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For the yachting professional on the Mediterranean
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Be my buddy

Article by ONBOARD Magazine

Oyster Diving

FOR THE NOVICE OR EXPERIENCED DIVER, ENTERING THE DEEP BLUE IS A UNIQUE EXPERIENCE. SUPERYACHTS ARE THE PERFECT PLATFORM TO DISCOVER THIS ACTIVITY, BUT SAFETY AND GOOD EQUIPMENT IS ALWAYS PARAMOUNT. MAKE SURE YOUR CREW AND GUESTS ARE PROPERLY TRAINED

Scuba diving provides a truly unique and unforgettable experience for you and your family, friends and guests. It is the only leisure activity that combines tranquillity, adrenalin, exercise and relaxation. You experience what it feels like to be weightless, witness intoxicating colours and delve into the underwater world; one containing a breath-taking variety of species such as dolphins, turtles and fish as well as historical wrecks.

Scuba diving is a great activity for any one over the age of 10. Regardless of age, sex, sporting ability, social skills and intelligence, anyone can be a great diver and it’s a great activity for all the family to enjoy at the same time.
To get your yacht equipped to offer scuba diving safely is relatively simple but there are some basic health and safety necessities that you should consider. So we have teamed up with Oyster Diving, the UK’s premier PADI scuba diving and travel centre to offer you this advice.

PROPER TRAINING
Scuba diving is regarded as a very safe sport, but without the proper training by a professional instructor, you could leave your self vulnerable. Plus, it’s likely that you won’t be covered by your insurance if an accident does occur.
Many yachts have a full-time instructor on board to train guests and keep an eye on them before they jump in and while underwater. If you don’t have an instructor then just tie up with a dive centre where the PADI open water course can be completed in as little as four days. To save on valuable holiday time many students opt to do the Open Water referral, where they can complete the theory and pool training before they depart which just leaves the four completion dives once you arrive on the yacht.

GETTING GEARED UP
Each scuba diver should have a good fitting wetsuit, BCD (buoyancy control device), fins, mask and snorkel, fins, wetsuit and regulators. Many yachts carry a range of sizes for all ages. Depending on the time of year you are diving you might like a range of wetsuit thicknesses or even drysuits to ensure that all the divers keep warm.

Remember your scuba kit is a life-support system so keep your equipment serviced in line with the manufacturer’s instructions which for most brands is every 12 months or 100 dives whichever comes sooner.
Scuba cylinders can either be hired from a local dive centre but it is often easier and less restrictive to have your own. Cylinders will need to be hydrostatically tested, the time frame for doing this is dictated by local law, but Oyster Diving recommends getting them tested every 12 months.

To fill your cylinders you will need a compressor that can fill your tanks with filtered breathing air. There are many sizes and shapes of compressors available depending on how fast you want to be able to fill your tanks, how much room you have to house it in the tenders & toys garage.

Oyster Diving
Oyster Diving
Oyster Diving

The most important thing to remember is that your compressor needs to be installed by a professional technician. Oyster Diving work with the same team that look after and maintain the compressor for the Royal Navy amongst many other high-profile customers and they are able to meet any boat around the world. The air from the compressor should be tested every three months to ensure that there are no impurities such as carbon monoxide and oil residue.

TIME TO GET WRECKED
Once you have your equipment and are trained to use it, then it’s time to jump into the water. These are Oyster’s top dive sites for the Mediterranean.
Malta together with its sister islands of Gozo and Comino have many fascinating wrecks, some from the second world war and others sunk on purpose to act as artificial reefs. They can be found at various depths so suitable for all divers. However our favourite is the Um el Faroud, a 110m Libyan oil tanker that suffered a huge explosion, it couldn’t affordably be repaired so in 1998 was scuttled and lies at a maximum depth of 34m.

The Azores are for those who crave adrenalin with their diving. Various species of sharks including blues, makos and even hammerheads make this a true gem. Other large pelagics such as humpback whales, sunfish and turtles can all be found here.

The Dalmatian coast off Croatia is rapidly becoming a hotspot for divers. With crystal clear water it has a vast array of fish species, nudibranchs and sea horses. Clinging to the underwater limestone cliffs are sponges and caves smothered in colourful soft corals.

In Cyprus, the 178m wreck of the Zenobia which sank in 1980, is one of the world’s most famous diveable wrecks. This large ship is suitable for all experience levels and you can impress your friends by having a selfie sitting in the cab of one of its cars or trucks that are still in its hold. For more advanced divers there is the engine room to explore!

Illes Mede islands in Spain was the first marine reserve in Europe, home to large groupers, schools of barracudas and eagle rays. If you go at the right time of year (late spring) you may even find a large sunfish or two.
Kas, Turkey is still in its infancy. It has rich marine life and clear blue, warm waters. A variety of dive sites include drop offs, caves and wrecks. There is a good chance of spotting moray eels, hawksbill turtles, octopus and amberjacks.
Other favourites include; Island of Chios, Greece, Portofino, Italy with its national marine park and of course the Cote d’Azur. But wherever you are cruising, use professional equipment and get trained.

For more information on any of the above then please get in touch with Oyster Diving.
Tel: +44 (0)1273 009778 or visit www.oysterdiving.com