With the arrival of the Corona (COVID 19) pandemic, 2020 has become a special year for almost the entire world. Some countries are still completely in lock down while others are slowly opening their borders. In the popular diving holiday destination Egypt we are getting going again step by step, but what can you expect as a traveler?
With its beautiful beaches surrounded by an azure sea on one side and a row of palm trees on the other on almost all 1200 islands, in the middle of the Indian Ocean and on the equator, the Maldives is a dream destination for many divers. One chooses a resort on an island where they go with a water plane and the other prefers the liveaboard to visit entire areas while diving. And most of us come for the Manta and the Whale Shark, but did you know that in the Maldives they have 42 registered shark species that show themselves during a dive depending on the current. And in order to fully enjoy the sharks in strong currents you want to stay in one and the same place and so they use reef hooks. A practice that is not applied in every country nor is it allowed everywhere.
Now I do quite a few dives as a guide and I sometimes see things that I'm not quite sure whether I really saw that or whether nitrogen was playing tricks there. And so I ask others if they've seen it too, hoping it wasn't a nitrogen hallucination. This was also the case at the beginning of my career as a guide, when I thought I saw the sand moving.
Have you ever dived from a zodiac? I think they are fantastic, as long as you have a good sailor with them. They drop you at exactly the right spot, pick you up even if it is only 50 meters from the big boat and thus make diving a lot easier. But not everyone is a big fan of it. Getting into the zodiac is sometimes a bit challenging, but coming out of the water isn't always charming either.
What to do with seasickness in combination with diving? A question that I often see on the necessary social media dive groups. Many reactions from people who are either very bothered by it or who have never experienced it. In addition, I see it a lot with our guests, I estimate about 25-40% suffer from it, but what is it actually? And what can you do about it? And do you have to do something about it or will it go away on its own?
Sometimes you have those moments when very unexpectedly the sea does not give but wants to take. The water is huge, deep and strong and has a power that we should not underestimate. But even when she is very calm and shows the beautiful life she houses, there is always something dark, deep and mysterious in her that you should never forget. Good buddy contact, keeping a visual reference and looking around can literally save someone's life. And luckily we also experience that, also with Maaike who was on board with us with her fiancé.
Fortunately, diving with the table in the pocket of your vest and a watch on your wrist is a thing of the past. We are all now learning to do it with a computer, but how well do divers know that computer? Not too good in my experience unfortunately. I'll tell you a story of an American guy who did the north route of the Red Sea with me.
'Umm Anke, can I ask you something? How big is the danger of decompression sickness?' Look, that's a question that we get often as guides on the Safari boats. We've all learned that decompression sickness is lurking and my experience tells me it can always happen. Strangely enough, we don't expect that at all and even if we notice something weird in our bodies, the penny of decompression sickness does not drop quickly. This is also the case with Paul, who boarded with me in the Maldives.
Two sisters were on a journey with their husbands, a fantastic tour of the central atolls of the Maldives and I met them when they came on board with me. A wonderful week of diving in the beautiful tropical water with the wish to dive with mantas. Not only many mantas but also a few whale sharks joined us on our dives that week and although the sisters' wish had been granted, their greatest adventure had not yet begun.