My wife has been diving for 9 years and she has been using the same SeaQuest 5/3/5 wetsuit the entire time, so I figured it was time we got her a new one. When the salesperson at our LDS (A1 Scuba in Colorado) suggested the Henderson H2 Hyperstretch Titanium 5mm as being the "Caddilac of wetsuits", we figured we would splurge and spend the several hundred dollars to get the best for our upcoming trip to Indonesia in July of 2010.
After 7 days of diving in Indonesia, we returned to Denver and hung the suit in the closet. We should have carefully examined the suit at this time, but we didn't.
Karachi Scuba diving Center is one of two diving operations in the port city of Karachi, Pakistan. During my 7 day visit to the city I chose to dive with them - though the choice to do so was purely by chance and circumstance. Nonetheless, my overall impression of this PADI certified diving operation was good as compared to my experiences elsewhere.
LOCATION: The dive shop is not easy to find. If you are planning to make your way down to the shop by yourself, good luck! This is certainly not the fault of the operators - as finding any business establishment in Karachi is a challenge for any non local. Nonetheless, with some searching - and the help of the the dive site owners, we found our way. The dive shop is located in the DHA (defense housing authority) - a relatively safe part of Karachi. Unfortunately, their business office and equipment locker is located away from the sea shore/beach. However, they arrange transport from the office to their diving location AND back again, which is nice, as not all dive shop operators do this.
My wife and I were on the Turks & Caicos Explorer II from 11/27/10 through 12/4/10. This was our first liveaboard experience, but it will probably be our last one. I thought that the boat was nicely designed and functionally laid out. We stayed in State Room #2. The cabin was large enough for storage with a desk, beds were comfortable to sleep in, and the ensuite bathroom was adequate. The service from the crew while on board was good in serving meals and servicing our room. The highlight of the trip was the chef Stan. His meals were wonderful.
The diving started out very good, but by the end of the week, I thought the diving was mediocre at best because of the poor visibility, In addition, the in water service of the divemasters left a lot to be desired. The crew was hindered halfway through the trip by a divemaster becoming bent and having to leave the boat because of needing to be treated by a decompression chamber. We lost one dive because of transporting the divemaster to port and no substitute divemaster replaced the person. So there were between 2 and 3 dives everyday that no divemaster was in the water with a group of 21 divers. I counted a total of 6 dives without a divemaster in the water.
This is the 9th dive trip i've been on (also to The Red Sea - twice, Thailand, Indonesia, The Caribbean, The Galapagos, Maldives, and Kenya) so I think it's saying a lot! In each case myself and one to 10 friends have gone to a dive centre in a great location and done at least five dives each. This time, myself and 5 friends dived with Liquid Adventures in March of this year (2010). We had an incredible time, so I felt compelled to write this article.
I woke up early in May and after reading the news ( Mexico Drug Wars, Swine Flu ) and deciding that I wanted to live dangerously this vacation trip ( just kidding ), I booked a trip to Akumal, Mexico.
Akumal is about 65 miles south of Cancun. The highway bewteen the Cancun airport and Akumal is nicely maintained and the trip takes about 1.5 hours. I stayed for 9 days at The Grand Oasis Riviera Maya resort and booked diving through their on-site shop Blue Caribe. The resort was very nice for us although I have read reviews of others that were less than happy, but again we had no problems at all. The resort is an all-inclusive so all food and drinks are included. I suggest tipping occasionally although it is not required. If you do, it seems you get quicker service at the bars. The resort is for the most part a solid 3 star resort with it's location being more like a 4 star. The food and drinks were quite good, snorkelling in front of resort good, rooms clean and comfortable and grounds nicely maintained. I did not ever get really hot "hot water " in our room, but it was warm enough to shower in without issue. That was the only resort issue for us.
After being extremely unhappy with the promotion of this year's "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel, we watched "Deadly Waters" with Les Stroud to see if this years' week of programming perpetuated the general public's irrational fear of sharks.
My conclusion is that the context in which the statistics on shark attacks are presented are intentionally and severely over-dramatized. Sharks are not man eaters.
With the stupid tests that Les Stroud uses to prove how deadly the waters are, and the untrue statements that he makes, he proves himself to be an idiot. With his foolish statements he intentionally perpetuates an irrational fear that hinders efforts to stop the massive slaughter of nearly 100 million sharks each year, contributing to the demise of the delicate oceanic ecosystem.
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Worldwide, sharks have killed:
2008: 4 people
2007: 1 person
2006: 4 people
2005: 4 people
EVERY DAY people kill over 200,000 sharks.
"Sharks kill fewer than 4 humans on average each year, while humans kill an estimated 100 million sharks annually. You're more likely to be killed by a lightning strike, bee sting, falling coconut or falling vending machine than a shark bite." - SharkAngels.org
"Media hype feeds our irrational fear of sharks. In 2007, one person died from a shark bite, worldwide. Three people died from falling in sand pits, 20 from dog bites, 49 from lightening strikes and 79 from hunting accidents. 747 people died from bicycle accidents."