Monthly Archives: September 2016

What’s the Difference Between PADI Master Scuba Diver and Divemaster?

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Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster, Master Scuba Diver, Divemaster… sometimes it all sounds the same, doesn’t it? You may ask, what’s the difference? While these two diving qualifications seem comprised of the same words, they are quite different.

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference is between a PADI Divemaster (DM) and a PADI Master Scuba Diver (MSD), let us explain.

Think about the relationship between a great home cook and an apprentice chef. Both know a lot about cooking and both can make a delicious meal, but one prepares meals as a hobby, and the other is a chef in the making.

PADI Divemaster: a Professional Dive Leader

Divemasters help instructors teach scuba courses and can have leadership responsibilities that result in payment. Getting paid for scuba diving means you’re a dive professional.

Prerequisites to take the course:

  • At least 18 years old
  • PADI Advanced Open Water Diver certified
  • PADI Rescue Diver certified
  • EFR Primary and Secondary Care completed within past two years
  • Medical Statement ‘fit to dive’
  • 40 logged dives before starting the course
  • 60 logged dives when finishing the course

What you can do once you are an authorised PADI Divemaster:

  • Supervise training and non-training related diving activities
  • Conduct dive briefings, scuba reviews, and skin diver course
  • Assist in Discover Scuba Diving programs and lead additional dives
  • Lead Discover Scuba Diving programs

What you have to do to get this rating:

  • Complete eight Knowledge Development sections
  • Pass the Divemaster Final Exam
  • Pass water skills exercises, workshops, and practical assessments

Start Divemaster Course Online

PADI Master Scuba Diver: a Recognition Rating

If someone is a Master Scuba Diver, that means he or she has significant experience and scuba training.

Fewer than 2% of divers ever achieve this rating, which makes them an elite group.

  • At least 12 years old (12-14 year old earn Junior MSD)
  • PADI (Junior) Advanced Open Water Diver certified
  • PADI (Junior) Rescue Diver certified
  • Earned five PADI Specialty Diver Certifications
  • Have logged a minimum of 50 dives
  • Complete application

Now you know the difference between these similar sounding names. As you can see, both qualifications indicate highly experienced and knowledgeable scuba divers.

PADI Master Scuba Diver is as far as you can go as a recreational diver, and PADI Divemaster is the first rung of the professional diver ladder.

The PADI Course Flowchart

PADI Course Flowchart

5 Wreck Dives You Will Remember Forever

Discover World War wrecks, intentional wrecks, and everything in between. Our list of “Five Wreck Dives You Will Remember Forever” will take you to these underwater time capsules.

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 SS Thistlegorm, Egypt

Imagine your adrenaline spike as you click your dive light on and peer into the shadowy hull of a 428-foot world-renowned war grave. Diving the SS Thistlegorm is like an exhilarating time travel back to the World War II era. In 1941, German forces bombed the British Merchant Navy ship. It was carrying war supplies for allied troops in Egypt and locomotives for Egyptian railways. The wreckage is now littered with artifacts for divers to investigate; aircraft parts, cases of ammunition, Wellington boots, trucks, motorcycles, rifles, engines, armored vehicles, and steam trains. The sheer vessel size, and rich cargo requires multiple dives to fully explore and will leave divers with a feeling of respect and fascination.

5 Wreck Dives You Will Remember Forever

SS Yongala, Australia

100 feet below the surface, this Great Barrier Reef wreck enchants divers with its pristine beauty, intact preservation, and rich biodiversity. In 1911, the 357 foot passenger vessel was in route to Cairns when it disappeared during a cyclone and sank with all 122 occupants onboard. It lay undetected for almost 50 years, and now serves as a vital artificial reef hosting an impressive array of marine life. Vibrant corals and sea fans decorate the ship’s exterior while turtles drift leisurely over the deck. Watch sea snakes spiral through the hull openings, and clouds of bait fish shroud the bow. Divers may also observe marble rays, giant groupers, sharks, wrasse, and even humpback whales!

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SNS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, Florida

With 40 foot radar dishes, swim-throughs, and a balloon hangar, diving the Vandenberg is like submerging onto the set of a James Bond movie. The vessel served as a former military troop transport during WWII. It served again as a missile-tracking ship monitoring Soviet missile launches during the Cold War. Finally, it served U.S spacecraft launches for Apollo, Gemini, and Mercury.  In 2009, the retired Vandenberg was laid to rest in the Keys National Marine Sanctuary to serve duty as an artificial reef—becoming the second largest vessel in the world sunk for reef formation. At 524 feet long, underwater exploration of  this world-class wreck site will humble even the most seasoned divers. Grab a photo with your dive buddy at the popular kingpost structure adjourned with a U.S flag, or stop by the wheelhouse where you can view a telescope once used for star-tracking.

5 Wreck Dives You Will Remember Forever

Tabarka, Scapa Flow, Scotland

For the cold-water aficionado! The unique underwater environment of Scotland includes a rich maritime history that will leave you awe-inspired. The 1941 Tabarka wreck offers experienced divers the opportunity to penetrate the depths of a WWII block ship. The merchant ship was intentionally sunk by the British Navy to prevent Scapa Flow entry of German U-boats. Now encrusted with sea stars and anemones, the punctured vessel lay upside down with various points of dive entry and astonishing viewing-opportunities of the interior. Typical wreck inhabitants include seals, lobsters, crabs, moon jellies, basking sharks, algae blooms, and feather duster worms. So, grab your dry suit and gear up for the wreck adventure of a lifetime!

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USAT Liberty, Indonesia

Divers flock from all over to explore the wonders of the USAT Liberty. This U.S military transport ship was torpedoed by a Japanese submarine in 1942 and beached in Tulamben, Bali. Fortunately for divers, the seismic activity of a volcanic eruption pushed the USAT Liberty back into the ocean in 1963 . The wreckage now sits in waters 13 to 100 feet deep making it one of the most accessible wrecks in the world for snorkelers and divers. Marvel at schools of barracuda swirling at the surface or the bump head parrotfish taking residence in the engine room. Spot the mast overgrown with soft corals, and observe nudibranchs, parrotfish, gorgonians, octopus, lizard fish, reef sharks, and with good fortune mola-mola and whale sharks. The vivid colors and thriving sea life of the USAT will leave you with warm memories of beauty and tranquility.

Ready to wreck dive? Learn more about wreck diving with the PADI® Wreck Diver course  or contact your PADI Dive Center or Resort with the PADI Dive Shop Locator to book your next trip!

My PADI Interview: Garri Tadlip, 14-year-old Underwater Photographer

Underwater Photographer, Garri Tadlip

During the Malaysian International Dive Expo (MIDE) we were lucky enough to sit down with guest speaker Garri Tadlip. He may only be 14 years old, but Garri has already accomplished so much with his underwater photography. Some achievements that Garri has under his belt include, winning the 2013 Splash NUDI Underwater Shoot Out, placing 2nd at the Panglao International Dive Fiesta in May 2013 and the Anilao Underwater Photography Competition Festival in November 2016. By talking at MIDE Garri hopes to “show the audience the amazing beauty and wonders of the marine world. By sharing my photos I hope to encourage the youth to discover, explore and protect the riches of the sea.” Garri says that he “hopes to show underwater photography from the perspective of a 14 year old.”

What does My PADI mean to you?

Learning to dive started with a choice and a good foundation. PADI is the most respected and most sought after scuba diving certification in the world. My PADI means a lot to me as it was my first step in exploring the beauty of the underwater world. The experience I had doing my certification was awesome. I gained confidence in mastering important safety concepts and skills.

What or who inspired you to become a PADI diver?
When I was doing my Discover Scuba Diving Experience I was amazed by the beauty of the underwater world it is like a different world out there so this inspired me to pursue diving and get certified. I’m lucky to have a family friend who is an instructor.

Underwater Photographer, Garri TadlipLove is in the air… Mandarin fish mating taken on Aiyanar House Reef

If you could offer one tip for people wanting to take underwater photos what would you suggest?

I’m no master, all I can say to the young kids out there who want to do underwater photography is to have fun in all you do and you have a passion for it, and help protect it in any simple way you can. Starting as early as possible also gives you more of a foundation to learn many photography techniques.

I am glad and honoured to be able to join this important gathering at MIDE which gives me the opportunity to share my passion and love for the underwater photography as well as allows me further learn from the experts in the field.

There are a lot of teachings and interesting dialogues that are in store for the adult participants at MIDE. I am just one of the topic presenters but I hope my simple sharing will be a small contribution to the adult world to appreciate that underwater photography can be loved by young children also. I hope my talk can also manifest mentorship of young photographers by dedicated, competent mentors in the dive industry.
Underwater Photographer, Garri Tadlip

Nembrotha Kurbaryana Inspired shot from Alex Mustards Nudi

Who is your favourite dive buddy and why?

My favourite dive buddy is my dad. I am thankful for the support of my parents even though my mom doesn’t dive she is the one who prepares me for all my trips. I always dive with my dad but he gives me the freedom to feel independent also. He gives me the freedom to go to places by myself and learn to be responsible and to take care of myself as well as my gear.

I am also so lucky to go to a school (Saint Thomas Aquinas School in Cebu) that is very supportive of my passion for photography and showing the beauty of the Philippines to the world.

What makes diving in the Philippines so special?

The Coral Triangle, the global centre of marine biodiversity, houses 75% of all known coral species and 40% of the world’s reef fish species. Apart from the Philippines, the region includes Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Timor Leste, and the Solomon Islands.

Scuba divers can take the plunge all year round in the warm waters of the Philippines. It’s best to go diving in the Philippines during dry season, from December to May, because it offers the best visibility.

Underwater Photographer, Garri Tadlip

Essence of life…pregnant pygmy seahorse 

Interested in Underwater Photography? Take a look at the PADI Digital Underwater Photographer Specialty.

So you think diving the Maldives is out of your budget? Think again!

Guest blog written by Adele Verdier-Ali

Baa Atoll, Dharavandhoo, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

Baa Atoll, Dharavandhoo, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali


There aren’t many holiday destinations that are as synonymous with luxury as the Maldives. Mention the country and you immediately evoke images of glamorous resorts on private islands catering to the world’s rich and famous. Heavenly exotic? Check. Prohibitively expensive? Double check.

For most, the Maldives is either a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon destination or simply relegated to the bottom of an unrealistic bucket list. And although many divers drool over the diversity of the coral reefs and marine wildlife in the country’s waters, many assume that the destination is just simply out of their price range, especially those not looking to join a liveaboard.

South Ari Atoll Dhangethi, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

South Ari Atoll Dhangethi, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

One country, two worlds

And until 2011, that assumption would have been a fair one. Because until then, Maldivian law dictated that there be a strict divide between islands that welcomed tourists, and islands where locals lived. This set up was in large part due to the 100% Muslim country being under a mix of common and sharia law. Whereas in local islands, alcohol and pork are banned and modest clothing traditions are followed, none of these laws apply in resort islands.

So until five years ago, tourists would fly into the country, be greeted at the airport and then whisked off to their private resort island. They would remain there for the entirety of their stay (bar excursions) and local Maldivians continued to live on their inhabited islands. And never the twain did meet.

North Ari Atoll, Thoddoo, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

North Ari Atoll, Thoddoo, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

A change in the law

But no longer. In 2011, the law officially changed to allow for tourist establishments in local islands, and while the same laws still apply, the increasing number of tourist arrivals to these islands each month show that visitors are happy to go without a bevvy or bacon butty for a week or two. For the past five years, these local island guesthouses have been cropping up throughout the country at an extraordinary rate. And although they’ll never be comparable to the backpacker prices of other parts of South East Asia, the rates are extremely competitive relative to the resort market, with some charging as little as 40$ per room per night.

Naturally, the quality you’ll find varies from place to place but although these local islands establishments are referred to collectively as ‘guesthouses’ in the Maldivian tourism industry, some would be better described as boutique hotels, with spacious rooms, in-house restaurants serving top-notch food, and a handful even have their own pools.

Photo: Mohamed Seeneen

Photo: Mohamed Seeneen

So why is this relevant for divers?

Well, thanks to the influx of tourists, most of these islands are now home to a PADI Dive Center, and in some cases (such as guesthouse-capital Maafushi Island) there are several. Many of the guys running these centres have had years of experience in the resort industry, meaning that the service is of a high standard. Dive rates tend to be cheaper than in the resorts too, so if you’re on a tight budget it’s a great option. Most centres dive with traditional Maldivian dhoni boats so the level of comfort is similar – and of course the dive sites are the same regardless of how much you’ve paid to get there!

Photo: Mohamed Seeneen

Photo: Mohamed Seeneen

Why not just join a liveaboard?

True. Before the advent of the guesthouse industry, divers looking to spend the majority of their budget on diving had to join a liveaboard cruise. Which is fantastic if you and your spouse are both divers. But a non-diver on a diving liveaboard? They’d soon understand the meaning of cabin fever. This is why a local island stay is a fantastic choice for budget-conscious divers looking to travel with a non-diver.

Whilst in some resorts snorkelers and divers normally join separate excursion boats, in local islands both tend to go out together because operations are smaller. This means that you’re not away from your loved one for very long – you can enjoy the cruise there together, looking out for dolphins, enjoying the sun (bliss!) – but when you reach the dive site, you can descend for your dive whilst your non-diver companion can stay at the surface to snorkel. And if they don’t fancy the boat, they can always stay on the island and enjoy the beach with most local islands having now reserved portions of their beaches for guests, so that they can sunbathe in bikinis.

Vaavu Atoll, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

Vaavu Atoll, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

The local island experience

Staying in a local island has a lot advantages. It’s much cheaper and there are some great accommodation choices. A much larger portion of your budget can go on diving, which is always a plus. But travellers should not expect the same experience as being on a resort. On a local island, guests are expected to live amongst the islanders and respect cultural norms, covering from shoulders to knees when away from the beach. As mentioned there’s no booze – but then if you’re diving you should be restricting that anyway. Food is more limited but still delicious – think lots of fresh fish, barbecues and coconut water.

So if you’re looking to experience the real Maldives, away from the glitz of the resorts, to discover the warmth of local hospitality and a way of life that has changed little for centuries, a local island is a great place to start.

Vaavu Atoll, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

Vaavu Atoll, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali


About the author:

Adele Verdier-Ali is a freelance travel writer and content marketer who has been living in the Maldives for over six years. She’s a certified PADI Rescue Diver, and when she’s not underwater she writes about Maldivian culture and tourism. You can read more of her thoughts over at www.littlebirdjournal.com

Baa Dharavandhoo, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

Baa Dharavandhoo, Photo: A. Verdier-Ali

Eco-Advocacy and Adventure in Galápagos with Roberto Ochoa

Eco-Advocacy and Adventure in Galápagos with Roberto OchoaPhoto by Roberto Ochoa

By Guest Blogger: Jo Walters

PADI AmbassaDiver™ Roberto Ochoa talks about his recent expedition to Galápagos, when he spent 10 days shooting a documentary film in partnership with Cressi, showcasing the beauty of the marine sanctuary and filming freedivers as they encountered the surprising reactions – or lack thereof – of the area’s aquatic inhabitants to their presence.

For 10 days beginning 28 July 2016, a team of noted eco-advocates joined PADI AmbassaDiverTM and marine wildlife videographer Roberto Ochoa on an expedition to the Galápagos Islands to raise awareness of the importance of conservation, promote responsible eco-tourism and film freedivers exploring the recently-created shark and ray sanctuary in the waters of Darwin and Wolf Islands. The expedition was born in celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Cressi, who brought together the best in scuba and freediving to inspire a sustainable future.  The team included some of the aquatic realm’s most ardent divers, including professional freediver Guillaume Néry; shark conservationist Ocean Ramsey; Charles Darwin Foundation scientist Dr. Pelayo Salinas De León; Cousteau Divers Founder Pierre Cousteau; deep dive record holder (and PADI Professional) Leo Morales; champion freediver Estrella Navarro; and esteemed underwater photographers Juan Oliphant and Natalie Parra.

GalapagosPhoto by Juan Oliphant

The Expedition

“The purpose of the expedition and the resulting film is to present a positive message about the natural conservation of marine species and their coexistence of man through sustainable development,” says Ochoa, who is interested not only in showcasing the beauty and bio-diversity of the Galápagos Islands, but also supporting the local economy by promoting responsible eco-tourism. “That’s why we devoted a day of the expedition to a special program for students from local schools and another to snorkeling in the waters of Tortuga Bay with 80 local children, age 8-11. We must educate the young about the importance of sustainable conservation in order to establish a strong foundation for future eco-activism.”

GalapagosPhoto by Juan Oliphant

According to Ochoa, one of the most amazing revelations of the expedition was the interaction of marine animals with the freedivers. “For many marine species, this was their first encounter with freedivers, and they seemed to consider them fellow denizens of the deep – probably because, unlike scuba divers, the freedivers were silent so the marine animals responded to them in a totally different manner,” he explains. “It was particularly fascinating to watch the reactions of the hammerhead sharks. They seemed far more curious than cautions when they encountered the freedivers and didn’t hesitate to interact with them. It resulted in truly magical moments captured on film.

GalapagosPhoto by Roberto Ochoa

Features of the Film

Throughout the 10-day expedition, freedivers made four-to-five dives each day and created more than 40 hours of film. In addition to the hammerheads, people viewing the film will see the freedivers interact with a variety of marine creatures. The islands featured whale sharks, manta rays, turtles and iguanas. The filmmaker has another surprise in store for his audience and it’s exciting. The film was shot in a special 360 degree format in some portions. It renders a kind of virtual reality, panoramic viewing experience for the audience. The full documentary will have wide distribution upon completion. Visit Roberto Ochoa’s website for updates or read our blog story about him.

United Kingdom and Ireland

Although the United Kingdom and Ireland might not immediately spring to mind when thinking of exotic dive destinations, the waters surrounding these ancient nations are something of a revelation. Hundreds of years of merchant seafaring have left a rich wreck heritage, the huge tidal ranges and adrenaline-pumping drift dives have to be seen to be appreciated, and fauna ranging from tiny seahorses to gigantic basking sharks all mean the underwater realm here is rich with surprises. The United Kingdom and Ireland effectively occupy two large islands off northwestern continental Europe. England, Scotland and Wales share one, while the island of Ireland sits just to the west, home to Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. There are almost 24,000 kilometres/15,000 miles of coastline notable for their variety: sandy and shingle beaches, crags, rocks, and cliffs abound. There is an excellent infrastructure of well-equipped PADI Dive Centers and Resorts and an equally large fleet of dive boats, many of which accommodate technical divers. The waters are cool or cold most of the year, so good exposure protection is the order of the day. For those properly equipped, however, these waters serve up some truly memorable dives.

Great Dives

  • Scapa Flow, Scotland – In 1919, at least 52 vessels of the German fleet were scuttled in Scapa Flow on the Orkney Islands off Scotland’s Northern coast. Many have been salvaged over the years, but the remaining wrecks provide an eerie reminder of turn-of-the-century naval technology and have become some of the most famous wreck sites in the world, let alone the best dive sites in this area. The wreck dives here include three 177 metre/580 foot battleships and four 155 metre/510 foot cruisers. As the name Scapa Flow suggests, strong tides run here and bring nutrient-rich water that supports abundant sea life.
  • Killary Harbour, Ireland – This stunning fjord on Ireland’s west coast lies nestled beneath the mountains of Connemara. Some of the best dives are on the offshore islands, which feature crystal clear Atlantic Ocean water, kelp beds, and abundant marine life including lobster, conger eels and huge schools of pollack. There are some great wrecks here too, and the sheltered waters of the fjord offer excellent dive sites, even if the wind is blowing a bit too hard.
  • Stoney Cove, England – Located in Leicestershire, in the UK midlands, Stoney Cove is the busiest inland dive site in the country and with good reason. This flooded quarry offers something for divers of all levels and is a favorite dive-training site. Freshwater fish such as pike and perch head the aquatic cast and there are enough underwater features to keep divers coming back time and again.
  • Dalkey Island, Ireland  A short trip from Ireland’s busy capital, Dalkey Island offers some great diving on Dublin’s doorstep. Easily accessed by dive boat, one of the best sites is the South Tip. A jumbled boulder field here tumbles steeply to more than 25 metres/80 feet. Playful seals often join divers and lobsters, crabs and conger eels lurk under the rocks. It’s also a great spot to find the fearsome looking angler fish.
  • Cornwall, England – In Cornwall, on the Lizard Peninsula at Porthkerris, there’s some excellent shore diving. Sheltered from the prevailing southwesterly winds, a handy beach entry gives access to a rocky reef close to shore. Invertebrates, including tube worms, anemones and sea urchins colonize the hard substrate, but keep your eyes open as encounters with basking sharks and pods of dolphins are a real possibility.
  • Dorset, England – Take a trip to the Jurassic Coast (a World Heritage Site) and you’ll find dramatic, red cliffs preserving millions of years of natural history and surrounding some of the UK’s best dive sites. Weymouth and Portland offer both shore dives (Chesil beach is a popular training site) and the M2 submarine and Aeolian Sky are both top wrecks to visit for more experienced divers. Swanage Pier, at 4m deep, is a fantastic, novice-level shore site where no two dives will be the same.
  • Plymouth, England – This buzzing city on the South coast of England has a strong naval and maritime presence – both above and below the water. Several of the UK’s top shipwrecks are easily accessible by boat from here, including the James Eagan Layne, the Persier and the popular artificial reef, HMS Scylla. Closer to land, the Devil’s Point shore dive features a stunning wall stretching down to 40m.
  • Pembrokeshire, Wales – Home to Pembrokeshire Coast National Park (the only coastal national park in the UK), this area has it all, from beachy shore dives (St Brides, Martins Haven) to countless wreck dives at all depths. The Dakotian sits in just 20m of water while The Lucy offers a more adventurous 40m. For technical divers, the Drina touches the seabed at 60m. Further afield, the island of Grassholm is not only a superb diving spot, but home to one of the world’s largest Gannet populations. Even further, about 20 miles out to sea, The Smalls Lighthouse needs calm seas to be reached, but worth the journey as you’ll be surrounded by seals playing amongst the pinnacles and gullies. Pembrokeshire is renowned for its rich concentrations of marine life including blue sharks, dolphins, sunfish, rays, lesser-spotted catsharks, octopus, lobsters, conger eels, crabs, starfish and more.
  • Farne Islands – Off the east coast of the England/Scotland’s border, you’ll find the Farne Islands. Raucous seabirds, steep topography and curious grey seals frame the diving experience here. Dead men’s fingers, anemones and sponges cover the rocks and the startling-looking wolf fish is sometimes found peering out from underneath a ledge in the cool waters.
  • Jersey – Offering warmer waters than mainland UK, this Channel Island is a great option for winter months. Plenty of shore diving options offer colourful reefs, rays, wrasse, flat fish, cuttlefish and more. Jersey has one of the biggest tides in the world, creating fun drift dives where you can see rays and plenty of scallops. The historical wrecks that lie around the island are teeming with marine life such as pouting and conger eels. Boat trips further out from the island are also available, where divers can find soft sponges and fan corals covering reef walls and beautiful kelp forests where the resident seals come to play.

Want to know more? Visit ScubaEarth® for further information on thousands of dive sites, marine species, destination essentials and more.

Dive Summary

Visibility – Depending on the dive site and conditions, visibility can range from 3-50 meters/10-160 feet.

Water Temperature – Always cool, water temperatures range from 4° C/39° F in February to 14°C/57°F in September.

Weather – Mild wet winters and warm summers. Seemingly endless midsummer days at these latitudes where the sun hardly seems to go down. Air temperature ranges from 15-19°C/59-66°F in the summer to 5-6°C/41-43°F in winter.

Featured Creatures – Basking sharks, grey seals, common seals, wrasse, conger eels, jellyfish, crabs, sea urchins, brittle stars, starfish, kelp and sponges.

Recommended Training – The PADI Wreck DiverPADI Deep Diver and PADI Boat Diver courses are natural choices for enjoying offshore diving in the UK. The PADI Dry Suit Diver course is a good idea. Look into the PADI Enriched Air Diver Course, if interested.

dorset

Travel Info

Note – Travel to any destination may be adversely affected by conditions including (but not limited to) security, entry and exit requirements, health conditions, local laws and culture, natural disasters and climate. Regardless of your destination, check your local travel advisory board or department for travel advice about that location when planning your trip and again shortly before you leave.

Language – English

Currency – Euro in Ireland and Pound Sterling in the United Kingdom. Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.

Major Airports – Heathrow (LHR) and Gatwick (LGW) are busy international hubs that service London. Bristol (BRS) and Exeter (EXT) are close to Cornwall, while Newcastle Airport (NCL) is close to North Sea sites (including the Farne Islands). Cardiff Airport (CWL) is a good route into Wales, and Dublin Airport (DUB) is the main entry into Ireland. Both Edinburgh (EDI) and Glasgow (GLA) have good airports for access to the Scottish sites, and Kirkwall Airport (KOI) is particularly useful for access to the Orkney Islands (Scapa Flow).

Electricity and Internet – Electricity is 220V 50 Hz. Internet service is widely available.

Topside Attractions – From the wilds of the west of Ireland to the splendor of London’s Buckingham Palace, you’ll find both the United Kingdom and Ireland steeped in heritage and welcoming to visitors. Check locally for specific things to do based on your dive location of choice.

Information links:
visitbritain.com
visitengland.com
discoverireland.ie
ireland.com
hse.gov.uk/diving
visitscotland.com
visitorkney.com
www.nationaltrust.org.uk

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