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Various diving associations offer open-water diving courses. Most
diving sport associations have the relevant authorization. The open-
water diving training and certification provided by
PADI (Professional
Association of Diving Instructors,
is recognized by
scuba drivers around the world. PADI is also the world’s biggest member
organization for sports diving. Professional PADI members make up the
majority of sports divers around the world and issue more than 900,000
certificates every year.
sites of natural beauty with their living reefs.
The annual average temperature for the
Maldives is around 28 degrees. The tempera-
ture never drops below 25 degrees and water
temperatures remain constant at 28 degrees.
In other words, a little piece of paradise.
Far more lively than the Maldives is the
world’s largest and best-known diving hot
spot, the Great Barrier Reef off the east coast
of Australia, which at over 2,000 kilometers
long offers countless areas for diving. More
than two million diving and snorkeling fans
slide into the clear water of the Great Barrier
Reef every year to enjoy the colorful coral and
the limitless variety of fish.
Getting started is easy
Those new to diving are best advised to
complete their diving training at a local div-
ing school. Anyone wishing to start a diving
course during a foreign holiday, however,
would do well if possible to try and find a div-
ing course which teaches the basics in their
own language, since some knowledge of the
theory could literally save their lives. Provid-
ing you stick to the rules you have learned,
diving should be more fascinating than
dangerous. Arrogance and overconfidence are
what make it dangerous.
>>> The seas around the Earth offer count-
less sites for diving, and every diver can find
something to enjoy under the water. Some
like the brightly colored coral and its bizarre
shapes or the comical clownfish in the poi-
sonous anemones. Others like the different
kinds of sharks, the mantas, and barracudas.
There are also those who like the hollows,
grottos, and underwater labyrinths, while
others get their kicks by exploring old ship-
wrecks. Wreck diving is one of the greatest
fascinations for sports divers. It gives divers
the chance to really indulge their appetite
for adventure and discovery. It is impossible
to describe the feeling of diving down to a
wreck, when that initial hazy image becomes
ever more detailed and clearer the closer you
Wrecks at sea always have their own special
story to tell: the story of their life, their
destruction, and their watery burial. Rather
more controversial, although genuinely
thrilling, is cage diving with white sharks,
which mainly takes place off South Africa
and South Australia. These gigantic sharks
with their cold eyes and huge teeth send a
shiver down the spine, even in the warmest
of water. The more varied a diver’s ambitions
are, the more varied their list of favorite
diving spots will be.
Selected diving hot spots
A very interesting diving area, which is also
close to Europe, is the Red Sea. Egypt is an
ideal base from which to access the many
reefs and wrecks, as well as being an afford-
able holiday destination with a very good
tourism infrastructure in the holiday regions.
There is a resort to suit practically all pockets
and more diving bases than you could wish
Even little Bonaire has almost 100 diving
sites, many of which can be accessed from
land. Bonaire is something of a dream island
for diving fanatics. Located in the southern
part of the Caribbean just 80 kilometers north
of Venezuela, the island forms part of the
Dutch Caribbean (formerly the Dutch Antil-
les), along with Aruba and Curaçao. Seen from
above, Bonaire looks like a giant boomerang
drifting on the sea. During September and
October, the “coral spawning” is the kind of
event to attract divers who like the sport for
its contact with the living, natural world.
Set in the Indian Ocean to the south west of
India, the Maldives offer some tremendous
Are the oxygen reserves and pressure readings in the green? The diver uses special hand signals to give the OK.
Divers’ paradise: the Maldives.
Pictures: Fotolia/JonMilnes/traveller