Mild side, wild side
Tobago does seem to be one of the holiday destinations of the moment, offering above-average Caribbean diving at competitive prices. This summer tour operator Regaldive is offering savings on Tobago holidays at a choice of four hotels, including the new Grafton Beach Resort.
On Tobago you can choose between Caribbean and Atlantic diving, making it “the ideal destination to develop your diving and extend your skills”, says Regaldive.
With lively but manageable currents on the Atlantic side it has a point when it says ”we can’t think of a better destination to complete your Drift Diver speciality!”
Book any holiday package with five days’ diving and Drift or any other speciality course with Regaldive, and get free certification worth up to £35. Holidays must be taken by 30 September this year.
Prices in Tobago start from less than £700pp for seven nights’ B&B, including flights and transfers. Five-day dive-packs start from £237pp.
www.regaldive.co.uk

Liveaboard must
Closer to home, Andark Diving & Watersports in Southampton runs a range of PADI speciality courses designed to help you improve your diving, and these include the PADI SMB Diver course, on which you can learn how to deploy and use a surface marker buoy and a delayed SMB.
“This is a requirement on most liveaboard holidays and would certainly come in useful if you were to book onto one of Andark Diving’s liveaboard holidays,” it says. Its next courses are on 27 July and 31 August and they cost £75.
Andark also runs the PADI Suunto Computer Assisted Diving course, which costs £75.
www.andark.co.uk

Cat safety
Scuba Cat Diving in Phuket, Thailand, says it takes diver safety very seriously, and encourages every guest-diver whether on a course or otherwise to be self-reliant when boat-diving.
The centre dives in an area that can have many other boats around, so it encourages every diver to have an SMB and know how to deploy it properly.
On its liveaboard Scuba Adventure, an SMB is supplied to each customer at the outset, and on the check-dive each diver is required to show that he or she can use it.
”The first time you send one up can be a challenge even for seasoned divers,” says Scuba Cat. The dive guides give a demonstration and then each diver has to send his or her SMB to the surface one by one.
“Once the guests are happy with this they can dive independently as long as depth, time and safety rules are followed.”
All Advanced Open Water students are taught safe deployment of an SMB as part of the course, which costs 13,500 baht (about £245) on Scuba Cat day-boats (8500 baht on the liveaboard) including manuals, certification and equipment hire if needed.
The liveaboard rate starts from 19,000 baht for a three-day-and-night trip.
www.scubacat.com

Summer of safety
Scuba diving is safer than driving a car, declares Alun Evans, owner and manager of British Egyptian centre Elite Diving in Sharm el Sheikh, ”but there is always more that can be learnt”.
Elite’s Summer of Safety campaign is “encouraging divers to further develop their inwater capabilities, both to assist in their own well-being and that of others. Something as simple as knowing when and how to deploy a DSMB can make so much difference”.
Evans welcomes the introduction of this skill into the new PADI Open Water course, it having long been compulsory in BSAC Sport Diver.
”Drift-diving accounts for most of the diving here in the Red Sea, and knowing how to act in drift conditions, and then to deploy a signalling device, is priceless,” says Evans.
With every five-day dive-pack booked for £150, Elite provides either a free SMB workshop and certificate or a PADI Drift Diver speciality.
www.elite-diving.com