News from Asia Divers

Tommy from Asia Divers dancing with Manta Rays.

Asia Divers livaboard for things like this.
Sharing space with Manta Rays.

I’m one of the lucky guys who has had the pleasure of diving with Manta Ray’s in big number on a few occasions both on the island of Yap and also in the Maldives. Last month I spent 12 days on a live-aboard in Raja Ampat, West Papua to get the opportunity again to dive with a group of amazing those animals.

Manta Rays dance
Manta Rays dancing with Tommy from Asia Divers

One of the dive sites is called Manta Sandy, yes you guess right, a place for Manta’s. The number of Manta on this site was well over 10 and often we had 4-6 of them around us in the same time. I did behave the first dive and just sat on the bottom to watch and so did the second dive go until just before it was time to slowly accent to the surface. As already left the bottom I saw two Manta’s coming right to me, the first with the usual white the belly and the second completely black that just followed. I stopped, hold my breath to avoid scaring them with my bubbles. They passed just on top of me at a very close range and as they passed I

Manta Rays dancing
Such a privilidge to share thee.
span around and in the same time twisted a bit to get a better view as they passed. This movement seems to trigger an interest in the first ray as she turned around with the black one followed close behind. She got right up to me and had a good look at me, its something else when you look right into the eye of such a big animal half a meter away. Now the dance started and for the next 6-7 min we span around, swam belly to belly (mine being bigger thanks to San Miguel and Bintang beer). She was right on top of me to a few seconds later right below me. Our friend, the black one followed nicely behind and more then once gave the two animals me a gentle tap with their wings. I was so close most of the time that I could easy touched them but of course I didn’t, I was there with their approval not to be misused. The rest of the group of divers just watch the dance and fortunately there was more than one photographers in the group so I have plenty of pictures. You can see some of them here, thanks to Lee Black and Helmut Trinczek-Gaertner.

Asia Divers goes to Cocos for the 4th time

Wind Dancer luxury, diving liveaboard
Wind Dancer luxury, diving liveaboard

The first time Asia Divers went to Cocos Island (the Treasure Island), Costa Rica was in 1998 and the experience left deep mark in our dive souls. More or less completely without  corals the island still offer perhaps the best diving in the world. The number of sharks and other big marine life make up for the lack of colourful corals. It is not just the Scalloped Hammerhead sharks that make the island so famous but also a wide range of other sharks. Like Whalesharks, Silky’s, Galapagos sharks, Silvertip and hundreds of Whitetip Reefsharks to mention some.

Hammerhead shoal at Cocos
Sharks a plenty !

Add to this plenty of Marble, Manta, Devil and Mobula Rays. Add huge schools of Snappers just to mention some of the fish that are domestic around the island and Lobsters under more or less every rock (sorry you can’t take them and I think they know it). If you like big stuff and plenty then Cocos Island is for sure the place to go.
The trip starts in San Jose with an overnight to get everybody together for the land transfer to Puntarenas where we board the Wind Dancer from the Dancer Fleet. A 30-36 hours crossing out to the island give everybody a chance to get familiar with each other and the Costa Rican beer. When out there we have 7 fantastic days of diving before returning to Puntarenas.
Dates for Asia Divers trip number 4 to Cocos is April 28-08 May 2012.  For more indormation Click here

Salsa night at El Galleon

Wow!

When the new pier and store was opened in front of the Point Bar at El Galleon, we were promised that it would be the center of much entertainment and fun and that has proved to be the case. There was a big Christmas party on the deck and some pictures were shown in our blog a few weeks ago about that.

We were told that the first ‘event’  would be a Salsa dance night and the staff of El Galleon entered totally into the spirit of the night.

Allan Nash opens Salsa night at El Galleon
Allan and the El Galleon staff ready to start the Salsa evening.

The event was very well attended and the following short video will give you some idea of the fun which our El Galleon guests and staff enjoyed.

El Galleon staff enjoying the Salsa evening.
So many beautiful ladies.
El Galleon girls on Salsa night.
Girls just want to have fun

There was much food, more than a little drink and an excess of fun.  Here you can see Allan saying ‘Thank you’  to some of those who made the night such a success.

No blog ever seems totally complete without a caption competition.

Can you guess what Allan Nash is thinking ?
What is Allan Nash thinking ? That is Allan at top right.

Entries  for the ‘What’s Allan thinking’ competition can be submitted at the end of this Blog entry.

The next event we are told is a 60s night which will be held probably sometime in the 3rd. week of February.  After which we are TOTALLY open to suggestions.  Send us a note with your ideas and I promise every one will be properly considered.

Terry

Apo Reef and Coron February 2011

Four places have become unexpectedly available for an upcoming six day trip aboard Rags II. She is departing evening of Sunday February 13th bound for the WWII Wrecks of Coron Bay, Apo Reef, Merope and Hunters Rock. Return to Puerto Galera will be in the morning of the 20th.

The Japanese wrecks in Coron Bay were sunk by a US Carrier based strike in September 1942 and are a fascinating collection of ships laying close together in relatively sheltered water, with dives ranging in depth from around 24 to 40m. They are ideal for recreational nitrox, and for technical diving alike and divers of either level can be accommodated on the trip. Excellent overviews of these famous wrecks, the Irako, Okikawa Maru, Akitsushima, Ekkai Maru ( whose story we previously told here : https://www.asiadivers.com/techasia/TheEkkaiMaru.PDF ) and others can be found by here : http://www.coronwrecks.com/sites.htm .  We will spend three days exploring these wrecks.
The trip will also be taking in the ever popular Apo Marine Park, whose outstanding reefs and large marine life ( not to mention visibility out to as much as 40m ) continually impress everyone who visits, and the more off the beaten track sites of Hunters Rock and Merope Reef – both famed for their shark action. Again more on the sites, follow the link on the left.
Rags II accommodates eight divers in twin share air conditioned cabins, provides adequate lounge areas and a huge dive deck. Nitrox for recreational trips is free, food and beers all included. She is operated by former Tech Asia instructor Ralph Joerger.

Trip Costs and Contact Info

Cost for six diving days is US$1,320.00, with an additional $30.00 per person for Apo Reef Marine Park fees. It is assumed divers have all personal dive gear though this is available for rent if not. If you have questions or need more information, just reply to this email or contact info@techasia.ph.

Short notice though it is we hope you can take advantage of the chance to join this great trip. If not, drop us a line anyway as more may follow later in the year.

Safe Diving!
Tech Asia Team

W1 wetsuits get the recognition they deserve.

Asia Divers are happy to see one of our main supplier getting recognised for their great effort in designing wetsuits for the diving market. We at Asia Divers have sold the W1 suit since the second half of 2009 when it first got released.

Waterproof Diving International AB based in Gothenburg, Sweden, has been awarded with the prestigious Swedish Grand Award of Design 2010 for their W1 wetsuit.

W1 Wet suits get recognition
As good as they look and how many products can say that ?

The jury’s verdict reads:
”With one foot in the water and the other in the office, Waterproof has succeeded in creating an industry ”top-of-the-line-product”. Key words when creating the W1 wetsuit were organic, technical, floating lines and surface structure. The inspiration came from the sports, automotive and footwear industries. The result is a fantastically crafted product that makes both diving pros as well as land-lovers take an extra deep breath.” 
The Grand Award of Design highlights business successes that utilise integrated and consistent design. It is awarded to a Swedish company annually by Teknikföretagen, the Association of Swedish Engineering Industries in association with The Swedish Industrial Design Foundation, and The Swedish Society of Crafts and Design. The jury assesses the commercial success based on innovation, product significance, product customization, effectiveness, ergonomics and eco-requirements.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Now that the silly season is upon us why should we be any different?   So, we have decided to have a series of silly but fun competitions.

Something I had wondered for a long time is this.   Suppose I was sitting fully dressed in El Galleon and suddenly decided I wanted to go diving and to explore a small wreck. How long would it take before I actually was exploring a sunken boat?

So we had a competition among the staff of Asia Divers to do just that. From the starting whistle each entrant had to locate his dive gear and change into it, get and check his air and then get to Sabang Wreck and show his name to our camera man. The prize for the person doing it in the fastest time was a dinner for two at El Galleon.

Here we can see the starting line up.

The team
Our competitors

There was a lot of hustle and bustle at the start with everyone rushing to change and get their kit on.

Changing into diving gear at Asia Divers
Jamie in the background looks like Superman and about to take off !

War Paint
Almost ready chaps.

We created a movie of the whole event which is a hoot, so I won’t spoil the ending by saying who won the dinner for two but will give you a link to the movie in the next day or two.

In the meantime, HAPPY CHRISTMAS everyone and may you all win the lottery and come and stay with us in 2011.

Asia Divers and El Galleon at the forefront of technology.

It is true that everything is in a state of change and few things more so than scuba diving and the Internet.  In recent years we have seen great changes in the diving world with things like dive computers coming in, then Nitrox and Trimix and the same has been true of web sites.

We now believe that any web site that relies on .jpg pictures and words to explain anything as interesting and exciting as scuba-diving is destined for extinction.

El Galleon and Asia Divers have spent the last year trying to improve our ability to communicate with our customers and potential customers and to that end some enormous work has been done on the Asia Divers web site.

Now we are happy to unveil our latest step forward in the field of video. We would love to hear your opinions of what we have done so far or suggestions of things you would like to see us do.

Take a look at what you can expect to see when diving here in Puerto Galera. Diving movie.

Until next time.

Terry

3 Free nights at El Galleon. Winner declared.

The long wait finally ended this week and Allan nash having returned to Puerto Galera the draw was done.

As you can see here the winner was Emma Barba.  Good for you Emma and rest assured that when you come to collect your free nights ll our staff will make special efforts to see you have a specially nice time.

Elle Barba's winning tin the El Galleon draw
Emma Barba's ticket fresh from the hat.

Emma and her boyfriend tells us she came to dive with Asia Divers only after trying two other diving operations in Puerto Galera and that now they would never dive with anyone else.

Emma did her Rescue Diver course whilst her friends did a variety of other courses and dives.

Emma says that she very much enjoyed diving with our Peter who is now her favourite instructor.  Time for you to blush Peter!

Emma is hoping to visit us again in the New Year and we will ll do our very best to see that she has a wonderful time here.

CRESSI Frog Plus Fins

CRESSI Frog Plus Fins

A new fin from CRESSI that has been created for those who are trying scuba diving for the first time or who dive occasionally and want to perform long kicks and dives without any specific training.

The mix of materials that has been chosen for the blade guarantees an undemanding, fluid kick with reduced muscular effort.

However, in keeping with the Cressi tradition, when needed, the fin shows its remarkable character, capable of helping the diver in any situation.

After been tested by Asia Divers Instructor Team it turned out its a very good fin even for professionals.

SRP:  127:00 US$