guess what fish life will be at other local sites, Green Bay is guaranteed to be overflowing with life and is always worth a visit regardless of your certification.


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Protaras Diving. Meet Spongebob Harbour

This is a short video from this week scuba diving in Protaras Cyprus.

We have been diving with Russian Brothers who wanted to see the underwater world of Protaras and Cyprus as a whole. Nothing could have prepared us for the multitude of life we found under the sea at this local site. It is called Spongebob Harbour and wow, was I amazed!!


Friday, 13 June 2014

The Big Ocean Clean Up

Whether it is a water bottle, vegetable containers or a bag, in today's society, plastic has become a massive part of our everyday lives.  It is strong and durable and these useful properties are also the reason it is so dangerous.

Not so long ago, there was a grievous tragedy that occurred with the disappearance of flight MH 370. The news coverage also highlighted the serious problem of garbage in our oceans, in particular the "gyres".

What is a Gyre?

Currents: cc by-SA 3.0
Avsa- Own work
Our oceans are massive and so we would assume that any rubbish and plastic in our seas would be spread thinly across the whole area and wouldn't appear to be a big problem. However, the Oceans run in currents and these currents, along with the wind, keep the rubbish moving in Gyres, which is quite simply any type of vortex in air or sea. 

There are 5 gyres in our oceans where plastic is concentrated. These are; the Indian Ocean Gyre, the South Atlantic Gyre, The North Atlantic Gyre,  The South Pacific Gyre and the North Pacific Gyre. In these Gyres, there is said to be "six times more plastic than Zooplankton by weight"*

The big problem with plastic is that it floats on the surface of the water alongside genuine food sources for marine animals and it is killing them and seabirds in the millions each year. Eaten by these creatures, it can be poisonous and once it is in the food chain, it isn't long before it gets back to us.

Plastic can also trap and carry invasive species that can then threaten native ecosystems

How can we clean up the Oceans?

Initial ideas to clean the oceans involved big ships with nets that could scoop out the plastic and garbage from our oceans for recycling. However, the down sides to this are the costs, which would reach into the billions, emissions from the ships, by-catch in the nets and it would be very time consuming and take a long time to achieve.

A new Idea?

An innovative new idea however has been generated by a 19 year old boy, Bayan Slat. 

Bayan came up with a design, which anchors stationary V shaped floating barriers and platforms within these gyres and use the wind and currents as the power to concentrate the garbage into the elbow of the V before removing it for recycling. No nets means no by catch!



A feasibility report for the designs has just been completed showing this is a viable method that could remove almost half the plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and phase II is under development, which will work towards building a fully functioning pilot system withing 3-5 years.

What can I do to help?

Obviously something of this nature will always require funding and there is a crowd funding operation underway to try to raise money for this project.

First, I would recommend you visit the website at www.theoceancleanup.com and read a bit more about the plans for this ocean clean up and then, if you wish, you can follow the links to donate as little as $6.21 to help this project become a reality. Every little helps and it would take just 332,062 individuals donating $6.21 to achieve the target funding.

How much are our oceans worth?

*Moor et al. 2001

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Scuba Diving at Chapel, Protaras, Cyprus

Our short but sweet video of the week.



In this video, we head out to scuba dive at the Chapel Dive Site in Protaras.



Look out for the Octopus, the Tube Worms and those funny bubble-making creatures we call Scuba Divers, as we explore underwater Cyprus in the Mediterranean Sea



Wednesday, 4 June 2014

How to be Unpopular in the Scuba Diving World

We have all been there, haven't we?

You have permission from the other half and you have managed to find a bargain on the Internet so you can get away for a week and its all about the scuba diving. Excitement reigns supreme as you look forward to a relaxing time and some adventure dives.

On arrival you unpack your slightly battered but highly reliable, freshly serviced dive kit and the dive guide introduces you to the person you will be buddied with today. New friends... well this is what it is all about! Until you realise that your buddy has no diving etiquette at all and has been buddied with you because nobody else wants to dive with them.

So, these are 4 things guaranteed to make you unpopular in the Scuba Diving World.

1. Tardiness

Many dives around the world have to be scheduled to fit with tides etc but even in places, like here in Cyprus, where we don't have to worry about these things, it is exceedingly annoying when everyone has to wait on one diver who thinks it is acceptable to arrive late.

As a dive guide, we give divers times to arrive so that they have ample time to organise their equipment and check it over with a "buffer" in case anything needs to be adjusted, mended or cannot be found. It isn't a guideline to get here around that time, there is a reason we said that time.

Equally, arriving late can mean you don't have the chance to do all your checks properly and you certainly don't want to be that diver that turns up late, makes everybody wait and then realise en route or at the dive site that something doesn't work or you have forgotten something (worse still if everybody is already kitted up).

2. Sprawling

Be you at the Dive Centre, at the Dive Site or on a boat, be aware that space is limited and precious.

Everybody needs a bit of room to kit up but try and use the minimum space possible. When you aren't using bits, put them back in your dive bag to conserve space

Oh and don't drape your wet wetsuit over another diver's dry clothes!!!

3. Bragging

We are divers and innately, we love hearing tales about other people's diving holidays, the things you see, the places you go.

However, continual one-upmanship of every other diver on the trip is almost as bad as the diver that insists on checking everybody else's air and depth gauges post dive before announcing how much air he has left and he went deeper than anyone else too.

4. Spatial Awareness

On land and under water, be aware of where other divers are and try to avoid running into them, hovering over them and kicking them in the face with your fins.

If you see something, be courteous and remember you are not the only diver that wants to see, so avoid barrelling in front of others in a bid to get there first. While we are talking about seeing things underwater and fin action, if you are first in line to see something exciting, watch your finning action. Others won't see so well if you have kicked up a storm.

Of course, there are plenty of other ways to become unpopular in the Scuba Diving world. We are a pretty accepting bunch of people that just require a bit of courtesy and good diving etiquette.

Let us know what you would add to this list