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17

The answer is almost certainly Thailand, in particular Ko Tao, the PADI factory of the world. An end-to-end course that gets you the standard PADI Open Water license will set you back roughly 9800 baht (~$310 at time of writing); if you're happy with the far more limited PADI Scuba Diver course, you can complete that for 7000 baht (~$225) at this randomly ...


15

Decisions about carry-on items are judgements made by airline employees at the gate, so it's hard to give a firm answer. It's possible that someone lets it slide or doesn't notice (though a pair of 26" fins is pretty conspicuous). But you asked what is likely, and I would say no: 26" fins are not likely to be considered a personal item. As you ...


14

For what it's worth, I'll add a dissenting opinion. I've flown Delta for years with many oddly shaped items as carry-ons including: scuba fins, skateboards, longboards, collapsing hiking poles, climbing helmets, sombreros, kites. I travel a lot for outdoor sports and I've never once had an issue with bringing something through security or on board the plane. ...


10

See "standard warning" at end re the inadvisability of snorkelling alone. It depends on what you want to see and do, but a brief answer is "almost anywhere that you see sea-water. Auckland is not renowned for its water clarity, but it can still be fun (speaking from personal experience). You'd want to stay away from the sewage ponds at Mangere, and some ...


9

Being a scuba diver, the first time I saw the pictures from the Aquarium, a few month ago, I immediately started researching more details about how to dive there. Unfortunately, this is not possible. The guests can't go for a dive in the Aquadom, they can just take the elevator inside it. If you search online for pictures about the Hotel, you may happen to ...


8

The beaches of Sierra Leone are perhaps the most beautiful beaches in the world. In case you were around in the 1980s and remember the Bounty (chocolate bar) commercials, featuring a gorgeous woman on an even more gorgeous beach, these commercials were shot in Sierra Leone. I don't think diving or snorkelling is a big thing in Sierra Leone, but it's ...


8

Is it advisable to dive/snorkel in that region of the world? There is some recreational diving and snorkelling in Sierra Leone, but not much. As well as challenges related to the economic situation and low tourism, the water visibility is usually pretty bad (this is true for most of the West African coast), and the currents are complicated and strong - ...


7

So I'm afraid all the best dive spots in Malaysia are out in Jan-Feb. As you've discovered, it's monsoon season on the east coast of the Peninsula, as well as at the famed dive spot of Sipadan in Sabah, Borneo. The weather is better on the west coast and in some bits of Sarawak, like Miri, but the diving is not that great any time of year. The good news is ...


7

According to this page (and this)there is a dive centre at Nusfjord on the Lofoten Islands of northern Norway - well above the Arctic Circle. I'm pretty sure a dry suit is compulsory there. EDIT: So I finally found a good-looking map of sea surface temperature and it turned up some surprising things. Kongsfjord (Norway) seems to be in around 8°C and ...


7

The best information I was able to find the answer is: NO. Aquadom at Radisson in Berlin is managed by Sea Life Berlin which doesn't offer diving as one of the Things to Do in Aquadom.


7

I can answer my own question after travelling to Cuba. All the places I visited were free of charge, including Varadero and other major spots like Guardalavaca. Before I visited Cuba I read that you have to pay for access to the beaches, but this information is outdated or false: you don't have to pay for access anywhere. Interesting snorkeling sites I ...


7

You're mostly observing differences in the pictures, not the locations. These might be deliberate - wanting to emphasize peaceful blue, or vibrant colour differences - or accidental due to photographer skill, camera equipment etc. There are places where coral is bleached (ocean acidification and climate change are killing coral) and some reefs are more ...


7

According to this site the problem is that various wavelengths penetrate to different depths. Blue penetrates further hence photos more than, say, 10m deep are predominantly blue. If you wish to see the full colour range while diving, this must necessarily be done in shallow depths unless you used artificial lighting. Hence, you should restrict your ...


6

Alicante, Spain. You can get some offers from €130 for a two-day course. Normal prices are a bit higher (€200), but if you just want to get the PADI certificate, this is the cheapest way I've found. In Alicante most people speak fluent english and sleeping and eating each day is about €25 if you go to a hostel or similar and cook your own food. Also, if you ...


6

Shamelessly converting @RoflcoptrException's comment in a answer, Book Your Dive is a website which allows you to compare diving prices by location (say for example in Indonesia), and by package deals. They even have a blog post comparing resort packages with liveaboards.


6

Two years ago I got confirmation from a local spearfisher that no license is needed, as this requirement was at the time recently removed. I got the same message afterwards in an online forum. My bet is that the text quoted in Dorothy's answer, which I found myself several times, is outdated. I spearfished in Greece and no one asked me anything. Make sure ...


5

I found a website comparing different biodegradable sunblockers. The quality/price range is quite significant, so it might be worth not grabbing the first thing on the shelf but rather going for a specific product. The one that the above website gave the best rating is available on Amazon for example.


5

There are several options in Thailand, but in general first of all this here: Diving in Thailand is - specially opposed to other locations in South East Asia such as Indonesia and the Philippines - not the best location to go to. Coral bleaching and overcrowding has severely deteriorated Thailand as a beach and dive location over the last 8 years, and even ...


5

I discourage going Tioman as its not spectacular and is full of people coming from Singapore to do quick dive trip weekends. It might be better during the week. I have visited (but not dived) in the Perhentian Islands which are northeast of Kuala Lampur (KL). The beaches and scenery there are the best I've seen in Southeast Asia. There are many Dive Shops ...


5

There's absolutely no reason to bring your own, or even buy one. Every dive operation I've ever been on in Thailand and elsewhere in SE Asia has had a big box of weight belts, usually on the boat itself, which you're free to use. Most shops quote two prices for dives: "full kit rental" (ref, BCD, the works) or "tank and weights only". And since you have ...


5

You could try Silfa in Iceland. I haven't tried it myself but it is supposed to be pretty awesome.


5

Lake Malawi, Malawi it's $350 for the open water padi cert at aquanuts. In terms of accommodation next to the dive shop is Kande Beach, if you have your own tent $5 a night otherwise it's a cabin for $15 per person per night. The food is cheap and so is the beer. So unless you bring a tent you are looking at $500.


5

Are you planning on taking a vacation in the Galapagos, and so looking to get your license while doing the vacation? Allow me to recommend against it. The scuba certification ( not technically a license, since most countries are quite willing to let you kill yourself by diving without it, though most dive shops are not willing to help you kill yourself ...


5

Short Answer If you are a non-professional diver, the certification has no expiration date. You can dive all over the world without the need to be affiliated to any club or to have an insurance. However, if you are a frequent diver, you may want to have a non-professional insurance. This will cover the majority of risks and will also avoid you to pay one-...


5

Better for What? Which school is better? This is a query which has been keeping us awake at night since the concept of "teaching" was first concocted. The answer is obviously: there is no point is asking yourself, or others, which is the best school, without first deciding the criteria on which to base such a qualitative and, more importantly, subjective ...


5

You can find information relative to fishing here: http://www.dgrm.min-agricultura.pt/xportal/xmain?xpid=dgrm&xpgid=genericPageV2&conteudoDetalhe_v2=170183 Unfortunatly I didn't find a translation but I'll make a summary: You don't need a license for: recreational catch, made ​​by hand, without using any capture vessels. Else you need to get a ...


5

There are several variables that take place: Currents/ waves. Water could get very cloudy Depths. The deeper you go, you will get less sunlight The reef itself. Go in the right season, to the right site and you should enjoy a bright vibrant dive. To answer your questions: Yes, such places exist, my favorite is the Red Sea, Eilat, Israel. You can find ...


5

The second photo has the saturation cranked way up. The first photo actually does a good job of portraying what you will likely see if you are scuba diving at depth. Some of the fish have very good colour, these are nearer the camera so some sort of flash has illuminated them. Fish/coral/diver that are further away get less benefit from the artificial ...


5

Is 26" the total length? In theory, you can just fit 26" on the diagonal of a 22"x14" rectangle...that assumes a thin line, but maybe your fins have enough squish that you could actually get them into the carry-on size (or have a slight bulge in your bag that can be plausibly squished down). Having everything unambiguously fit into your ...


4

You're traveling during high season so everything is going to be packed. I would still suggest going to Koh Tao still though. They have 2-3 of the top 5 OW schools in the world (By # of students). You'll have the best dive sites and the cheapest certification (~9000 baht). I did mine through Big Blue in Koh Tao. Also, I'd always be interested in where ...


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