You have probably already experienced that mother nature can pleasantly surprise you. Now I spend a lot of time underwater and that means that these surprises are regularly reviewed. For example, I was on a liveaboard as a dive guide and had 24 guests for that week, to dive the northern wrecks of the Red Sea from Hurghada. During the check in I got to know Chris, he was a frequent guest on our boats and he had 100+ dives to his name. Yet he was no further than an open water diver and so I had to advise him not to dive deeper than 18 m. Chris fully understood it, but still wanted to go to the 30 m, so I offered him the option of taking a course.' How about a deep adventure dive or you can even think about an advanced open water course'. The latter appealed to him the most, but he didn't want to miss any valuable dives for the course. In the end he wanted to dive and have a nice holiday and a course was just an extra. I explained to him that this was no problem at all, on training dives we prepare well and during the dive we do some exercises and then we have enough time left to make a super dive. And Chris agreed.
I was asked to come and help on a liveaboard in the Maldives for a few months because the current cruise directors had to disembark with a medical emergency. The head office in England indicated that I should not only take over their work, but asked me to examine the organization on site and improve it where possible. What a super challenge and all that on a dive ship in the Maldives, well as if I would say no to that, haha. And so I flew at short notice to Male from Egypt on my way to a new adventure and then boarded via domestic flights deep in the south of the Maldives.
Despite the fact that I do a lot of diving, there are a number of diving moments that stay with me and amung them my first encounter with the blue ringed octopus. We are at a fantastic dive site appropriately named Mayhem in Raja Ampat Indonesia. Fitting because every time the current picks up the dive site becomes a madhouse, the quantities as well as the different species are absolutely astonishing, even after 100 dives. The current sours around us as soon as we roll into the water from the zodiac and from the first moment I try to hang as aerodynamically as possible. Nose down and into the current while holding my ass up, a trick I copied from sharks. And even though the current tries to blow me off the reef, I manage to stay in one place and I take the time to look around me quietly.
When I first started as a dive guide I was amazed at the disrespectful and inconsiderate behavior of many divers on board. It cannot be the case that divers travel to special places to see nature and then just destroy everything during the dive. And really as a guide you see the most amazing things, as I recently dived with Michael, a relatively experienced diver who travels to all corners of the world.
We all need help from time to time and it is not always easy to ask for help. And sometimes as a dive guide I get a completely unexpected request for help, I mean it's my job to help everyone above and below the water but I just don't expect it from everyone and ask … Continue reading An unforgettable experience
On board we unfortunately hear and see it with some regularity. Nice people who look at their own photos after a fantastic dive and are disappointed. A fish that is only half on it or how about just a tail and all that while they thought they had the best shot during the dive. We all tend to take a quick snapshot and then continue divingjust a little too quickly. Often being led by the feeling of not wanting to be a burden to others, but the funny thing is that others often don't have the idea that you are working on a photo for too long and eventually when you have a fantastic photo everyone wants a copy as a keepsake. And if you do want to shoot something quickly, that fish doesn't agree and shoots away into a hole or dives around the corner behind a coral block.
We humans often see ourselves as separate from the animal kingdom, you have animals and us. I personally think that Mother Nature came up with something different concept and I see a lot of similarities between humans and animals. One of them is regular washing and brushing, which many animals do in a kind of car wash. That is of course not a street with rotating brushes or a wax turn, but a place where certain animals help other animals to stay clean while they themselves immediately get a meal and so everyone benefits from it.
It is late in the afternoon and we are on our way to Fesdu Lagoon here in the Maldives, where we want to park before dark. The entrance to the lagoon is not wide, so we can only enter during daylight, as we can see the reef. The special thing about this lagoon is that it is not only big enough for a liveaboard, but especially because mantas regularly come into the lagoon in the evening to eat. And that is the perfect opportunity for us divers to take a night dive with these elegant giants.
My first tiger shark Years ago I mainly worked in the south of the Red Sea on a Liveaboard, which departed from Port Ghalib. As a rule we did trips to the Deep South (Saint Johns), The Brother Islands or Daedalus, but Rocky Island and Zabargad were still quite new to me. The week before … Continue reading My first tiger shark