Insider's travel tips by boot diving bogger Bettina Winert
Do you, too, already feel this itching? The unrestrainable desire to put on your fins and o diving again? Well then, let's go, no matter if you fly far away or stay local.
If you haven't yet booked a spring diving trip at the Dive Center at boot Düsseldorf, our diving blogger Bettina Winert has some special suggestions to make that will give you additional inspiration to start into an exciting diving season 2019.
Great Maledivian beaches off-season
If you can start your diving holiday on the Maldives in spring after the end of the main season in December, you will often get rather good offers. The Maldives are a dream for divers anyway and spring is the ideal time to observe the giant manta rays. The gentle giants are an absolute highlight for every diver. With a wingspan of up to six or seven meters, they float silently through the seas and impress anyone who sees these wonderful animals.
Diving spots, however, vary greatly in terms of required skills and experiences of divers. Many shallow diving spots with good visibility and colourful corals are well suitable for beginners and snorkelers. On the other hand, diving the so-called channels of the atolls is reserved exclusively for advanced divers due to sometimes extremely strong currents and greater depths. As a reward for your extra efforts, big fish like sharks and manta rays are waiting for you.
Between dives you can relax on the beautiful beaches of the Maldives, get away from it all and simply enjoy the sun. If you are looking for peace, relaxation and fantastic dives in warm waters, then the Maldives are just the place for you.
Spring on the African east coast
South Africa is one of the dream destinations for divers and non-divers alike. The pristine nature, the variety of flora and fauna and wonderful cities like Cape Town attract countless tourists every year.
For us divers, there is the whole range of South African nature to be seen under water: Whales, sea lions, penguins and dolphins come to meet the divers and snorkelers. Already in February, you may watch the famous sardine runs, which take place in different places off the African coast, outside Port Elisabeth. To see how big fish hunt millions of sardines is unique and an unforgettable experience for every diver.
On land, animals may also be observed in the wild in the national parks. After an impressive encounter with humpback whales, you may face wild elephants the next day if you like. After all, South Africa is a Mecca for large animal observation above and under water.
However, South Africa is no diving destination for beginners. Divers should have at least 50 logged dives, should be well equipped for cold water diving and should not be afraid of rather dark waters and high waves. If all that suits you, you will experience fantastic dives here.
Diving & city trip to Piran, Slovenia
Have you ever combined a city trip with a diving holiday? If not, then it's high time to do just that in Europe. Spring is the best time for this, because often you only plan a short holiday during this time, anyway.
The enchanting country of Slovenia lies between the Alps and the Adriatic Sea. The Slovenian coast is not as long as that of the neighbouring country Croatia. But as an adventurous diver in the small Slovenian town of Piran you have the unique opportunity to round off a stroll through the Mediterranean old town with a dive. Just store your shopping bags and dive in.
The underwater world just off the seafront of the old town is not quite as colourful as in the depths of the Croatian cliffs, but there are many crabs, seahorses and nudibranchs waiting to be observed by divers. After the dive you return to the seafront promenade and enjoy a coffee or cocktail under the rolled out awnings of the picturesque cafés before returning to your scheduled evening entertainment through the narrow backstreets.
Those who visit Piran in spring should pack equipment suitable for cold water, as this may still be rather chilly. Otherwise the diving spots are quite shallow and suitable for beginners, too. This mixture of simple, relaxed dives and a city trip to one of the most romantic old towns of the Adriatic Sea is what makes Piran so special to me.
Diving local lakes in spring
If you are not in for travelling far at the beginning of the season, there are still many great opportunities to start the season in your local waters. Just, for example, visit a diving club in your area and join the traditional opening of the diving season. Almost all dive centers at the local lakes organize such small events to mark the beginning of the new diving season.
It is also the perfect opportunity to get your own equipment out of its winter storage, to get the necessary checks and maintenance done and to make the first fin strokes in the lake after the long winter break. It allows you to test if all your equipment is still working well and ready for your next longer diving trip.
Those who make the effort to squeeze into a thick neopren suit can expect the best visibility of the whole year in our lakes in spring, as the water is not yet stirred up by swimmers. Pike, perch, catfish, pikeperch, mussels and crabs are the reward for your efforts. And when the spring sun shines through the clear water, it feels like a real holiday - without the hassle of long travels.
If you want to dive in the local lakes so early in the year, you need to have suitable cold water equipment, ideally also a dry suit or at least a semi-dry suit. Gloves and hood are indispensable for me. In the lakes you shouldn't be afraid of dark, cold water and sometimes rather bad visibility, that's part of the routine. After the dive it is recommended to have warm clothes, a hat and hot drinks ready at hand. Well prepared, our local lakes offer great diving experiences even early in the year.