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Thursday, October 05, 2006

Scuba diving in Aruba

Finding the best sites for scuba diving in Aruba can be a challenge, and you can't always depend on locals. I used Search Big Daddy to find some unique places and simultaneously get free advertising for my business...

One of the most unforgettable experiences while in Aruba is scuba diving. You can see a fabulous array of corals and fish, spot a seahorse for the very first time in your life and see how stingrays hover above the seabed. If you swim slowly over the corals, you're bound to see lobsters or moray eels. If you're lucky, you may even come across a sea turtle, gentle and curious as they are.

Diving equipment may seem pretty complicated to the uninitiated. Should you choose to enrol for a one-hour course in a pool you'll find it's not as difficult as it seems. You'll learn to clear your mask underwater within a couple of minutes! This may sound as if it is only meant for people who instinctively know what to do, but anybody can do it! Your diving instructor will patiently practice the diving skills with you, until you feel comfortable and in control of your equipment. After the pool session you can dive with your instructor and other divers-to be at various dive-sites on Aruba.

The south coast holds fascinating and calm spots since this is the lee side of the island and as a result waves and currents are not so strong. The northern coast is also spectacular, though much rougher, as the sea splashes onto the shore with more momentum from a much longer distance. Off the south coast of Aruba, you can do a reef dive at Mangel Alto which is located between Oranjestad and San Nicolas, near the drive-in cinema. There is an abundance of corals in all shapes, colors and sizes; and fish with colors from electric blue to bright orange make this dive more than worthwhile. You can also go reef-diving at Baby Beach, at the eastern-most part of Aruba, and also at Malmok, near the California light house up north.


Another popular place to go diving is at the 'Antillian' shipwreck, which dates from World War II. When you approach the wreck on a boat, which your diving instructor takes care of, you can see part of the ship sticking out of the water.
Once submerged, you'll discover how huge the ship actually is. It stretches to over 400 feet and can now be considered to be a man-made reef, as there is so much marine life in and around it.
You might have one niggling question: "Great fun, but what about sharks?". Sharks are often portrayed in movies as vicious and aggressive man-eaters. In reality, however, sharks keep to themselves and the chances of getting injured by a shark are much less than the chances of being struck by lightning! It's good to learn sharks prefer to keep to themselves and don't bother you as long you don't bother them. Other dangerous fish will leave you alone if you leave them alone. Sharks are more like scavengers than predators, and it is very rare to get injured by marine animals. Accidents only happen if the animal feels it has to defend itself because it is being provoked in some way by divers. The golden rule for divers is to dive sensibly and responsibly. Some corals and sponges may be harmful but this will only be the case if you touch them. In case you accidentally touch or scrape one, your dive master can quite easily treat the sting with an ointment he will carry with him to the diving location.


This is by far the most popular type of diving. Depending on where you planned your dive, you'll be able to see corals of all shapes and sizes and in all colors; shipwrecks and rock formations. Each place you choose to go diving has its own uniqueness and every time you go, will be different from the last. The fact that after a dive even the most professional and experienced divers still come out of the water with new and interesting experiences speaks for itself!


In addition to reef diving, night diving is also very popular. Reefs look completely different at night. The combination of spectacular reefs combined with the adventure taking place at night will give you a thrill you'll never forget! An underwater torch will enable you to get a clearer look at all there is to see.


The next most popular dive type is wreck diving. Let your imagination run free and add to the mysteriousness of these age-old wrecks lying at the bottom of the sea. Where was the captain's cabin? What caused the ship to sink? Was it a war ship? You may prefer to read about the wreck you're about to explore beforehand. You can always ask your diving center to provide you with the information you want. Once down there, you'll aIso find numerous fish in and around the wreck since most wrecks serve as a plentiful source of food, with a large variety of marine vegetation thriving in the area.


In diving terms, a wall means a steep plunge of the seabed, going down for many metres. Many divers find this the best way to go diving, since many fish live and feed off the wall. The vastness of the blue water above and beyond the wall is a thrilling feeling! Underwater cameras are for sale at very reasonable prices or can be rented for the occasion, allowing you to make some great pictures to take home with you and show your friends.

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