Diving in the Deep Blue of the Seychelles
(Posted 07th June 2016)
Under the water, beneath the crashing waves and the sound of the seagulls above, there lies a world untouched by man, and that is so peaceful, you may think your holiday begins here.
The brilliant turquoise-blue water of the Indian Ocean surrounding the islands of the Seychelles is where the magic lies, waiting to be explored. The stunning topography of expansive reefs, walls, pinnacles, drop offs, wrecks and canyons make for one of the most diverse marine environments around, teeming with both fish and coral life.
With islands scattered across the Indian Ocean between 4° and 10° south of the Equator, Seychelles offers diverse and impressive diving opportunities. The ‘Inner’ Islands, remains of a submerged mountain range, rest on a shallow plateau with prolific marine life and excellent PADI diving facilities available to access a multitude of dive sites. The ‘Outer’ Islands to the south of the archipelago are all coralline or sand cays and mainly uninhabited, presenting the experienced diver with excellent opportunities to explore where few have gone before.
Although it is possible to dive all year round in the Seychelles, it is determined by an island’s position and the winds. The best conditions in both the Outer and Inner Islands are in the calm periods of April to May and October to November, when the water temperature can rise to 29ºC and visibility is often over 30 metres on offshore sites. In December and January, the north-west winds do blow but conditions remain much the same as in the calm periods. From May to September the winds are stronger and south-easterly which may result is less visibility and temperatures may drop during August.
Even though the waters are generally warmer, a wetsuit is advisable, especially if you are diving on the outer islands.
One of the highlights when diving in the Seychelles is finding the Whale Shark. Known as the gentle giants of the ocean, they have been known to be common visitors to Seychelles waters between October and April when it is often possible to swim with them. Although it is not guaranteed due to weather patterns and changes in water temperatures, The Shark Research Institute runs a Whale Shark Monitoring Programme in conjunction with some local dive centres where clients can assist in on-going research into the behaviour of these spectacular creatures, swim and snorkel with the giants and participate in photo safaris and tagging exercises.
There are many local dive centers on the islands which offer dive excursions. They offer various courses which one can do to learn how to dive. These include: PADI Bubble Maker, especially designed for children, they will be taught some diving theory, diving skills and enjoy playing underwater games using scuba equipment in a swimming pool or similar calm, shallow underwater environment all under the supervision of a diving instructor.
For a basic course for those who wish to get a taste of scuba diving, PADI Discover Scuba Diving is the course for you. Basic level scuba diving theory is taught with the use of video followed by a pool session and a dive trip with an instructor.
The PADI Scuba Diver course is designed for those that want to learn to dive but do not have enough time to complete the Open Water Course and who do not wish to dive independently or below 12meters.
The PADI entry level scuba qualification, the PADI Open Water, entitles you to dive independently with your buddy within conditions you have experienced in familiar sites. There are many exciting adventure dives, specialties and courses you may participate in after achieving this qualification.
The PADI Advanced Diver is a diver that has completed three adventure dives of their choice plus the deep and navigation adventure dive. This is an extremely popular course not just because it is so much fun but because the Advanced Diver certification opens up to divers a whole new range of sites that would have been ruled out to them as an Open Water Diver.
Every dive center will offer its own unique course which suits your dive needs. Of course, each one will offer you an experience of a lifetime and allow you the chance to see the wonderful world under the sea of the Seychelles.
For more information on diving in the Seychelles visit http://www.seychelles.travel/en/subios/home/diving-in-seychelles