Saturday, February 28, 2015

Mural is comlpeted!!!!

The girls have finally managed to complete all the paining of the wall mural.............and it looks fantastic
looking toward the beach..Dive Cente on the left

Looking from the Dive Centre
The wall is actually the back wall of the Pizzeria kitchens...........plain , boring cream coloured paint but no longer!! The pathway between the kitchens and the Dive Centre leads to the beach  so hopefully lots of people will be able to see the wonderful work of the  two girls .
The chalk boards are used to list the various dive sites planned for the week and to daily draw the dive site map with tthe required details of :
bottom time allowed
features and hazzards
High tide and Low tide
what to look out for as ' special' on the dive site
Meet the artists Aless and Laurna

Frog Fish seen at Twin Barges

Photo sent from Henri
I must has swum past this small coral head a hundred times but I never noticed this guy. Next to the Twin Barges just on the sand  next to the main reef is this small coral head and you will need to look closely to see the frog fish. Note the small 'hands' at the base then the upside down mouth and then the  'frog' like eyes.....this is a beauty!.and I thought it was just a bit of red sponge!!!

Meet the pets

We are all fond of our dogs at the Dive Centre .....Mike the Divemaster has a new puppy for his son at Christmas and Tony occasionally breeds the German Shepard . David and I have the usual  mix  of ''muts' as a non pedigree is called!
Dobby  was named after the house elf in Harry Potter due to the huge ears. Found on the road as a starving abandoned puppy he is now 10 years old and doing well.............just a few grey hairs and a passion for finding unusual places for a sleep


Brothers Bill & Ben came in 2005 so will be 10 this year . As 2 small puppys they have grown into 2 lovely gentle  BIG dogs .  Ben rules the  pack , of this there is no doubt  although I would say he is not the smartest of the group....but they make a good 3 some .
    Laziest of them all is Bill....mostly snoozing in the shade but to be fair it must be hot under that  long hairy coat. He is also the'' talker'' of the family and often grumbles at you for  meal times .

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Wall mural almost complete

The girls have been working  very hard and have completed several sections of art work ... most of the time we don't now what it will all work out as but they do!!
 The octopus and corals sitting on sand  are  placed at the bottom of the wall

Porcupine puffer fish swimming past brain coral
He is a happy fish not yet excited and puffed up!!

The Hawksbill turtle may be my favorite part of the mural..I think he is wonderful just gently swimming over the coral reef

The Manta ray ...always a favorite but not too common . We get many rays in Seychelles . The most common is probably the Eagle Ray followed by the  Marble sting ray, Devil ray and then the rarer  one such as Porcupine Ray.

It will only be a day or two till the girls have completed their masterpiece watch this space for the full picture!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Progress on the wall mural

Lauren and Aless have been busy with their art work on every occasion they get.....................and the wall is looking amazing.
The girls are on their final week and are due to leave us on March 7th so the pressure is on.

Happy Birthday Jenny

The UK dive group have in the past visited us several times and when it came to Jenny's big 50th birthday bash she called the shots and chose Seychelles !
    The big day was day 1 of diving and so all the usual bluster of getting everything out of bags , checked and being ready for the boat departure meant no one said 'HAPPY BIRTHDAY" .............but it was planned this way! The surprise was to be when she surfaced after the first dive  to find the boat covered in balloons and Happy Birthday streamers .
  On getting back to the  Dive Shop it all happened again with  coffee and  birthday cake to finish off the morning.
Happy Birthday , Jenny 

Annual maintenance work on our second boat HC 239

As soon as the first boat , HC 251 went back in the water with her new engines we pulled up REEF DIVER , HC 239

  Maintenance and repair work is carried out every year with a respray and a couple of coats of  anti fouling underneath . Engines are fully serviced and then we are ready for the Seychelles Port Authority  Maritime Safety inspection  , renewed insurance and the Seychelles Licensing Authority approval to operate
Final touch up before the crane lifts her into the sea

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Calm seas allows another dive at Shark Bank & Matupa point

Shark Bank is always amazing and this time divers actually said it was the  best dive they had ever done!! that is amazing.
Sharks, Rays, Barracuda, wall of yellow snapper, large plus!!   excellent.
                Follow the deep dive with the Point of Matupa  were it all happened  again and there were big smile on the return to the Dive Centre

Teaching children

We are always running children's programs  for snorkeling and  pool SCUBA diving  for local children .
During school term we have several weeks of snorkel training in the Berjaya Hotel  pool to teach swimming and snorkel breathing techniques before going out to to the reef.

It is always good for the Dive Master trainees to get involved as the next class is SCUBA BUBBLE Maker

Bubble Maker covers several skills such as preparing your dive mask correctly to prevent fogging, Swimming with fins and breathing from the regulator.  Students also learn to watch their Air consumption gauge , use hand signals for communication .
Advanced BUBBLE  maker classes learn how to get water out of their mask and regulator , how it inflate their BCD's so as to float on the surface and to control their buoyancy underwater .

The kids just love to SCUBA

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day Divers in Red

I hope you all had a lovely day on February 14th ..............surprises, flowers, chocolates ???
We did our Divers in Red  but didnt take Teddy underwater this year!
Valentine's Day dive 2015

Friday, February 13, 2015

Pool training with Tony

We are very lucky to have access to the hotel pool of Berjaya Beau Vallon Bay Resort. Doing classes is calm safe water really helps students  to get comfortable with SCUBA.  Today's course was the simple Intro to SCUBA and shallow sea dive to follow
Start  by standing in shallow water with feet on the bottom   

Valentines Day dive is Divers in RED

Every Valentines day we ask our divers to come dressed in t shirt, fins, wetsuit bathing costume, towels .anything will do .

We have had a lot of fun in the past and many laughs as well.

.some get into the swing of it very well as you can see with red bra and red panties!!!

So lets wait and see what tomorrow brings for 2015


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Talented Divemasters

 It would seem that both Aless and Lauren are very good artists ....................little did we know until Aless said " would you like us to paint you a mural ?" .. Its not every day we get an offer like that so after a look at drawings it was  " YES please"
  The start up phase is drawing in pencil and here are two small helpers around once school is over

The beach access for the deluxe chalets runs next to the Dive Centre and  the newly built kitchen wall has always been a plain cream colour...........but not for long. Drawings of sharks, rays  fish, turtle
corals etc etc etc !!  its going to be amazing.

Lauren  has just drawn the turtle and is busy with the coral garden section. Today the painting started  so we can hardly wait for the final effect to be  completed.

Not to sure how much help Junior was but he seemed to enjoy the experience of just being around the artists .

Shark Bank visit

Wednesday 11th February we made a dive to Shark Bank which  is a set of granitic rocks between 22 and 30 meters half way between Mahe and Silhouette Island.  The skippers are good at finding the land marks for this  sunken treasure of a site but its always amazing.

Always you can find a large shoal  of yellow snapper and  big eye . Regularly  you get to see the  eagle rays, large sting rays, bat fish , barracuda and passing jack fish .
Diver Lillian going head down into the shoal of snapper 
Black tip reef shark swimming out in the blue
Shark Bank is certainly one of the favourite long distance dive sites  and a must during your Seychelles diving holiday

Monday, February 9, 2015

Long distance dives to Brissaire Rocks and Dragon's Teeth

Sunday 8th was again a beautiful day with calm seas and warm water at 29.C . So off we went to the granitic sites of Dragon's Teeth ( 25 meters) and Brissiare Rocks ( 16-18 meters) . It seems that there was everything there that a diver could wish for : Eagle rays, sharks, barracuda, turtle amazing dive was had by all.
white tip shark resting on the bottom   

Eagle rays are fairly common on dive sites in Seychelles ....often seen in large numbers swimming above your head so always look up .

Hawksbill Turtle swimming around the rocks looking for sponges to eat . Note the pointed peak........that is one of the most noticeable  features that will help identify the turtle as a Hawksbill .

A slight current was present but it was the full moon and to be expected . A slight current often  helps to  keep the water clearer  and the fish life more abundant.

Emergency First Responder ( CPR & First Aid) course

Sunday 8th saw Tony hard at work with the 2 girls form Marine Conservation Society Seychelles  Rehabilitation of Turtle, Tortoise and Terrapin team .
              Immogen ( from Australia) and Rachel ( from Seychelles) are concentrating on gaining their PADI Rescue Diver certification .....................and first comes the EFR course.
Rachel practicing chest compressions on poor Annie 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Saturday 7th morning dives to Conception Island and Matupa

The weather and sea state are  fantastic  at the moment so its off to the longer distance dive sites.
We had a mixture of our regular local divers and tourist visitors with us and a lucky snorkeler, Christian
Whilst divers were checking out the granitic rocks along came everything that past ............. rays , sharks,  turtles . The Divers were very happy.
             More than happy were Dive Mater Trainee Aless and Christian who were pulled out of the water by skipper Mike and taken about 30 meters away from the island to snorkel with the whale shark .................again!!!  Same little guy heading south !! Mike has good eyes!
                            This time he stayed 5 meters below the surface but with clear water this was no problem . He was going up and down to 20 meters regularly and talking with local whale shark expert,  Dr Rowat this is a search pattern for food  that whale sharks do . He was last seen by Aless and Christian as he went  down past 30 meters and never came up again. Hopefully he found the food he was looking for.

If you are ever lucky enough to come across a whale shark please follow the  Code of Conduct as show here . If you do not try to touch or get too close then you have a good chance of swimming with them for a while . Touch and they usually go straight down, Get in front and they go straight down. do flash photography and you again cause a reaction in their normal gentle swimming route .

Thank you for taking care with your encounter

Congratulations to the new Openwater students

This Saturday was the  certification dives for the 3 young men from Eden Island. They have been coming once a week for the last 4 weeks and today , Saturday 7th February was the  last training dive.

Congratulations to Darren, Ricky and Dirk

View on the way home from work

Seychelles has some of the most amazing views and viewing areas  found by the side of the road .
As I travel back from the  Dive Centre  I pass the look out point over St Anne's Marine Park, the newly built Eden Island and Yacht marina, and a backwards glance at port Victoria
This is looking East  and all 5 Islands of the  St Anne's Marine Park are seem  

Port Victoria is a busy port with regular container ships arriving . Currently in port but anchored away from the dockside  is the Spanish Navy...........check out the big grey boat . Battle ship grey !! It seems that every  navy has the same shade of grey.

Here we are looking North East from Victoria to Anse Etoile

Dorothy loves to do equipment servicing

Sometimes we are lucky to get truly enthusiastic Dive Master Trainees  and this time its Dorothy with her love for equipment servicing

As every diver knows the dive tanks need to be  visually checked annually and we take this opportunity to do the tank valve servicing  at the same time.

This takes some concentration..............just check out Dorothy's face !

Happy Dorothy .........all seems to be going well

Whale Shark on Thursday 5th February

We are all amazed to see a whale shark this late in the season. ! An unscheduled dive at Chuckles Rocks  on the way to L'Ilot Island was done on Thursday morning as the water was so clear and we had not been to this site for a while . A huge set of granitic  boulders starting at 7 meters and dropping steeply to 15 meters . Lots of gullies and whip corals abound . Good dive but the best was the safety stop . Along came the 3 .5 to 4 meter juvenile whale shark . It took such an interest in the  divers that they were able to get out the water after the stop and get back into the  water again for a  snorkel ....over 30 minutes encounter . Wonderful

A most amazing sight 

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Meet the Staff

The new board showing all staff members is now complete and will be hanging outside at the Dive Centre .
This way you will know who everyone is.

 Staff range from many places and have many language skills..English, French, German, Chinese,Italian and Danish

New Engines in action

 Our Dive boat , Reef Diver  111  was launched last week and has spent time slowly ''running in'' the 2 new engines . Now she is carrying divers to and from the  dive sites .....................and we are delighted to say that these engines are VERY quiet.
 Parked outside the dive centre during lunch break and  waiting for the  dive departure at 14.30
Loading of the dive boat is from the beach outside the dive centre could not be easier!!

Ear rings with attitude

When diving everyone wants  to see a shark.....................but if diving with Divemaster Aless just take a look at her ear rings. Then you will  see 2 every dive
Ear rings with attitude !!!!!   

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

3rd February dives to Grouper Point and Bay Ternay Marine Park

It is a beautiful day today with the water clarity improving in leaps and bounds after the storm . Surface is calm and ideal for diving

First morning dive is the granitic rocks of Grouper point were depths  can slide down from 2 meters to the AOW depth of 30 meters in a gentle you can choose your depth . This is also one of the combination sites that is good for snorkeling . Being on the North / West turning point of Mahe Island it is common to see large numbers of fish and several larger pelagic species.
Eagle Rays over the rocks are a common site at Grouper Point
After a surface interval we went to the Marine Park  of  Bay Ternay. Again a good dive and snorkel site with depths from 2 to 18 meters
Bay Ternay from the sky with our dive boat anchored in the  turquoise water to the right

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Role of the Divemaster

Today was a beautiful day with calm seas and good diving conditions .
The 4 Divemaster trainees : Mette, Dorothy, Lauren and Aless have now completed all exams and are doing internship in different roles
Today Mette is an assistant to the  Instructor Tony
Mette is doing the pre dive  Buddy Check with Openwater student Dennis
Dorothy is going diving  on the 2 dive site morning boat dive with certified divers to Coral Gardens  and Aquarium reef
Dorothy and dive buddies ready for the dive and departing for the boat

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Maintenance during quiet times

When its quiet around the Dive Centre its always a good time to get the maintenance done ..just finding time for the simple jobs !!
Tony has the best hand writing of us all so he gets to do the signs

Sabrina up a ladder redoing  faded signs