Posts Tagged ‘diving’

 

‘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

Fantasy Fish Tale

Posted: October 26, 2015 in Culture, Media, Movies
Tags: , , , , , ,

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat…”

Last night, I had a strange experience. I was staying in Italy with very good friends. One of them had brought along his 10 year old son for the weekend who, being 10 years old, wasn’t quite as enthralled with the architecture and vistas on offer in the Italian countryside. In fact, like the majority of modern 10 year olds, any period of time away from his iPad connected to Minecraft, Angry Birds or the latest awful Transformers offering from movie director Anti-Christ Michael Bay was met with foot-stomping protestations of boredom that not even Italian ice-cream could suppress.

That night while the ‘grown-ups’ were having dinner we decided that to keep our nipper occupied we would stream a movie onto the TV. We went through a series of options. Would we serve up another Transformers-style CGI-fest like Avengers: Age of Ultron? Or Iron Man? Perhaps he’s nearly old enough for something slightly darker from Christopher Nolan’s excellent Batman series? Upon checking with the IMDB and rather excellent BBFC website we figured it may be just slightly beyond his maturity.

In the end, I recalled the movies that had impacted me at that age. What had stuck with me. What had stood the test of time. What, when I looked back to the young me, was burned into my memory as a landmark movie. Jaws, the 1975 classic, which has recently celebrated it’s 40th birthday, stood out as a big influence.

Regarded by many as the first summer-blockbuster-popcorn-movie, Jaws transcended it’s genre – as the best movies do – and became a cultural phenomenon. Like many of my generation, I can still remember this film being broadcast on TV when I was a child of that age. At first scared and watching from behind a cushion, as I grew the movie grew with me. Forgetting it’s lamentable sequels, I still love it today. And although it is not without flaws, without any hint of irony, will happily cite it as one of my favourite films.

So what’s great about it? Well, in many ways, it’s the first ‘family’ horror movie – if there is such a thing. Although only a PG rating in the UK originally (now reclassified to it’s 12A modern equivalent) there is something tense and shocking about it even today- whether it’s a 10-12 year old meeting the movie for the first time. Or, at the other end of the spectrum, granny watching it on boxing day while munching on a mince pie. It has the ability to captivate each generation.

Some of that brooding sense of threat that the movie has is a happy accident. Something serendipitous making the film greater than the sum of it’s parts. The rubber shark that they had lined up to play the title role (nicknamed ‘Bruce’) malfunctioned during production. It simply wouldn’t work. This had a few side effects.

Firstly, it meant that under pressure to complete the film under schedule, and with the studio breathing down his neck, Spielberg was forced to shoot large sections of the movie shark-less. This meant that legendary composer John Williams had to effectively become the shark. In fact, for the first half of the movie the shark is not seen. It’s heard in the form of John Williams’ cello. And a healthy does of Hitchcockian suggestion from Spielberg.

  • As with many good horror or sci-fi movies, Jaws has said to be allegorical for a bigger issue. Over the years Jaws has been said to be about variously; the Watergate scandal, the atom bomb, that the shark represents a sexual predator or serial killer, it’s a parable on the need for order in society, a morality tale, representing science (Hooper) vs. religion (Quint) in the face of the common man (Brody), the three aspects of the human psyche Parent (Quint), Adult (Hooper) and Child (Brody) engaging, the unreality and sanitisation of modern life and (inevitably for a film of this era) the dread of spreading communism.

Secondly, the three main protagonists in the movie; Quint, Brody and Hooper, famously clashed on set. Accounts vary as to why that may have been the case. Some say it was a deliberate ploy from hardened actor Robert Shaw to create tension on the set. Part of his plan. Others say that Shaw – known to enjoy a drink – simply didn’t get on with Richard Dreyfuss and Roy Scheider. Whatever the reasons, the tension between the actors seems real and palpable.

Critics and academics have picked over the meaning of the film for decades since it’s release. What the film represents. The psychological representation of the three main characters. Why it effects people so profoundly. Why it has succeeded where other haunted house and monster movies have failed. Let’s face it, no-one is picking over the cultural significance of The Swarm, Piranha or Lake Placid which, essentially, try (and fail) to tread the same ground.

Quint

Whatever it’s draw – and I’m probably not smart enough to give a reasoned response – it still works. 40 years on in October 2015 I sat next to my friend’s son as he watched the movie and he was enthralled. He jumped as the ‘face’ appeared in the bottom of the wrecked fishing boat. He yelped as the ‘monster’ burst through the hull of the boat in the final act. The film works.

So what was strange? Well, across at the other end of the sofa were two other friends of mine. Mature, intelligent adults. They were scowling. Arms folded. They hated it. They said it was sh*t. When asked to elaborate the reasoning was that, a) it wouldn’t happen – in the real world the shark would have been dealt with in the opening act. No shark behaves like that, b) in the final act the actors laugh in relief at having survived the final ‘confrontation’ before hanging their heads at news of Quint and c) the violence is gratuitous – and the characters should have been sobbing for the tragedy that had just happened. This was a strange reaction.

Let’s be clear and put a couple of flags in the sand at the outset. These guys who objected to the film are not prissy or prudish people. They are progressive in their views and taste in film. In fact, earlier in the week we’d been discussing some of the more recent Lars Von Trier offerings – and you would struggle to get more controversial than that. They also usually have a profound understanding of art and what gives something impact.

“The purpose of art is to collide the intellectual and visceral together at the highest speed possible.” Penn Jillette

It therefore seemed odd to me that they would be so revolted by the movie for several reasons. Firstly and most importantly, this is a horror/fantasy movie. Somehow, in watching the film, they seemed to have blurred the line between fantasy and reality. The shark in Jaws is no more real than the bees in The Swarm, the crocodile in Lake Placid. Shark behaviour is well documented and the personal attacks on the Orca vessel or it’s crew bear about as much relationship to reality as the autonomous and sentient VW Beetle in the Herbie movies.

In the final act, yes, the characters laugh in relief at their apparently miraculous survival against the odds. And then hang their heads as Brody confirms to Hooper that there has been an unfortunate event involving Quint. It’s a fleeting moment. But this a popcorn movie not intended or expected to be based in reality. It has no duty to explore the reality of the human condition. The film is a form of escapism to transport you from reality for 2 hours, not a therapy session.

In reality, of course, the protagonists of the action would be traumatised by events. Their reaction would be different, I’m sure, to that shown in the film. However, in movie world, their reaction is no more unrealistic than the whooping of Luke Skywalker – as thousands perish – as he destroys the death star. Or the grin of the cinema crowd as Indiana Jones casually shoots in cold blood the sword-carrying assassin in Raiders of The Lost Ark. Inevitably there is death and destruction in these type of action movies. But it’s dealt with in a very tongue-in-cheek, cartoon way. To worry about the morality of Hooper and Brody’s reaction to Quint’s demise is akin to getting caught up in the moral dilemma of what will become of the wives and children of the Nazi soldiers crushed under wheels of trucks in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or the assassins and henchmen disposed of by James Bond during his last mission. Children are smart and understand that real-world situations are different to the fantasy and schlock of on-screen situations.

Jaws, for all it’s supposed gore or gratuitity, is surprisingly low on blood. We see one unattached leg. The ghostly face of a befallen fisherman poking out of the hull of a boat. And, a final act in which one of the main protagonists is swallowed with the inevitable tomato ketchup moment that ensues. That’s it. Compared with the body count and gruesome endings that some of James Bond or Indiana Jones’ adversaries meet, this is positively tame. The rest is suggestion. The rest is threat.

Perhaps the visceral reaction my friends had to Jaws is not a reaction to how bad it is. Perhaps it’s an adverse reaction because it’s a bit too close to reality for their tastes. Had it had a more ‘cartoon’ element, their reaction may have been different. However, great art, as Penn Jillette rightly said, “…is to collide the intellectual and visceral together at the highest speed possible.” This is how magic tricks work in his world. This is how a roller coaster works. Your visceral senses are telling you that hurtling down the track at great speed you are in danger. Your intellect tells you that you must be safe – thousands of people ride this roller coaster each year. If it was genuinely dangerous they wouldn’t be in business.

And that’s Jaws. A roller coaster. A 40 year-old roller coaster. Your senses tell you there is danger. That the shark will destroy them. That the characters you’re invested in are in mortal danger. Your intellect by contrast, tells you that sharks are neither that large nor able to board boats and destroy the crew. This is fantasy. A ride.

As the legendary horror director Wes Craven once said “”It’s like boot camp for the psyche. In real life, human beings are packaged in the flimsiest of packages, threatened by real and sometimes horrifying dangers, events like Columbine. But the narrative form puts these fears into a manageable series of events. It gives us a way of thinking rationally about our fears.”

For me, Jaws is the epitome of this. And, 40 years after it’s original release, it still had the power to thrill a 10 year old boy I know.

In breaking news at The Scuba Monkey’s top-secret research lab (recently re-located to Scotland, just off the main high street in Orkney, past the Fish and Chip shop on the left. Ask for Bob, red beard, glasses, you know the fella) it has been revealed that the Oxford English Dictionary is to be revised due to a spate of incompetent divers.

As it stands, the word ‘Autonomous’ is written on the back of all diving certification cards from Open Water level through, Advanced Open Water level and beyond. This wording was thought to mean that the diver had achieved a level of knowledge, learning and self-sufficiency necessary to dive independently and globally with a similarly qualified dive buddy.

However, recent findings have indicated that the vast majority of supposedly qualified divers are massively incompetent and cannot even prepare themselves for a dive without a team of trained dive professionals dressing them like a small baby having it’s nappy changed and pandering to their every whim.

Rare photo of diver putting their own fins on.

Rare photo of diver putting their own fins on.

On a recent diving trip, Dick Byrne, 63, a recently retired accounts manager, fully qualified diver and irritating arse said “I’ve dived globally and have over 50 dives in my logbook. However, I still can’t manage to put on my own hood, gloves, mask, fins…anything in fact. I can’t even manage to switch on my own tank before kitting up.” Looking baffled he added “I know it says ‘autonomous diver’ on the back of my certification card but I thought that meant I had to sit on the dive deck like Professor Stephen Hawking while 3 people dressed me and then eased me into the water.”

“I thought you were going to equalise my mask for me.”

Rosy Beaver, 28, of Boston, USA, a web designer and olympic standard wet-blanket, said “When I go diving I like to wait until 3 minutes before the dive before checking my equipment and then decide I’d like different fins, mask, gloves. And then to sit there like a helpless animal while a team of dive staff run around after me like I’m Kanye West in a Gucci shop. I and I never put on my own fins. Never.” Looking surprised, she added “I thought Autonomous meant you would be dressed automatically anyway.”

Anass Rhammar, 36, an IT consultant originally from Mumbai, said “When I dive I have a diving computer. However, I have no idea what the strange figures are it provides me on screen are. I just follow the guide blindly like a lemming on a suicide mission. It looks good though, it has a red strap.” Dumbfounded, he said “I thought Autonomous meant I had to wear it in the car too”.

Representatives from the Oxford English Dictionary are presently revising the dictionary definition of ‘Autonomous’ to read: stands a 50/50 chance of being competent and able to think and act for themselves.

Maggie, 38, an Instructor working in Indonesia said “…most holiday divers are about as autonomous as my 3 year old nephew. Yesterday I had to explain to someone which of their boots was for the left foot and which was for the right foot.” Shaking her head she added “Soon we’ll be towing them around the dive site on long ropes so they don’t have to move their legs either.”

"If you don't let me use my strobes I'll scream and scream until I can't scream anymore...so there!"

“If you don’t let me use my strobes I’ll scream and scream until I can’t scream anymore…so there!”

In breaking news at The Scuba Monkey’s top-secret research labs (next to Nangtong Supermarket, ask for Bob, the guy with the red beard and glasses) new research has revealed that that boarding a diving vessel can have an adverse effect on mental age and cognitive ability.

In a sample of average holiday divers from Australia to the Red Sea it was found that normal, rational, adult humans who normally hold down responsible jobs in day-to-day life transform into mentally challenged 8 year old children on boarding a diving safari boat.

Sally Arseface, a 31 year Financial Advisor, from Toronto, Canada, said “In my normal working life I can manage to set an alarm clock, get washed, dressed AND catch my bus to work like a normal adult – where I then manage a team of 8 people.” “However”, she said shaking her head, “as soon as I set foot on the boat I appear to have morphed into a petulant 7 year old girl who eats Haribo and chain-watches ‘Frozen’ on DVD. I can’t manage to wake up when scheduled without a wake up call from my Dad, sorry, Instructor. And I can’t arrive on time for a dive briefing despite normally catching a bus twice a day in the ‘real world’. I really have no idea what has happened to me…baffling.”

"Ok, so you've eaten now. Now they'll be a briefing in 30 mins ok?"

“Ok, so you’ve eaten now. Now they’ll be a briefing in 30 mins ok?”

Mike Weaselface, a 47 year old IT consultant from Norway and complete prat said “Back home in Norway I work in the corporate world and am able to follow simple instructions, guidelines and rules without any problem. I drive my car within the rule of the road. I work in my business within the professional guidelines set out, I’m polite with colleagues and yet… as soon as we arrived at the dive centre myself and my wife inexplicably began behaving like a pair of complete twats. My wife threw her cert cards at the instructor like a petulant teenager who’s been told she’s grounded. And then when advised to dive as instructed within local guidelines and not flash delicate marine life, touch coral and follow local ecological guidelines we both began stamping our feet on the boat and throwing a hissy-fit to the tour leader like a pair of toddlers denied ice-cream. It’s embarrassing really.”

Rene Bignose, 53, from Lyon, said “I’ve regressed so far back to infancy since arriving at the dive centre I can’t even manage to dress myself on the boat and have to have a team of local staff put on my wetsuit and fins. I’m like some sort of retard. I even went so far as to leave all the windows open in my cabin when it was raining so that the electric fan would catch fire because I have the mental age of a 4 year old now.”

"Put my fins on! Put my fins on!"

“I don’t know where I left my weight belt!”

Arlene Cousteau, 35, a local instructor, said “It’s strange seeing grown adults not even be able to keep track of where they left their towel or t-shirt. It’s like a temporary lobotomy on check-in. Some days we’re left with 20 Forrest Gumps on the boat. Still, you have to humour them or in this day and age they’ll write a snotty review on Trip Advisor if the water is too salty or the fish don’t look fishy enough for them. Bless ‘em.”

In breaking news at the Scuba Monkey’s top secret research labs near the Nangtong Supermarket (ask for Bob – red beard, glasses…) it’s been discovered that diving education now may cease at the Advanced Open Water Level as – by then – you know everything there is to know about scuba diving. This new research immediately renders any speciality training and the qualifications of rescue diver, divemaster, assistant instructor, instructor, staff instructor and master instructor completely worthless.

Anything beyond the 3rd blue box 'Advanced Open Water' is simply there for decoration.

Anything beyond the 4th light blue box ‘Advanced Open Water’ is simply there for decoration.

Research conducted on a series of diving safari boats ranging from the Red Sea to the Maldives has revealed that by the time you reach approximately 42 logged dives and PADI/SSI advanced open water level you are a diving god. Any further diving education is unnecessary and a complete waste of money it has been revealed.

Wrong regulator in? Check. No computer? Check. No Clue? Check.

Wrong regulator in? Check. No computer? Check. No Clue? Check.

Antonio Fernandez, 38, an IT consultant and complete bell-end from Barcelona, said “…look, I’ve done nearly 60 dives now and I’m Advanced Open Water. That means there’s nothing left to learn. I am Jacques Cousteau, near enough. I find these so-called ‘dive briefings’ they force me to attend on safari boats both a waste of time and very patronising…I’m certainly not interested in hints or tips from one of these so-called professional divers on the boat.” he said sneering his nose, before adding “Just don’t ask me to put my own fins on without the help of the boat crew or launch an SMB.”

the-danger-of-scuba-diving-6-pics_4

Safety Briefings? Why bother…

Barry Crotch, 26, from Essex, an Advanced Open Water diver with a staggering 33 dives and a series of terrible tattoos, said “Naturally, I know everything about diving now: I have nearly 40 dives. I don’t even need a guide or buddy I’m that good. So I find it deeply insulting that local instructors with 1000’s of dives may ask me how much gas I have left a couple of times during the dive – or ask me to stay slightly behind them. I mean, who do they think they’re dealing with?! Some no-mark with no experience?! I’m virtually a fish.” He then added “Although, having said all that I have no idea what a no-decompression limit is or why my computer keeps beeping at me. I’m sure it’s not important or I’d know what it was.”

No buoyancy skills? no problem! he's a diving god - no advice or further training required.

No buoyancy skills? no problem! he’s a diving god – no advice or further training required.

We spoke with Bart Kowalski, 39, an experienced instructor with global experience and 1000’s of logged dives in varied conditions. “I’m pretty much redundant as a diving professional. I mean, there’s just no validation for my job. This new breed of Advanced Open Water divers know everything required to make a safe dive after 40 logged dives; dive management, gas management, site selection, current management, briefings, rescue techniques, profiling the sites and choosing the most suitable route, keeping the group safe under water.”. Bart then paused for a second before saying “Oh, hang on, my mistake….no they don’t. They know fuck all!”

In breaking news at the Scuba Monkey’s top secret research labs it’s been revealed that working full-time in the diving industry for a period in excess of 2-3 years may result in an affliction known as ‘Instructor Tourettes’.

We only asked him where a nice place to get pizza was - now we've got a full briefing.

We only asked him where a nice place to get pizza was – now we’ve got a full briefing.

Sufferers of this condition display several signs and symptoms. If you notice any of the following in your diving colleagues or yourself, please notify your dive centre manager and seek medical advice:

  • Inability to communicate without using hand signals (ask your colleague or friend to say ‘moray eel’ and see if they can keep their hands still)
  • Sufferers usually speak in a slow, broken, grammatically incorrect form of generic non-regional English although they’re talking to a 5 year old.
  • Faint aroma of salt-water at all times.
  • White band on arm where dive computer would normally be present.
  • Collection of well-worn and slightly aromatic fake quicksilver/billabong flip-flops.
  • Collection of salt-stained and faded dive centre t-shirts.
  • Bags under eyes due to sleep deprivation/nitrogen loading.
  • Disproportionately small bank balance and/or large overdraft.
  • No socks.
  • Panic attacks in big cities/crowds.
  • In acute cases sufferers may turn every conversation into a dive briefing.
danger_scuba_diving_signal

Help me…I can only talk in hand signals. No-one warned me about this on my Divemaster course.

Mike, 42, from Ipswich, said “I used to be a professional in the corporate world. Now, after several years working in the diving industry, I can’t hold a normal conversation without discussing fish or using my hands to signal – even ordering a beer at a bar I start talking like I’m a childrens TV presenter. It’s embarrassing. My friends just take the piss out of me.”

Emma, 37, from York, said “I’ve been an instructor working in Asia for 8 years. When I landed back in London and was faced with the modern world I was like Crocodile Dundee or some sort of caveman who’d been thawed out from the ice-age and never seen civilization before – I could barely cross the road without freaking out.”

The best treatment should you have a friend or colleague suffering in this way is to provide them with lots of cold beer and a comfortable bed for a few nights.

Please help these poor unfortunate souls to rehabilitate into normal life.

With time and effort these people can regain normal behaviour and speech patterns and become useful members of society again.

Invisible to most novice divers.

Invisible to most novice divers.

In breaking news today at The Scuba Monkey’s top-secret research labs (just off the A12, near the Texaco Fuel Station and Wild Bean Café, ask for ‘Bob’, red-beard, glasses, you know the bloke…) groundbreaking new evidence has been uncovered regarding novice divers.

Previous schools of thought has assumed that completing your introductory one or two scuba diving courses had no bearing on the students’ eyesight or powers of perception. However, recent evidence has suggested that being a novice diver in the 10-100 dive range can drastically impair vision and memory.

Dr. A Hedgehog of Scuba Monkey Labs commented “…in recent tests these new divers went through a transformation following their basic training. Not only did they, seemingly overnight and for no reason, develop an over-inflated sense of their own diving ability – which in today’s narcissistic society is perfectly normal – but more surprisingly appeared to lose a large proportion of their vision or memory when diving.’

A narcissistic idiot earlier today.

A narcissistic idiot earlier today.

Asked to elaborate, Dr A Hedgehog said “As you’re aware, an experienced diver can usually enjoy the full underwater experience regardless of environment; the topography, the ambience, the water movement, the variety of life from small hermit crabs, dancing shrimps and nudibranchs to schooling fish and beyond, the history of the wreck, the interaction with fellow divers, the peace and tranquility and the sheer wonder of simply being underwater all are enough to keep the experienced diver amused…usually for the whole duration of the dive.”

“However”, he said shaking his head sadly, “this 10-100 logged dives demographic seem unable to focus on anything in-water aside their own, personal, diving needs and bragging rights on the boat – and are only able to physically see something if it is aquatic life greater than 3-4m in size that is physically pointed out to them with the accompaniment of a repeated ting-ting-ting sound – a bit like Pavlov’s dog. Astounding.”

Beautiful...they'll never see them.

Beautiful Bluefin Trevally…they’ll never see them.

We caught up with a diver just surfaced from a dive in the Indian Ocean. Boarding the boat from a stunning dive where Turtles, Peacock Mantis Shrimps, Trevally, Moray and a school of over 100 barracuda were present, Fabrice Crotch, 27, an enormous twat from Switzerland who works in accounting said “I’m an Advanced Open Water diver with 25 dives and I didn’t see a Whale Shark on that dive. In fact I didn’t see anything. Boring. I did manage to kick the other members of my dive group on the head several times and set off the ascent alarm on my computer though, so not all is lost.”

The crowned-prince of twats.

The crowned-prince of twats.

Asked by our research team if he had any other recollection of the dive he rolled his eyes threw his mask randomly on the floor in with someone else’s equipment to cause delays searching for it prior to the next dive, before picking up his iPhone and standing in the middle of the dive deck obstructing everyone else.

We next managed to catch up with Terry Balls, 42, a Carpet-fitter, UKIP voter and irritating arse from Barnsley, UK, at Scapa Flow, Europe’s premier wreck diving site. As he was lifted back onto the boat from a dive on the historic German Battlecruiser, SMS Dresden, we managed to grab Terry’s first words: “It was a bit cold… The instructor said something about a gun or anchor capstan or something, but I didn’t see it…pretty boring.”

"I can't see a Barracuda - how can you expect me to see a fan coral?? Don't worry a new one will grown in a few decades."

“I can’t see a Barracuda – how can you expect me to see a fan coral?? Don’t worry a new one will grow in a few decades.”

This phenomena is still being investigated by the world’s leading Ophthalmologists and Neurologists to decipher causality but there appears to be a strong link between being an inexperienced diver in combination with being an enormous idiot.

Instructor Carlotta Gonzales Fernandez from Tossa de Mar, 33, said, “…these new divers seem to have an uncanny ability to filter out anything smaller than a large eagle ray. I once took my group through a school of dozens of hunting trevally and afterwards they said the dive was boring and they’d seen nothing. Yes, they were idiots.”