10 Things to Check Before Your Next Dive Trip


Here are the Top Ten Things to Ask Your Dive Company Before You Book Your Trip with Them. Remember the difference in price is often the difference in quality.
1. Is your dive equipment serviced by trained and certified technicians?
This may seem obvious, but worth checking. Make sure the servicing is performed as per the manufacturers’ recommendations. Common mistakes include reusing consumable items, trying to service the equipment without the proper training and leaving it too long between servicing.
2. Are they a member of a reputable and recognized training organization?
There are too many too mention here but the most common ones are SSI, PADI, CMAS, BSAC, TDI/SDI. This is important too ensure that they are kept up to date with the latest in training and procedures in case anything does go wrong.
3. How Many People are Diving at Once?
To truly enjoy your dive experience it is best to keep the numbers in the group as small as your can. This also reduces any impact that you may have on the environment, such as scaring away fish and stirring up the bottom.
4. What is the Ratio from Instructor to Student or Guide to Diver?
There are regulations covering the first point so numbers will vary under that amount, but it is best to ask before you go so you are not shocked. If you want a smaller group you may have to pay for it. Smaller amount of divers per guide allows for a much smoother and personal dive, allowing the dive to be tailored for what you expect to see on the dive.
5. Are they a member of a relevant local dive organization?
Like point 2 above this ensures that you have a operator that is involved and up to date with the latest guidelines or safety procedures for that region.
6. Do they support local or global efforts in conservation or research?
This gives you a great indication on the attitude of the dive company and makes sure you get great dive karma. Sustaining the marine environment shows the company is interested in the longevity of the local or global ecosystem and is doing their bit to contribute.
7. Do you have travel or dive insurance that gives you the coverage you need?
This will include all sorts of things that may happen that can throw your dive trip into disarray. These may include an illness, illness of a relative, travel agent or operator going bankrupt, weather related cancellations, flight cancellations.
8. What is the cancellation policy of the dive company?
Do they give full refunds for weather or other cancellations? Do they have an immediate no refund policy for cancellations or are they flexible?
9. Are the owners or managers going on their own trips?
Quality control to make sure that you have a great experience is often done with management teams that have a more hands on approach. By taking the time to experience the trip and meet the guests shows that they are going the extra mile to make sure you have the best experience possible.
10. How far is the boat/resort really away from the hotel?
Often people follow the old “we’re just 10 minutes away” story. Use Google Maps or other technologies to get a true picture of where you are in relation to the boat. Better still see if they can arrange transport for you to arrive at the boat on time and not have to lug dive gear around.

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Responsible Reef Practices While Snorkelling


Practices that you can do to help sustain the Great Barrier Reef for generations to come

• Practice at first over sand patches and away from the coral:
• Get comfortable with buoyancy control and finning techniques.
• Be mindful of where your fins are to avoid accidentally hitting the reef or stirring up sand.
• Snorkel carefully near the Reef:
• Move slowly and deliberately in the water, relax and take your time – to remain horizontal in the water, and refrain from standing up.
• Do not snorkel into areas where the water is less than one metre deep.
• Do not touch the walls of semi-confined areas (for example, small swim throughs and overhangs), never squeeze through a small area.
• Use rest stations or other flotation aids (for example, float lines, swimming noodles, and flotation vests) if you need to rest while snorkelling.
• Do not lean on, hold onto, or touch any part of the reef or moving animals when taking underwater photographs.
• Be mindful of all marine life:
• Avoid making sudden or loud noises underwater.
• Avoid chasing or attempting to ride or grab free-swimming animals (such as turtles, whales, and sea snakes). Avoid blocking their path or making them change direction.
• Do not touching or relocating any animals or plants.
• Stay more than one metre away from giant clams.
• Do not feed the fish.
• Do not collect any shells or ‘souvenirs’.

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Responsible Reef Practices While Diving


The Great Barrier Reef and other reefs throughout the world are delicately balanced ecosystems and while they are spectacular as well as resilient, we must do our best to leave them as we found them. We compiled this list of reef safe diving practices to enable the reefs of the world to be enjoyed for years to come.
* Move slowly and deliberately in the water, relax and take your time – relax and avoid rapid changes in direction.
* Avoid making sudden or loud noises underwater.
* Avoid leaning on, holding onto, or touching any part of the reef. This needs to be adhered to especially when taking underwater photographs.
* Avoid touching the walls of semi-confined areas (for example, small swim throughs or overhangs) – never squeeze through a small area.
* Avoid kicking up and disturbing the sand.
* Avoid touching any animals or plants.
* Do not feed fish or other wildlife.
* Stay more than one metre away from giant clams and reefs.
* Keep clear of free-swimming animals (such as turtles, whales, and sea snakes). In particular, you must not chase, ride, grab or block the path of these animals.
* Do not wear gloves (unless they’re required for safety reasons) as you are less likely to touch the coral.
* Avoid collecting any shells, coral or ‘souvenirs’.
* Avoid relocating any marine life – particularly when taking photos and filming.
* Collect all litter from the Reef, even that which isn’t yours.
* Do not feed the fish.

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Night Diving on the Great Barrier Reef


Diving at night opens up an entire new perspective on the Great Barrier Reef highlighting different formations and wildlife that are not normally seen during the day. Different fish behaviour and activities are often displayed at night much different to the daylight hours.

Here an inquisitive turtle has followed our divers on their dive. Swimming alongside them for several minutes exploring the reef with them. Thanks to Malcolm one of our guests for this great photo.

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