YD Scuba Diving Forums banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Imported post

First time to the forums so thought best to say hello. Originally from sunny Brighouse moved to Oz 16 years ago. Now lucky enough to own a dive shop in Brisbane and in partnership with a dive resort in the Solomon Islands. Anyone wanting info on diving in any of the above places will be glad to assist... will now have a browse and see whats happening..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,240 Posts
Imported post

Welcome aboard YD Bob. Browse and enjoy mate.

Cheers,

PS: got a URL for your shop and shared-resort in the Solomons?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Imported post

Hi Bren, managed to have a quick look around the boards this morning but been a bit busy today. Will get around to answering a question on the President Coolidge as been there heaps of times but it is certainly a well visited wreck so if someone has been pushing the line that it is not then there are a few porky's being told. Anyway heaps of tanks to fill, and being 36 deg sweating like a pig in the meantime. I have met quite a few divers from England when I opened the shop up in the Solomons. People think its hard to get there but not really being only a 3 hour flight from Brisbane.  I was hoping to get over to the UK dive show next month to do some promotion work for the Solomons but don't think I will get chance, although just heard my mum is sick in Brighouse ( yes I know anyone who lives in Brighouse probably deserves to be  sick) so maybe if I have to come back may get a chance to visit the show as well.... the URL's you requested are
www.bluezonescuba.com
www.divemunda.com
www.agneslodge.com
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

Hi Bob,
Welcome to YD! Sorry to hear about your mum. Brisbane and the Solomons, eh? It sounds as though you made a good move. I moved (from London) to Gothenburg, Sweden 35 years ago. I love it here – lots of space and fantastic opportunities for outdoor pursuits, including diving – but you certainly chose a better climate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Imported post

Hi John, yes think I made a good choice. If you want space then I suppose Oz is the place to come. Certainly Brisbane's climate has to be one of the best in the world and the Solomon Islands are just a paradise. I have been fortunate enough in the past few years to dive in Palau, Truk Lagoon, Phillipines, Borneo, Malaysia, Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu etc etc and have been going to the Solomons since the early 90's and without a doubt the Solomons is indeed a divers mecca. Where we are based at Munda in the Western Province we have wall dives, some which are vertical drops from 5 metres to 12 kilometres, WW11 wrecks of boats and planes and the world renowned Custom Shark Cave  which starts in the middle of the jungle in a fresh water pool and comes out onto a reef wall at 25 metres. Absolutely mindblowing. Along with pristine coral reefs we are indeed blessed with what we believe to be the best diving in the world.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

Time for us all to start saving our pennies, methinks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
Imported post

Mate the only problems we had in the past getting peopl there from the UK is that the people who sell the holidays in the UK do not seem to be interested. We have emailed several dive wholesalers looking for an agent and never received one reply. The last dozen or so UK divers that have gone up there over the last 12 or so months, I have actually sorted out their Solomons leg from over here. In fact with a couple of the trips I have personally gone with the groups to make sure they have a great time. LAst time I was in the UK last year think you could get flights to Brisbane for 459 pound return and a week in Munda with dives , accom and flights  will cost approx $1650 plus $115 taxes. So I guess thats about 650 pound..... food is dirt cheap ie full Lobster dinner is approx $60 Solomon which is $12 Australian which is approx 5 pound. So maybe you guys don't have to save for too long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Imported post

hi there bob. welcome aboard. i'll be heading over to oz next year so any advice on the best diving would be great. i've been told that the GBR is not all it's cracked up to be. any advice on the best way to go about getting a good few dives there? also you say you've been to fiji. i'll be heading there to, so again any advice or ideas will be much apreciated.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Bob in Brisbane @ Oct. 29 2003,10:34)]LAst time I was in the UK last year think you could get flights to Brisbane for 459 pound return and a week in Munda with dives , accom and flights  will cost approx $1650 plus $115 taxes. So I guess thats about 650 pound..... food is dirt cheap ie full Lobster dinner is approx $60 Solomon which is $12 Australian which is approx 5 pound. So maybe you guys don't have to save for too long.
Do I understand you to mean that a one-week trip to Munda with divng and accommodation and return flight from the UK via Brisbane (but excluding food) would only cost about £1100, Bob? If so, that's amazing. It's only £100 more than a week on a good Red Sea liveaboard (including flights), though that admittedly includes all meals. I organise trips for a group of friends here in Sweden. As a group, we've been to Ireland, Mexico, British Columbia, Egypt and Indonesia and are going back to British Columbia next year. If I could put a trip to Munda together for around £1100 the year after (2005), I'd be very interested in looking at it more closely. I hope I haven't misunderstood you.
PS The Dive Munda link doesn't seem to be working, although the Agnes Lodge link works fine.
 

·
Exiled in Scotland...
Joined
·
6,286 Posts
Imported post

Hi Bob,

Brighouse is not that far from my folks place. Wecome aboard, you'll get lots of lovely tips and info here although I think you'll be more usefull to us than we are to you. My partner has relatives in Taz and I'd absolutely love to go over there in the near future to visit and get some dives in. I'll keep you in mind certainly if we're going over to OZ. I'll have to get the old atlas out to see where your talking about. I figure your on the south coast right between Melborne and the capital (name escaping me right now). Good luck getting over here to see your mum. a darne site closer than I have to travel to see my folks in Leeds.

Dave C
 

·
DUE CEO, Booking agent, Coffee maker & Dogsbody...
Joined
·
10,161 Posts
Imported post

Hello Bob in Brisbane from Paul in Kent,

Mate you obviously made the wrong choice on where to live, today we have had top English driving rain and grey skies.

While you have been sweating over Air bottles and diving stuff i have been far more lucky as i have had a whole day locked in an IT suit learning how to use a Home Office computer system - No competition, you lucky s*d


Your place certainly looks very, very good, maybe i'll be out in 2005 as well.

Dive Safe

Paul
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Imported post

Ian,
As with all tourist places the GBR is what attracts most divers to OZ. Because of this there are a lot of dive sites on the GBR that are not worth going to, maybe 20 years ago but now with millions of divers going across them year after year they are not in pristine condition. In my opinion there are still many fantastic dives on the GBR as it covers a huge area. To get the best out of the GBR I would recommend you go on a liveaboard for as long as you can afford. Get out to the Coral Sea and the diving is sensational. Stay off the day boats as they can only go so far. In Brisbane all of our diving is off boats. One hour and twenty minutes and you can be at Flinders Reef. A little secret we try to keep quiet but Flinders has more species of coral per hectar than antwhere on the GBR. For the wreck heads about a 45 minute boat trip will see you at Curtin Artificial Reef. Over the past 40 years about 30 ships have been sunk in a 300 metre area to form the reef. It is quite amazing. Regarding Fiji you have to get away from the main tourist areas to find the best diving, which normally involves  parting with quite a few extra dollars. A good site to look at is  www.diveadventures.com.au which is our main travel agent for dive holidays in the South Pacific.
John,
Although not a mathematician one ozzie dollar at the moment buys 40p so 2 1/2 dollars to the pound. so think I was right with the pricing. This can obviously change, not so long ago one dollar was worth about 35p. I have a group of 20 going to Munda next Easter (2 spaces left I think) and the price is $1650 plus taxes from Brisbane. The last group I took from the UK could not believe their bill at the end of the week. One couple put every breakfast, lunch and dinner on their bill, plus beers and wine every night. Their bill came to $4000 Sol BIG PANIC.. divide by 5 to convert to Oz $800, divide by 3 at time to bring to pounds 266 pounds, VERY HAPPY. Dont know whats happening with the divemunda link will email them today.....if anyone wants a photo for background on their computer I have one on mine that was taken at Munda at sunset a few weeks ago, I can email it to you.
Dave,
you will certainly need to get the old atlas out mate. Spain is probably the same distance from London, as Melbourne is to Brisbane. We are on the east coast of Oz in Queensland, 1000 kilometres north of Sydney and probably about 2500 kilometres south of the Cape
Paul,
yes mate I would love to change positions with you (right). I did the odd dive in the UK 30 years ago, the usual stuff, stoney cove etc. When there in Feb last year went up to Devils Bridge with intention of maybe getting wet. Must have gone soft over the last 16 years as could not take one of my two fleecy jackets off to even contemplate jumping into my mates drysuit. Crazy stuff!!! Water temp in Brisbane at the moment is 23 deg and in the Solomons is 30deg all year round. Know it's tough mate but as the old saying goes someone's got to do it.
 

·
Small, yet perfectly formed...
Joined
·
3,299 Posts
Imported post

Hi Bob in Brisbane
Right that's it... soloman islands it is then. Nick and i will be over just as soon as we can...
Welcome to YD, hope your mum is ok.

jules:D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

[b said:
Quote[/b] (Bob in Brisbane @ Oct. 30 2003,00:45)]Get out to the Coral Sea and the diving is sensational. Stay off the day boats as they can only go so far. In Brisbane all of our diving is off boats. One hour and twenty minutes and you can be at Flinders Reef. A little secret we try to keep quiet but Flinders has more species of coral per hectar than antwhere on the GBR.
Funny, that, Bob, I went on the Undersea Explorer (from Townsville) for a week to Flinders Reef and Holmes Reef in Jan '94, was expecting sensational diving but was very disappointed. The vis was fantastic and the walls very dramatic, with HUGE gorgonians, but there really weren't a lot of fish, very few big ones and NO sharks, although we did see a hammerhead at Moore Reef on the way back to Cairns. Actually, I saw a lot more interesting things on a 3-day trip from Cairns to the GBR (Norman and Saxon reefs), although the vis was nowhere near as good as in the Coral Sea, of course. The best part of the Coral Sea trip was the two dives on the Yongala on the way out. Frankly, I wouldn't go back to Oz just to dive. The diving in Indonesia and the Philippines is a lot better than anything I experienced in Oz. But maybe I was on the wrong boat. Anyway, I still want to go to the Solomons. Has the poilitical unrest and violence ended now, by the way?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
559 Posts
Imported post

I dived GBR and Coral Sea this April, loved the diving, and loved N Queensland so much I am off to work there for 6 months next year--- Aus has great diving plus it's about the most comfortable relaxed place I have been.
Cheers, Malcolm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
314 Posts
Imported post

thankyou bob (in brisbane). your message was very helpful. i'll be sure to try and get to your secret reef. not much of a secret anymore tho. its nice to have some idea of where to go a bit off the beaten track. guess i'll have to save even harder for some good diving in fiji.
i'll let you know on these boards how i get on, although i wont get to oz until may. (my birthday, what a way to celebrate)
cheers fella.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
Imported post

John obviously the Flinders reef you visited from Townsville is not the reef of the same name we have off Brisbane. Re the political unrest, as allways things have been over the last 5 years been blown out of all proportion. We were actually in Honiara (capital) in the late 90's when it flared up. We were not aware until we got back to Oz that anything had actually happened. Since then even if a fight breaks out at the markets over bananas it has been reported as civil unrest. A travel warning by the Aussie gov was finally lifted last month (not that it stopped people going) but it did affect lots of businesses like ourseleves who rely on divers. Honiara must now be the safest city in the world with every second vehicle being army or police. Up in the Western Province you would never have known that any civil unrest ever occurred.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,314 Posts
Imported post

Ah, I thought it was a bit odd, as you mentioned an hour or so's boat ride to the reef. It was an overnight run from the Yongala to Flinders Reef in the Coral Sea. Still, there is an awful lot of hype about the Coral Sea in dive mags and liveaboard ads and the sites I dived just didn't live up to it. I guess we'll have to do a dive or two at YOUR Flinders Reef when passing through Brisbane.
Glad to hear things have settled down in Honiara.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
Imported post

Not to boast in anyway but had 50+ metres visibility on the wreck of the St Paul (just off Brisbane) over the weekend.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top