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Introduction

Contents

This guide book aims to give a brief introduction into the different types of scuba diving. As well as listing a sample of popular dive sites (locations) for each type of dive. The guide book can be used in conjunction with the scuba guide map which has the dive sites plotted onto it. You can also use this guide to keep a record of your own dives and use the stickers provided to plot them on the map.

Cave Diving

3

Ice Diving

7

Drift Diving

11

Deep Diving

15

Wreck Diving

19

Wall Diving

23

Reefs

27

Dolphins

31

Sea Turtles

35

Sharks

41


Cave diving is a type of technical diving in which specialized scuba equipment is used to enable the exploration of natural or artificial caves which are at least partially filled with water. In the UK it is an extension of the more common sport of caving, and in the US an extension of the more common sport of scuba diving. It is much more rarely practiced due to the skills and equipment required, and because of the high potential risks.

Cave Diving

Despite these risks, water-filled caves attract scuba divers, cavers, and speleologists due to their often unexplored nature, and present divers with a technical diving challenge. Caves often have a wide range of unique physical features, such as stalactites and stalagmites, and can contain unique flora and fauna not found elsewhere.

Cave diving is one of the most challenging and potentially dangerous kinds of diving or caving and presents many hazards. Cave diving is a form of penetration diving, meaning that in an emergency a diver cannot swim vertically to the surface due to the cave’s ceilings, and so must swim horizontally or diagonally to escape. The underwater navigation through the cave system may be difficult and exit routes may be at considerable distance, requiring the diver to have sufficient breathing gas to make the

journey. The dive may also be deep, resulting in potential deep diving risks. Visibility can vary from nearly unlimited to low, or non-existent, and can go from one extreme to the other in a single dive. While a less-intensive kind of diving called cavern diving does not take divers beyond the reach of natural light, true cave diving can involve penetrations of many thousands of feet, well beyond the reach of sunlight. The level of darkness experienced creates an environment impossible to see in without an artificial form of light. Caves often contain sand, mud, clay, silt, or other sediment that can further reduce underwater visibility in seconds when stirred up. Caves can carry strong water currents. Most caves emerge on the surface as either springs or siphons. Springs have out flowing currents, where water is coming up out of the Earth and flowing out across the land’s surface. Siphons have in-flowing currents where, for example, an above-ground river is going underground. Some caves are complex and have some tunnels with out-flowing currents, and other tunnels with in-flowing currents. If currents are not properly managed, they can cause serious problems for the diver.Cave diving is perceived as one of the more dangerous sports in the world. This perception is arguable because the vast majority of divers who have lost their lives in caves have either not undergone specialized training or have had inadequate equipment for the environment. Cave divers have suggested that cave diving is in fact statistically much safer than recreational diving due to the much larger barriers imposed by experience, training, and equipment cost.


Locations

Grid Reference

Use this space to keep record of your own dives.

01. Boesmansgat, North Cape, South Africa

J.6

17.

02. Badgat, South Africa

I.6

18.

03. Cathedral Cave, Gozo, Malta

I.3

19.

04. Alex’s Cave, West coast of Comino, Malta

I.3

20.

05. Comino Caves (Santa Maria Caves), Comino, Malta

I.3

21.

06. Ghar Lapsi Cave, Near Qrendi, Malta

I.3

22.

07. The Caves, Ammousa Bay, Lefkas, Greece

I.3

23.

08. Chac Mool, Yucatan, Mexico

E.4

09. La Cueva de los Pesces, Playa Larga, Cuba

E.4

10. Dave’s Caves, Rarotonga, The Cook Islands

B.5

11. Dolphin Cave, Medas Islands, L’Estartit, Costa Brava, Spain

I.3

12. Fish Rock Cave, South West Rocks, New South Wales, Australia

P.6

13. Grotto de la Troisieme, Ile de Pines, New Caledonia

Q.5

14. Madonna Cave, Cap de Llamp, Near Santa Ponsa, Mallorca

I.3

15. Las Rocas, L’Escala, Costa Brava, Spain

I.3

16. The Sea Cave, Near Paliea Point, East Oahu

Look for this pictogram on the map

B.4


Ice Diving


Locations

Look for this pictogram on the map

Grid Reference

Use this space to keep record of your own dives.


Shark Diving If you have been scuba diving before chances are that you’ve been scuba diving with sharks all along. The truth is you’ll be lucky if you get to see a shark underwater. They are a rare privilege to observe. In fact, did you know that you’re statistically more likely to be struck by lightning than bit by a shark? If it turns out you’re lucky enough to have a close encounter of the sharky kind, here are a few tips to make the experience more pleasurable for both you and the shark. Go with experts. Dive operators in many areas offer organized shark dives and, while a guided experience can’t guarantee absolute safety, much shark behavior is predictable if you know what to look for. Go with those who know the locals if you want an introduction. Whether on a guided shark dive or just

looking for a chance encounter, you should learn what type of sharks might be in the area and find out how they’re likely to behave. Dive with a group in the daytime. Scuba divers on their own and in low visibility are more at risk in waters where sharks are likely to be. Enter the water quietly and descend quickly. Sharks’ favorite foods tend to congregate on the surface and in midwater – think seals, sea lions and dead or injured fish. Don’t dilly-dally once you’re in the water and head to the bottom with minimal movement. It may go without saying, but you don’t want to spearfish in the company of sharks. If a shark approaches you when you’re carrying your catch, let it go and stay very still until you can swim slowly away. Notice the

behavior of your underwater neighbors. Fish often swim erratically when sharks are near. Sharks often swim just beyond steep inclines, so look out into big water as you descend to catch a glimpse. Often the first divers into the water are the only ones who get to see a shark as it swims away from the unwelcome intrusion of a dive boat and the divers. Many shark species are timid. If you’re trying to get a glimpse Keep your hands still and by your side at all times. Don’t look like a fishing lure. Avoid wearing shiny sparkly jewelry underwater because this can catch the attention of a variety of curious fish, sharks included. While rubber-clad scuba divers with bubbles coming out of their heads are not the shark’s usual choice of cuisine, even accidental contact with one can cause injury.

Should you sustain any sort of underwater injury, immediately end your scuba dive, exit the water as quickly as possible and seek medical attention, no matter how seemingly small the injury may be. Stay alert and limit multitasking so you can focus entirely on your surroundings. Plan your dive and dive your plan - paying attention to currents, depth and air consumption. Don’t dive too deep or come up too fast – in other words, use safe diving practices at all times. Then, if you’re lucky enough to see a shark, you can enjoy the moment free from worry.


Locations

Grid Reference

Use this space to keep record of your own dives.

01. Guadalupe Island, Mexico

C.3

17.

02. San Diego, California

C.3

18.

03. Grand Bahama, Bahamas

E.3

19.

04. Neptune islands of southern Australia

P.6

20.

05. The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

P.5

21.

06. Farallon Islands, San Francisco, CA, United States

C.3

22.

07. Protea Banks, South Africa

J.6

23.

08. Dyer Island, Overberg DC, Western Cape, South Africa

I.6

09. Cocos Island, Costa Rica

E.4

10. Galapagos Islands, Galapagos, Ecuador

E.5

11. Osprey Reef, Australia

P.5

12. Myeik Archipelago, Burma

M.4

13. Swallow Reef, Malaysia

N.4

14. The Red Sea, Egypt

J.4

15. Ari Atoll, Maldives

L.4

16. Komodo, Indonesia

N.5

Look for this pictogram on the map


third draft