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Interceptor121

When if ever are things going to go back to normal?

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I am starting to think that as diving destination may be in exotic less developed countries travel to such places will be restricted for longer due to covid unless there is a serious breakthrough

And therefore we need to look more to local and short haul in places that have their health system working

While this is of course an opportunity to discover new places near to home it is not exactly the same of going to Raja Ampat to give an example

I would like to know what people think will happen in 2022 and when are we back on track?

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I am not planning anything further than Egypt (EU based) and actually want to dive more locally. There is too much uncertainty still and I don't want to waste my time and energy with Insurers trying to claim deposits back if a trip gets cancelled.

I doubt 2022 will be "Normal" but i hope (if vaccination continues to be rolled out globally and no new variants) that long distance international travel will be easier by the second half of next year

 

My next trip is actually Farnes for the seals at the end of this month, and I will try to go to Liguria later this year but nothing exotic!

On my "local"' list are also

  • Scapa Flow
  • Northern Scotland (Kinlochbervie If I remember correctly)
  • The shipwrecks near Marseille (Donator, Chaouen, Togo, Rubis)
  • Sardinia (i heard good things on Tavolara)
Edited by waterpixel
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Sint Maarten: really good diving, warm water (29 degrees), easy to reach via AMS or CDG (9-10 hours). Friendly folk, good food, excellent rum, loads of marine life. "Orange" COVID list - but because of the warmth and outdoor lifestyle, COVID doesn't have a  major impact on most activities.... 

Yeah, could be tough for most of next year..... 

 

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At least you guys (UK) can go out and about within Europe.. Australia is still a cluster, both state and international borders slammed shut.

Anyway, I'm lucky enough to have moved to a tropical diving destination but all my friends are still down in another state, locked in with a 5km radius limitation and 9pm curfew. Very few of them get to hit the water.

Strange times. Not to mention the economic impact...

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Been scheduled for a trip to Chuuk for a couple years which has been pushed off several times, Hoping to get to go one day! In the mean time, we're continuing to dive Seattle Puget Sound every week and hopefully get up to Canada soon. 

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Similar as Mel pointed out, here in Chile we also have closed borders up until the end of this month and a-recently-extended-midnight curfew. I'm going diving up north in a couple of weeks after almost 19 months without dipping in and I really can't wait, even in this barren and cold coastline.

I have been eyeing a lot of options for the end of the year (Caribbean, Mexico, and even Egypt) because I've got credit with Aggressor valid through 2021, which I wouldn't want to lose, but I'm not holding my hopes too high; air travel for sure has changed. And it seems it will be even more of a hassle than it used to be, thanks to PCRs, vaccination passports and whatnot. (I'm double jabbed with Chinese Sinovac, which, for political reasons, probably won't ever be accepted in the US or Europe. Gee, great, thanks).

On the same note, I had a liveaboard booked for July 2020 before this nightmare started and when the company finally offered a solution, back in mid-June 2020, I hopefully foresaw this whole thing might be over around early 2022. So, I used the credit towards a Maldives LoB in March 2022. I'm definitely going, but as I said, it has gotten way tougher to get there. So much so, that I haven't bought the ticket yet. And according to a recent Undercurrent article in which a fellow diver had to quarantine in Male for two weeks in pretty precarious conditions after a LoB, it might be even harder to get out. 

TBH, I truly think this particular coronavirus won't disappear, and we will have to get used to it.

PS: Anyone here going to the Maldives in March/April and would want to collaborate on a short documentary? PM me.

Edited by elmelodico

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Regarding the initial question, I think this will not be in 2022. Due to the existing vaccines in 2022 it will, however, be easier to perform travelling, but not to all destinations (I fear no Raja Ampat :( )...

In 2021, in summer,  we were for two weeks in Croatia. Recently (September) one week at Fernsteinsee (Austria). For november/december we have booked three weeks in Egypt (2 weeks resorts with housereefs and one week safari), but whether this will take place depends on the future development of the corona disaster and also on me, recovering from a recent corona infection (that was, however, only with mild symptoms, since I am fully vaccinated)...

In 2022 we hope to be able to go to Scotland (Oban and Farnes Islands; we had to postpone this trip sceduled for september 2021, because of coincidence with an important professional appointment of my wife; later it turned out that it would not have been possible because of the pandemic in U.K. (mandatory quarantine for people returning from U.K. to Austria). In addition it was sceduled for the time, where I was infected with the virus. Hence triple negative). We hope Egypt, Croatia and Carribian will be possible and will plan for these destinations, but will book shortly before departure. I think it is realistic to hope that travelling restrictions will become alleviated in 2022, but no complete freedom of travelling yet...

 

Wolfgang

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On 9/8/2021 at 3:25 PM, waterpixel said:

My next trip is actually Farnes for the seals at the end of this month, and I will try to go to Liguria later this year but nothing exotic!

On my "local"' list are also

  • Scapa Flow
  • Northern Scotland (Kinlochbervie If I remember correctly)
  • The shipwrecks near Marseille (Donator, Chaouen, Togo, Rubis)
  • Sardinia (i heard good things on Tavolara)

 

I love Hyeres islands. I went there 5 times during the '90s even a liveboard. IIRC it's the oldest MPA in Europe.

Speaking of short range destinations :) May I suggest a couple of other destinations in Italy worth to consider?

  • Argentario in Tuscany. There's a national marine protected area much more as Portofino but cheaper and with better visibility. (www.argentariodivers.com is one of the biggest and most professional diving center in Italy). Give me a shout if you come!
     
  • Strait of Messina.
    Scilla is a classic destination. During the '90s it was considered the best dive spot in the Mediterranean sea. I'm still convinced that it is. Maybe not the best but among the 3 best med dive areas. Why it's not so famous? because it's in Calabria, perhaps the most underdeveloped Italian region. But the dives there.... :heart:

Strait of Messina deserves a special explanation.

The particular morphological conditions of the Strait (in the narrowest point it is only 100 meters deep but in the southern part it quickly reaches over 2000 meters) make it possible to form a venturi effect with strong currents that bring nutrients from the depths. It is an extraordinary ecosystem, unique in the Mediterranean Sea for biocenosis and abundance of species. 

The intense and alternating currents determine a condition of "Atlantic" type. In fact, many purely Atlantic species, such as laminaria, although present in some other areas of the Mediterranean Sea, only in the Strait of Messina are able to form well-structured communities forming real underwater forests.

Another peculiarity of the Strait of Messina is the presence of a numerous abyssal fauna which, transported to the surface by the current, can be easily captured or found beached along the shore. Their abundant presence attracted to Messina between the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century scientists from all over Europe who could find, in a relatively simple way, the most varied and abundant material for their studies. Krohn and Anton Dohrn, defined the Strait of Messina as the paradise of zoologists. 

Basically you only dive at times of tidal fatigue. The water is warm and visibility never drops below 20 meters. Even in the middle of winter I found minimum sea temperatures of 18 degrees Celsius. Just google "reggio calabria lungomare alberi" to understand the climate there.
Many dives are done from the shore and you can meet very rare species for the Mediterranean. If you search for "trumpet fish in the Strait of Messina" you will understand what I mean.
If you like wrecks you have no choice but to choose including some that can be reached from the beach. One of the many
It's hard to find conditions where you can't dive there. You also have the Sicilian coasts at your disposal. 
The prices are outrageous and you have the airport of Reggio Calabria to 10 minutes.

A famous diving is the Scilla Diving Center

Check this out to see what kind of photos are taken in the Strait of Messina.

https://www.facebook.com/francesco.turano1

 

P.S.

Don't mess with currents here! 

Bye

 

 

Edited by Davide DB
Forgot the link
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1 hour ago, Davide DB said:

 

I love Hyeres islands. I went there 5 times during the '90s even a liveboard. IIRC it's the oldest MPA in Europe.

Speaking of short range destinations :) May I suggest a couple of other destinations in Italy worth to consider?

  • Argentario in Tuscany. There's a national marine protected area much more as Portofino but cheaper and with better visibility. (www.argentariodivers.com is one of the biggest and most professional diving center in Italy). Give me a shout if you come!
     
  • Strait of Messina.
    Scilla is a classic destination. During the '90s it was considered the best dive spot in the Mediterranean sea. I'm still convinced that it is. Maybe not the best but among the 3 best med dive areas. Why it's not so famous? because it's in Calabria, perhaps the most underdeveloped Italian region. But the dives there.... :heart:

Strait of Messina deserves a special explanation.

The particular morphological conditions of the Strait (in the narrowest point it is only 100 meters deep but in the southern part it quickly reaches over 2000 meters) make it possible to form a venturi effect with strong currents that bring nutrients from the depths. It is an extraordinary ecosystem, unique in the Mediterranean Sea for biocenosis and abundance of species. 

The intense and alternating currents determine a condition of "Atlantic" type. In fact, many purely Atlantic species, such as laminaria, although present in some other areas of the Mediterranean Sea, only in the Strait of Messina are able to form well-structured communities forming real underwater forests.

Another peculiarity of the Strait of Messina is the presence of a numerous abyssal fauna which, transported to the surface by the current, can be easily captured or found beached along the shore. Their abundant presence attracted to Messina between the second half of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century scientists from all over Europe who could find, in a relatively simple way, the most varied and abundant material for their studies. Krohn and Anton Dohrn, defined the Strait of Messina as the paradise of zoologists. 

Basically you only dive at times of tidal fatigue. The water is warm and visibility never drops below 20 meters. Even in the middle of winter I found minimum sea temperatures of 18 degrees Celsius. Just google "reggio calabria lungomare alberi" to understand the climate there.
Many dives are done from the shore and you can meet very rare species for the Mediterranean. If you search for "trumpet fish in the Strait of Messina" you will understand what I mean.
If you like wrecks you have no choice but to choose including some that can be reached from the beach. One of the many
It's hard to find conditions where you can't dive there. You also have the Sicilian coasts at your disposal. 
The prices are outrageous and you have the airport of Reggio Calabria to 10 minutes.

A famous diving is the Scilla Diving Center

Check this out to see what kind of photos are taken in the Strait of Messina.

https://www.facebook.com/francesco.turano1

 

P.S.

Don't mess with currents here! 

Bye

 

 

Giannutri e interessante non ci sono mai stato 

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40 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

Giannutri e interessante non ci sono mai stato 

It's a really small island with several dive spots. It's a marine protected area so there are a lot of fish.

i dive there most of the time excepot when I go in Naples and Sorrento. Great buddies there you know very well.

But believe me, Strait of messina is another league. 

If you like pelagic fishes Ustica island is another amazing place.

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42 minutes ago, Davide DB said:

It's a really small island with several dive spots. It's a marine protected area so there are a lot of fish.

i dive there most of the time excepot when I go in Naples and Sorrento. Great buddies there you know very well.

But believe me, Strait of messina is another league. 

If you like pelagic fishes Ustica island is another amazing place.

Naples and Massa Lubrense are great visibility may be lacking which was looks good in Giannutri

Stretto di Messina need to check maybe a resident photographer? Also travel more challenging for me

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3 minutes ago, Interceptor121 said:

Naples and Massa Lubrense are great visibility may be lacking which was looks good in Giannutri

Stretto di Messina need to check maybe a resident photographer? Also travel more challenging for me

For Strait of messina just ask to Pietro. Lately Mimmo Roscigno & co. went there diving with Domy Tripodi, a resident uw photographer who has a diving center in Saline ioniche just south of the strait and the best dives are from the beach. Mostly macro. You can see his photos here. Mimmo Roscigno posted several photos shot there last month.

https://www.facebook.com/ficarelladiving.salinejoniche

Reggio Calabria is an intl. airport so it should be easy getting there directly. Scilla, Saline and other spots are within few minutes by car.

Just as example, diving at "La Montagna" (The Mountain) from shore in front of the city in winter time :huh:

That Cerianthus is 40 years old at least. This video cuts make me sick!!!

 

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19 hours ago, Davide DB said:

For Strait of messina just ask to Pietro. Lately Mimmo Roscigno & co. went there diving with Domy Tripodi, a resident uw photographer who has a diving center in Saline ioniche just south of the strait and the best dives are from the beach. Mostly macro. You can see his photos here. Mimmo Roscigno posted several photos shot there last month.

https://www.facebook.com/ficarelladiving.salinejoniche

Reggio Calabria is an intl. airport so it should be easy getting there directly. Scilla, Saline and other spots are within few minutes by car.

Just as example, diving at "La Montagna" (The Mountain) from shore in front of the city in winter time :huh:

That Cerianthus is 40 years old at least. This video cuts make me sick!!!

 

Thank you for this tip, Davide, the gorgonia are outstanding!

Strait of Messina in combination with Ustica is presents as attractive destination for 2022, I am eager to see this...

Can you recommend a diving base at Ustica?

 

Wolfgang

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On 9/11/2021 at 11:24 AM, Architeuthis said:

Can you recommend a diving base at Ustica?

 

Wolfgang

Sorry for the late reply.

My friends uw photographers went to:

https://laperlaneradiving.com/en/home-3/

Good service and by letting them know your needs in advance, they have an eye for photographers.

Anyway the Island is plenty of diving centers. Diving is the main reason to go there. Is a MPA since 1986.

Nearly all diving centers can take care of home/hotel accommodation and even ferry tickets.

I mentioned Ustica because is fairly simple to get there. Airplane to Palermo and then a ferry or fast hydrofoil. You can go there even from Naples by ferry.
Within Europe I prefer to send diving equipment in advance by mail. Very cheap and saves you the usual headaches at the airport especially if you travel with low cost airlines where the weight of luggage is a nightmare.

Here general info on the island and its MPA.

http://www.ampustica.it/en/come-raggiungerci.asp?idmenu=6

I would avoid July and August. IMHO best period is June and September/October.

Edited by Davide DB
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On 9/8/2021 at 10:45 AM, TimG said:

Sint Maarten: really good diving, warm water (29 degrees), easy to reach via AMS or CDG (9-10 hours). Friendly folk, good food, excellent rum, loads of marine life. "Orange" COVID list - but because of the warmth and outdoor lifestyle, COVID doesn't have a  major impact on most activities.... 

Yeah, could be tough for most of next year..... 

 

I don't see a lot about St Maarten/Martin; how does it compare to Cozumel, Belize, Caymans, TC (if you've done those locations)?

 

Thanks

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Hi Skeptic14

You're right, you don't see much about diving in Sint Maarten. It baffles me as to why not. This is very good tropical diving.

I've not dived Belize but have dived the rest - and Bonaire (many times).

Reef structures here are generally low and don't have the majestic size of Cayman or TCI. Unlike Cozumel there is next to no current. Nor are there walls or dramatic drop-offs.

What Sint Maarten has is an abundance of marine life. Grunts, snappers, stingrays, sharks, loads of macro stuff: Pedersen and spotted cleaner shrimps, Yellowline Arrowcrabs especially.. The island has some of the largest concentrations of grunts and snappers that I have seen anywhere in the Caribbean. It also has some really nice wrecks which are home to turtles, lobsters, sharks and huge amounts of blackbar soldierfish.

To me for abundance and variety of marine life in the Caribbean this is much better than Bonaire and, if memory serves correctly, better too than Cayman and TCI.

https://naturefoundationsxm.org/diving-in-sint-maarten/

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4 hours ago, TimG said:

Hi Skeptic14

You're right, you don't see much about diving in Sint Maarten. It baffles me as to why not. This is very good tropical diving.

I've not dived Belize but have dived the rest - and Bonaire (many times).

Reef structures here are generally low and don't have the majestic size of Cayman or TCI. Unlike Cozumel there is next to no current. Nor are there walls or dramatic drop-offs.

What Sint Maarten has is an abundance of marine life. Grunts, snappers, stingrays, sharks, loads of macro stuff: Pedersen and spotted cleaner shrimps, Yellowline Arrowcrabs especially.. The island has some of the largest concentrations of grunts and snappers that I have seen anywhere in the Caribbean. It also has some really nice wrecks which are home to turtles, lobsters, sharks and huge amounts of blackbar soldierfish.

To me for abundance and variety of marine life in the Caribbean this is much better than Bonaire and, if memory serves correctly, better too than Cayman and TCI.

Thank you for the comparison.  With getting to the caymans anytime soon seeming less and less likely, this looks like a great option to try out.

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My pleasure. I don't think you'd be disappointed. If you decide to go ahead, let me know and I can suggest dive operators depending on where you stay.

The majority of the diving is on the south-east side of the island on the Dutch half. Most dive sites are about a 15-20 minute boat ride. Two tank dives are the norm.

As a rough guide, the Simpson Bay area is a good place to base yourself. Lots going on: restaurants, bars, beaches etc. Car hire is the norm for getting around easily. From the airport (Princess Juliana International) to Simpson Bay is about 5 minutes.

The French side is great for good eating (no surprise, eh!) and about 10 mins from Simpson Bay.

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Dove Belize (turneffe) this summer, then did a family trip to the south of the Maldives (Laamu) - both during the Covid "lull" in June-early July.

My daughter also spent 3 weeks in Sint Maarten this summer working towards her DM (diving was good, but not great... sorry @TimG)

Fiji is opening up next month (although we'll see who they actually let in, flights are now showing availability from N.A.). 

And I'm cautiously optimistic as one our own WetPixel members just returned to his (work) home base in the Philippines, with the expectation that we might not be too far away from seeing the Philippines open up (could be months, but hoping...)

There is some new research (published in partnership with Delta Airlines) that shows a required molecular Covid test (negative result) within 3 days of flying actually resulted in infection rates on COVID-19-tested flights of 0.05 percent or 5 in 10,000 passengers (significantly less than ambient community infection rate at the time).

I fully expect travel (for the foreseeable future) to require proof of full vaccination, a negative test before travel (and potentially a negative test upon arrival or shortly thereafter), and masking throughout. 

Now if we only had some reliable therapeutic solutions to treat infections I think we would see many locations start to open up (there are 600+ drug therapies currently in development, and over 400 trials currently under review).

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On 9/10/2021 at 11:09 AM, Davide DB said:

Speaking of short range destinations :) May I suggest a couple of other destinations in Italy worth to consider?

  • Argentario in Tuscany. There's a national marine protected area much more as Portofino but cheaper and with better visibility. (www.argentariodivers.com is one of the biggest and most professional diving center in Italy). Give me a shout if you come!
     
  • Strait of Messina.
    Scilla is a classic destination. During the '90s it was considered the best dive spot in the Mediterranean sea. I'm still convinced that it is. Maybe not the best but among the 3 best med dive areas. Why it's not so famous? because it's in Calabria, perhaps the most underdeveloped Italian region. But the dives there.... :heart:

Ciao Davide,

Thank you so much for your detailed message! I will definitely check both places out ! Argentario seems like a great place and I am planning to go to Tuscany next year! I will give you a shout when/if I go!

Alex

Edited by waterpixel

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24 minutes ago, waterpixel said:

Ciao Davide,

Thank you so much for your detailed and messages! I will definitely check both places out ! Argentario seems like a great place and I am planning to go to Tuscany next year! I will give you a shout when/if I go!

Alex

I look forward to see you there then.

I'm in Rome. Argentario is my daily destination on the weekend. 1.5h trip by car.

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10 hours ago, TimG said:

My pleasure. I don't think you'd be disappointed. If you decide to go ahead, let me know and I can suggest dive operators depending on where you stay.

The majority of the diving is on the south-east side of the island on the Dutch half. Most dive sites are about a 15-20 minute boat ride. Two tank dives are the norm.

As a rough guide, the Simpson Bay area is a good place to base yourself. Lots going on: restaurants, bars, beaches etc. Car hire is the norm for getting around easily. From the airport (Princess Juliana International) to Simpson Bay is about 5 minutes.

The French side is great for good eating (no surprise, eh!) and about 10 mins from Simpson Bay.

I have a question about diving in St. Marteen: is it mainly by boat trips from the diving base or is it more using rental cars and going on your own from the shore?

Wolfgang

 

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Hey Wolfgang

Its boat trips from the dive centres. There are only a couple of shore dives. 

 

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2 hours ago, oneyellowtang said:

My daughter also spent 3 weeks in Sint Maarten this summer working towards her DM (diving was good, but not great... sorry @TimG)

Who did she dive with? 

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