By freedivinguae

Celebrating Manta Week with Scuba Junkie

At both its Malaysia and Indonesia locations, Scuba Junkie are renowned for their continual contribution to their surrounding communities and marine ecosystem. One way they do this is by hosting conservation themed weeks that highlight different conservation issues and educate people on ways to address them.

This year, Scuba Junkie held the inaugural ‘Manta Week,’ co-hosted with the Marine Megafauna Foundation. Events throughout the week raised awareness about our fragile underwater ecosystem, and the threats facing it – and in turn our majestic rays.

The team also hoped that their activities would inspire a new generation of conservation warriors in the customers at the resorts and people in the surrounding communities.


Lydia from Scuba Junkie told us about some of the highlights of the week.

In both Sangalaki and Komodo there were fun-filled days of community outreach programmes, clean ups and presentations. We were fortunate enough to be able to work with local schools in both locations and give talks on manta rays in Bahasa Indonesia. In Komodo our crew took some of the children from the neighbouring village on a snorkel trip, where they were lucky enough to see mantas cleaning! Those who joined that trip expressed their desires to be PADI Divemasters in the future – exactly what we were hoping to achieve…a new generation of people who are keen to protect the marine world (maybe we’ll start with the PADI Discover Scuba Diving experience first though).

We also did some big clean ups, and talked to the local community about the problems that plastics cause, and why we should all change our habits and reduce the amount of plastic used on daily basis. In the future, we hope to hold workshops on reducing and reusing plastic in the Warloka and Sangalaki area.

What may be one of the most exciting things to come out of Manta Week however was launching long-term research into manta rays on Sangalaki with the Marine Megafauna Foundation. So far, research into manta rays in Sangalaki has relied solely on citizen science. Going forward, Scuba Junkie Sangalaki will be hosting a member of the Marine Megafauna Foundation team so they are able to conduct more thorough research in the area.

This isn’t Scuba Junkie’s first conservation focus week – nor will it be their last – they have been running such weeks for over ten years now. However as Scuba Junkie grows, there are new opportunities to expand outreach and partnerships – like the newly established partnership with Marine Megafauna Foundation.

We want to congratulate the team at Scuba Junkie for not only Manta Week, but all they do to protect the underwater world. We look forward to hearing about the success of many more events to come.

So what’s next for Scuba Junkie? They will be hosting Marine Week from 3rd – 9th December 2017, focusing on all things marine conservation.

Interested in teaming up with Scuba Junkie on Marine Week or one of their other conservation weeks? Get in touch!

Source: padi

By freedivinguae

6 Ways Scuba Diving Can Help You Beat Holiday Stress

Whether you dread the holidays or jingle all the way, the last few weeks of the year can be an intense time. There are gifts to buy, parties to attend, and way too much delicious food to eat. To help you stay healthy and combat holiday stress, here are some (scuba-fied) stress-reduction strategies recommended by Healthmagazine and WebMD.

Get Some Exercise

Exercise is proven to reduce stress, improve sleep and help you stay healthy. Scuba diving is great exercise and it can truly allow you to feel weightless during the holidays!

Ask your local PADI Dive Center or Resort about fun dive opportunities. Even if the weather outside is frightful, you can stay active and enjoy what you love by completing pool sessions for popular PADI courses such as Rescue DiverDry Suit Diver and Digital Underwater Photography.

  • Open Water Divers can enroll in the PADI Rescue course, participate in pool sessions and complete both their Advanced Open Water Diver and Rescue Diver certifications when open water conditions allow.
  • The skills required to complete the dry suit or photography specialty are often easier to perfect in a pool (or pool-like conditions) before progressing to open water.
  • PADI ReActivateTM can also be conducted in an indoor pool and is ideal for divers who want to refresh their skills before taking a dive trip or enrolling in a new scuba course.

Take Time Off from Technology

When was the last time you spent more than two hours detached from your phone (not counting time spent sleeping)? Many people find it hard to find the off switch, which means they never decompress from work commitments, social media pressures and the expectations of others.

Studies have shown the human brain needs offline time to relax, recoup and grow. So if you find it hard to resist the sound of a new incoming message, it’s time to go where the phone can’t find you – underwater!

Abandon Old Habits

Ever find yourself faking your way through holiday festivities? Or maybe you just feel exhausted by the time January comes around. If so, try breaking with tradition. Rather than slogging through yet another holiday potluck, invite friends, family or coworkers to try a Discover Scuba® Diving experience at your local PADI Dive Shop.

Smile More

According to two studies reported by Psychology Today: body movements affect emotions. By smiling, you can actually improve your mood. That doesn’t mean you have to force a phoney smile. You can watch a funny video, hang out with your favorite dive buddy, or Google animated GIFs of baby Dory (you know you want to).

Treat Yourself

Find something on your scuba bucket list and treat yourself. Maybe it’s time to replace a ratty wetsuit, upgrade your BCD or finally try your hand at underwater photography or videography. Don’t feel guilty; you’ve been good this year, right? More than half of holiday shoppers buy something for themselves. If you don’t feel right splurging on just yourself, why not plan a dive trip somewhere and invite your favorite dive buddy?

Reconnect with Friends

Many adults struggle to make new friends and may feel increasingly isolated if they work from home or if old friends move away. So even if it’s been awhile since you showed up for a fun dive or club meeting, don’t be shy about reconnecting with your local dive community. Scuba divers are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet; diving is based on the buddy system after all.

If you don’t feel comfortable getting back in the water, sign up for PADI ReActivate™ with your local PADI Dive Center or Resort. ReActivate is the perfect way to quickly refresh your dive skills. Review scuba concepts on your tablet, mobile device or computer, then schedule pool time with a PADI Professional. The study materials price also includes a replacement certification card with your ReActivated date on it.

When life gets stressful, the silent world can be a refuge from family obligations, mobile notifications and difficult conversations. Take a break from your holiday traditions and try just one of the ideas on this list, because you can’t say “bah humbug” with a regulator in your mouth.

Source: padi

By freedivinguae

Shipwreck Symposium Scheduled For April 2018

If you’re a shipwreck junkie, you might want to put the Niagara Divers Association’s Shipwrecks Symposium in Canada on your 2018 calendar.

The symposium is slated for April 7th, 2018 and will take place in Welland, Ontario at Centennial High School.

Organizers have put out a call for presentations — either “primary” ones that last up to 45 minutes or shorter, five-minute ones. If course, they need to be shipwreck-oriented and can be applicable to either recreational or technical divers.

For more info, go to

Source: deeperblue

By freedivinguae

Blue Planet II Shows Footage Of Pilot Whale Mother Refusing To Leave Side Of Dead Calf

Footage from the Blue Planet II documentary series showing a female pilot whale unwilling to leave the side of her dead calf has caused viewers in the U.K. to promise to never use plastic again.

In the footage, narrator Sir David Attenborough says:

“Today in the Atlantic waters they have to share the ocean with plastic. A mother is holding her newborn young — it’s dead. She is reluctant to let it go and has been carrying it around for many days. In top predators like these, industrial chemicals can build up to lethal levels. And plastic could be part of the problem. . . . It’s possible her calf may have been poisoned by her own contaminated milk.

“Unless the flow of plastics and industrial pollution into the ocean is reduced, marine life will be poisoned by them for many centuries to come.”

Check out an excerpt from the show below (and yeah, it’s pretty distressing).

(Image credit: BBC)

Source: deeperblue

By freedivinguae

8 Tips for Beginner Freedivers

When it comes to exploring a new challenge like freediving, it’s wise to know a few tips and tricks to get you started. We reached out to PADI Freediver Instructor Trainer and World Champion freediver, Mandy Sumner to get her expert advice for those ready to experience the peace of the underwater world on a single breath.

If you’re anxious to get in the water, check out these 8 tips for beginner freedivers as told by Mandy Sumner:

PADI Freediver Mandy Sumner Photo: Elina Manninen

Photo: Elina Manninen


Never Dive Alone

This is the number one and most important rule in freediving, or any time you’re in the water for that matter. The buddy system is very important and should never be disregarded. It’s essential to watch out for each other, learn to safety each other in every dive shallow or deep, and of course everything is always more fun to share with someone or a group of people! You will learn the reasons for never diving alone in the PADI Freediver course.

Take the PADI Freediver course

You will learn what your body has the capability of and of course the safety aspect of the sport, which is indispensable. Taking a course will introduce you to the basic elements of the sport in a step by step manner which will build your confidence in freediving.

Freediver Mandy Sumner Photo: Mike Hong


Have fun!

Enjoy the beauty of what surrounds you in the water. It’s like nothing else in this world. You have the ability to stay underwater on one breath of air, so enjoy the silence, peacefulness, and beauty. Joining a school of fish, diving with a pod of dolphins, or simply taking underwater photos, every freediver will live in the moment and feel truly free.

Learn about your environment and protect it

Our oceans and shorelines are struggling and they need our help. A good place to start is at your local dive spots. I am a huge advocate for beach and ocean cleanups. My local chapter that I have been involved in for years is Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii. There is also PADI’s Project Aware that has done some amazing things for our oceans and would be great to get involved with as well. Start with yourself, be an advocate for the ocean, and if you see others disrespecting it, educate them. We only get one chance with our oceans and we really need to pay attention and help any way we can.


Relaxation is the key to freediving. Deep, slow, calm breaths help lower your heart rate so your body will conserve oxygen. Every tense muscle uses heaps of oxygen and energy. You will learn how to relax your body through different breathing and relaxation techniques in freediving courses and clinics. Some exercises are borrowed from yoga practices, so you may already recognize some of them.

Freediver Mandy Sumner Photo: Pim Vermeulen

Photo: Pim Vermeulen


A good way to prepare for your dives is with the use of visualization. Visualize happy things and peaceful surroundings and your mind will automatically relax your body and lower your heart rate. Visualization can be used pre dive as well as during your dive. For me, when I am competing, I will visualize step by step how I want my dive to go before I even get in the water. When I am in my dive, if I find myself getting tense, I say a little mantra or sing a song in my head, and that helps me relax again. Different things work for different people, but some type of visualization will help before and during your dives.

Freediver Mandy Sumner Photo: Byron Kay

Photo: Byron Kay

Freediving Equipment

You don’t need to have the best freediving gear to be able to enjoy your underwater playground. Beginner freedivers will most likely have scuba fins or short fins and that will work fine as a beginner diver. I would however suggest a few items that will make your dives a lot more comfortable from the start. A low volume mask would be a great first purchase. Scuba masks are much bigger and are difficult to equalize when you are diving. With a low volume mask, it will be much easier to equalize as you go deeper and is also much more flexible and comfortable. As you fall in love with the sport, you will begin to invest in other freediving gear such as a two-piece wetsuit, long blade fins, a rubber weight belt and a dive computer. For now, use what you have to begin your freediving journey!

Freediver Mandy Sumner Photo: Sea Watchman

Photo: Sea Watchman

Learn from everyone you can.

Watch other divers and ask questions. Soak up everything you can from certified instructors as well as other certified divers. As you freedive more, you will find that freedivers use different techniques to reach their goals. Start with the basics in a course, master these, then build on your knowledge and find what works best for you. (Disclaimer: Do not become an “internet” freediver. There is a lot of wrong information out there that could be potentially harmful to you, so please make sure you get your information from creditable sources and certified agencies.)

Remember, freediving is for everyone! You don’t need to be an athlete to enjoy freediving. The sport is more about relaxation, mind set and technique, than it is strength. Your goal is to connect with the water and enjoy all the feelings and sensations. Underwater on one breath is a great place to be, appreciate every minute of it and happy diving!

Photo: Mandy Sumner with Adam Skolnick

Photo: Mandy Sumner with Adam Skolnick

Main Source: padi

Posted by Emily Bates

By freedivinguae

Freediver Sofia Gomez Uribe Nominated For Colombian Athlete Of The Year

Sofia Gomez Uribe has been nominated for Colombian Athlete of the Year.

The nomination caps a great year for Gomez Uribe, who won two silver medals at the AIDA World Depth Championships, in addition to her 96m/314ft Pan American constant weight record, as well as her two world records including the CMAS Bi-Fins World Record.

Outside the sporting arena, Gomez Uribe carried on her humanitarian efforts this year. She was a powerful advocate for the island of Dominica after it was hit by Hurricane Maria.

If you want to vote for her, you can vote for Gomex Uribe here.

Source: deeperblue | Sam Helmy

By freedivinguae

Mares Introduces New Razor Apnea Freediving Fins

Mares is introducing a new line of fiberglass freediving fins called the Razor Apnea at this year’s DEMA Show in Orlando, Florida. The fins are designed to be more reactive in the water, as well as provide the freediver with a better ratio of energy to propulsion.

As opposed to carbon fiber fins, which are highly popular among freedivers but offer a stiffer blade while diving, these fiberglass Mares fins are incredibly flexible due to the “prepreg” pressing of the material. “Prepreg” is a common term for a reinforcing fabric that has been pre-impregnated with a resin system. This type of dedicated technology allows Mares’ Razor Apneas to bend beyond the normal boundaries of freediving fins.

The blade is about 20.5cm/8 inches wide and 65cm/25.5 inches long, with a 22-degree blade inclination relative to the foot pocket which allows this fin to be more hydrodynamic in the water.

The Razor Apnea fins will be available at the start of 2018, and retail for US$400/344 Euros.


— Sarah Barrett