Monday, May 30, 2011

The Side Mount God has Arrived . . .

Jack gave Steve the OK to enter the premises after a close inspection upon his arrival . . .

Boo Boo and Yogi Bear started their intro to cave diving course yesterday, playing with lines blindfolded at the Maori yesterday.

They are currently setting up their equipment for the next step of their training at Zurrieq.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

KC and the Sunshine Band

KC and the Sunshine band have been here for a few days now causing mischief.

After their check dives and some spectacular dives on the Imperial Eagle and the Beaufighter Paul has decided to take on new challenges and do his Tec 45 course. He spent a lot of time on the house reef doing drills yesterday while the rest of the group continue to explore the waters around the Maltese Islands, but he’s being let loose on the Imperial Eagle today.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Annual Bar-BQ

After a lot of hard work in the classroom . . .

And some dry drills . . .

Pat and Aaron were let loose in the open ocean up at Cirkewwa to get some in-water practice. Well I say let loose . . . Sascha was there to set them more challenges and make sure they did everything properly. I mean let’s face it, with Tec dive training it’s a quick trip down but a long way up with the simulated deco-ascents they have to do!

Nev returned to work the other day after being really ill the past week. He’s not allowed in the water for a while so he’s been wandering around like a lost sheep looking for something to build, his other passion in life!

Not to worry Nev Alan has the perfect job for you . . .

On the 23rd of Sept we are holding our annual Bar-BQ that you’re all invited to. I know, this sounds like ages off but believe me it comes around fast! Nev’s new building project is going to be the most important feature at the Bar-BQ, the BAR! We are going to have a non-diving fancy dress theme. So we need your help with ideas to make sure we pick a good one.

So drop us an email or contact us on facebook with your ideas!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Razor Harness 2

To experience the freedom and flexibility of diving side mount you need the right gear.

The Razor Side Mount System is a complete integrated system designed specifically for side mount diving.

The Razor Side Mount System has four components:

  • The Razor Harness 2
  • The BAT Wing
  • The T Weight system
  • The Expandable Pouch

There is no substitute for experience and finding out what really works in practice rather than just in theory. The development and testing process of the Razor Side Mount System has taken several years and hundreds of Side Mount dives under real world conditions with most dives being conducted in the cave environment by some of the world's most experienced side mount divers and cave explorers. The last test dives for example were conducted by Steve Bogaerts and Bil Phillips using side mount plus 4 stages and 2 scooters each for extended cave exploration dives in Sistema Ox Bel Ha.

The Razor Harness 2 is a new addition to this system replacing the Razor Harness. Many people are already familiar with the Razor Harness. A tried and tested side mount harness that is already being been used all over the world by divers in a variety of diving environments.

The New Razor Harness 2 retains the simplicity, functionality and elegance of the original but has been improved to compliment the rest of the razor side mount system.

This is the harness that Steve will be bringing with him for the Side Mount course in June. It is not available to buy online yet so those on the course will be some of the first people to get to use it.

To find out more about equipment visit his online shop at;

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Another OWSI Eager to Get Into Tec Diving . . .

Toumas is off to Gozo today with Ed to do some rebreather diving.

When Sascha arrived the other day he told us he’d had some trouble getting his equipment through customs at the airport due to the immense amount of equipment he had. When it arrived a day later I wasn’t surprised . . .

Aaron is yet another addition to the Divewise staff for the summer. However he did his Tec 40 in November last year after successfully completing his Open Water Scuba Instructor Exams, and surprise, surprise his first day back at Divewise and he was already sneaking off to Techwise to start his Tec 45 course along with Pat.

Digital Underwater Photography Speciality Course

Someone once said to me. Why go diving to experience this beautiful underwater scenery and not take photographs of it? I often hear a lot of people who do technical diving say 'I wish I'd had a camera on that dive!' as they want to take photographs so they can remember what it was like and share their experiences with other’s who do not have the training to explore beyond recreational depths.

However the reality is that taking photographs underwater is a lot different to taking photographs on land. You may have found when recreational diving that buying a waterproof disposable camera and taking it underwater normally results in very blue or very green blurry pictures, which in no way portray the experience that you had underwater and are rather disappointing to look at. What’s even more annoying is the deeper you go the worse the pictures seem to get.

Learning some basic rules about taking photos underwater will help solve a lot of these problems almost instantly, and the people you’ve been showing your pictures too will finally start to see the underwater world they way you see it. These rules can be applied within and beyond recreational limits to improve your photographs regardless of the fact there is less light when you dive deeper.

After you have learnt these tricks you just need to practice and play around. The DUP course teaches you the basic tips and tricks you need to learn to dramatically improve the quality of your underwater pictures and it also gives you the opportunity to play around with your camera and get familiar with the settings that work best with a given depth and water condition. It also gives you an opportunity to ask questions about Photoshop and other photo editing software.

So if you are interested in sharing your experiences with others or just creating nice memories for yourself this is a course defiantly worth considering.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Cowry Trade

While Pau and Ed were clearing rocks from the confined area the other day they decided to collect shells for the hermit crabs in the fish tank so the crabs have a greater selection of shells to choose from. They also tried to catch fish for the fish tank . . . trying being the operative word I think they managed to catch one but it managed to escape again.

Hermit crabs are plentiful in Malta and are not protected so it’s ok for us to keep some in the tank. However there are a number of species that you commonly see while diving in Malta that are protected. The sad reality is that nobody knows they are protected because there is no information around to make people aware of this and many new divers want to take shells as souvenirs when they go diving so we always have to remind them to look but not touch.

One species that tourists commonly like to take is the Cowrie. The Cowrie is a Gastropod Mollusc that has a very beautiful shell and is often sold to tourists as jewellery although this is illegal in some places.

The shell (cowry) has had many uses throughout history. Its most significant and long-lasting use was currency. The shells of cowries (especially Monetaria moneta)

were used for centuries as a currency in Africa, Asia, Australia, Oceania and other parts of the world. It was still being used in some parts of Africa up until 1921.

The shell has also been used for other purposes which give it additional value such as, in decoration, ornamentation (Egyptian tombs), divination, and in games (i.e. the pawn in chess).

The cowries were caught in nets, dried in the sun allowing the inner flesh to rot, piled into heaps and then transported across the Ocean in the ships ballast to be traded.

The Maldives were noted as the centre of the cowry trade over a period of 4000 years, from the earliest records of Arab merchants to the accounts of adventurers and later European visitors. They were even traded in Africa for slaves during the slave trade. In 1900 30-60,000 shells would buy one male slave.

These uses have endangered many species of cowries and so they are now protected in many places. In some coutries now it is illegal to even pick up certain species of living cowrie.

In Malta the following species are protected:

Erosaria spurca

English Common Name: Spotted Cowrie/Porcelaine Juane

Maltese Common Name: Ba`bu`a Ttigrata

Luria lurida

English Common Name: Brown Cowrie/Mediterranean Cowrie

Maltese Common Name: Bahbuha tal-Ghajnejn

Schilderia achatidea

English Common Name: Agate Cowrie

Maltese Common Name: Bahbuha

Zonaria pyrum

English Common Name: Pear Cowrie

If you want to find out some of the other species of marine fauna that are protected see the link below:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lost Diver, Lost Line!

Viv is taking a few days off because she’s not feeling too well. Although knowing Viv she’s probably still cleaning the house or something like that! She has kept Jack home with her so everyone’s shoes and socks are safe, for now . . .

A big welcome to Sasha arrived last night. He is originally from Austria but is now Swiss. He was here with Irene doing Tec diving in the winter and has come back to work at Techwise for the summer. His will also be helping out Divewise, Techwises sister company when it gets really busy in the summer as he is also a recreational dive Instructor.

On the Cave Diving course today Peter and Joahim are being faced with new challenges. This time they are going to have to learn how to act in a lost diver situation and a lost line situation . . . there’s nothing like a bit of pressure at 9 o’clock in the morning to wake you up!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Steve Bogaerts Basic Sidemount Open Water Course Starts in Less Than 3 Weeks!

Steve Bogaerts arrival is getting closer! He will be arriving here to run Basic Sidemount Open Water course in less than 3 weeks time! There are a few places left on the course for those of you who are itching to try something new. However if you are interested you must let us know soon because places are limited. Don’t wait until the last minute or you may miss out on this amazing opportunity!

If you missed the earlier blog regarding this course see the link below . . .

Peter and Joahim are taking a break from their Cave diving course today and going for pleasure dives to the X127 and the Maori.

Dan and Torbjorn are heading home today, hopefully leaving their scooters behind!

We had some guys in today to install the booster pump in the compressor making it more efficient.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Introduction to Cave Diving Course

Passing through a cavern, until you reach the point where daylight cannot penetrate and you have utter darkness may seem scary to some, but to others it is yet another world to explore. You, with your lamp, guideline and extensive amount of training can enter this world. Obviously because of the greater risks involved in this specialised form of diving, all cave diver training starts in Open water first.

Peter and Joakim started their Introduction to Cave Diving in Open Water Course yesterday, which will teach them the basic principles of cave diving.

The course began with them rigging equipment to make sure everything fits properly, they have all the essentials easily accessible, and they’re not taking anything that’s not necessary!

Then Jason took them for some practice doing line drills much to Alan’s amusement. It may look easy but Peter and Joakim will tell you it certainly takes some practice! Once they’d got the hang of this they went on to learn how to lay guidelines with the reels.

Fran was ecstatic yesterday, she is currently doing her Tec 50 course along with 4 other divers and she found out that morning she was finally get to see the Stubborn! You couldn’t, not be excited for her! Meanwhile Howard Payne’s group went off to explore the Polynesian . . .