Jumping in the pool, it’s normal to take off your watch; jumping in the sea to swim underwater and you’ll need to know the key features of scuba diving watches and how to use them.
Scuba diving watches are typically chunky, analogue affairs with large crowns and distinctive bezels – yet there’s much more to the wrist wrappers than first meets the eye…
Before you buy, don’t be deceived by big names – and equally large price tags – keep your eye on the specs we list below and buy the watch you need, not the model others might like to have popping over their shirt cuff on their way to work.
If you’ve grown up, as this writer’s other half did, diving off the West Coast of Scotland, you’ll be familiar with the ‘woolly bear’ outfit. It’s what many divers in this glorious – but often temperamental – part of the diving world wear under their drysuits to keep cosy in the chilly waters of the Atlantic.
Certainly, the woolly bear can be a welcome friend, especially given that weather conditions in the Northern hemisphere can change from glorious, blue, not-a-cloud-to-be-seen skies to dark, foreboding and distinctly inclement at the flick of a dolphin’s tail.
There are some idyllic diving spots in the Inner and Outer Hebrides which make it worthwhile. But really, you’d be mad not to head to the Caribbean, leaving your teddy behind.
For many divers the quest to experience new waters, explore unknown dive sites and encounter increasingly diverse aquatic life, only increases with time and experience. Like travelling, the more you do, the more you want to do.
But as you look to enhance your underwater experiences, it probably won’t be long before you start looking at liveaboards and what they have to offer.
Liveaboards are, as you might imagine, boats that you live on, at sea, usually for a week or 10 days. But are they right for you? Here are some things you should consider.
Situated over 900km off the west coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are an archipelago of volcanic islands and biological marine reserve distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean.
The islands are famed for their vast number of endemic species of both flora and fauna, especially land animals, which were first studied by Charles Darwin.
So as you might imagine, scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands offers some extraordinary delights.
Boats are great. For scuba folk they serve a valuable role as transport to dive sites, they offer shelter, storage and social space for divers and their gear, and sometimes they are even home for while, for the liveaboard aficionados among us.
But when a boat can dive to depths of 30m at approx 50mph offering an entirely new underwater experience, is it still a boat?
Well apparently so, and not just in the world of James Bond. Launched in 2009, the Scubacraft is described as ‘a new generation of scuba diving watercraft’ and claims to be the first self-contained submersible that also operates as a surface watercraft. So far, so 007.
Scuba divers understand that it’s important to take a bootie call seriously.
These neoprene and rubber babies soon become like second soles as they protect you during your trips from shore to sea to boat, into your fins and back again, so choosing scuba booties wisely is vital!
You will want to purchase your scuba booties at the same time as your fins, or at least have your fins with you, because you will need to have your booties on to ensure the fins fit properly whilst you are wearing them. Most likely you will need to be choosing fins a size larger.
So, what to look for when buying your scuba booties?
It may not be the most obvious choice for scuba diving aficionados, but Spain offers a wonderful array of dive options all round its coastal areas.
Flanked by the Atlantic Ocean, Cantabrian Sea and the Mediterranean, this combination of cold and warm water attracts a great diversity of marine life.
The best scuba diving in Spain is to be had from March to November, although some dive centres do remain open all year.
So where to focus when planning your Spanish scuba diving adventure? Here’s 5 top dive spots.
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