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Hello. I've been lurking for a while now and thought I should show my face. Or at least I will do as soon as I can find a pic that won't scare the (sea) horses. Occasionally I post over on Divernet on subjects which I know about, which I have to admit are few.

I think I've filled in the basics on my registration details thingy - I've been diving since 1997 and have been lucky enough to travel to quite a few places - Red Sea, Thailand, Turks & Caicos, Barbados, Maldives and Ibiza. So far I've not braved UK waters but am quite keen for someone to persuade me. Have been wondering about joining a BSAC branch so if anyone knows a nice one in north London I'd love to hear about it.

And a vague request for advice - I'm getting married in April next year and although I have tasked him indoors with sorting out the honeymoon I wonder if anyone's got any recommendations? Somewhere where the water is warm, the fish are plentiful and the beer is cold. I was thinking maybe of the Bahamas - but not sure which island is the nicest.

any help appreciated!
kath
 

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<font color='#000F22'>Have you looked at the Maldives, classic honeymoon territory, small private islands, lots of diving, lots of life. If you get the right season ray's etc.

hth
gareth

Edit.

Almost forgot. Welcome to YD. hope you enjoy
 

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Hi Kath
I'm based in Herts (Harpenden) and Diving Dude is in Harrow or somewhere near there  

There are a couple of shops that operate as Clubs in North London, I'll try and get their names for you. Alternatively depending on which side of North London you are based there is a Bsac club in St. Albans, big club, own Ribs and like you to be keen on UK diving else crossover might be a bit difficult if you need to, if you are RD or above I cant see any problem fitting in with their set-up.

I do hope its the Arsenal side of London though as Howard and I both support the Gunners, so if its the other lot you might be in for some flak, or better still keep quiet about it.

Ther's a drink up in Liverpool St. this thursday for the Southern Shandy drinking section of YD if you and/or fiance are interested, which might be a better route than Bsac.

Rgds
Matt
 

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Hey Kath,

Welcome to YD and out of the shadows!


Having dived in both the Bahamas and the Maldives (I lived there for nigh-on three years and have been back 12 times), I can say without hesitation, and especially as it's gonna be your honeymoon: MALDIVES!! No question.

The fish life, sharks and turtles abundant; the dive sites multitudinous and stunning; the service - in both hotels and dive centres - rarely matched (without being clawing), the lagoons tranquil, 'Hooches' to accommodate every budget; because they're islands with no 'mainland', you do actually revel in that 'no shoes, no news' aspect; the Maldivian people are some of the most naturally amiable and unaffected people on earth; the food's plentiful, varied and gorgeous and......

I could go on and on (I can hear the groans now
)

If I can be of help by way of a particular island's  recommendation, please just let me know and I'll give any help I can.

Cheers,
 

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Hi and welcome.  Enjoy - ask away.  Dive safely.  Ribbet.
 

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Thanks for the kind words, all! Maldives would be lovely. We went to Laguna Beach in Nov 2002 and found the house reef still in a bit of a state from El Nino, but I know it's not one of the best for diving.

Bren - any recommendations on which islands to look at? I guess somewhere relatively up-market (as long as I can keep wedding costs under control!) but the most important thing is the underwater life. and the beer.

Matt - thanks for invite - we're up in Holloway so only a stone's throw away from Arsenal. But we can't mention football in my house at the  moment, my boyfriend is scouse... (if i even start talking about it, it prompts tears and swearing about frenchmen). Do people meet up regularly? I'm indulging in my other part-time occupation of being a student on Thursday evening (stress the part-time bit - I am a taxpayer, honest) but would love to come along another time if you wouldn't mind...

cheers to all
kath
 

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<font color='#FF0000'>If you want to cross over to bsac just go along to your nearest club, they'll be pleased to have you. There is a cross over agreement in place for people with training from other agencies. It is with out doubt that the old attitudes have changed within bsac clubs and they are slowly joining the 21st century. Many bsac members that I know myself included are dual qualified. so realy don't see what all the fuss is about. Please join us both here and within the bsac fellowship. You will find pleanty of enjoyment through all routes available.
 

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<font color='#0000FF'>kath,
welcome to yd and good luck with the uk diving and the wedding i dont know if i should persuade you to try either, it rather depends on the wreck you end up with in both cases.
enjoy
 

cheers
barrie
 

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"Three sheds"
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[b said:
Quote[/b] (kath @ April 26 2004,15:37)]Have been wondering about joining a BSAC branch so if anyone knows a nice one in north London I'd love to hear about it.
My club - Hellfins is based at the Shell centre by Waterloo. It's more central that North London, but we do have members from all over (including one in Azerbajan (or however you spell it))

Laters,
   Janos
 

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Hey Kath,

Here's the trip my wife and I took the year before last - and it was simply the 'nads!

You can book it through Kuoni: here's the itinerary we took - one week on the boat visiting all those islands listed (and diving off/near most of them too, along with a ruck of other 'non-tourist dive stops', incluing a very recently new (tautology?
) wreck), and then one week on glorious Kurumba:

Liveaboard Itinerary and Island Stay Combo

It combines a week on 'The Atoll Explorer':

MV Atoll Explorer

As you can see from the link, the boat is All Inclusive (food and booze), so you can verily fill thy boots - the menu's stunning, varied and inventive and there's plenty of it. The crack/craic in the wardroom (wonderfully air-conditioned) at night is amazing and it has ample comfy seating and waiter service - dress casual (although some fo the the ladies aboard did put on a posh frock for the evening of the Captain's meal). And there are two jacuzzis on the aft deck - perfect for unwinding with a polite medium-sweet sherry after a long hard day of doing bugger all.

I suggest you take an 'A' Cabin - furthest aft -, of which there are only two, as these offer the largest cabins aboard (en-suite heads and shower!) and have aft-facing balconies, so you can always watch, seated, feet on the stern-rail, book and sherry in hand, as you say farewell to the place you've just been whilst the sun makes its weary way towards the horizon.

It is also at night, when you're moored up off Kurumba, that a pod of Beluga Whales come and play off the stern of the ship! Sit, watch, marvel and enjoy as they bimble, dart, play, chase each other and then just sit and stare back at you! Amazing stuff - even spiritual. Here's a link to pics of the species:

http://www.seaworld.org/infobooks/Beluga/home.html

She has her own, on-board, dive centre, including compressor, kit for hire etc. and dive tender (companion dive dhoni which takes you from the Explorer to which ever dive sites you'll be doing that day. We liked this, coz we were two of only 4 divers on the trip, so we got to visit out of the way wrecks, dived with Hammerhead Sharks and had aquatic-ballets of 12 Mantas at once (and at only a foot away, you could have reached out and touched them, had you wanted to) on a number dives at various 'cleaning stations' - sheer, unadulterated bliss.

You also get the option to not dive and just spend a day on any the islands stop-offs (read, drink, chill, eat etc.) - a couple are dessert islands and are uninhabited, so you can bugger off on yer own, find a piece of island beach to yourself and do what ever it is that honeymooning couples do
There are Explorer staff on hand on these desserted islands to make sure that all your food and drink needs are catered for - including lunch/dinner and the inevitable beach-BBQ-cum-evening-disco-cum-volleyball-game-cum-sit-and-watch-and-laugh!! You'll also visit a number of other resort islands, no bad thing as you get to 'sample' them and see if you'd go back there another time - and they're all top draw with excellent facilities! Well worth the trip. That said, you're not actually obliged the leave the boat at any time if you don't want.

I can recommend the Junior Suites on Kurumba too: they are tastefully appointed, have oodles of A/C, and have massive bathrooms with proper shower and full sized bath with its own shower and a bidet for keeping yer beer cold; a bedroom and bed the size of a footie pitch and a lounge area (luxuriously loungeable sofas and armchairs for uber-chilling after a day's diving - tinny in hand) with Satellite TV (inc. BBC News and films, if ya want them) and the room service menu and service is definitely to be given a thorough caning!!!

The on-site dive centre is a Euro Divers centre, so you know it's gonna be good.

The restaurants, too, are cause for no small delight:

* Thai
* Chinese
* French
* Maldivian - take the fish curry, you'll be glad you did
* Italian
* 'International'
* Coffee Shop for snacks from every continent - try the Nasi Goreng, it's to die for!
* Beach BBQ (fish and meat)
* Pizza gaff

As many trips as possible to the great and very comfy bar should feature in your daily 'routine' also. There are at least three outdoor fresh-water pools; a very well equipt gymnasium-cum-fitness centre (although why anyone would be sad enough to be in paradise and actually posssess the character-flaws which might make them consider attending a session in this torture chamber, God alone knows) and somewhere in which my wife spent a great deal of time whilst I was off doing four dives a day - the Health Spa and 'treatment' centre - apparently being stripped naked, rapped in sea grass and all manner of gunk is, ahem, 'good for you...', although how it might surplant or substitute for a rather generoulsy filled glass of single malt is anathema to me.

Any way, hope this has given you food for thought. If ya need any more, just shout.


Cheers,
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (kath @ April 27 2004,00:16)]Matt - thanks for invite - we're up in Holloway so only a stone's throw away from Arsenal. But we can't mention football in my house at the  moment, my boyfriend is scouse...
There you go.....I like you already. Well, anyone who is going to marry a fellow scouser is alright in my book.

Welcome to the YD!

Neil
Living in Muscat...its not far from Anfield!
 

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[b said:
Quote[/b] (Simon TW @ April 27 2004,05:54)]Bloody hell Bren, that sounds fantastic. It nearly sounds good enough reason to get married.

Was the resort all inclusive also.
Hey Simon,

No, Kurumba is on a B&B basis, not that we ever saw breakfast, apart from a snatched cup of coffee as we legged it for the dive boat!
And we didn't resent a penny of any of the extras (meals and sherry) we enjoyed.
 

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Hi Kath & welcome!

Sounds like you have a fantastic dilemma awaiting you when booking up your honeymoon!  I've not been to the Bahamas ( yet...
) so can't help you there, but I went to this place -Banyan Tree - Vabbinfaru, Maldives for a fortnight about 18 months ago.  We had a fantastic time  - it's a beautiful island, has a good dive set-up and we were pampered to within an inch of our lives... it'd be a perfect honeymoon location....  Only problem comes when you return home to find that in real life you don't have someone anticipating your every whim!!

Managed to convince one of their barmen to part with their receipe for ginger iced tea as well - now permanently got some in the fridge whenever the sun is shining.... very tasty and brings back memories of a lovely island...

Keep us posted on where you decide to go!

Helen
 

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Kath
you live about 2 miles from where I work. The Thursday drink is a first-off, I expect there will be more.
The shop I have used as a club is http://www.diveforce.co.uk
and I also bought some gear there. They have use of a pool and seemed really nice people, I think they are Padi, but didnt seem hung up about it at all. Unfortunately they are just a bit too far away from where I live to be a regular feature for me, but it might be worth your contacting them.

Rgds
Matt

Just tell your boyfriend that 2 of the finest players they ever had came via Highbury, that'll at least get you the sofa all to yourself,  
 

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DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
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Matt

OK i will give you Ray Kennady on that one but who was the other? Not Michael Thomas? Good, but never one of the best, not in Midfield with Graham S, King Kenney, Steve Highway, Jamie Redknapp, Peter Thompson, Steven Gerrard, Ronnie Whelan, Steve McMahon, Saint Ian Callaghan, Big Jan, Emelyn etc, etc.

I also cry about frenchmen and was hoping for another defeat the other day to bring it to an end - How sad is that. I would even have been happy loosing to the mancs.

So, So Sad.

Paul  
 
 

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Thanks for the advice everyone - passed details of both those wonderful looking holidays in the maldives to he who must be obeyed.

It seems to me that I'll be asking loads of questions on the forum - but if anyone wants to ask me anything, I know a bit about the Turks & Caicos and a bit about managing a return to diving after illness/injury. I also find I know far more than I would like about Liverpool FC, I must have picked it up by osmosis. The current debate in my house is whether it is worth losing out on a Champions' League place if it means Le Prof goes. Hmm.

take care all
kath
 
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