Sunday 28 September 2014

Scuba Diving in Green bay, Cyprus with Charles

Wednesday 24 September 2014

Divers do it Deeper-5 tips to do it right!

Just four days ago, a new diving depth record was set by Egyptian diver, Ahmed Gabr, as he spent 14 hours completing a dive to a whopping 332metres underwater.

A dive like this can take years of planning and organisation to ensure it is done safely and the bulk of us will never even consider descending to such depths but if you are going to go deep, do it right.

1. Have a Reasonable Deep Diving Objective.

Right from the start of the deeper diving courses, we are told that if you just want to go deep to boast that you have been there, then this is not really the course for you and this theme continues all the way from the PADI Deep Specialty through all the Technical Diving Courses.

If you are making deep dives, you should have a reasonable objective... and that is just one... never try to overload yourself with doing too much on a deep dive. Keep everything as simple as possible.

2. Depth Progression.

I have just completed a couple PADI Deep Specialties here in Cyprus and while there are not many skills involved in the course, it is a great way to progress your depth experience in small steps with the comfort of having an instructor there with you. 

Build the experience and your confidence. Don't just jump in at the deep end!

3. Plan the Dive

When you are making Deep Dives, it is even more important to have a dive plan in place, so everyone knows where they should be, what they should be doing and what happens if something goes awry.

Dive with people you have dived with before and whom you trust. Remember that it is not just you that has to be fit and ready (mentally and physically) to make this dive, your buddy or dive team must be equally prepared.

Also, make sure somebody on land knows where you have gone, how long you will be there and is prepared to activate emergency procedures if needed

4. Have enough Gas

A single 12 litre tank is usually acceptable for dives in Open Water down to the recreational Diver limit of 40m but if you start adding in overhead environments with Wrecks and Caves, you really need to start thinking about some kind of redundancy system in case you have a problem.

Rebreathers, Twinsets or sidemount systems allow you to carry 2 cylinders of breathing gases that works along with the training to allow you to shut one down and breathe from the other in the event of any problems.

Know your SAC (Surface Air Consumption) rate and use it to calculate your gas consumption for the dive. Although, be aware that this is only useful if you know how to do it properly. If not, you could get incorrect information and will be more detrimental than beneficial.

5. In Kit we trust

Configuration of your equipment is a very personal thing and it often takes a lot of little changes to fix any little niggles you may have.

Although, this ability to adjust our equipment is a good thing, we must also realise that sometimes it just takes us a little while to adjust ourselves to new things. Changing equipment on every dive means you never get the opportunity to get comfortable with it and when you are making deep dives, you should always be comfortable with the equipment you are using.

Know your controls and get it right before you dive deep.

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Dynamite Fishing-The Cost...

At certain areas of Cyprus, there are unexplained bangs that occur regularly and are currently being investigated. Although there have been a number of theories, most believe the cause of these underwater bangs is Dynamite Fishing.

Dynamite fishing (or blast fishing) is used as an easy means of catching fish by stunning or killing large numbers of them through the use of explosives. It is highly destructive and, in most parts of the world, illegal!

This method of fishing is incredibly inhumane, as the shockwaves from the explosions rupture the swim bladders of the fish causing them to lose buoyancy and direction. This leads to a prolonged death from drowning.

Some of the fish caught in the blast will float to the surface but the vast majority of them will sink to the seabed. The fishermen come and scoop up those that float at the surface, while those that sink are left to die down below.

Combine this with the fact that dynamite will kill everything indiscriminately and you see that this is an exceedingly wasteful means of fishing. Not to mention the damage that it inflicts on every other part of our oceans including; food chain destruction, coral and sponge damage, habitat destruction, leading to reduced rates of reproduction and diminished fish stocks.

Not only is dynamite fishing killing sea life, it is dangerous for the fishermen using it too, as much of the explosives used in dynamite fishing are home produced with all of the hazards that entails. Equally, anyone within the shockwave's radius is at risk. This includes swimmers and divers!

Quite simply, Dynamite fishing is unsustainable. With the wastage and damage inflicted on the ecosystem, it will not be long before the sea is uninhabitable and nobody can win from this diagnosis. There will be no fish left to catch for the fishermen, there will be nothing to see for the divers, snorkellers and swimmers and the world be a poorer place for it.

A healthy ocean equates to a healthy income, particularly in tourist dependent countries like Cyprus.

So, let's get to the bottom of these underwater bangs and ensure that if there has been Dynamite Fishing in Cyprus, it becomes extinct instead of the fish life we all treasure!