By freedivinguae

Where’s the best place for a pre-dive breakfast in Ayia Napa, Cyprus?

Scuba diving makes us hungry. Very hungry. Fueling our bodies before we descend however can be a bit tricky as morning dives take place so early, and Agia Napa parties run till very very late. Breakfast before 11 is considered the crack of dawn to most, so this blog is your guide to getting the very best pre-dive food in Napa.

So, what and where do we eat before we go diving in the party town of Ayia Napa, Cyprus?

Best pre-dive breakfast spots in Agia Napa, Cyprus:

Your Hotel

Most holiday packages come with at least breakfast, but just remember to K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sexy!) and avoid the fried full English option. Eggs, nuts and bananas on a bowl of Muesli are your best bet to keep your fins flipping till lunch time.


Appetite, Ayia Napa

This restaurant is brand new and is delicious. Eggs Benedict are an absolute favorite of mine and are freshly prepared on a homemade English muffin. This is a real treat in Napa, where full English breakfasts become a haze of confusion and rather boring after a while. The owner Jazz is a bubbly breath of fresh air who cares about every aspect of your experience. Her superfood salads are amazing for a post dive treat too. To be honest you can’t fault any item on her menu and I can guarantee that once you discover Appetite in Ayia Napa you will go back day after day. Tuck in and fuel your dives all day!


Gary’s Bar, Nissi Ave, Ayia Napa

Giant fruit salads. Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon. Both are great pre-dive yummies. My personal favorite however is “Gary’s breakfast” – thick Greek Yogurt, nuts, honey and seasonal fruits. Yum. Get it to go and every cell will thank you. Gary’s bar is cheap and cheerful with super friendly staff too; you’ll be treated like family in no time. This place is just 2 minutes’ walk from scuba monkey, making it my number one port of call when I’m hungry, day or night.


Zorbas Bakery

This place is a winner if only for the fact that it’s open 24 hours and has a large selection to choose from. Whole wheat, complex carbohydrate options are best here to keep your energy levels smooth and long lasting. A fresh OJ is sunrise in a cup and your whole-body tingles in gratitude. I always take my divers there when I’m on my way to the Zenobia, as nothing else is open! The omelets are to dive for! Huge, yummy and packed your choice of filling. The waffles aren’t bad either; choose peanut butter and banana for energy that will make even the energizer bunny go that extra nautical mile.


Juice Bars

Juice Bars are everywhere along Nissi avenue and if you prefer a more liquid breakfast, but still want power, then why not get a fresh pressed juice combo to drink while you’re on your way to the dive site? My favorite is a 5-juice combo of apples, Carrots, grapes, ginger and beetroot – it makes me feel invincible!


What food makes you go, mmmmmm before your giant stride in the morning?


Source: padi

By freedivinguae

Freediver Gift Guide

December is here and that most likely means your holiday shopping deadline is fast approaching. Whether you are wondering what to get the freediver in your life, or you just want to treat yourself this holiday season, I have put together a guide of freediving gifts ideas to get you started.


There are some fantastic snorkels on the market with lots of bells and whistles such as dry or semi-dry. If you are an avid snorkeler, these options are very practical and can make your snorkeling experience much more comfortable. In freediving, the simpler the snorkel is the better. A traditional J snorkel is the best option for a freediver. The minimalism of this type of snorkel reduces the amount of drag as the freediver travels through the water. Since it is required that a freediver remove the snorkel before descending, there is no need for a complicated model.

Rubber Weight Belt

One of the most useful pieces of equipment for me was purchasing my first rubber weight belt. When freediving, as the pressure increases at depth your wetsuit will compress, but a standard SCUBA nylon weight belt does not compress. If you are maintaining the correct vertical position in the water on your dive, this will result in the nylon weight belt slipping down your torso toward your shoulders. It is very frustrating when this happens, especially since you are trying to stay relaxed and focus on your technique. A rubber weight belt can stretch and will fit securely around your hips to avoid this problem. Don’t forget that the correct weight belt placement is below your diaphragm to allow you to take the most efficient breaths possible!

Prawno Apparel

I first discovered this clothing line at DEMA one year. They have such an inspiring backstory and are the perfect choice to outfit your freediving buddy in! The brand is designed after underwater photography and puts recycling at the forefront of their mission. From manta rays, to humpback whales, to sharks and penguins, the selection is awesome and guaranteed to catch the attention of all your dive buddies on the days you spend on dry land.

Save the Waves x Pela Case

By freedivinguae

5 Steps to Planning the Perfect Scuba Diving Trip

Planning the perfect scuba diving trip can be a stressful experience, especially for those under pressure to make the most of their precious time off. There are many different factors to consider – including choosing a destination, picking the optimum time to travel and packing in a way that won’t break the budget with airline overweight fees. In this article, we outline five basic steps that will help you to simplify the planning process, so that your trip lives up to expectations from start to finish.

Step 1: Choose Your Destination

Your first step should be to make a shortlist of appealing destinations. Start thinking about the kind of diving you want to do – for example, those interested in tec diving might dream of a trip to Malta; while wreck divers will find their version of paradise in places like Chuuk Lagoon or the North Carolina coast. If you want to dive with a particular marine species, you’ll need to choose your destination according to where that species is most prevalent. If you’re passionate about sharks, for example, French Polynesia is a much better bet than the overfished Mediterranean coast.

If you plan on traveling with others, you need to consider their requirements, too. If you’re hoping to combine diving with a family vacation, proximity to child-friendly topside attractions is a must. If members of your group want to try diving for the first time, advanced sites like Costa Rica’s Cocos Island are inappropriate. Lastly, make sure to think about the practicalities. Your budget may render some destinations impossible, while visa and vaccination requirements make some countries more challenging than others.

Step 2: Consider Different Holiday Options

Once you’ve chosen your dream destination, take a moment to explore what kind of diving holidays are on offer in that area. If there’s more than one option available, you need to decide which is best suited to your needs. For example, a Bahamas liveaboard will allow you to see far more of the archipelago than shore-based diving on a single island. However, if the main purpose of your trip is to explore the underwater film sets off Nassau, a liveaboard trip may not give you sufficient time to discover all that that specific area has to offer.

If you opt for shore-based diving, you also need to decide whether you want to stay at a dedicated dive resort (often a hassle-free option for families or dive clubs), or whether you prefer the independence of a conventional guesthouse or hotel. If you choose the latter option, make sure that there’s a trustworthy dive center within easy reach.

Step 3: Decide When to Go

Your next step is to figure out the best time to travel to your chosen destination. This may be dictated by seasonal conditions, including water temperature, visibility and swell (the latter being particularly relevant for liveaboard trips if you’re prone to seasickness). Topside weather is also a factor. For example, a trip to the Caribbean is far more likely to be disrupted by tropical storms during the annual June to November hurricane season than it is at any other time of year.

If you have chosen a destination based especially on its marine life, you need to make sure that you travel at the best time to see your target species. While shark diving is possible in South Africa all year round, for example, tiger sharks are only present at Aliwal Shoal during the warmer summer months (that’s the southern hemisphere summer, of course). Many marine species are migratory, and you’ll need to time your trip carefully to catch them.

Step 4: Take Care of the Practicalities

First on your list of practicalities is transport. Maybe getting to your dream destination is as simple as refueling your car; but if you’re traveling overseas, you’ll need to start researching flights. Remote destinations usually only have one or two airlines to choose from, but if you find yourself with a wealth of options, consider investigating different luggage allowances and overweight charges (especially if you’re packing five underwater cameras, a drysuit, and a rebreather).

Travel insurance is always advisable, particularly if you’re taking expensive equipment or visiting a country with astronomical private healthcare. Make sure to choose an insurance plan that covers scuba diving (many don’t), and be aware that trips to the United States often incur a higher premium. Next, you need to research which vaccinations, if any, are recommended for your destination. If you require malaria pills, ask your doctor which kind is best for diving. Visas are another important consideration and may need to be arranged several weeks in advance.

Step 5: Pack for Hassle-Free Travel

Finally, you’re almost ready to depart! But before you go, you need to pack carefully to avoid unnecessary hassles along the way. Complying with airline weight restrictions can be an issue for divers. Calculate the expense of paying overweight fees versus the expense of hiring your equipment upon arrival, and leave your heavier items behind accordingly. Alternatively, if the idea of hiring doesn’t appeal, consider investing in a lightweight BCD and reg set designed especially for overseas travel.

Don’t forget to pack easily overlooked dive essentials including spare mask and fin straps, spare camera batteries and o-rings. Non-diving essentials include adequate weather protection (think sunglasses and sunscreen); and a small first aid kit (especially important if you’re heading off the beaten track). Lastly, avoid heartbreak by packing your smaller, most expensive items in your hand luggage. Wrapping your suitcase is advised for trips to third world countries, while a TSA-approved lock is a must-have alternative for trips to the United States.

Source: deeperblue

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