If you could dive once each month for the next year where would you go? We’ve asked our idive team to find the best options out there. This might just give you the inspiration for that once in a life time trip!
This month is all about the biggest mammals on the planet. Head to Mexico and the Caribbean for some close-up experiences with these majestic animals. Humpback whales are frequent visitors to both destinations in January and on the Pacific coast of Mexico there is a chance of seeing Blue Whales.
The Whale Shark season starts in Thailand. For the best chance of seeing the creature that is usually number one on diver’s bucket list head for a liveaboard in the Andaman Sea.
For March, we are off the Malaysia to see the huge number of Hammerheads that gather there. Layang Layang is a remote Atoll and the deep water surrounding it brings in these amazing predators.
The perfect time for heading to Indonesia as the Manta Rays start to gather. It is possible to see the Reef Manta at sites around Bali.
The Whale Sharks are just one excuse to head to the Galapagos Islands. This is one of the most sought after destinations so time it right and you stand a good chance of bumping into these gentle giants. The Galapagos Islands have a myriad of water and land base animals to enjoy in this unique ecosystem.
We couldn’t forget the Sardine Run as it is one of the natural world’s most amazing experiences. Every year massive shoals of Sardines run the gauntlet of marine predators near KwaZulu Natal in the Indian Ocean. Sharks a plenty, this is one exhilarating dive.
The blue sharks around the Azores Islands are a fantastic reason to head here. The deep water that runs between these magnificent volcanic islands brings in these oceanic predators. It is an amazing sight watching these beautiful sharks glide effortlessly through the blue.
This was an easy one – it has to be Sipadan. August is the perfect month to visit as it is the breading season for Green Turtles and it’s a great way of getting up close to these amazing reptiles.
Seeing coral spawn is not something many divers can say that they have seen….. this happens in Bonaire at this time of year and really is a spectacular sight. Some great diving to be had here anyway.
The best month for the Red Sea. Warm water, the air temperature is comfortable and there is so much to see in the water from Hammerhead and Oceanic Whitetip Sharks, to turtles and dolphins. Great wrecks and sublime reef and wall diving. Check out the idive liveaboard for our October trip to the Red Sea.
For the shark fans, it’s a great time to head to South Africa. Dive at Protea Banks and you stand a really good chance of seeing Hammerhead, Bull and Tiger sharks, certain to get the adrenaline pumping.
Spend Christmas in the Maldives, the Monsoon has finished and with water temperature of 28 degrees, Whale Sharks and Manta Rays what’s not to love.
If like me, you are entering 2017 having had a pretty unhealthy festive period, you will probably be thinking about getting a bit healthier and also about what to do during the next 12 months.
When we think about getting healthier at this time of year it’s usually trying to dig out the trainers from the back of the cupboard, or fix that puncture or trying to find the gym card that you signed up for at this point last year.
Well we thought about something we love doing and then looked at how much diving actually benefited us – who would have known!
Here are our top 10 health benefits of scuba diving
1. Gaining Strength and Flexibility
We all know that swimming is good for us, it’s one of the best forms of exercise. As we move through the water during a dive the resistance the water produces means your muscles work harder building endurance and strength. This includes core strength and stability which is great for your posture.
We always try and breath deep, slow breaths whilst diving to try and conserve air and optimise your air consumption. The byproduct of this is that it slows your heart rate down which in turn promotes calmness and a sense of wellbeing. It has also been linked with helping existing conditions such as asthma.
3. Can Lower Blood Pressure
Sometimes when we first get into the water, our heart rate and therefor our blood pressure may spike. This can be due to excitement, the adrenaline starting to be released or just the cold water. However, as we control our breathing our heart rate falls and thus lowers our blood pressure… who needs stress anyway?
4. Maintains and Increase Fitness Levels
Obviously, we must all maintain a good level of fitness to dive as we don’t want to over exert the body if we have to swim against a strong current or have a long surface swim. You will find that most things you do on a dive help maintain or improve your fitness. Lifting kit onto the boat, kitting up, swimming out to the dive, navigating currents and climbing up the boat ladder. They are all helping. It may not be running a marathon but it certainly is better that eating chocolate in front of the TV!
5.Traveling To Warmer Climates
Yes, we know you can dive in Wraysbury in January but we usually dream of jetting off to the slightly warmer diving destinations. With this type of dive trip comes, excitement, adventure, culture, relaxation, fantastic food and drink, amazing people – need I go on?? This of course can only enhance your mind body and soul.
6. Healing Effects of the Water
Apparently due to our time in the mother’s womb being in water gives us a sense of security, happiness and well-being. Also, if you are in salt water for extended periods of time the body wants to re-hydrate and we all know that drinking lots of water is good for us.
7. Interaction with Marine Life
All divers have been amazed and totally in awe when surrounded by the stunning marine life the world’s oceans have to offer. So, it is no surprise that this interaction just simply puts us in a good mood. However, scientists believe that exposure to certain colours, the ones that can be seen on many reefs can help to promote feelings of joy and happiness, blue has also been known to have a calming effect on the body.
8. Exposure To Sunlight
The body needs sunlight to create Vitamin D. This vitamin aids the absorption of calcium essential for strong and healthy bones. Sunlight also increases endorphin production in the brains and endorphins make us happy – simple as that!
9. Socialising Benefits
You shouldn’t dive alone for safety reasons and not only that, surely it is lot more fun doing it with like-minded people? You may be diving with a long-standing buddy, or with your dive club or being buddied up with a new diving buddy for the first time, but sharing this amazing world always enhances the experience. Being able to share your dive with others over a cold beer at the end of the day never fails to make you feel good too!
10. A Great Stress Reliever
Stress is bad. It’s bad for our health, our mind and our wellbeing. Breathing slowly and deeply is one of the most widely used exercises to relieve stress and increases oxygen blood flow to the brain. This increases the production of endorphins which makes us feel good. Diving is about living in the moment. We leave, work, problems, money issues, family niggles at the surface and for the next hour these are all forgotten. This gives the body a break and studies have shown that this time out helps bring the body and mind into balance. Having a relaxed and calm mind gives us a positive mental attitude which helps you stay on top of any issues, relieves stress and keeps you happy.
Happy 2017 from all at idivetravel