Another White TipPretty little fellow.
Into the BlueBuddies are all here? Great, let's go! The underwater world awaits...
Old School Dive Dhoni, MaldivesSometimes it gets a little boring waiting for the dive boat to pick you up and when you have a camera in your hand, boredom often turns out into something more or less interesting :) This is a traditional Maldivian Dhoni, boats used for a variety of things in the Maldives. Side note: these are not the dhonis you want to see as part of your liveaboard.
Close & FriendlyNurse Shark getting close & super friendly, as usual.
7 Elements of a Great Dive
There are some dives that make you really happy and some leave you wanting more.
The reality is that what makes a good dive is extremely subjective and I will not try to act like any sort of authority - just summarize what
elements need to come together for a great experience overall, in my opinion ofcourse.
Element #1: Comfortable Dive Equipment
This is an absolutely necessity - ideally if you are really into diving you will have your own gear that fits you perfectly and that you are used to.
If you don't, or you are on travels without it - picking gear that is a comfortable fit is key. If an operation that you plan to go diving with only has old and really worn equipment, perhaps you should look for an alternative.
Element #2:Spacious and Well Equipped Dive Boat
Everyone has been on a dive boat with WAY too many divers. Gear is everywhere. Tanks are bouncing around. People falling over. Everyone is clumsy.
Besides not taking onboard too many people some dive centres have boats that are just not equipped for diving. For example, you need to have tank holders, you need to have some kind of tarp to provide shade, you need to have a cool box for drinks (unless you are in cold water ofcourse).
Once again, I'm sure you have been on a dive where your dive buddy just really annoys you. There are many ways of being a bad dive buddy - the most obvious one is having poor air consumption and cutting the dives short by 10-15 or more minutes.
Another example is always getting lost. Or having a camera and taking a million
shots of each subject that you come across.
Element #4: Experienced, Local Dive Guide
Most of the time as a recreational diver you will not be experienced with the area that you are diving and a knowledgable local dive guide can make a huge difference.
First of all, the dive guide will know which dive sites are likely to be better on certain days (based on currents) and secondly, they are likely to have a better idea of the needs of the group.
A good dive guide will always have some secrets - a hidden overhang where lives a resident sting ray or a place known for mantis shrimp etc.
For me personally, good viz is probably about 50% of the dive. If the viz is say 30 metres, and there is little marine life, I would enjoy it more than amazing marine life with 2 metres viz.
When in amazing vizibility, it changes the entire perception of the dive and greats the effect of being in flight. When in bad viz, you cannot imagine that you are flying, but rather feels like wading through mud.
Obviously, most of us dive for the marine life that lives beneath the surface. Over the years I realized that its not necessary to be at a manta cleaning station or a shark point to enjoy a dive. Sometimes large schools of smaller fish can be just as exciting, not to mention the macro life which sometimes feels like such an accomplishment in spotting.
Element #7: Comfortable Environment
Finally, all the other 6 elements can be in place, but if for example there is a super strong current that you need to constantly fight just to stay in place, it all won't matter - you probably won't enjoy the dive.
Another thing that often disrupts the dive is some really noisy enviroments. For example, in Indonesia, very often on dives you will hear the sound of exploding home made poacher bombs. Very hard to relax when that happens at regular intervals.
In the Maldives, on certain dive sites, you have just too many divers and half the time you are worried about a holiday diver that is finning in your face or scaring away all the animals.
The dives that have most of those elements in my experience have been the ones that made you really happy and glow with excitement and happiness afterwards.
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