Archive for the ‘BCDs’ Category

 

‘Paradise’ is often used to describe tropical diving locations, however, the Maldives encapsulates every sense of the word.

Manta Ray Maldives

Mantas are visitors to The Maldives

 

A group of 1,200 islands located south west of India and Sri Lanka in the Indian Ocean, the Maldives hosts an abundance of diverse marine life and offers some of the best dive sites in the world. Whether it’s exploring the lagoons and shallow reefs or flowing through fast currents on challenging drift dives, the Maldives appeals to divers of all abilities. In fact its actual name has the word ‘dive’ in it!

The Maldives offers diving throughout its wet and hot seasons. Due to its location you can expect the air temperature to be between 26-32 degrees and the sea temperature remains at a very pleasant 25-30 degrees all year round.

For the best visibility underwater visit between December and April. During these months the weather is very hot and sea conditions are generally good.

The wet season in the Maldives runs from May to August. There is a higher likelihood of rain, high winds and storms during this time. Water visibility can be reduced down to around ten metres during the wet season, although high levels of Plankton increase the chance of spotting Whale Sharks and Manta Rays!

Here is a selection of some of the best places to dive in the Maldives!

The Kuredu Express.

Maximum depth 27 metres.

Better suited to confident and experienced divers, the Kuredu Express is an exhilarating dive site so called because of its fast currents! Situated in the Lhaviyani Atoll and only a ten minutes boat ride from the island of Kuredu, this famous site offers a great opportunity to dive with larger marine life.

The pretty reef, teeming with small lagoon fish, sits at five metres. Most divers prefer to casually drift off the sloping reef and drop down to a sandy channel at around twenty-five metres. It is here, past a corner and amongst some alcoves in the reef, where the action really begins!

It is wise to hold onto the rocks in an effort to maintain your position with the current whizzing past! Here you will see dozens of Grey Reef Sharks taking advantage of the small marine life (food!) flowing past in the deep water channel’s current. Napoleon Wrasse, Morays, Eagle Rays, Large Tuna and Stingrays are also regular sightings.

 

Kureda Express

Kureda Express

 

Okobe Thila.

Maximum depth 33 metres.

Okobe Thila, or Barracuda Giri as it is also known, is a unique dive site situated within the North Male Atoll.

The site is made up of three stunning coral covered pinnacles and divers have two choices as to how they explore the area depending on how strong the current is.

The first option is to drop down to the main reef at twelve metres via a shot line, then continue down the slope to 25 metres where small overhangs and caves harbour inquisitive Moray Eels.
The second option is to begin the dive by drifting on the current before gradually descending down the sloping reef and navigating the pinnacles.

A bright sandy slope reaches up to around five metres and divers can spend their safety stops amongst Gorgonian Sea fans, soft corals and Anenomes.

Divers are almost guaranteed to encounter some (very friendly!) Napoleon Wrasse, Lionfish, Anthias, Scorpionfish, schools of Oriental Sweetlips and Bannerfish. Big Eye Trevallies, Barracuda and Dog Tooth Tuna can often be seen hunting for smaller fish during dawn and dusk dives.

 

Kandooma Thila.

Maximum depth 30 metres.

Found in the South Male Atoll, this unusual pinnacle, shaped like a teardrop, exhibits a stunning amount of marine life.

This dive is best suited to divers of an advanced level due to the strong currents and a rapid negative entry is advisable. Stretching for three-hundred metres, the pinnacle plays host to Barracuda, Big Eye Trevally, Triggerfish and Grouper. At the west point is ‘Jack Corner’ where Dog Tooth Tuna, White-tip Sharks, Eagle Rays and Jack Fish are likely to buzz past.

Overhangs sit along most of the pinnacle and these provide some protection from the current. Many divers prefer to reverse into the strong current and ascend gradually to the top of the pinnacle around twenty metres where Grey Reef Sharks and Eagle are common sightings.

Kandumma Maldives

Kandumma below the surface – fish life is abundant.

 

Broken Rock.

Maximum depth 30 metres.

Divers in the South Ari Atoll can take advantage of this beautiful reef which offers a myriad of exotic marine creatures.

Just a twenty-five minute boat journey from the island of Vakarufalhi and divided into two parts by a rocky canyon (hence it’s name), this site displays acres of soft corals.

Scorpionfish, Moray Eels, Napoleon Wrasse and thousands of small reef fish bustle around the huge fan corals and Anenomes adorning the sides of the canyon. Schools of Bannerfish, Triggerfish, Pufferfish and Anthias are also attracted to the colourful reef.

Divers can expect to experience some strong currents whilst swimming through the canyon, although their hard work is likely to be rewarded by the company of some charismatic Green Turtles on their safety stop.

Oriental Sweetlips

Oriental Sweetlips hanging around the reef!

 

Hammerhead Point.

Maximum depth 30 metres.

Also known as Madivaru Corner this world famous dive site sits within the Rasdhoo Atoll.

Whilst it is only a five minute boat ride from Kuramathi island, Hammerhead Point is mostly favoured by livaboard divers hoping to catch sight of Hammerhead Sharks early in the morning.

The best way to navigate Hammerhead Point is to drop down and follow the reef’s ridge at around ten metres. Underneath the ridge is a series of coves and overhangs stretching to twenty-five metres, where scores of Surgeonfish, Moray Eels, Anthias and Triggerfish can be found.

The elusive Hammerhead Sharks, some up to four metres long, often appear around the outside corner of the ridge and are a breathtaking sight as they emerge from the blue abyss. Some fast currents can occur around this point, so be prepared to fin a bit harder whilst awaiting the arrival of the scallop-headed wonders!

Large schools of Black Snapper and curious Dog-Tooth Tuna are also frequently spotted here.

Hammerhead Maldives

Cross your fingers, you may stumble upon one of these!

Like what you hear? Want to dive the Maldives? Click here for deals on liveaboards!

http://divezone.net/diving/maldives

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“ok, I admit it, it was me…”

 

In breaking news at the Scuba Monkey’s top-secret research labs (just south of Nangtong Supermarket, near the massage parlour on the road south from Ranong) it’s been revealed that Satan, Prince of Darkness, is the entity responsible for GoPro Hero cameras.

Long suspected to be the case by Scuba Diving Instructors worldwide, this latest information confirms their deepest suspicions and fears.

The Dark Lord himself told The Scuba Monkey’s research team about his evil bidding in a telephone interview yesterday afternoon.

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“There’s just too many humans in the world. Too many. Why can’t they stop rutting, just for a second? They’re not even my favourite primate. I like the Orangutans – that ‘Clyde‘ especially. And we need to sort out this food/air deal. Anyway, him upstairs – y’know him with the white flowing beard – commanded I do something about it. Said I was the demon for the job. After all, Satan’s the name, capturing souls is the game!”

“So, I appeared to (founder and CEO of GoPro) Nicholas Woodman in an apparition. You should have seen his face!! I snuck into his bedroom at 4am and planted the idea in his brain. So, go easy on the guy – it’s not all his fault.”

Laughing almost to the point of tears Satan said “I filled him full of a load of crap about how it ‘helps people capture and share their lives’ most meaningful experiences with others—to celebrate them together’…a ha-ha-ha-ha…”

“The reality is it’s a great way of culling the most shallow, self-centred, egotistical and narcissistic fleshlings for my evil kingdom. These f*ckwits are like lambs to the slaughter. First I give them Facebook – the ultimate tool for the mentally ill who post ‘selfies’ under the misapprehension that anyone gives a shit. And then, my masterstroke, was as to create simple to use, easy to buy, small boxes that takes 1080p footage which they can stroke their egos with and post on social networking sites. The poor buggers can’t help themselves! They’re like lemmings! Spending their whole life from behind a small box on a stick nearly killing themselves in the hope of becoming more popular, instead of actually having a life… I mean, what a great idea: Foolproof. Simple. Effective. Much like the camera. Add Scuba Diving Equipment and these idiots are like an accident waiting to happen and ‘boom’ – we cull the idiots and make some more space on the planet. Job done. The boss will be pleased. ”

Sam Worthington, 33, a PADI Instructor presently working in South East Asia confirmed Beelzebub’s account of human behaviour. Clutching his head in his hands he said “I deal with Scuba Divers on a daily basis. At best most holiday divers are average in the water. But, add a GoPro and…they behave like headless chickens. Swimming up, down, left, right….everywhere except with their buddy or the group. You can hear their computers screaming as they ascend like polaris missiles. Or beeping like a faulty doorbell as they blow through their 1.4 ppo2 using nitrox as they don’t have a scooby what depth they’re at…”

Shaking his head Sam added “Watching someone dive with a GoPro is like watching a car-crash. These people can barely dive without a camera. Then giving a novice diver this evil piece of technology is like asking a new car driver to drive through a city centre while juggling like Penn Jillette – doomed to failure. And, in the process, they kill most of the aquatic life in their path and risk the safety of the whole group. They’re like human wrecking balls. That Devil guy is not as daft as he looks y’know. I’ve seen a dozen incidents this year already watching some pituitary retard chasing a Whale Shark. And if I see one more of these knob-jockeys kick the coral I’ll kill them myself before they manage to kill themselves…”

Dorianne, 30, an Instructor in the Red Sea, said shaking her head “I once saw a customer – a daft traveller/trustafarian type with ‘ethnic tattoos’ and dreadlocks – shoot up towards the surface chasing footage of an Oceanic Whitetip with a death-box on a stick. Luckily, we managed to slow her down on her journey from 30m to 5m before she hit the surface – despite her kicking and punching. Her Suunto was beeping like morse-code machine having a seizure. When we got back on the boat she was more concerned with uploading her footage to improve her popularity and get ‘likes’ than being connected to the emergency oxygen. Idiot. She’s presently in a chamber just outside Hurghada taking ‘selfies’ of herself with the facility staff.”

Before departing Satan chuckled and said “Soon every diver will have one of these devices before they even finish their Open Water course or know how to hover, monitor their air and depth, or fin correctly. I love it when a plan comes together…business is booming down here in my Evil Kingdom!”

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Shortly before releasing he’d just floated up from 25m to 5m in 10 seconds clutching his camera…

 

When you’ve been monkeying around in this business for years and teaching in different countries and environments you learn, like a diving detective, to identify traits, characteristics and cues with divers. To sort the new divers from the old. To quickly spot the experienced from the inexperienced. The cocktail divers from those who have spent time in a more demanding environment. It sounds harsh, but it’s part of the job. Making sure your dive group is safe may depend on it.

So, what are the ‘tells’? What are diving professionals looking for? What are the stereotypes?!… Stick around, take the test and I’ll let you see behind the curtain… It’s not a complete list by any stretch of the imagination, but it will give you a few ‘give-aways’ as to what kind of diver you may be dealing with on the dive deck. Write down your answers. See how you do! There’s a poll at the end.

 

Part 1: Equipment

1. My regulators are:

a) Whatever I’ve been given. I’m not sure.

b) A bargain. I got them off ebay/a friend secondhand.

c) MK2/11 Scubapro, Aqualung Titan LX, Cressi MC9, Mares Prestige 12s…etc.

d) MK17/25 Scubapro, Aqualung Legend, Mares Abyss, Apeks XTX200…etc.

e) Mares Carbon 42s, Poseidon Xstream, Apeks XTX200 Tungsten.

2. My BCD is:

a) Decent quality semi-wing/BCD style device such as a Mares Hybrid/Dragon, Scubapro X-Black/T-Black, Aqualung Axiom, Hollis HD200…etc.

b) Wing and back plate. Twin Bladder.

c) Scubapro T-One, Aqualung Wave, Mares Prestige…etc.

d) No idea.

e) Buddy Explorer/Commando. 2001 model.

3. My computer is:

a) What computer? I’m not bothered – I’m not even wearing a watch! – I’ll just stay close to the group. Or, a Mares Puck your partner bought as a present and you don’t know how to use.

b) A 15-20 year old Suunto Favor or big grey UWATEC Aladin that should be on ‘Antiques Roadshow’; the algorithm is so out of date that at 35m on a repetitive dive it gives you a bottom time of 73 minutes.

c) The size of a laptop and with a lurid multi-coloured screen.

d) A solid Zoop/D4/Geo2/Vyper/Veo 2.0

e) Suunto D6i/D9/DX/OCi

4. My fins are:

a) Aqualung Slingshots, Mares Avanti 3/Quattros, Scubapro Twin-Jets, Beauchat Powerjets – all with spring-clips…etc.

b) Jet fins. End of.

c) Size 43 full foot. But I’m shopping online for some Scubapro Seawing Novas – in white.

d) Aqualung Express, Scubapro Jet-Sport, Mares Wave, Tusa Imprex…etc.

e) Original Mares Plana (green/black).

Part 2: Dive Style.

5. Pre-dive I put my mask…

a) On the back of my head.

b) On my forehead.

c) On my face

d) Around my neck until I’ve jumped into the water (which I usually do minus mask and regulator). I’ll put it on when I’m waiting for everyone else.

e) I don’t know where my mask is. I may have sat on it.

6. I put my computer

a) In a console with my air gauge.

b) I don’t know how to use my computer. My boyfriend/girfriend bought it for me as a gift.

c) On my left wrist.

d) On my right wrist.

e) On show where everyone can admire it and it’s flashing lights.

7. On the surface at the end of the dive I…

a) Signal the boat with my SMB and keep everything in place until I’m back on the terra-firma.

b) Put my mask on my forehead and complain about the current.

c) Put the mask on the back of my head and talk about your computer readout/runtime etc. during various stages of the dive.

d) Put my mask around my neck and fin back to the boat’s ladder cheering and whooping.

e) Get ready to take off my enormous weight belt and pass it up to the crew.

8. My air gauge is…

a) Tucked in my pocket on a 3-in-line combo and it’s readings are top secret. If you ask me how much air I have during the dive, I’ll be offended.

b) Neatly tucked under my arm and/or in a clip on the left hand side. It’s just a simple air-gauge.

c) On a super thin miflex hose and miniature metal gauge and is only my business.

d) No idea. I didn’t set up my gear.

e) Standard issue Aqualung/Scubapro 2-in-line on a standard hose.

9. In current I…

a) Get blown away and/or am unable to adapt my style to the environment.

b) Complain when I get back to the surface.

c) Plan the route around the site carefully to take shelter where possible with one eye on the group.

d) Hope to see something big swimming by!

e) Hope it won’t mess up my dive plan that I made on V-Planner.

10. On a dive site I…

a) Have a list of things I want to see so that I can take photos to show my friends on Facebook.

b) Search for the ghost pipefish for 40 minutes (even though the group with a combined total of 35 dives will have no idea what the ‘stick thing’ is).

c) Grab the reef when it suits or use a metal ‘pointer’ to prod at things when it suits. Why not.

d) Monitor my plans. Plan the dive, dive the plan.

e) Try to ensure the group are safe and bring them all to a safe ascent point with a margin of gas.

11. No stop/deco limits are:

a) Extended if you use some nitrox, but please keep one eye on your computer and let me know when you get to 5 minutes from your limit so I can manage the profile.

b) Something I learned about in training.

c) Something imposed by PADI/SSI etc. Pain in the arse.

d) On my computer. I’ll try to stay within them as we’re doing 4 dives today but if I see something a little deeper I’ll bend the rules and hope my computer sorts it out…

e) For inexperienced divers. I’m going with a couple of stages the richest one is 80%.

12. On safety stops I…

a) Hover vertically and blow air ‘rings’ for my customers.

b) Flap around and look at my computer in a confused manner, before popping to the surface like a cork before insinuating there’s something wrong with the equipment and that was the reason for floating away…

c) Film my friends so we can examine our positioning after the dive in the pub, talking earnestly and stroking our chins.

d) Try to stay horizontal and stable so I can off-gas efficiently and turn easily to keep an eye on where the group/boat is.

e) Make up the minutes left as my vintage Aladin slab/computer is simply showing ‘99’ – and I have no idea what that means.

13. My SMB is…

a) I don’t carry one – it’s something for the guide to worry about. I’ve never deployed one in my life despite having an ‘Advanced’ qualification.

b) On a chunky metal Custom/Kent Divers reel with a sausage big enough to lift an outboard motor from 20,000 leagues under the sea.

c) A cheap n’ cheerful plastic sausage on an 8m line with a bolt tied on the end. It has a smiley face drawn on it in permanent marker.

d) On a lightweight finger reel, but I keep a spare around just in case.

e) Faded and in my BCD pocket. It’s the same one I bought in 1986.

14. I love to dive…

a) In tropical areas or warm waters. I don’t like current. Diving in colder water is rubbish. And I expect to see exceptional things.

b) Where there’s some great Macro-life so I can get some decent shots. I love hunting for Pipefish, Seahorses and Harlequin Shrimps.

c) Everywhere. I love to blow bubbles. Everywhere in the world has it’s magic.

d) On wrecks. Deep. Dressed in black.

e) Wherever our committee says and is cheapest.

15. On the surface interval I…

a) Sleep if I can.

b) Tinker with my equipment.

c) Check my group are OK, speak with colleagues and prepare for the next dive.

d) Moan about what I didn’t see and how expensive the diving is.

e) Sit on the boat smoking and play verbal ‘Scuba diving ‘Top Trumps’’ with other guests (e.g. “I saw the ******, did you??”)

16. GoPro Hero cameras…

a) …are cool. I carry a camera just in case I see something on the dive.

b) …I don’t have time for one. I’m concentrating on the dive and the task at hand.

c)…make my heart sink. I know my work is going to be cut-out trying to make sure the user doesn’t lose the group or get a bend chasing something instead of monitoring their depth. Why don’t people buy a computer or continue their diving education instead?

d) …I don’t want any of that modern jibba-jabba! I reluctantly parted with money for my computer 20 years ago (which is still on it’s original battery). I’m not wasting any more money!

e) I bought one and take it everywhere. I film everything and post it to a social networking site as soon as I’m back on land. It was the first thing I bought in basic training (before mask, fins, computer…)

So, who are you?! Where do the majority of your answers fall? Recognise yourself? A friend? A dive buddy? Written down your answers?….scroll down for the reveal!

 

Cocktail Diver (Answers: 1a, 2d, 3a, 4c, 5e, 6b, 7b, 8d, 9a, 10a, 11b, 12b, 13a, 14a, 15e, 16e)

You dive only on holiday in warm waters. Or alternatively, it’s something you learned to do while ‘travelling’ as something to enjoy alongside elephant trekking or surfing. You have progressed to a maximum of Advanced Open Water level. You have less than 100 dives and in-water you dive for you, not as a buddy team and are prone to disappearing on your own or holding up the group. You expect the best and if you don’t see what it said on google for that area (e.g. Manta/Whale Shark/Turtle) you’re very disappointed. You like “big stuff”. You like to post diving footage from your GoPro on Facebook. You flutter kick and can’t cope with current. You have limited equipment (if at all) and what you may have bought is a mis-match of contrasting styles bought on special offer at the dive centre or dive show (as your ‘experienced mate’ said it was a bargain) or, alternatively, bought because the colours match – not for function. You have no idea how to use an SMB and are still scared of having water leak into your mask. Technically, you’re not unsafe but your skill level is still low. You measure your ability on what you’ve seen as opposed to how you dive.

 

Warm-Water-Spotter-Instructor/Part-Time DM or Instructor on holiday (Answers: 1c, 2c, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6c, 7d, 8e, 9d, 10b, 11d, 12a, 13c, 14b, 15a, 16a)

Hard working and with a passion for diving, you did your DM/IDC in the past 2 years in nice, warm, calm conditions. You have between 80-500 dives. You’re on a tight budget and your equipment is tough, mid-range gear that gets the job done – certainly no Tekkie gear although you like wearing a wing sometimes as you think it looks cool with your boardies. You like to party in the evenings and have been known to post ridiculous pictures of yourself making a peace ‘v-sign’ or ‘wicked/awesome’ hand signal underwater with your reg/mask off on Facebook. You’ve never taught/dived in a tough environment and focus more on ‘spotting’ creatures than group safety, dive management or coaching. You’re diving for you and may even carry a camera – even though you’re supposed to be guiding/teaching. Your mission each dive is to ‘out-do’ the other guides by finding more exclusive creatures than them to brag about back on the boat. You’re good with people but forget some of the safety aspects of diving sometimes if there’s something good to see, or at the surface. You’ve never seen a diving injury or accident and certainly not had to deal with anything as serious as a fatality. Teaching to standards is generally done, although you bend the rules a little sometimes to suit.

 

Old-Skool-Clubbie (Answers: 1b, 2e, 3b, 4e, 5b, 6a, 7e, 8a, 9b, 10c, 11c, 12e, 13e, 14e, 15d, 16d)

You’re a member of BSAC/CMAS etc. and think PADI/SSI etc. are money-grabbing charlatans who don’t know how to dive. A diving traditionalist, your equipment and procedures are 20 years behind the curve but, ironically, you’re so set in your ways that you wouldn’t accept any advice even if it was offered. You expect special service but also a discount (?) and think dive centres are out to rip you off! Equipment is rarely serviced – if at all – and you consider that if your equipment is old, faded and beaten-up it just makes you look experienced, right? You have limited buoyancy control and environmental awareness – and think nothing of grabbing the reef or wreck to get a photo. You wear too much weight, have between 100-500 dives, but still have high gas consumption – however you won’t pay a supplement for a 15L tank and would rather compromise the dive for the rest of the group.

 

Weather-Beaten-DM/Instructor (Answers: 1d, 2a, 3e, 4a, 5c, 6d, 7a, 8b, 9c, 10e, 11a, 12d, 13d, 14c, 15c, 16c)

You’re a Divemaster or Instructor who’s been around the block. With >1000 dives in different environments you don’t pretend to know everything, but you’ve got some tales to tell. You’re on a dive professional’s salary (square root of f*ck all!) but you have the best equipment you can afford. You know your life depends on it. Safety is your first priority over spotting the creatures – although you’re passionate about aquatic life – and you’ve seen enough cock-ups in your time to know that little mistakes can add up to a big incident if you don’t pay attention. Warm water, cold water, reef, wreck, current…you’ve seen a little of everything and try to adapt your style accordingly. It drives you crazy when people (including other professionals) are unsafe in the water or have no respect for the environment.

 

The Tekkie (Answers: 1e, 2b, 3c, 4b, 5a, 6e, 7c, 8c, 9e, 10d, 11e, 12c, 13b, 14d, 15b, 16b)

You’re not a full-time diver but a wealthy person who has a serious day job. You take yourself and your diving very seriously and are prone to considering yourself a class above standard recreational divers. You’re about 75% likely to be male. You have around 200 dives and consider yourself to be a great diver (the reality is you’re average and having been seen flapping around or getting lost like a student on dive holidays). You have all black dive gear. You love wrecks and have no time for “fishy sh*t”. Twisted metal is where it’s at. You love to talk gas mixes, shutdowns, SAC rates and run-times loudly to whoever will listen. You read the diving press religiously and buy the very best equipment online after drinking your local dive centre dry of coffee and not buying from them. Your equipment makes working DMs/Instructors drool but you don’t know quite how to use that flashy equipment to it’s full potential. You’ve never gone down the coaching/DM/Instructor route as you don’t have the patience or personality. You wear a twin-set even when you’re only doing a 12m dive in a lake as you love the kudos. Diving’s about you and your gadgets and some of your best dives occur during tall stories in the the pub.

 

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Why dive to dive?? You can simply use footage to post and tell everyone how great you are!!

Scuba Monkey Labs, the top-secret research facility in Asia (just south of the 7/11 on the main road, the pub on the left, ask for Bob – red beard, glasses – you know the one…) have discovered that in the near future, watching GoPro footage of diving will replace the actual experience of physically going scuba diving.

With technology becoming cheaper and most modern homo-sapiens reluctant take part in any team activity or leave their smartphones for more than 10 minutes, scuba diving will be phased-out in favour of watching footage of aquatic life on a series of 1080p image files while sitting on a boat.

In the next few years virtual diving is set to boom and diving instructors will be phased-out, with most people opting for new ‘diving experiences’ where they can simply sun themselves on a boat and watch footage on their smartphones with a commentary 4 times a day which they can then post to their facebook pages.

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A Trustafarian yesterday “Yar, so, like, I’m a traveller….I’ll tell you all about it – I’ll just grab my laptop from my Mum’s Audi”

Lenny, 25, from Holland, an enormously narcissistic young man, said “I’ve done nearly 50 dives now and surely that’s enough. After all, I’m a rich trustafarian who’s already dived in the best places of the coral triangle; Indonesia, Phillipines, Raja Ampat. I only want the best. Big stuff. Even though I can’t even manage to get my own fins on. And Diving is just so much effort. I have to actually think about other people and work as a team which, being a massively self-absorbed person, is very difficult for me.” Checking his reflection in the window, he added “I just disappear off on my own on most dives. Sod my buddy. I want to get footage of big things to post on facebook so everyone can see how great I am. I really am that pompous and selfish. This new process of simply buying footage of pelagic life to watch on your smartphone and claim as your own sounds perfect for massaging my ego.”

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“Man, I look good. I think I’ll make this my profile picture…”

Umberto, 44, from Italy, an enormously needy diver of some 73 dives said “I just get so cold on these tropical dives. The water is 28-29c – mamma mia!! Can’t they improve the temperature or something??” Shivering in the 34c air our delicate flower added “I love this new idea of simply sunning yourself on the boat and buying footage of the dive that someone else has shot. After all, if I can’t be guaranteed a Manta Ray why bother getting in the water?”

Magda, 47, from Oslo, a marketing executive with gigantic fake boobs, said “I was once told we would be diving a site a second time. That’s ridiculous. I’ve done it once so I’ve seen all I need to. So, this new system of sitting on the boat in my bikini talking about what a great diver I am while someone else provides footage sounds like a great idea. I don’t like all that hassle of actually having to move my legs and kick anyway. And last trip I found I had water trapped in my left ear for a couple of hours – which I complained to the manager about”.

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Commonly worn on the wrong wrist by cocktail divers (left instead of right) – they have no idea what it’s for but, boy, it looks cool!

Instructor Gary Clark, 42, concurred “Diving Instruction is set to become a thing of the past. And, to be fair, it’s probably for the best. Most alledgedly ‘Advanced’ divers don’t listen to their instructors, only wear a diving computer for decoration and have no idea what an NDL limit is, how to manage their air consumption, or how to plan a dive. So the safety will be much improved if we just let them sit on the boat, give them some footage of whale sharks to watch, and splash them with salt water 4 times a day. Everyone’s a winner!”

“Zero to Hero” Program Produces a half-decent Instructor Shocker

Does he mean “We’re going up” or “I’m having a great time”? Does he even know himself?

In today’s breaking diving news it was discovered at the Scuba Monkey’s top secret labs (just off the A11 near Attleborough, left at the lights by the chinese take-away, ask for Bob, red-beard, glasses, y’know the fella…) that a “zero to hero” program produced a half-decent instructor who had a bit of a clue how to effectively teach.

“Zero to Hero” programs famously take candidates from novice divers to fully fledged Scuba Instructors in record breaking time. The courses are normally populated by rich Trustafarians with enormous wallets and egos but, ironically, little talent for coaching, teaching or diving experience – scarily letting them loose with real people when training is completed.

Researchers at the Scuba Monkey’s labs were therefore amazed to discover that Mike Balls, 24, originally from Basingstoke, completed his course in Malta earlier this week and actually had half a clue how to structure a diving course, interact with students and demonstrate and assess the required skills in accordance with the course’s prequirements.

Dixie Normous, 42, Mike’s instructor and mentor was still reeling when we caught up with her at Buster’s Bar in Valletta.

“I could barely believe what what I was seeing!” said Dixie, knocking back another Vodka and shaking her head. “Usually the candidates are an absolute shower of shit. No clue, no work ethic, no empathy with students and they’ve got the bare minimum number of dives by bobbing up and down in a 5m deep bay for 20 minute stints. This guy actually put the work in and listened to advice rather than just going partying and tarting around poolside in shiny equipment thinking he was ‘it’.”

Course Director Mike Hunt, 45, from Towbridge said “Usually putting a complete novice through the ‘Zero to Hero’ programme results in someone at the end of the training who’s about as effective at teaching as a chimpanzee is at controlling the NASA space shuttle. What I mean by that is, yes, they’re managing to press the right buttons so technically they’ve passed – but it’s usually more by luck and sheer ‘random’ than judgement. It would be like asking my 3 year old niece to record something on the sky+ box – eventually by sheer repetition she presses the right keys to record ‘Peppa Pig’. But Balls – he actually put in the graft and did it right. I’m astounded.”

Fellow candidate Danny Knobjockey, 26, from Woking,who recently did his IDC on Koh Tao said “Yeah, like, I’m an instructor now. I’ve go no f*cking clue how to schedule an Open Water course – let alone keep control of my group! But I had a great time on the island – man I drank some beer! And if you want someone to parade around poolside with my wetsuit around my waist eyeing up girls, or brag in bars about what a great diver I am and taking selfies with my smart phone, or bounce around on the surface with no mask on losing control of some divers – I’m your man. Just don’t ask me to teach, ok? I wet my pants at the thought of even being asked to teach 1 adventure dive on my own…and I can’t guarantee I’ll bring them all back alive.”

Mat Bellend, 22, from Maidstone, said “I’ve got absolutely no inclination at all to work hard or teach – it’s just that Dad offered to pay for the course and I thought ‘why not?’ – I like the kudos of being able to say ‘I’m an Instructor’. I couldn’t even change a mouthpiece on a regulator if my life depended on it, but I do have some Havaianas flip-flops – is that not enough?”

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Bob Cobblenob yesterday shortly after being released from A&E “Nah, I’ll just have the leak fixed. There’s nothing wrong with ’em”

In breaking diving news today it was announced that BSAC diver Bob Cobblenob, 48, from Tyneside, considered buying some new regulators or ‘DVs’ (as he prefers to call them).

The announcement was made by local BSAC Dive Officer Simon Tightwad, 53, earlier today in an emergency ‘shout’ put out by the local club. The remaining club members came inside from where they were tinkering with the club RIB and stroking each others’ beards.

Simon explained “Bob came into the club house looking a bit faint”. “When I spoke to him he said he was considering updating his 36 year old set of Apeks regulators as they’d become so worn and difficult to breathe from that he was nearly passing out when trying to inhale and, also, all the hoses had more holes than a second-hand dart board and were leaking like a garden sprinkler. He said he had his eye on some new Scubapro MK25s with S600 second stage as they breathe nicely – and was pointing to a diving magazine.”

Simon, clearly still shocked by the incident, said “Luckily, I managed to sit Bob down and talk some sense into him before he did anything crazy…like get his wallet out.”

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“Bob was being irrational” said Simon. “He said it was ‘time to change them‘ and argued that if he’d bought a new car 23 years ago it would be regularly changed as technology and safety features advance – not to mention normal wear and tear and deterioration. I soon put him straight on that!! No BSAC diver has EVER bought a full price set of new regulators. It’s unheard of. Possibly, maybe a last minute end-of-line bargain at a dive show. But only then after bending the sales person’s ear for 2 hours on a trip to Swannage. To walk into a retailer and buy some brand new regulators of the shelf with no fuss or argument? crazy talk.”

After reports of the incident became known to the club at large Dive Officer Simon had Bob sedated and taken to A&E for further observation.

“Soon Bob will be back to his old self” said Simon, “refusing to have his regs serviced annually, moaning about the price of new diving equipment, poo-pooing new technological developments and pining for the days of diving in ABLJs.”

We’ll keep you updated with further reports of Bob’s progress and recovery.

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“What do you mean!! I may have to clear my mask from time to time?!”

In breaking news today at The Scuba Monkey’s top-secret labs (off the A11 near Attleborough, left at the lights, near the chinese take-away) it was revealed that scuba diving masks may leak from time to time necessitating occasional clearing.

The news will come as a shock to many novice divers who, despite happily swimming at the surface with no mask at all, freak out and blub like small children when confronted with the possibility of a tea-spoon of water in their eyes during their dive.

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Hard to believe, but one of these does NOT create an impermeable seal from the outside world – you need to be able to clear it from time to time. Shocking. Next we’ll be telling you the water is salty!

Natasha McCrabs, 31, an Open Water diver of some 23 dives and a notorious pain in the arse said “I splash water in my face every morning while washing and, when showering, have learned to breathe in-and-out through my mouth with no problem. However, before even the simplest dive, I find I need to make an enormous palava about spitting in my mask and asking a minimum of 7 people on the dive deck to double check the seal.” Natasha added “After all, everyone knows that any water that leaks into the mask magically transforms into acid and burns your eyes out.”

John Cockcheese, 27, from Basildon, an Advanced Open Water Diver of some 43 dives and irritating twat who works in media said “I bought a new mask from my local dive shop and paid approximately £50 in good faith that it wouldn’t leak. I was disgusted to learn when diving with it that if I smiled or turned my head to a certain angle underwater a few dribbles of water would leak in accordance with the laws of physics and common sense. This is unacceptable. I mean, it’s not like we’re trained to deal with these situations.” Mr Cockcheese then paused before saying “Ok, thinking about it, that’s wrong. We’re trained for minor inconveniences like this on Confined Water training dives 1, 2 and 4. And Open Water training dives 2, 3 and 4. But, I still maintain it’s a sham and I shouldn’t be expected to exhale through my nose from time to time.”

Joyce Rimmer, 48, a Rescue Diver from Hartlepool with a ridiculous hairstyle said “I’ve been diving now for 2 years but the thought of doing something simple like removing and replacing my mask beneath the surface terrifies me. I can’t stand water in my eyes. So, naturally, I feel ready to begin my Divemaster training.” When queried as to whether someone uncomfortable with demonstrating basic safety skills like mask clearing should even be in the water, let alone considering turning pro, Joyce said “It’s not like it’s a big safety issue. If my mask fogs or leaks at 30m I just stop the whole group, flap my arms and signal ‘problem’ before forcing everyone to surface in case a drop of water tickles my nostril. What’s wrong with that?”

Bob Cousteau, an Instructor of 10 years not known for mincing his words, said “Who are these f*cking idiots? They shouldn’t be let out of the swimming pool. It’s like letting someone drive who can’t go round a roundabout.”