I learnt to Dive here in 2008 and immediately fell in love with the underwater world. My first reaction was – why I had not tried this sooner, but i was glad that i got the chance to do so. I did my theory and my confined skills which are required for the Open Water Course in England with London Scuba so it would save us time when we got out to Utila to focus on the 4 Open Water dives that i had to do. One i had completed my 4 Open Water dives, with some skills I was then certified as a Open Water Diver for life. I immediately then went on to do my Advanced Course, seeing as I was already out there and was loving the experience. I completed my certificates with UDC (Utila Dive Centre) a good organisation, though some say a factory, but as I was new to the whole experience I had a professional, comprehensive and experienced teacher that I had no complaints about. When you are new to diving everything you see underwater seems amazing and fascinating, but I do recall seeing turtles, seahorses, large napeoleon Wrasse, wreck dives and some great swim throughs. I also had my first experience of running out of air, luckily i was only 1/2 a meter from the surface and something that will not happen to me again. All in all a good place to dive and party and one of the cheapest places int he world to do so if you are passing through.
Dive Unawatuna in southern Sri Lanka, good place to dive, though the water was very green, some interesting underwater boulders, swim throughs, wrecks and plenty of macro life and big schools of fusileers and jacks. An interesting place with a laid back beach vibe. I have now heard that technical diving is taking off on the East coast of Sri Lanka. A lot less busy that the main land of India so a good place to get away from the hustle and bustle whislt still enjoying the all the aspects that India has to offer – food and culture.
UK – Farnes Islands
Surprisingly, throughout my dive career I have never dived in my home country of the UK. I always described myself as a warm water diver and always thought the UK to cold to dive. When I heard that people can dive in the UK in wetsuits (I haven’t done my dry suit course) I was looking where to go. The Farne Islands where the closest to where I live in Hull and also you have the possibility of diving with grey seals.
We booked through Deep Blue Pirates after some recommendations. Good communication, professional level of service and not as expensive as I thought it would be. We had 2 dives up on the Islands. It is best if you stay somewhere close the night before as it is an early start the next day.
The boat was filled with divers and after a 40 min boat ride taking in the beautiful coastline, puffins gliding by and gearing up we were ready to jump. Laden with weights, 2 x 8mm wetsuits and all the heat retaining dive gear I could find I plunged into the 13 degrees water. Compared to the seals that were waiting for us, my entry into the water was far less glamorous than theirs.
Once in it was cold, but not too bad. The water was quite green but vis of about 10m. The sudden rush of excitement though when you first see a seal underwater is undescribable! They are like underwater dogs. Very playful and they come up close. Very close. We were lucky in the fact we were the last to enter the water and therefore the last to leave. Coming to the end of the dive we noticed the seals became a lot more playful the less divers that were in the water. We sepnt 45mins under and had a greast time snapping the seals and also interacting with them.
the second dive wasn’t as interactive as the first but still very good. After 2 dives for 45mins each at 13 degrees in a wetsuit is more than enough for me. I was chilled to the bone! I nice sunny day on the way back to the harbour and a good cuppa sorted that out though!
I would highly recommend this trip. Very cool, great day out, superb interaction with wildlife too. A must do if you’re a diver in the UK.