Tuesday 30 December 2008


Film maker Werner Herzog was inspired in making a film about Antarctica after a friend sent him some incredible underwater images.

Encounters at the end of the world is basically about the life of scientists at Mc Murdo station, HQ of the Science Foundation and home to eleven hundred people during the austral spring and summer (October to February).

In addition to the dive team, Herzog interviews vulcanologists, geologists, marine biologists and physicists who chose to form a society as far away from society as one can get.

The film's segment on diving is one of the longer segments and it's absolutely beautiful.

Monday 29 December 2008

Differences between cavern and cave diving

Cavern diving is the exploration of permanent, naturally occurring overhead environments while remaining within sight of their entrances. It differs from cave diving in that, while cave divers may penetrate thousands of yards, cavern divers generally go no further than 130 feet from the surface. Additionally, cavern divers keep the entrance clearly in sight at all times, and use a guideline so that, should sight of the entrance be accidentally lost, divers can immediately regain it.
Because the risks that cavern divers must manage are not significantly greater than they experience in open water, cavern divers are able to use much the same equipment as they use in open water. Being in underwater caverns requires that divers make a few modifications to their equipment; however, most divers say that these modifications make their open-water diving easier and more enjoyable.

Cave divers, on the other hand, use highly specialized equipment to reduce the risks they encounter to an acceptable level.

The benefits of Cave Diver training are not limited solely to the ability to safely explore underwater caverns and caves. Most cave divers say that they learn more practical information about diving in just the first few days of Cave Diver training than in any other course they have taken-including instructor courses! The specialized buoyancy control, body position and propulsion techniques taught in Cave Diver courses create very environmentally sound divers.

My advise to you, if you are a diver interested in diving this environment, is to try Cavern diving first to see if its for you. If you are already an experienced diver or a technical scuba diver and wish to advance your diving skills then taking a Cave training course is an excellent way to do it and one you'll always remember.

Tuesday 23 December 2008

Happy holidays

Whether you are in warm and sunny South Africa, or perhaps even breathing air underwater somewhere in the colder Mediterranean, I would like to wish you and your families peace, joy and best 'fishes' for 2009.

Friday 19 December 2008

Fifty places to dive before you die

'Fifty places to dive before you die' is Chris Santella's fifth book of the 'fifty places....' series and represents all the world's seas from the icy waters of Antarctica, to the tropics of Fiji and reefs of Papua New Guinea.

Experts consulted include biologists, local divers, photographers, dive operators in their regions as well as trip leaders. Each of the fifty chapters conclude with info on how to get there, best time to visit, accomodation and contact info. Some chapters cover a single dive site, while others are more general and cover a whole region.

Time may be running out for some of us, so best buy the book and enjoy some armchair reading.

Thursday 18 December 2008

My Dive Album

There is a new dive community website that is hitting our cyber space: www.mydivealbum.com is one of the first sites to offer an online facility where divers can log their dives online and link up with diving buddies around the world.

MyDiveAlbum does not only cater for disciplines such as Scuba but includes all underwater disciplines such as spearfishing, freediving and even team sports such as underwater hockey. It is a website where divers from all over the globe can interact, exchange and share information. The site is launching new features on a weekly basis with members now able to register clubs on the site, blog and soon to be the events/diving trips album where members can record their diving trips.

Wednesday 10 December 2008

The demise of YMCA Scuba & the birth of SEI Diving

News Release

Tom Leaird, CEO of SCUBA Acquisitions Inc. and former YMCA Scuba Instructor Trainer and Scuba Advisory Committee Chairman, announced the formation of the new non-profit scuba education agency, Scuba Educators International (SEI Diving) that will provide services to instructors and diving certifications worldwide.

SEI Diving Philosophy
  • The desire to share an experience rather than sell a sport
  • A concern for people and what they feel and how they learn
  • A program dedicated to safety through education rather than marketing
  • A course of instruction that maximizes the ability of each individual
  • A course that teaches students and their buddies to become independently competent in the water and out.
  • Our students become divers that can safely enjoy our recreational activity throughout the world to the fullest.
SEI Diving Vision

To be recognized worldwide for the premier quality of instruction seen in our students.

SEI Diving Motto

Learn from the best, where a full education makes the difference.

The new agency will not be connected with the YMCA of the USA, but will continue to share philosophies and dedication to the highest quality education in the industry. At the core of this new agency is a collection of determined former YMCA scuba instructors, diligently striving to keep the spirit alive.

In July of 2008, YMCA informed all scuba management and YMCA associations of the end of their participation in scuba certification, effective December 31, 2008. The news initiated a sunsetting process, transitioning to the final closure of the program on June 30, 2009.

This was unfortunate and disheartening information for the scuba industry. For 50 consecutive years the YMCA had been certifying scuba divers and promoting healthy education. Many instructors express deep disappointment for the end of this epoch.

Despite the termination of the Yscuba era, all YMCA scuba certifications will remain valid. The YMCA will also replace any lost certification card that was earned through their program. Such programs as aquatics, lifeguard training and water fitness classes will still be offered to members.

In the face of discontinuation, there is hope that the spirit of the program will continue through the efforts of Scuba Educators International, or SEI Diving, led by Tom Leaird, Dan Marelli, and Ken Nemeth, former YMCA instructors, who make up the Board of Directors of SEI Diving.
We saw there would be a gap in scuba education without Yscuba. We plan to continue to teach knowledge-based courses using high standards, said Leaird.

Current Yscuba instructors and leaders from other agencies are encouraged to become a part of SEI Diving. Contact Scuba Educators International at 1623 W. Jackson Street, Muncie, IN 47303 or phone (765) 281-0600 or fax (765) 288-1297 or info@seidiving.org.