New PADI Replacement Card Series Features Moments Only Divers Get to Experience

PADI has teamed up with underwater photographer David Valencia to create a stunning new series of certification cards. The Blue Water Series by David Valencia limited-edition replacement cards showcase three incredible interactions between divers and the planet’s most majestic creatures.

“Through these moments and images it is my hope that people may discover or rediscover our deep connection with the ocean.” says Valencia, a PADI Master Scuba Diver Trainer. “This connection is necessary in compelling those to preserve this important environment for generations to come.” Valencia shares the stories behind these photos.

Humpback Whale and Diver, Roca Partida, Mexico

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Humpback whales arrive each winter in the waters of Baja and southern Mexico. At the isolated dive site of Roca Partida, an oceanic pinnacle of the Socorro Islands, humpback whale interactions have increased over the past few years. At the beginning of one of our dives, a female humpback dived down to us and rested in front of the group. She hovered there, motionless, except for her giant pectoral fins that sculled back and forth. Her giant eye watched us as we found a respectful distance. Observing a living being as large as a submarine underwater is an experience difficult to express in words. She stayed with us for about 25 minutes and then floated to the surface tail first, seemingly playing. She took a few breaths and dived back down to the group. The divers came up beaming – it was the most amazing experience of their lives.

Schooling Jacks, Cabo Pulmo National Marine Park, Mexico

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Cabo Pulmo is a National Marine Park located 112 kilometres/70 miles northeast of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Cabo Pulmo has become a source of pride for this small community, and all of Mexico. It wasn’t long ago that the community of Cabo Pulmo was a subsistence fishing village; the families had been fishing the area for generations. A few elders in the community began to notice fewer catches and smaller fish than in the past. There was a movement in the community to preserve the area, and in 1994 Cabo Pulmo became a national marine park. Now, the community works to conserve the area and the marine life that lives there. The community shares their special place with divers and other visitors from all over the world.

This giant school of jacks has become iconic in highlighting the success of the marine park. The size of the school is impressive – the school can fill an area as big as a basketball court, and from top to bottom is about 15 metres/50 feet in height. In this shot I was following my dive buddy, Adil, as he took video of the inside of the school. Finally he emerged from the middle of the school of jacks and there were two goliath groupers in front of him. The fish slowly separated and formed a nice frame around my friend and the groupers.

Giant Pacific Manta Ray and Diver, Isla San Benedicto, Mexico

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Giant Pacific mantas are graceful in every turn. It’s no wonder divers fly all over the world to see these gentle giants. However, mantas are listed as “Vulnerable” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species. In certain parts of the world these mantas are becoming increasingly rare as they face persistent fishing pressure.

In Mexico’s Socorro Islands, located 400 kilometres/250 miles southeast of Cabo San Lucas, interactions with mantas are magnificent. It’s not just the sightings of mantas that can make dives with them special, but also the types of interaction. To the delight of divers, mantas enjoy bubbles on their bellies and they will soak up the bubbles as long as there are divers. It’s an amazing sight to see and it also provides divers with a unique insight into their behavior. During this dive, while we were playing with the mantas my dive buddy, Adil, happened to be filming as a black manta slowly squeezed between us. The large manta (four metres/16 feet from wingtip to wingtip) was gliding over me to get to my bubbles. As the manta soaked up the bubbles looked into its eye and could see it processing our interaction. This occurred nonstop for the entirety of our dive.

The Blue Water Series by David Valencia limited-edition replacement cards will be available on 1 July 2015 for PADI Professionals and student divers through the PADI Online Processing Center on the PADI Pros’ Site.

To see more of David Valencia’s photography, visit david-valencia.com.

DRT Dive Show in the Philippines

The diving industry in the Philippines is far from new, with scuba diving operators being around for more than 30 years. Despite this fact, the country has until now been missing a regular and traditional dive show. All the surrounding Asia countries have regular dive shows – why not in the Philippines?

The Philippines has experienced a massive growth and interest in the scuba industry over the past five years and it now a major player in the Asian scuba market. This has got the attention of DRT (Diving, Retailer and Travel) and they have arranged a Dive Show in the Philippines for the first time ever. DRT Show Philippines  will be held 11th – 13th September 2015 in SM Megatrade Hall in Manila.

Business opportunities

For the local market, this show will provide some great opportunities in terms of not only growing the business but also to advertise their business to a bigger local audience.  The term “local market” would cover nationals and expats mainly residing in Manila.

Dive show

There are a few facts which might come as a surprise to some people. Such as, the national middle class, even though small compared to the western world, is plentiful. The nationals just need to be offered the right packages that they will find attractive. The expat community in Manila is huge as well. This community has a lot of spare time on their hands and grabs every opportunity they see to visit new and exciting places in the country. Many of the expats are here on 2 or 3 years contracts, working for big companies, and they want to make the most of it while they are here.

What is the DRT Show

The DRT Show is considered to be one of the major gatherings in Asia Pacific for diving enthusiasts, marine conservationists and anyone with a passion for the underwater world. The DRT show promotes branding and are supported by top-level exhibitors and leading dive equipment manufacturers, water sport equipment manufacturers, dive resorts, tourism boards, marine conservation and diving organizations. DRT Show promotes trading and export business and has become one of the most important diving equipment and diving destination events in Asia Pacific.

Are there benefits being a PADI store for exhibitors

Yes – absolutely. If you are a PADI 5 Star Dive Centre with your own booth, a MEMBER SUPPORT PACKAGE is available. For more info and support please contact PADI Regional Manager Jimmy Christrup no later than 01 August, 2015.

Marine Conservation in India

Pondicherry-Scool-1It all started when Jonah Skoles, a PADI Instructor from PADI 5 Star IDC Center Temple Adventures Pondicherry and long term resident of this area. He attended a  marine resource management presentation from PADI Platinum Course Director Mark Soworka. Jonah wanted to find a way to pass on some of this knowledge and awareness to the local children, Mark, and PADI Regional Manager Andy Auer helped Jonah to get some promotional  materials for an  Project Aware presentation about the ocean at a Local School called “The Learning Community“. After the presentation, nine children enthusiastically expressed their interest to have a class on Marine Biology.

 it all started with a presentation from the Course Director

Ofa Skoles (An ocean lover and teacher),with the help of Erin( a biologist and ocean enthusiast) and Jonah, took it upon themselves to create a marine biology class.  It was based around many of the activities found in the Project A.W.A.R.E. while giving the children the room to direct the class based on their evolving interests as well as including a research project on an sea animal of their choice.

 Cleaning a beach in India can be a very rewarding and challenging activity

Pondicherry-Scool-2-Their first class was held at Eternity Beach, A beautiful Forest right on the sout-east coast line of India, to collect garbage  and decide on a sea animal for their final research project. Cleaning a beach in India can be a very rewarding and challenging activity due to the sheer amount of garbage present.  The students felt they were becoming part of a solution in regards to cleaning up the Beach and the Ocean while realizing how many things are hurting our beautiful Environment. While cleaning the beach, the group stumbled upon a dead turtle coming to nest and mostly likely killed by fishing nets.  The class promptly decided to learn more about the dangers of over fishing, debris, and find out more about the degradation of the ocean.  Subsequent classes included more seminars from Jonah, whom present some underwater videos from Local dive sites showing some marine animals, and  the set up of an artificial reef off the Coast of  Pondicherry  by Temple Adventures, and the freeing of a turtle from a tangle of nets.

the students learned how to snorkel order to collect useful data 

The” marine biology students” went on a short trip to study a part of the ocean in India where the reef is accessible by snorkeling( Rameshwaram).  The students learned how to snorkel, how to build and use a field sampling grid, got first hand knowledge of many sea creatures, and furthered their love for the ocean. The exciting part was that the students could share their knowledge with the others.

Graduation with a Presentation of the final projects to parents, teachers and friends

The class “graduated” with a presentation of their final projects to parents, teachers, and friends of the school.  The presentation also included various posters including one about the dangers of over-fishing and poor fishing practices.   Their final project included a section on the conservation status of their animal.   This project helped the students get a better understanding of the animals in the ocean and why its important to protect their habitats and thus make choices that have a less impact on the ocean. For their final class, the students spent a morning at Temple Adventures in Pondicherry, where they got a tour of the facility as well as what is required during an open water course, All the kids expressed great interest in doing their PADI Open Water Diver Course!

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 All in all, it was an amazing journey from an educational packet graciously sent by PADI and an afternoon seminar by a talented dive Instructor from Temple Adventures.

Teaching Future Divers with PADI Bubblemaker

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Is there a chance you’ve forgotten how fun it is to teach the PADI Bubblemaker program? Now is your chance to re-discover your passion to teach our future divers all about your love of everything Scuba. They will always remember YOU as their first Instructor, you’ll be the one who introduced them to the wonderful world of ‘Bubble-making’.

Who should take this program?

PADI Bubblemaker is as fun as it sounds – a chance for children to blow bubbles by scuba diving. Children who are at least 8 years old* can use scuba gear to breathe underwater and swim around in shallow water under the direct supervision of their Instructor….YOU! The child must be comfortable in the water, but no prior experience is necessary. Parental approval is required.

*Please note that local laws or guidelines may not allow the participation of Children under a certain age.

50258_LBubblemaker Products…How you can start having fun now!

The Bubblemaker Crew-Pak (50258) contains mementos of the experience and is full of fun surprises, such as a kid-sized beach towel, logbook, recognition certificate, temporary tattoo, decal and the adorable, and popular, Bubblemaker water toy.

Bubblemaker Cert Card

Why not make sure your newly certified budding Scuba Diver receives their very own Certification Card?

The Bubblemaker certification is processed in the same way all other certifications are processed via an online PIC or a paper PIC. Why not ensure that each of your Bubblemakers receive their Certification Card delivered right to their home – what a fabulous memento of their dive with you to keep forever!

Contact your PADI Sales Department  – (tel + 61 2 9454 2888) for more information and to order. Don`t forget you can order anytime from the PADI Online Shopping Cart – log onto the PADI Pros’ Site and click Shop Online.