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Diving with… Calypso Diving Centre, Gozo, Malta

European DTA Team

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In this ongoing series, we speak with the people who run dive centres, resorts and liveaboards around the world about their businesses and the diving they have to offer…


What is your name?

George Vella

What is the name of your business?

Calypso Diving Centre

What is your role within the business?

Owner

How long has the business operated for?

Since 1985

How long have you dived for, and what qualification are you?

Since 1984 and hold PADI OWSI & BSAC Advanced Instructor

What is your favorite type of diving?

Wall dives and caves / caverns

If you could tell people one thing about your business (or maybe more!) to make them want to visit you what would it be?

Nothing replaces experience!

What is your favorite dive in your location and why?

Wied il-Mielah: because even in the peak season, there are hardly any other divers there and the formation of the caves, light reflections and the school of barracuda make it an awesome dive.

What types of diving are available in your location?

We offer both shore and boat diving and the dive sites are never more than a 15 minute bus / boat ride away. We have reefs, caverns, caves, drop offs, visibility in excess of 35 metres, almost no currents and no tides. Many of our dive sites are suitable for beginners and experienced divers alike; they are equally beautiful whether in shallow or deep water.

What do you find most rewarding about your current role?

Seeing a high percentage of our clients coming back to us; even though there is a lot more competition nowadays and we are not the cheapest when it comes to prices.

What is your favorite underwater creature?

Octopus

Are there any exciting changes / developments coming up in the near future?

Nothing specific. We just keep trying to make our clients feel welcome and at home, whilst improving our facilities all the time.

As a center what is the biggest problem you face at the moment?

Price dumping from the new operators on the scene to try and take clients away from you. It is a big issue here, especially when it is a very seasonal operation.

Is your center involved in any environmental work?

We try to make all our dives a clean-up dive every time and involve our clients in it as well by providing them with net bags to collect any rubbish, especially plastic from underwater. Unfortunately a lot of education is still needed in this area.

How do you see the SCUBA / Freediving / snorkeling industry overall? What changes would you make?

It is a growing industry and you can see this by the amount of new operators getting on the bandwagon every year. Marine protected areas are a must here and need to be enforced to sustain our industry and also the fishing industry.

What would you say to our visitors to promote the diving you have to offer?

Our island of Gozo is a gem of an island in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea which boasts some of the most spectacular diving in this region and is no more than a three and a half hour flight away from most European countries.

Where can our visitors find out more about your business?

info@calypsodivers.com

www.calypsodivers.com

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DIVING talks 2022: 4 great reasons why you should attend!

European DTA Team

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International Dive Show DIVING talks 2022 takes place from 6-9 October in Troia, Portugal. Here’s four great reasons why you should attend…

1. The ‘Talks’ and the Speakers

What do you get when you have in the same room Dr Alessandro Marroni, Dr Óscar Camacho and Dr Simon Mitchell? Undoubtedly an incredible amount of knowledge in diving physiology and hyperbaric medicine. If you are a diver, you know the value of such a debate.

What do you expect to see in a Bill Stone presentation?

Wouldn’t you like to discuss with Thomas Stachura, Leigh Bishop or Armando Ribeiro their findings underwater in the expeditions that led to the discovery and identification of new shipwrecks?

2. The Exhibition: brands and trials

It’s about talking with ‘who knows’ and testing that piece of equipment even underwater if you want!

Friday, October 7, is BRANDS DAY. Try dive the Mares SCR Horizon, test your preferred scooter, and more. Bring shorts or a swimming suit. This is happening in the swimming pool. Join us on October 7. Diving Talks is also Brands Day!

3. DIVING talks is a family/ partner friend event

You don’t need to leave your family or partner behind. 

If you want to attend, transform this trip into a partner or family trip to Portugal. There are many things they can do while you enjoy the Talks.

It is not that you need to have something planned. The peninsula is such a fantastic site to enjoy; there’s the beach if you want to relax by the sea, there are trails you can check out, or you can relax by the pool.

4. YOU CAN ACTUALLY DIVE!

If you have free time and want to explore Portugal underwater, DIVING talks can be the pretext for a ‘stay and dive’ side-program.

Diving talks partnered with Portugal Dive, a boutique dive concierge that organizes dive trips to Portugal; the mainland and in the Azores and Madeira archipelagos.

Diving recreational or technical, you can expect the European Atlantic’s most transparent waters full of life, schools of fish, the big pelagic, and even monk seals: all that and wrecks, inland caves, you name it.

Opt to arrive one-week earlier or leave one-week later, and chose the stay and dive program for your type of diving and preferences.

For more information, contact Arlindo Serrão via e-mail: arlindo.serrao@portugaldive.com or check out the following links:

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Jeff chats to… Ana Filipa Sobral, Founder of The Manta Catalog Project in the Azores (Watch Video)

Jeff Goodman

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In this exclusive Zoom interview, Jeff Goodman, Scubaverse Editor-at-Large, chats to Ana Filipa Sobral, Founder and Project Leader of The Manta Catalog Project in the Azores.

Ana Filipa Sobral is a marine biologist and conservationist based in the Azores Islands. She moved to the Azores in 2011 and once there, realised that this was one of the few places in the world where Sicklefin Devil Rays (Mobula tarapacana) gather in large groups, making it a strategic place to study them. She started the The Manta Catalog Project and through this project, collects photo ID and occurrence data on Mobulid Rays, with the precious help of divers and dive operators as citizen scientists.

Ana is also finishing her PhD which focuses on population genetics and connectivity of migratory elasmobranchs in oceanic islands in the Atlantic Ocean. The main goal fueling my research has been to help fill the knowledge gaps on elasmobranch biology and ecology to ultimately assist in the design of effective conservation and management plans aimed at protecting their populations in this remote region of the North Atlantic Ocean.

You can find out more about Ana’s important work at: https://mantacatalogazores.wixsite.com/mobulaid/project.


Rather listen to a podcast? Listen to the audio HERE on the Scubaverse podcast channel at Anchor FM.

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