The Best Scuba Diving Destinations To Visit This Year

All of us who work and play at Sharma Scuba have a deep love for scuba diving around the Cornwall region. It’s why we live here, and it’s why we can’t wait to hit the water on our days off. Cornwall is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and it’s a diver’s treasure with so many natural sights and ancient historical spots to visit. But for you holidays this year, we asked our instructors to come up with a list of their must-dive spots that you should consider making your holiday destination! These are scattered all around the world, and we like them for a whole range of reasons!

  1. Cocos Island, in Costa Rica

Cocos Island is so beautiful and dramatic that it was used as source material for the island in Jurassic Park! It’s got heights up to 3000 feet above sea level, even though it’s only 4 miles across. There are steep drop offs around  the island, which means you can dive close to shore in calm water, and there are lots of shark species to watch as well! Since it’s part of a national park, nobody is allowed to lodge on the island. You can’t stay inland, but if you take your trip with a nice big sleeping boat, it’s an unspoiled paradise to explore when you’re not underwater

2. Palau Archipelago

Palau is an island nation on a chain of islands in the Western Pacific, where scuba divers go to see their wildest dreams realized! It has some of the greatest biodiversity anywhere on the planet. There are over 1500 fish species circling the islands, so there is always something exciting to see. There are also lots of inanimate sites to explore, like ships wrecked in WWII, or Jellyfish Lake, which is full of hundreds and hundreds of jellyfish that won’t sting you, so you can dive among them! The Blue Wall of Palau is another popular spot, with an attractive upswell and thick coral that’s host to many exotic species!

3. Magnetic Island, Australia

Of course, there’s nothing quite like diving on the Great Barrier Reef, but over-crowding has meant that many parts of the GBR are closed to tourists right now. Magnetic Island is a suitable replacement for Australian adventure, and it has some very attractive perks of its own. There’s a century-old shipwreck to explore off the island! The S. S. Yongala sank in 1911, after it hit a cyclone unawares. Now you can swim in it, and observe the many fish species that make their home in its sanctuary! Visibility is usually excellent around Magnetic Island, and it’s easy to access from coastal Queensland, where there are lots of places to stay while you visit.

4. Wreck of the Thistlegorm, in Egypt’s Red Sea

The Thistlegorm is one of the most interesting wrecks for advanced divers to explore, as it’s simply chock-full of fascinating finds. Bound for the front lines when it sank in 1939, it had guns, bikes, lorries, and even rail cars onboard. They’re all lying beneath the waves for you to peruse. There are lots of currents at play around the wreck, which makes it a challenge, but it’s a nice way for the advanced diver to improve skills with scuba equipment while seeing some fantastic sights! While you’re in Egypt, you can make a nice double-header by paying a visit to the wreck of the Yolanda, also in the Red Sea. It was carrying a full load of toilets when it sank to its watery grave.

5. Silfra, Iceland

This is a favorite among our instructors as it has the novelty of being the only place in the world where you can actually dive between continental plates of the Earth’s crust! Between the Eurasian and American plates, this lagoon offers fantastic visibility and some fascinating sites. As one of our instructors likes to say, “in Iceland, you really get a sense of the beginnings and ends of the Earth”. You can see for 120m unimpeded, and it’s a whole lot warmer than you might think, though you’ll need a guide and a thermal suit to take the plunge.



Scuba Dental Issues?

There are countless dangers of scuba diving, as anyone who’s ever dipped beneath the surface will tell you. In fact, you needn’t even dip a finger in the water to know about the constant threat of sharks, the faults in air delivery systems, or the chance of becoming trapped underwater by shifting debris. All you need to do is watch any thriller or action movie with an underwater scene to become acutely aware of the risks that underwater adventures pose.

Now, health researchers led by a graduate student at the University of Buffalo in the American state of New York have concluded that the conditions present in scuba diving aggravate and exacerbate dental issues to sometimes severe degrees.

No doubt any diver has experienced some discomfort in the water. Chafing suits, jaw ache, and joint soreness are all common side effects of underwater adventure. Since certified divers must go through a health exam to receive their official paperwork, most people underwater these days don’t have anything to worry about from those.

The problem, it seems, is that divers with otherwise subtle aches, pains or residual issues find those symptoms and problems magnified and multiplied by being underwater. Researchers found that nearly half of all recreational divers in a wide survey reported experiencing dental problems underwater.

A lot of the problems reported by divers in the survey were pretty standard things that we’ve all experienced, like jaw soreness, stiff neck muscles or other pain that’s a result of clutching the respirator tightly underwater. On the other hand, a number of divers ended up with severe issues like broken fillings, crowns, and phenomenon called “barodontalgia”. In layman’s terms, it’s referred to as underwater toothache. It’s something people with a persisting and pre-existing condition often experience due to high pressures underwater. For instance, someone with a cavity or root issue would feel a sharp increase in pain symptoms underwater as opposed to on land. That was a pretty good chunk of respondents, too. 42% of people who were among the original 41% of respondents who said they’d experienced dental issues underwater qualified for barodontalgia, which works out to about a quarter of all surveyed divers claiming they’d experienced that exacerbated pain reaction.

What’s causing all those issues? Researchers say it’s a combination of the high pressure environment, the fact that divers clench their jaw, and the dryness of the air from your tanks. It also has a lot to do with the changes in pressure, rather than the level of pressure itself. That’s why researchers found that dive instructors who frequently experience fluctuations at shallower depths where the differences are most dramatic also reported the highest incidences of pain.

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