5 reasons why live aboard diving is the best way to scuba dive.

5 reasons why live aboard diving is the best way to scuba dive.

I’m a lazy diver. I’m also an incredibly keen diver. Whilst I love diving, lugging tanks around in the hot sun when I’m on holiday just isn’t my thing. The ease and comfort that comes along with diving from a boat, be it a day trip or an overnight dive live aboard is far more enjoyable for me than shore diving. If you’re travelling with non-divers then maybe a live aboard dive boat isn’t the best holiday option for you, but if you want to dive as much as you possibly can, and see the best sites the destination has to offer then live aboard diving is the only way to spend your hard earned cash.

Your dive time is maximised, and set up time is minimised

Dive live aboards are designed for well, diving. Plenty of vessels are set up specifically for diving, with spacious dive decks, multiple tenders and extra amenities designed with the diver in mind. When you resort dive, or do a day boat dive, half the day is filled with getting to and from the site. Live aboard diving means you can cram in 3 or 4 quality dives every day, or simply soak up the sun onboard and dive again in a few hours. If you want to dive at night, doing so on a live aboard is easy as you more than likely have dived the site in the day, and will have your gear ready to go. That means less time setting up and more time for sipping cocktails after you’ve wrapped up your diving for the day.

You’ll visit the most remote sites

Imagine waking up to watch the sunrise over the sea in one of the best dive destinations in the world, with no other boats in site. Just you, your freshly made cup of coffee and the vibrant oranges and reds of the sun rising over the ocean. Liveaboard diving is often the only way you can get off the beaten track dive wise and see the most remote areas. Diving in the GalapagosDiving in the Cocos Islands, Costa Rica and even diving the outer reaches of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia can only be done by a live aboard as they are so far from mainland. When you do a lot of diving you want to have the best dive experiences the ocean can offer, and usually diving on a live aboard is one way to ensure you do.

Everything is included

Once you’ve decided where you want to go, booked and paid for it your all done! All there is left to do is set your screen saver at work to an image of the destination your going to make the count down to your holiday go quicker and boom, you’re ready for the trip of a life time. Live aboard diving means all the hard work is done for you, and the price is all inclusive. There’s no fussing about which hotel to book, and if the photos online are what the place really looks like. There’s professional chefs onboard who make the most of the local fresh produce to create masterpiece meals for you, and the best thing is you’ve already paid for them. Sometimes when your paying $7000 or so for a luxury liveaboard it can sound like a lot, but in reality you’re paying for ten days of action packed diving in phenomenal destinations, all your meals and a big comfy bed to exhaustedly fall into at the end of each day.

There’s no lugging heavy gear around

There’s nothing worse than donning a wetsuit, a BCD and a heavy tank and walking to a hard to reach dive site in the tropical sun. Live aboards have personalised lockers for you to store your dive gear, and spacious dive decks so when it’s time to jump in all you have to do is pull on your wetsuit, strap yourself into your BCD and either giant stride into the turquoise water or make your way to the private tender to be taken on an incredible dive.

 Dive, dive, dive

This is the greatest aspect of live aboard diving. You can dive until your heart’s content, and do all the dives on offer each day if you so desire. If scuba diving is your passion, then the only way to holiday is on a diving live aboard. Not only will you be able to dive as much as possible, but you’ll be surrounded by like-minded folk who love diving just as much as you.  If you’re a budding underwater photographer (most divers are once they’ve dived for a while) the fellow guests on board and staff are usually more than happy to give you some tips to improve your photography.

Ready to look for your next dive live aboard adventure? Liveaboard.com has the widest range of destinations, with a trip to suit every diver and their budget.

Like resort diving more than live aboard diving? Tell us why in the comments!

Why there’s never been a better day than today to book your next adventure on a live aboard dive boat.

Why there’s never been a better day than today to book your next adventure on a live aboard dive boat.

On the 22nd of September every year, people ditch their cars and use their feet in honour of World Car Free day. World Car Free day was originally created in the 70s as a way of tackling the oil crisis. Today the day is designed to get people out of their cars and onto their bikes, on the bus or on their legs to raise awareness for the amount of pollution created on a daily basis by vehicles. So, on World Car Free day 2015 why not take it to the next level and scrap your car for a boat?

Sure, boating to work today might not be the most logical method of transport, but after you’ve walked to work reward yourself by booking your next dive live aboard trip in one of the world’s best dive destinations. To celebrate World Car Free day 2015 we’ve put together a list of some of our favourite diving live aboards in the top destinations.

 Seven Seas Liveaboard, Indonesia

Indonesia offers some of the globes most phenomenal diving, and it can be hard to choose which destination you want to jet off to. The Seven Seas Live aboard visits all of the best areas, and runs trips to Komodo, Deep South Komodo, Raja Ampat, East of Flores, the Forgotten Islands or the Banda Sea. The boat is a traditonally crafted Indonesian sailing schooner, and has every amnety you could possibly need (including a hair dryer so you can make sure you’re looking top notch in the most uninhabited areas of Indonesia).  Here’s a teaser of what the Raja Ampat & Banda Sea trip is like:

Spirit of Freedom, Australia

A liveaboard in the Great Barrier Reef is one of the best ways to see this iconic area. The Great Barrier Reach stretches for thousands of kilometres, and the best way to explore the outer reef, which is situated far from the mainland, is by live aboard. Spirit of Freedom offers 3, 4 and 7 day cruises and is one of the best dive liveaboards on offer in Australia. Trips head to the Ribbon Reefs, which are home to some of the most spectacular dive sites in the Great Barrier Reef. Known as David Attenborough’s favourite place, the Great Barrier Reef is a protected marine park where water temperature rarely drops below 24 degrees. The wide array of marine life here is incredible, and divers regularly see turtles, a myriad of shark species, manta rays, and minke whales in the winter season along with some of the most spectacular coral formations.

Galapagos Aggressor III, Galapagos

Diving in the Galapagos is a must for any keen diver, and there are a few big reasons why. The wild untamed beauty of this remote and well-protected area will linger in your mind long after your trip has finished. Part of the renowned Aggressor fleet, the Galapagos Aggressor III offers year-round trips. The yacht itself is a luxury, sleek 32 metre long vessel fitted with all the extra bells and whistles such as a large swim platform and personal gear lockers for smooth and easy diving. Plus beer and wine is included in the price of the trip, so after your day of diving there’s always going to be a class of vino waiting for you!

 Argo Live aboard, Costa Rica

Another destination that can only be reached by live aboard due to its remote location, Cocos Islands is an experienced divers dream (check out why here if you don’t take our word for it). A pelagic paradise,  when you first see the island you half expect a dinosaur to wander out from the thick undergrowth. The waters surrounding the island are nutrient rich, and provide the perfect environment for a variety of marine species such as hammerhead sharks and huge schools of fish. For a luxury Cocos Island experience, the Argo offers year round dive trips. The vessel has three dive tenders and 14 crew members who are there to assist you with every diving need.

This is just a taster of some of the live aboards on offer at Liveaboard.com. Life is short and any diver would rather be on a boat than in a car any day, so get out there and dive the places you’ve always dreamed of!

At Liveaboard.com we are constantly seeking to hear about the best diving experiences. Have you been on an outstanding live aboard dive boat? We want to know about it! Leave us a comment below.

The big reason behind why the hammerhead shark has its hammer.

The big reason behind why the hammerhead shark has its hammer.

Sharks are one of the most feared animals on the planet. For most people, coming face to face with a shark is what nightmares are made of. For most scuba divers it’s the exact opposite. Sharks are the top predator in the ocean, and they keep our oceans healthy and thriving. If you’ve ever dived with sharks, you’d agree that they are a thing of beauty and grace and don’t deserve their vicious reputation (way to go Jaws movies!) In fact, statistically speaking, you’re more likely to win an Oscar than get eaten by a shark.

Of the 360 or so different species of shark, one of the most fascinating and strange-looking species of shark is the hammerhead. Hammerhead sharks possess one of the most bizarre looking head shapes in the animal kingdom. As the name suggests, this shark has a head literally shaped like a hammer, and it’s believed these sharks’ heads have evolved to enhance its hunting technique. Apart from the nine species of hammerhead, all other shark species are streamlined hunters, designed like slick underwater torpedo’s. So whats the point of this species giant head?

For a while there, some scientist were adamant that hammerhead sharks would have worse sight thanks to their anatomy. Research has shown that these sharks have incredible eyesight, and the strange positioning of their eyes allows them to see both above and below them at once. They can even see behind them as they swim by moving their heads from side to side. Along with their 360 degree vision, hammerhead sharks use their long rectangular noggin’ as storage space for their highly sensorized sensory organs.  A hammerheads favourite food is stingray, and rays like to rest hidden under a pile of sand. Hammerheads don’t only have amazing vision, but can detect fields of energy in the water created by their prey, using sensory organs called ampullae of Lorenzini. Their combination of eyesight and other senses we mere humans could only dream of make them an efficient and powerful predator. In addition to these more advanced adaptations, hammerhead sharks use their rectangular heads just like, well… a hammer. Once they’ve found their prey, they pin it down using their head and wallah, dinner is served!

For some reason, their bizarre looks make hammerheads one of the more-feared shark species. In reality, they are completely harmless and are fantastic and beautiful animals to scuba dive with.

Where can I dive with hammerheads?

Hammerhead sharks thrive in temperate and tropical waters globally, and can be spotted in huge groups migrating to cooler waters. While there are plenty of places you might see hammerheads, there are a few destinations that are renowned for their regular hammerhead shark sightings.

Cocos Islands, Costa Rica

Cocos Islands is a diving mecca, and the place to head to if you want to dive with hammerhead sharks and a plethora of other big sea life. Diving the Cocos Islands is where you can see hammerhead sharks in huge numbers, and is a remote untouched dive destination 550 kilometeres off the Costa Rican Coastline. Due to it’s remoteness, the only way to visit this destination is via a diving live aboard departing from Costa Rica.

The Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Honestly, I feel like the Galapagos features in every ‘best place to see…’ themed article I’ve ever written (find out why it’s so special here). Another untouched and remote area, hammerheads are commonly seen here. At the favourite Wolf and Darwin Islands they can be spotted by the hundreds. These islands are a minimum of 14 hours from the mainland, so like the Cocos, The Galapagos Islands can only be visited by a dive live aboard.

The Bahamas

Bahamas is a shark hub. Consisting of 700 different islands, there are quite a few different destinations to see hammerhead sharks, all of them boasting crystal clear, deliciously warm water. Why not jump on the yacht ‘Carib Dancer’ for an 8 day shark-filled dive extravaganza?

Rasdhoo Atoll, The Maldives

The Maldives is a picture perfect escape, and the place to go to spend some quality time underwater with hammerhead sharks. The Rasdhoo Atoll is renowned for hammerheads in large groups, however you can frequently spot these sharks throughout the Maldives. The best way to dive the Maldives is onboard a live a board, and we’ve found some of the most luxurious live aboards in the Maldives for you.

Hammerheads are one of the most bizarre, intelligent and wonderful species to call the ocean home. Seeing them is something every diver needs to have ticked off on their bucket list at some point in their lifetime.

Have any experience with hammerhead sharks you’d like to share? Let us know in the comments!

What live aboard diving in the Cocos Islands is really like.

What live aboard diving in the Cocos Islands is really like.

It’s phenomenal. But you knew that right?

If you’ve dived in the Cocos Islands, you’d know exactly what I’m talking about. If you haven’t, let me fill you in.

Diving in the Cocos Islands is an adrenalin filled, crazily good underwater experience. This remote area is around 550 kms off the mainland of Costa Rica, which equates to 36 hours travel time and can only be done by boat. This is a great time to relax and unwind prior to launching into your next week or so of insanely awesome diving. The pinnacles rising from the sea that make up the Cocos Islands are surrounded by nutrient packed water, which attracts the huge amount of life that this dive destination is so famous for.

Cocos Islands is THE place for pelagics. I’m a sucker for big sea life. Give me sea turtles, mantas, sharks and other pelagic species over  small stuff any day. Muck diving is great, and I definitely have time for the little things in a divers life (pygmy seahorses, nudibranchs and frog fish instantly make me happy as soon as I see them) but nothing compares to the feeling you get when you see a large dark shape looming out of the blue and realise there is a 4 metre wide manta ray headed your way. For any lovers of big animals, Cocos Islands needs to be on your bucket list, and it should be right at the top.  Cocos Islands is where you can see schooling hammerheads, and sometimes these schools are so huge that all of a sudden it’s like someone switched the lights out as the sun gets blocked by the sheer number of sharks swimming overhead.

Cocos Islands is a protected marine park, and the island and surrounding waters are relatively untouched by human life, making it a diving haven. Cocos Islands offers a variety of different kinds of dives, and all levels of experience are catered for. From drift dives along steep walls teeming with life to blue water dives there is something for every diver. You can take things to the next thrill level by night diving in the Cocos. Imagine being surrounded by darkness, the only thing illuminating the water around you is the columns of light given off by your torches. Then you see multiple pairs of little green eyes coming out of the darkness as sharks surround you, feeding in the moonlight.

There are over 20 sites to visit in the Cocos Islands, and the fantastic thing is they are relatively close together, maximising your dive time and minimising your travel to each site. A firm favourite and a site that features on most live aboard itineraries is Bajo Alcyone. Here you’re likely to see hundreds of hammerheads and other pelagics as the swim along the submerged formations of the island.

The other great thing about Cocos Islands is there is no ‘season’. Diving is great year round. The rainy season (June to December) brings with it even more nutrients to the water, and in turn this attracts even more life to this diverse ecosystem. Dry season is when waters are calmer, and this is from December to May. It’s really up to you when you decide to visit this part of the world for a diving packed adventure!

Who to dive with?

Due to the remote nature of the Cocos Islands, the only way you can dive this location is on an overnight live aboard. These usually run for about ten days, and will take you to the best of the best sites this pristine area has on offer. Liveaboard.com offers the best price for Cocos Islands live aboards, and there is a trip to suit every budget.

7 reasons why Costa Rica diving is crazily good.

7 reasons why Costa Rica diving is crazily good.

Costa Rica is a land of colourful wilderness and wildlife, both above and below the water.  Costa Rica has one of the most diverse underwater ecosystems on the planet, and is heaven for any diver. We’ve listed the big reasons why Costa Rica needs to be your next dive trip destination below.

It is the most “biologically intense place on Earth”

The Poison Dart Frog is as pretty as it is deadly. Image by Paul Bratescu
The Poison Dart Frog is as pretty as it is deadly. Image by Paul Bratescu

Nat Geo once referred to Costa Rica as the “most biologically intense place on Earth.” The area is an explosion of natural life. While most divers are so attracted to Costa Rica for it’s variety marine life, there are some amazing sites to be seen above the water. Bird life that looks like it’s been coloured in with neon textas, sloths that love munching on hibiscus and a plethora of monkey species in lush tropical rainforest make Costa Rica as beautiful above water as it is below.

It’s a pelagic paradise

Got a soft spot for the big stuff? Me too. While I love the pure wackiness of some of the smaller marine life that calls the ocean home, nothing gets my blood pumping like a giant school of manta rays soaring past me or seeing an enormous hundred year old sea turtle fly through the water. Diving in Costa Rica is the perfect place to spend time with some of the ocean’s biggest inhabitants. Catalina and Bat Islands attract mantas, whale sharks, dolphins and sea turtles to name just a few. These islands are about 2 hours of the Gulf of Papagayo, so the best way to visit these underwater wonderlands is on a dive live aboard. Giant schools of rays and reef sharks can often be seen at Isla del Cano, along with enormous schools of fish.

It’s an underwater photographers dream

After becoming certified as an open water diver, it doesn’t take too long until your itching to capture everything you see underwater so you can show the folks above the surface how amazing the world beneath it really is. Costa Rica is great for budding photographers to the more experienced. The huge variety of resident marine life make a never-ending cast of subjects waiting to be snapped, and the good conditions make taking underwater photos a breeze.

You can explore some of the most untouched dive destinations in the world

Costa Rica diving is as off the beaten track as it gets. The top dive sites are hours away from mainland, and can only be accessed by overnight live aboard. This means pristine diving for you, along with being able to get away from reality and unwind while doing some of the greatest diving you’ll ever experience.

All the bucket list species call the Costa Rican oceans home

Sea turtles? Tick! Mantas? Tick. Hammerheads? You betcha. Whale sharks? If you’re extra lucky! Schools of pelagic fish that block the sun from their sheer size? Tick, tick, tick! Costa Rica is a marine life mecca, and in a single live aboard trip you’ll have the chance to cross off a big chunk of your marine species bucket list.

The dive season is year round

Unusually, some of the best diving is actually in the rainy season when the water is more nutrient rich, attracting more life to the area.  Diving in Costa Rica is excellent all year round, and different times of year attracts different life. One thing is for sure though, and that is your diving will be unforgettable no matter the time of year you visit.

Cocos Islands. Need we say more?

schooling hammerheads
Schooling hammerheads, a must-see when diving in Costa Rica

If you haven’t been to Costa Rica yet, you might recognise it from scenes in dino flick ‘Jurassic Park’. Truly a land before time, Cocos Islands  is home to an assortment of phenomenal marine life. Hammerheads can be seen by the hundreds here, along with a variety of other species of shark including tiger, Galapagos,  blacktip and silvertips. The island has 20 sites that boast incredible drift, deep and even blue water dives in close proximity to one another, making it best explored by live aboard. Bajo Alcyone is the site where your chances are of seeing schooling hammerheads and other pelagics are greatly increased, and this is a site on most live aboard itineraries.

Best way to explore Costa Rica

With-out a doubt, exploring the incredible diving that Costa Rica has on offer is best, and normally can only be done by overnight live aboard. Due to the remote locations of the dive sites where the marine life thrives and diving is ten out of ten, a live aboard is the only way to visit this stunning area. Liveaboard.com has the best selection of Costa Rican dive live aboards on offer at the best rate available. 

Why shark nets are the most indiscriminate killer of endangered marine life.

Why shark nets are the most indiscriminate killer of endangered marine life.

The first day of spring. Birds are tweeting, blossoms are blooming and it’s getting easier and easier to jump out of your cosy bed when your alarm rudely interrupts your dreams. But for marine life, there is a dark side to this season. In Australia, the first day of Spring marks the day that shark nets are placed back in coastal waters. Spring is the season normally associated with new life. For sharks, turtles, whales, sea lions and the myriad of creatures that are regularly entangled in these nets it can mean the exact opposite.

‘Shark nets’ are part of the Shark Meshing Program, an initiative first implemented in the early 1930s to make Australian oceans safer for beach-goers, but these nets are an ineffective and outdated method of protecting surfers and swimmers from possible shark attacks. We’ve listed the top reasons why below.

A hammerhead shark entangled in a shark net
A hammerhead shark entangled in a shark net

Nets don’t form a barrier from one end of a beach to the other.

How do you think shark nets work? In a recent survey done by the SEA LIFE Trust, the majority of respondents thought that a shark net formed a complete barrier from headland to headland. This is definitely not the case! Shark nets are only 150 metres long and are similar to the nets you’d find on a tennis court.  Iconic Bondi beach in Sydney is 1000 metres long– its shark net therefore covers a tiny 11% of its width.

Shark can swim above, over and around the nets

Shark nets are placed in water that is between ten and twelve metres deep. The shark net itself is only six metres high, allowing sharks and other marine animals to swim both over and underneath. In fact, most sharks and other marine animals are caught in nets when they are headed back OUT towards the open ocean!

We need sharks in our oceans

If you’re a diver, chances are you might already have a soft spot for sharks and know how important they are. Sharks are an apex predator, and removing such an important element of the food chain would be irretrievably detrimental to the oceanic ecosystem, with the potential to result in its total collapse. Humans are responsible for the death of one hundred million sharks globally every year. Sharks are responsible for five deaths annually – worldwide. Ninety percent of shark populations around the globe have been completely killed off. For a healthy ocean, an ocean rich in biodiversity, sharks are essential.

There is no conclusive evidence that proves shark nets actually work

People are afraid of the unknown, and the ocean and everything that calls it home continues to be a big unknown. More is known about space than the deepest depths of the ocean. What we do know however is that there is absolutely zero conclusive evidence that proves the shark nets are beneficial to swimmers. Sixty eight percent of shark attacks since 1930 have occurred on beaches with shark nets in place. In 2009, the Australian Department of Primary Industries stated that “the rate of shark attack has remained the same both before and after meshing commenced”. So, why do we keep doing it?

There is no way to ensure nets are only catching sharks.

For every one potentially dangerous species of shark caught in the nets, the number of non-target species such as sea turtles, dolphins, seals and rays is approximately twenty! Humpback whales migrate in Australian waters from September to November, and come close to shore to rest and protect their calves. The shark nets are in place during this time, and whales often become entangled in them.

There are other methods of protecting beaches, that don’t harm marine life

As technology advances, so too does the way we can protect people from potential shark attacks. Initiatives such as helicopter patrols, tagging and tracking sharks, and even shark-deterring wetsuits are being trialled to replace shark nets.The eco shark barrier is a solid barrier that marine life can’t get entangled in. Shark Spotters keep a watchful eye over surfers and swimmers, using flags and alarms to alert people of sharks in the area. At the end of the day, sharks call the ocean home and every time we enter the water we accept the risk that goes along with it.

For most people the word ‘shark’ instantly sends a shiver down their spine, and conjures up images of  bus-sized monstrous creatures with mouths full of razor sharp teeth, just waiting to gobble up an innocent beach goer. The role media has played in demonising one of the oceans most important animals has been pivotal to how people perceive sharks.

Until I started working as a scuba dive instructor a few years ago, I too shared this view on sharks. Now I virtually spend more time under the water than above it, and I know first hand that sharks are most definitely not the mindless killing machines that most people believe them to be. Sharks do not attack for the fun of it, and you are much more likely to be injured by a coconut or drink vending machine, even using a toaster is statistically more dangerous.

Diving with sharks is an incredible experience, and they are not an animal to be feared, but to be respected and protected. There are some amazing places to jump in the water with sharks.  Some of the best places to dive with these animals include Fiji or the Bahamas, where you can spot whale sharks, tiger sharks and reef sharks. The waters surrounding Costa Rica are renowned for seeing schools of hammerheads.

What do you think of shark culling and shark nets? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below.

How to improve your underwater photography in one simple step.

How to improve your underwater photography in one simple step.

If you’ve tried your hand at taking photos underwater before, then you’d know that it’s a whole different ball game down below the surface than it is above. Colour loss, visibility, ocean conditions and subjects that have the ability to swim away from your lens are all thrown into the mix, and even a simple point and shoot camera can become a challenge to use. While these elements are all ones that we learn to deal with as our underwater photography skills develop, there is one crucial skill that if you master early on will make a world of difference to your underwater photographs.

Achieving neutral buoyancy can make composing and taking a beautiful underwater photos far easier. Achieving neutral buoyancy underwater not only makes your whole dive experience more enjoyable and far safer, but can also lead to a better-executed photo. We’ve all been there before in the early stages of our diving, limbs flailing and fins kicking the sandy floor up whilst we try and hover in front of a vibrantly patterned Nudibranch to take a happy snap, inflating our BCD and then deflating when we feel ourselves slowly starting to head towards the surface, all the while juggling a camera. If you have control of your buoyancy, then you will have far better control of your camera, and this equals images that you can proudly show off to all your work mates when you’re back to the daily grind once your dive trip is over.

When I first learned to dive, I was working as a hostess on a diving liveaboard in the picturesque Great Barrier Reef. I was diving every chance I had, as soon as I’d prepared the evening meal I was in the water with the rest of the guests. Diving every day, you’d think I would have got my open water certification in a matter of weeks, if not days. My instructor, who was also working on the live aboard, drilled into me from day one how important achieving neutral buoyancy and streamlined trim was if you wanted to be a safe diver. He had me perform every skill in the open water course at neutral buoyancy, rather than on my knees, before he would sign me off as a competent diver. At the time, it made me want to pull his mask off underwater and slap him but now I realize just how beneficial that training was, particularly when I’m trying to sneak up on a sleepy unsuspecting turtle to take a photo.

Neutral buoyancy starts above the water

If you’re struggling with your buoyancy underwater, or you’re crashing into coral with your camera on a dive take some time to purely practice and play around with your buoyancy. Good buoyancy underwater starts at the surface. Plenty jump in for a diver overweighted, lugging around more lead than they actually need on a dive which makes it harder to achieve neutral buoyancy at depth. Ensuring you are correctly weighting yourself prior to beginning a dive will make perfecting your neutral buoyancy techniques at depth less of a battle.

Leaving the surface is the hardest part

Most divers think that they need to wear more weight than they actually do because getting below the surface can be a struggle, but trust me this is the hardest part. Once you’re down below the 3-5 metre mark you’ll realize that you really didn’t need that extra three pounds of weight. When you’re about to descend for a dive make sure you’re relaxed, and if you are finding it a challenge to make you’re way down don’t beat yourself up over it. Empty your lungs with a nice deep exhale, and put your inflator hose up high and straight so air doesn’t get trapped inside it. If you’re still struggling to sink beneath the surface, try flipping over on to your face and using the weight of your body and some big strong kicks to head down.

Be Aware of your depth

When we dive, our bodies are under a lot of pressure and this affects our wetsuit, our dive gear and even the air spaces in our bodies, so you need to be very aware of your depth when it comes to achieving buoyancy. Once you’ve levelled out at a certain depth, see how your neutral buoyancy is coming along. Good neutral buoyancy means that you don’t need to move or kick to stay in position. It makes you feel like you are flying, lying weightless in the water, not floating and not sinking. If you feel like you’re starting to sink a little, try and take a full breath of air in and you should feel yourself rise. Likewise, you can exhale your breath to sink down. Your body position in the water is also closely intertwined with your buoyancy, and good trim equals good buoyancy.  Many divers are bottom heavy, with their weight belt around their waist and fins weighing them down so they slant upwards in the water. Every time you kick in a position like this, you’ll end up going up rather than forward. To improve your trim add some weight to the upper half of your body, or even around the top of your tank, and you’ll see that you’re far more streamlined on your dive.

Do a weight check at the end of the dive

At the end of your dive, check your weight to know for next time exactly how much you need. Ideally, with an empty tank at around 50 bar, your lungs half full and an empty BCD you should be floating with the water at eye level.

Once you’re achieving neutral buoyancy and your trim is streamlined, next time you’re off on a well deserved dive holiday to the Maldives, Costa Rica or another incredible underwater destination you will be rewarded with beautiful images that were far easier to achieve, and didn’t end with you running into a fragile underwater ecosystem!