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“Five Bells” Job Done by Tony Liddicoat

Review by Robert Groth

For an avid diver, this book is a must read. Tony Liddicoat has been diving for over 44 years, and, as one of the book’s typists commented, “I don’t know how you’re still alive.” Tony pursued commercial, military, and recreational diving and his diving career has taken him all over the world. In 1981 he was named British “Diver of the Year”. The book includes chapters devoted to his time diving as a wreck excavator in Kenya, his military assignments in Germany and the Falkland Islands, as an Army diving instructor in Belize, and commercial and recreational diving throughout Europe. I particularly enjoyed the wealth of pictures he has in his book, like the picture of He and Jacques Cousteau talking aboard the Calypso, the pictures of his time excavating wrecks in Mombasa Kenya, or his cover photo of him on Soldier Magazine in November of 1988.

Picture of the recovery of a Wessex Mark V helicopter which sank off Portland Bill, UK in 1974

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Recent Diving Events In Australia 2011

Australia is no stranger to diving events and each year it hosts certain events which are renowned for their prominence. Also, new events are springing up all the time to celebrate one of Australia’s biggest assets – diving sites along the Great Barrier Reef and beyond. 2011 has started with a big bang as diving events have sprung up everywhere and here we are going to relive some of the best that have graced the coral so far:

Sundive Byron Bay Photo Shoot-Out

This annual diving event is aimed at taking pictures of undersea life while diving. It is the Sundive Byron Bay Photo Shoot-Out at Byron Bay, NSW, Australia. This event will be held from May 22nd to May 30th 2011 and is expected to be a complete success. Sponsors donate prizes that are to be handed out to the winners of the competition. The winners are kept secret right until the last minute on the 30th so that it gives other divers the time to take some pretty amazing photos of the coral reef and the life surrounding it. There have been some very famous photographers discovered at events like this and this is why these types of events are important. Documenting everything that goes on down deep in the water is important to our future generations so that they can see exactly what the area was like during our life time. Every competitor is awarded something which makes this even unique. There is great diving, great dining and fun entertainment is provided. This event is not as big as others in Australia, but it is just as important so that diving as a leisure activity can be passed on and enjoyed.

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Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is a former prison island that is about 19km or 12 miles from Perth, Australia. Noted as one of the biggest dive sites in Australia it has over 100 different sub dive sites within it. There is a great array of limestone over hangings, various wrecks and even a sunken grotto which can be found in the Fishhook Bay area. There are no cars allowed on the island so you will need to rent cycles to get around. You will also need to rent all of your diving gear which is available from one of the many stores on the island. A visitor map will suggest to you a range of trails to ride on that will lead you from one dive site to another. Your private sea garden is just a quick journey away and you will easily see why Rottnest Island is such a tempting place to visit since it has so much to offer.

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DIVING IN DEPTH TAGS

  • Rottnest Island Australia

European Sea Floor Observatory Network (ESONET)

Looking to be completed by 2011, the European Sea Floor Observatory Network (ESONET) is being developed by international research institutions who are collaboratively spending roughly 300 million dollars to build it. There are 11 primary European partners listed in the main document (http://www.oceanlab.abdn.ac.uk/esonet/ESONET_fullrep.pdf).

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Scuba Diving in the Bahamas – Bimini, Grand Bahamas, and San Salvador

Sandals - Photo from Flickr - Healther 0714
Sandals - Photo from Flickr - Heather 0714

The Bahamas are an archipelago, situated towards the west of the Central Atlantic, north of Cuba and comprise of over 700 islands and and are a combination of the rich Atlantic marine life and the best surroundings of the Caribbean. Bahamas holds an important place as the world’s top five diving sites, as the vertical walls and reefs covered with abundant corals and sponges, along with a lot of wrecks and blue holes, offer great visibility to some of the most spectacular, plentiful marine life.

It is possible for the Bahamas to offer such a great diving experience, because of its natural geographical formation. Most of the Bahamas are covered by the “Bahamas Banks” Plateaus and about 20 pinnacles that Bahamas is formed of ensure that most of the Bahamas has shallow water, divided by a lot of deep ocean trenches. Over time the lime stones in the Bahamas eroded considerably, which triggered the collapse of the underwater caverns thus naturally forming plenty of blue holes. Bahamas contains the largest number of blue holes in the whole world in the Grand Bahamas and the Cal Say Bank thus able to offer diving experiences that can be never matched by any other diving site of the world.

The diverse diving opportunity that Bahamas offers entices divers from all over the world and invites them again and again. Sharks, Manta Rays, Stringrays, Dolphins, Whale Sharks, and sometimes Pilot Whales are often sighted throughout the Bahamas range. The Grand Bahamas, Barry Island, Cay Sal, Andros, New Providence and Bimini are some of the great locations in the Bahamas that offer exhilarating diving experiences.

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