Dive travel inspirations from boot blogger Bettina Winert
Diving destinations in summer
The summer vacation is coming sooner than we can imagine. Just sleep a few more times and the time has come for your well-deserved annual holiday. And of course as a diver you hope for fascinating dives during this time.
But where should divers spend the most beautiful time of the year? Where can you do more than great diving? Where can you combine your favourite hobby with culture, good food or the interests of other family members? Here are a few ideas:
If you like short journeys or if you want to come by car, you should go to Croatia. The country at the Adriatic Sea has a long coast with beautiful old towns, great nature and crystal clear water. The diving spots are varied - you can see seahorses, octopuses, and if you're lucky, you'll also see some nurse sharks. Beautiful cliffs, overgrown with sponges and corals and inhabited by small, colorful nudibranchs, as well as caves and overhangs make the region interesting even for more experienced divers.
Many coastal dive sites are suitable for beginners
The shallow waters directly on the coast are also suitable for snorkelers and beginners. Croatia is certainly one of the most interesting European diving regions, although this area is not comparable with the Red Sea or the Maldives. But the country has picturesque old towns, great cuisine and many other outdoor activities to offer: Hiking, mountain biking or sailing offer the perfect alternative to diving, especially if not all family members are divers. Numerous historic sites such as churches and castles are just waiting to be visited.
The evening programme after your dive begins with a relaxed stroll through the enchanting old towns. Small shops invite you to take a look at the displays, the many authentic restaurants invite you to eat typical local food. Afterwards, you can enjoy a delicious ice cream on the promenade - with a view of the magical sunset over the sea.
If you like to dive a lot but don't want to fly that long, I think the Red Sea is still the best place for you. Diving in the Red Sea is like diving in an aquarium, from corals to eagle rays and even whale sharks you can see everything a diver's heart desires.
In four to five hours you are in the land of the pharaohs and have the choice between different kinds of diving trips. If you only want to dive, dive and dive again, it is best to book a diving safari. There you will have plenty of diving. A week in Hurghada or Marsa Alam means up to four dives a day. In this way a lot of time is spent underwater - and therefore there are great opportunities for impressive encounters. In between you eat and sleep on the small, floating hotels.
Dive safari or dive center? - Both are attractive
Dive safaris however are more suitable for advanced and experienced divers, many providers require 50 logged dives. Dive sites such as the Brothers Rock in the middle of the Red Sea challenge divers with great depths and strong currents. You have to be able to deal with that. Safety always comes first, even on holiday.
If you not only want to dive, but also relax on land or go on day trips, you have the choice between many different hotels along the Red Sea. In advance, one should always inform oneself how to dive there: Some hotels have diving bases with beautiful house reefs, here you can always go diving in the buddy system. Others offer trips with day boats, which however last the whole day, so plan accordingly. Some hotels take divers to dive sites that are further out, and back again right after the dive, by speedboat.
Every diver has to decide how to dive according to his personal preferences and his own experience. It is important to be well advised in advance so that there is no nasty surprise waiting for you at your destination. Some dive centers also offer great snorkeling tours, childcare and programs for non-diving family members. This can be a big help for a relaxed holiday mood within the group.
What every dive center has to offer are different dive sites for beginners and advanced divers. Especially the house reefs are perfect for less experienced divers. The guarantee of fair weather and the Egyptian hospitality make this country the perfect destination for a diving holiday.
For those who are not afraid of long flights and have a budget, Indonesia is a worthwhile destination for a diving holiday. The dry season in Indonesia is generally between May and October, but the exact destination is very important. Indonesia is so large that there are different climate zones within the country. So Kommodo is better to travel from June to October, while North Sulawasi offers ideal travel conditions from May to September.
Indonesia is so diverse that it is difficult to make a general statement about where the best dive sites are. Kommodo has a completely different climate than Raja Ampat for example and therefore a completely different underwater world. The dive sites in the Lembeh Strait are unattractive at first sight as they are located in one of the main shipping lanes. However, the water is full of life and rare marine creatures. If that's what you're looking for, this is the place for you. On the Moluccas, on the other hand, untouched nature awaits even above water, which has its own charm.
The right diving area for all interests and qualifications
In general, divers of all interests can get their money's worth in Indonesia. If you love macro dives and prefer to spend hours looking for small snails and tiny pygmy seahorses, you will find the right dive sites in Indonesia. Just as well a manta ray can swim past and some dive sites are famous for their large population of whale sharks. Huge coral forests, schools of fish and good visibility make Indonesia one of the places you should see as a diver.
The dive sites vary as far as their demands on the divers are concerned. Those who go on a diving safari should have a minimum of 50 logged dives. The more experienced a diver is, the more fun he will have at the fantastic underwater world, because he is not as busy with himself as a beginner. Some dive sites have very strong currents, experience is certainly an advantage to not panic. The coastal dive sites directly in front of the dive bases are often also suitable for beginners.
The overwhelming nature, the warm turquoise blue sea and the friendly Indonesians make this large country a top holiday destination for divers and nature lovers.
Cocos Island: The big fish of Costa Rica
If you really only want to dive and are only interested in big fish, you should make a liveaboard around Cocos Island at least once in your life. The island can only be reached in the course of a liveaboard trip, which can be done all year round.
The mystical island is a secluded 30 hour boat ride from the coast of Costa Rica. As a national park and UNESCO World Heritage Site, it has enjoyed special protection for many years and is home to one of the largest hammerhead shark populations in the world. However, the journey is long. The flight from Europe to Costa Rica takes more than 10 hours, in addition an overnight stay in the capital is advisable as safety buffer. The cruise is not for people who quickly get seasick, medicine is recommended even for people with strong stomachs, to avoid being plagued by nausea.
Diving at boot Düsseldorf
The DIVE CENTER in Hall 3 is the meeting point for all divers. Free diving taster sessions are on offer at the diving pool for newcomers!
But the strains of the long journey are quickly forgotten when you wake up in the morning and anchor in front of this green paradise. Under water groups of up to 400 hammerhead sharks are waiting for the divers. There is a hammerhead shark guarantee, as the big animals are scattered all over the place. Dolphins, elephant sharks and rays are also watching curiously as the divers sink into the depths. The water temperature is usually around 25 degrees, but below the Metalimnion it is significantly colder. Therefore a warm suit is a good choice, it should be at least 5 mm.
The dive sites are not necessarily challenging, but the relatively cold water and the not always clear visibility are a challenge for beginners to consider. Since the journey is also very expensive and complex, interested divers should be able to prove that they have made at least 50 logged dives and can move safely in the water, as it often comes to encounters with sharks and level-headed behavior is extremely important. Cocos Island is an absolute highlight for every diver! If you make the long trip and have the necessary budget, you will never forget this trip.