Rachel Watts: “The shore diving is easily accessible and suitable for all different levels of diver. There are some good wrecks and the people are nice. I’ve been a few times now.
We hired a car and threw ourselves in. Peter Lemon’s guide book has all the information you need.”
Ian Hanson: “There’s a big variety of diving depths. I went for five weeks, part of which was to do an instructor course and exam. I booked my own flights and hotel over the web.”
Hilary Wilson and Miles Howarth:
“As well as our trip to Indonesia, we also had a good trip to Gozo this year. It was surprisingly good.”
Fay Cockram: “I’m trying to pack as much as I can into annual leave and can get to Gozo for a long weekend.
I’ll do the practical side of my PADI Advanced course by referral.”
Liz Grigsby: “I want to go to Gozo next and do some wrecks.”
Dave Peet: “We’re thinking of Malta for next summer’s club trip. I like wrecks and also something a bit different.”
Phil Clews (from the same SAA club as Dave Peet): “We are looking for some good social diving with the club. Somewhere sunny, hot and without a drysuit.”
Jason Pashley (also from the same club): “Talking to a dive centre, they can provide kit and accommodation and we’ll mostly just drive off and do our own dives, though maybe go on the boat for a day or two.”

Dave Peet: “We’ve just done a club trip to Santorini. All our wives came along as well. The dive centre started a little bit ropy and laid back, but by the end of the week we had got some nice dives in with some good wrecks and varying diving. The volcano dives didn’t go down well with all of the group.”
Jason Pashley: “Seen one rock, seen them all.”
Dave Peet: “We Googled for diving in Greece, and Santorini came up. We found a decently priced package and added the diving on by emailing the dive centre.”
Alan Haywood (from the same SAA club as Dave Peet): “It was one of the best club holidays we’ve had in quite a while. There was a lovely shore dive down to 8m with some reefs and life.”

Trish Carter: “We had a club trip for nine of us near Split in Croatia in May.
The diving was lovely and I saw my first-ever octopus. Overall there was not a huge variety of diving, but I saw lots of little things, especially nudibranchs. The people were lovely and there was good food to eat. I’d like to go back, but there are other places to see first.”

Ian & Sam Hallam: “Over the past couple of years we’ve been to Northern Cyprus a lot because we have a house there. We found a shipwreck in just 6m, a whole line of amphorae.”
Ian Hanson: “I’m thinking of Cyprus for the Zenobia, though there is some other diving there. I like wrecks, but not the deep ones. My preference is for shallow wrecks, or reefs with lots
of life.”


Hilary Wilson & Miles Howarth: “We also had a trip to South Africa to dive Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. We did some cage-diving and also went out in open water with the sharks. Then we went on to Mozambique for the mantas, whales and whale sharks.”

Liz Grigsby: “I was looking for somewhere warm to visit in September.
I thought of Thailand, but the weather is not so reliable then. Zanzibar looked good, and there’s only a two-hour time difference. I picked all the bits separately off the web. We flew in and jumped in a taxi, which was the scary part, but it worked out OK. I’ve done a lot of travelling, so I’m comfortable putting my own plan together.”
Fay Cockram: “Diving is something I’d always planned to do. I went with Liz to Zanzibar and did my Open Water course by referral. We had a fantastic time. Doing the dives out there rather than in a quarry here was much better.”

Hilary Wilson & Miles Howarth: “The diving in Kenya was a lot better than we’d expected. There were loads of turtles and fish. We had thought of doing a regular safari, but the diving was that good, we just kept doing it.”

Dave Peet: “I’m off to Mauritius in April. My wife doesn’t dive any more, but she really loves it there. I dived on the east coast last time, and the dive centre was not very safe. We’re going to the south this time.”

Alison Travis & Steve Higgs: “Last year on a liveaboard from Male the dive dhoni caught fire and burned down to the waterline with all our kit on board. blue o two handled it well, and rented new kit and another dhoni, though it struggled to keep up. It was a shock at the time, but overall it handled it in the right way and has given us a very good discount for another trip. Ordinarily we’d always try somewhere new, so returning to the Maldives is an exception. But we were offered the compensation deal and we had such a good time there with the mantas.
We came to the Show to get the extra 10% Show discount on top of the deal we already had.”
David Lusher: “I did the northern route on the Monsoon liveaboard, booked through Scuba Travel. As well as the manta rays there was a good shark-cleaning station with 18 to 20 sharks in just 21m, so we had a good bottom time. The sharks just arrived for the cleaning and no baiting was involved.”
Peter Barrett: “We’ve been five times, shore-based and always to a new island. Linda doesn’t dive. We go wherever seems interesting at the time. There are always plenty of fish around, and I like to see the mantas and whale sharks every now and then.”
Ian & Sam Hallam: “We were going to the Maldives when the tsunami hit, and the best alternative we could get was Cuba.”
Karl Trayler: “I don’t believe whale sharks exist. They’re a mythical creature, like the mythical hammerheads. In the Maldives we saw lots of mantas, but no whale sharks. Maybe we’ll go to Ningaloo.”


Ian & Sam Hallam: “We have enough air miles to go to Australia and back, so are planning to go to Western Australia to see Ningaloo reef, then on to do a liveaboard with Mike Ball from Cairns into the Coral Sea. We tend to travel independently so that we can have a bit more freedom. We like to see the locations, not just the diving.”
Linda Kirkham: “I have family in Sydney, so will do some diving near there, then perhaps fly up to Cairns and get a boat to the outer reefs.”

Jeannie Mills: “I went to Truk for the wrecks. Did a load of research on the Internet first, then booked with Dive Quest. My favourite was the San Francisco Maru and I was published in a photograph of the Betty Bomber.
If I went back, I’d stay longer and have a look at some other islands.”
Rachel Watts: “I’d like to go to Truk and Bikini, but you can’t go to Bikini any more.”
Jamie Ramday: “I’d like to get out to Micronesia, both for sharks but also for wrecks. If money were no object, it would be Truk. Wherever I go I like to know there’ is a technical centre and that helium is not ridiculously taxed.”
Alan Haywood, Phil Clews, Dave Peet & Jason Pashley: “If any of us wins the lottery we’re all going to Truk. A lot of good wrecks and warm water.”

Liz Grigsby: “When I have enough money, I’ll travel around South America for six months and do the Galapagos within that.”
Karl & Sue Trayler: “Before we go anywhere else we have to go to the Galapagos. It’s been on the list for a long time, so now we need to get there.”
David Lusher: “I’m booked for the Galapagos in February with Scuba Travel, a northern Wolf and Darwin Aggressor route.”
Alison Travis & Steve Higgs: “After the Maldives we’d love to go to the Galapagos, both for the islands and for the diving. Maybe we need to get a bit more experience first.”

Karl Trayler & Sue Trayler: “A few years back we took a year off to tour the world. We had a list, and got as far as the Cook Islands and research on humpback whales. We ended up staying for four years, so still have the other places to do. We missed out on Micronesia, French Polynesia and the west coast of America.”
Trish Carter: “We were in the South Pacific last year and grabbed some dives in Tahiti. It was our first shark encounter.”

Alison Travis & Steve Higgs: “We work for a sailing-ship charity. When we go on leave, rather than fly home we look for some diving. We were on leave from Antigua and had dived there previously, so flew to Dominica next door. The diving was very undeveloped and unspoiled, with some excellent walls and pinnacles.”
Ian & Sam Hallam: “We went to Bonaire with our local club and got married there. We didn’t tell any of the club, just surprised them with an invitation to go and see a wedding. When they asked whose, we told them it was ours! We loved the easy shore-diving – just drive up to the roadside marker, swim out to the buoy and enjoy the dive.”
Ian Hallam: “My sister celebrated her birthday in Barbados, so Sam and I did some diving. It was overkill on turtles, if you can ever get that.”
Ian Hanson: “I’d like to do some more diving in the Caribbean; maybe find some instructing work there. There’s some particularly good diving round Saba and Statia. RMS Rhone in the British Virgin Islands was good.”

Alison Travis & Steve Higgs: “We were visiting some friends on La Palma and did a few dives, then we flew on to El Hiero. We went to the southern end, just flew in, drove to Restinga and rented an apartment. We did some lovely dives on El-Bahon, a pinnacle in the marine reserve.”


Hilary Wilson & Miles Howarth: “We went to Lembeh Strait and then to Bali afterwards. Lembeh was so unusual, and the weird creatures are fascinating. Just sitting and waiting patiently for an octopus or mantis shrimp to come out of a hole is amazing. I had a camera and was getting closer and closer, but the dive guide scared it back with his rattle. It wasn’t until afterwards that I realised it was getting ready to pounce, and he was worried that it could have broken my finger or my camera. The more you see these things the more interesting they are. Frogfish are so funny when they walk along the black sand. The seahorses always turn their backs. We also saw flamboyant cuttlefish and mimic octopus. We wanted to see mola mola in Bali, but missed them.”
Karl & Sue Trayler: “We went to Lembeh, then Bunaken for the first time. Mick has been before. We were like children in the candy shop. Dive after dive we came up so excited every time.
What you get in the initial impression is: why There are beer cans, black sand and rubbish. Then these creatures appear.”
Mick Wilcox: “There were even dead dogs!”
Karl & Sue Trayler: “We tend to pick operators depending on where we want to go, though we use Scuba Travel a lot. By keeping it all in a package it can negotiate extra weight allowance for us. If we flew direct with Singapore Airlines, it wouldn’t do that. It also simplifies insurance if a volcano in Iceland erupts.”
Mick Wilcox: “I’ve also been to the Raja Ampat on a liveaboard out of Sorong. I’d like to get to Ambon.”
Karl & Sue Trayler: “We’d like to go to Lembeh again, or Wakatobi.”
Jamie Ramday: “I had some excellent diving in Sipadan. I’d like to go again.”
Ian and Sam Hallam: “Next on the list after Australia will be Sipadan.”
Alison Travis & Steve Higgs: “We’ve talked about Indonesia, but it’s too expensive at the moment.”
Jeannie Mills: “I’d like to go to Borneo and take my mum to see the orangutangs as well as
going diving.”

Hilary Wilson & Miles Howarth: “We’re looking at the Philippines. We’d like to go to Coron, but will probably just go to Dumaguete for Apo Island and Malapascua for the thresher sharks. We like the small tour operators you see in the Village areas at the Dive Show, where we can go to get something unusual and customised and personal. It’s good when you can talk to divers who’ve been to the place that interests you.”
Fay Cockram: “ The dive school where I did my Open Water theory has a trip to the Philippines, so maybe I’ll join that.”