The Dive Expo 2011

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Dive Expo 2011

12 - 14 August at the Coca-Cola dome, Northriding, Johannesburg.

Get your triple fix of recreation, meditation and exploration at the Dive Expo

Exploration meets meditation at 2011 Dive Expo

Diving is not merely an activity – it’s a lifestyle! That’s why dive enthusiasts from around the country will be shelving their fins for the weekend and heading to the Coca-Cola dome in Joburg from 12 to 14 August 2011 for the annual Dive Expo, which forms part of the National Boat Show, sponsored by the South African Maritime Authority (SAMSA).

“Diving is equal parts recreation, meditation and exploration,” says Scubapro’s Rhys Couzyn, who is among the experts hosting informative talks about various aspects of diving at the Dive Expo.

“Whether you’re looking for something fun to do with your friends and family, a means to step out of your usually crazy world for a while or the opportunity to commune with nature on a one-to-one basis, then you probably already know that scuba diving is for you,” he adds.

Divestyle at the Boat show 2011

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Divestyle at the Boat show 2011

The latest edition of Divestyle (May/June) is available now. You will see why we are still the biggest dive magazine in southern Africa – we have changed to printing on a thicker and better quality paper to complete the final stage in the evolution of Divestyle. We have also changed some of the regular articles and, due to popular demand, will now run a wreck article and a photographic article in every magazine. Safety is always important, and thus we will also add an article on sea rescue. Some of the regular features will stay the same and we will continue to bring you the latest news from all over the world.

A few of the articles you can browse through is diving in Morrongulo, Wrecks of Southern Africa, how to look after your camera, the top 2 dive destination in the world – Cocos and Brothers Islands and what rebreathers training is all about.  The Tech panel discusses e-learning with its pro’s and con’s.

Divestyle is hosting three knowledgeable and renowned speakers who are specialists in their field as well as Scubapro who is launching new products.

Research facility puts South Africa on global map

Marine research in Africa has taken a quantum leap with the launch of South Africa’s first in-shore research vessel at the Algoa Bay Yacht Club in Port Elizabeth. The unveiling of the technologically, advanced uKwabelana and its Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV), is being hailed “as one of the most significant events in the history of marine research in Africa”.

Freediving Career Development Programme

The world’s first ever Freediving Career  Development Programme

From March 1 to April 14, 2011, world record holding freediver and extreme depth spearfisherman, Trevor Hutton, will be running the world’s first ever Freediving Career  Development Programme. This course is aimed at individuals who wish to make a career out of freediving, whether it be running a spearfishing shop, teaching freediving overseas, shooting underwater photography while freediving or competition diving.

alex2Trevor has been freediving for 20 years and attended a Scuba Diving Pro-Course himself eighteen years ago in 1992 with ODI. He attributes a lot of his success to the great start he was given by attending that course.

The course will be conducted in Hermanus, which is where Trevor has based himself since 1994 when in South Africa. Freedivers will be taught in open ocean conditions, which will give them a superior level of diving skill that will allow them to handle conditions anywhere that freediving is practiced in the world.

A number of instructors and specialists from various fields will be utilised to teach the wide range of subjects which will be part of the course curriculum – most of them people who have worked successfully with Trevor throughout his freediving career. For more information, call 082-334-4841 or visit

Diving apps for iPhone or iPad

Aqua Life Images, an iPad/iPhone application which has over 900 images, many with information about the species, is the result of five years of underwater photography and information collection by award winning Dutch photographer. Dray van Beeck. This is one of the most comprehensive underwater references available. The application features some of the most beautiful underwater images you will find and over 40 have been enabled so that you can use them as a wallpaper for your iPad /iPhone.  This application will be useful to marine biologists, divers, or those who wonder what goes on beneath the waves.

image2The Guide to Underwater Photography  is a pocket reference for taking great underwater photographs. The guide covers Equipment, Preparation of Equipment, the Mechanics of Photography and Camera Setup, Underwater  Safety, Composition and Techniques, Tips for Better Photographs, Post Dive Kit Care and Troubleshooting, along with a glossary of terms used. Following the guidelines in this application will help you take better underwater photographs and make the most of your equipment. The application includes 14 high quality underwater photographs which can be used as wallpapers for your device.Another app, the Guide to Underwater Photography Editing and Manipulations is a pocket reference for underwater photographers to get the most from their photographs. The guide covers  Adjusting White Balance and Levels, Colour Adjustments, Cropping, Spot Healing, Cloning, Shadows, Adding Objects and the Use of the Lasso Tool. Although the reference is based around using Photoshop, the guidelines will work with any image editing programme. Following the guidelines in this application will help you create better underwater photographs and make the most of your results.

These applications are now available on iTunes.

Cylinder Safety Rack (CSR)

This is a unique invention that considers both the safety and convenience aspect of diving. The Cylinder Safety Rack (CSR), a Dang-a-Lang product, has been designed to transport cylinders safely without causing damage to the interior of your vehicle, or to stack cylinders neatly in storage and to make it easier to carry them around to and from dive sites.

Made out of a durable and strong polyethylene material, the product has been moulded to take the shape of any cylindrical form. Furthermore, non-slip ridges and industrial strength safety webbing and fasteners have been added so that the cylinder will not slide out of the rack during transport. To stop the unit from sliding around in the vehicle, rubber stops have been placed on the bottom feet.

image1The CSR straps have been designed to carry the cylinder with the product, making the laborious task of carrying cylinders a breeze.

In order to facilitate storage, the CSR has interlocking clips on the sides with pins on the top to allow stacking while using minimal space.

The recommended retail for the CSR is R595, which makes it affordable for most divers and thus an investment worth considering if you own a dive cylinder. Dive schools and charters could also consider this as an option to store cylinders and to include it as an extra service when hiring cylinders to customers.

For more information, contact Simon van Helsdingen on 079-523-0416 or email

This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Trade enquiries are welcome.

Marine Biology - Distance learning Course

Delve deeper from the comfort of your own home

The intriguing science of the seas is now available from the comfort of your home computer. Delve Deeper – a new distance learning course from Newcastle University – enables students to explore the world of marine biology without having to commit to a full-time course.

The course was developed in response to demand from visitors to dive shows over the past few years, and is aimed at over 18-year-olds with an interest in marine biology, such as divers, sea-anglers and surfers. It will be delivered over the internet, but also includes a five-day residential field course at the Dove Marine Laboratory in Cullercoats, Northumberland. Lecturer Dr Jane Delany explained: “The course is designed for people who wish to know more about the biology and ecology of the intriguing marine organisms they have encountered or heard about. It will be a wonderful opportunity to delve deeper into this fascinating world.” The course will explore various marine environments: coastal seas, open ocean, tropical and polar seas, and will take students through the life cycles and behaviour of the organisms that inhabit them. 

A further module will look at human impact on the oceans, and how we can all embrace a sustainable approach to its conservation. Each module will introduce current ideas and theories in marine biology, and key researchers who work in the field. “The residential module will be a chance to meet other students, experience ‘hands-on’ marine biology and also visit the beautiful Northumbrian coast,” added Dr Delany.  “Practical exercises on the rocky shore will allow students to meet some of the species they have learned about.” Learning materials for the course will be delivered over the internet in a virtual learning environment.

Students will be able to download and work through sections of the course, then answer online quizzes.  The course costs £485 and will take place over six months in 2008, with registration closing 30 November 2007. For more information and how to apply, visit or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

De Hoop Marine Protected Area launches new compliance and research boat

De Hoop MPA staff testing out their new patrol and research boat, the Carcharadon.

One of the largest and oldest Marine Protected Areas (MPA) in South Africa, De Hoop, recently launched its new and very first patrol and research boat – the Carcharadon.

ImageThe boat, a 7,6m semi-rigid inflatable with two 90hp four stroke engines, was kindly donated by WWF-SA, Honda Marine SA and Falcon Inflatables, who built and designed the boat. The boat has been specifically built to enable compliance control and biodiversity monitoring and research. It is also equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, including radar. In addition to normal MPA duties, the vessel will also be available as a search and rescue craft assisting the NSRI.

Nestled in the rugged southern Cape coastline near Cape Agulhas, De Hoop MPA is known as an important sanctuary for numerous line fish species, apex predators and for breeding Southern right whales which religiously visit the 48km pristine coastline each year.

Although the MPA was declared in 1986, it is only in recent years that the MPA (part of the greater De Hoop Nature Reserve), has been receiving more focused management through capacity building and training initiatives that have been taking place to ensure that De Hoop does not become just another ‘Paper Park’. The management of the reserve, apart from being skilled in research, monitoring and compliance control, has training in advanced first aid and commercial diving and they are currently qualified with 40 nautical mile skippers’ licenses.

The team at De Hoop has had many successes in the management of the MPA in the past without a boat, but now with the new boat, a piece of equipment that is a must for any MPA, the team can only achieve more success stories in the areas of compliance, monitoring and research. It is hoped that these success stories will be shared with other marine conservation enthusiasts across the country.

Deep wreck diving

By Nuno Gomes

The deepest sea wreck dive and salvage dive in history took place in October 1981, in the Barents Sea off the coast of Norway. Twelve open circuit saturation divers using hot water wetsuits and a diving bell worked at a depth of 245m for thirty days, in shifts, to recover 460 ingots of gold from the wreck of the HM Cruiser Edinburgh.

ImageDeep wreck diving history was recently made once again, this time in Lake Maggiore, northern Italy, on May 10, 2008. Three divers, Pim van der Horst, Mario Marconi and Alessandro Scuotto, did the deepest fresh water wreck dive. They dived the wreck of the Milano which is located at a depth of 236m; the divers used the ‘Ouroboros’ closed circuit rebreather.

Namibian sealing

By Francois Hugo, Seal Alert-SA

ImageThe largest slaughter of mammals in Africa occurs in Namibia, the least populated country on earth. Namibia’s seal hunt is the second largest in the world and it is the only country which commercially kills nursing baby seal pups.

The sealing quota this year for these endangered listed Cape fur seals is 86 000. Namibian sealing regulations award four seal rights holders the right to club 80 000 seal pups younger than a year old on the head with a wooden pick-axe until dead.