A Conversation for Ask h2g2

World's best diving?

Post 1

Smeagol

So, all you skin- and scuba divers, what do you consider the world's best area for diving?
Maldives? Red Sea? Great Barrier Reef? Indonesia? etc...
I know my favourite, but I'll keep that to myself for a while...
Why did you choose what you did? Awesome wrecks? Nice caves? Deep walls or maybe big schools of sharks?


World's best diving?

Post 2

Woodpigeon

I only have Mauritius and the Red Sea to go by, so my statistical sample is probably too small to matter.

For the record however - the Red Sea (Sharm El Sheik) is an excellent dive spot, but boy is it crowded. Expect droves of completely incompetent divers to be splashing about nearby wherever you go. Ras Mohammed is particularly good, and it is a particularly good spot for night dives.

Mauritius is also good, much less crowded. However the reef is really badly damaged in places as dynamite fishing was all the rage a few decades ago. The waters are colder than the Red Sea, and much choppier.

Now, a question : what is diving in Thailand like (particularly Phuket)? What about Lankawi Malaysia? Any ideas?


World's best diving?

Post 3

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

My diving experience also includes Mauritius. Let me just say now that I was not impressed. The water is too murky, and there is very little reef life.

Most of my experience comes from the Hawaiian Islands, including the entire island of Oahu. There are world class sites here. The best was a hidden cove just east of the town of Lahaina on Maui. Pristine reefs with gorgeous corals, lots of fish, sea turtles (which will swim right up to you. It's against local law to touch them, but someone forgot to tell the turtles.), and we even spotted a couple of huge fish we first mistook for reef sharks. They turned out to be a cousin of the barracuda.

In my experience, all the best spots are the ones nobody knows about. If the dive shop is reluctant to tell you about it, it's because its a nice spot they want to keep nice for themselves.


World's best diving?

Post 4

Akula

I'm afraid you can't beat The UK for some world class diving.
Although you will always get the bum sites.


World's best diving?

Post 5

Hoovooloo

I was given a great idea the other day - diving the Wainwrights. I've already walked and paraglided them, so I figured it would be a good idea.

What would that even mean, though? I figured the simplest interpretation would be: visit the deepest point of every decent-sized body of water in the Lake District. That should present a decent challenge, while being achieveable in a reasonable amount of time, even considering that I'd be learning to dive first.

Then the investigation started.

First thing I found out: many of the lakes and tarns are absolutely rubbish for diving in. Nothing in there, and if there was, you couldn't see it because of the silt that runs off the fells and kills visibility. Well, OK, but there are summits that are dull and uninteresting (Mungrisdale Common, I'm looking at you, but not for very long...).

(2): some of the largest most significant bodies of water are reservoirs owned by United Utilities, and completely off-limits for diving. These include Thirlmere and Haweswater. Fine, cross those off.

(3): it seems there's no such thing as lightweight diving gear. Some of the tarns are a long, hard trek up from the nearest place you can park a car. Carrying diving gear just makes it harder.

(4): divers are lazy. I've heard tales of people complaining about having to cross a road from where the van is parked to get to the water's edge.

(5): there's no sensible way to do this alone, so I'm going to have to find a dive buddy who's prepared to do this nonsense with me. See (3) and (4) for how likely that is.

(6): some of the lakes are DEEP. It's well known that Wast Water at 79m is the deepest in England, but you can at least park right next to that. Blea Water, a glacial tarn above Haweswater, is 61m deep and the surface is at 488m (over 1600 feet). Dives that deep require extremely advanced training, preparation and equipment, and are pretty hazardous.

From all of the above I concluded that while my original idea (visit the deepest point of every major body of water in the Lakes) CAN be done in theory, it is something that I won't be attempting. Further, I'm going to stick my neck out and say that nobody will ever do it.

That, in itself, seems incredible to me - on one level the "challenge" seems relatively straightforward, but when you lay out the obstacles, it becomes impossible. Can this be true? Surely there's some nutjob out there who would be prepared to take on this task? I mean, people have done much more stupid things for basically no reason - I'm amazed it's not been done already, frankly.

Then again, who would be impressed by it (apart from me, I mean)? It's hardly a route to fame and fortune. Then again, neither was paragliding the Wainwrights, and some nutjob did indeed do that (I finished almost exactly six years ago).


World's best diving?

Post 6

Orcus

Is wondering how a tarn manages to get that deep? Must be something more than an (old) glacier source scouring the rock. Or am I not visualising the formation of a shallow tarn-lake well?


World's best diving?

Post 7

Hoovooloo

I've no idea - it's less than 500 metres across, so it's uncommonly steep-sided.


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