Top 4 places in the world I would love to Scuba Dive. 

Today I spent the day at the Sea Life centre in Manchester, learning about all the different species of sea life, what threats they face, and the marine conservation that Sea Life contribute to. Looking into the tanks with an array of majestic sharks, thousands of colourful fish and a huge but cute rescued turtle named Ernie – I felt a huge urge to swim amongst them and explore their habitat. It got me really thinking about where I’d visit for dives if I ever get the chance…. 
1) Mexico – Cozumel and the Cenotes.

Possibly not somewhere you’d automatically think of for scuba diving but Cozumel is known in the scuba diving industry as one of the best locations to dive. Most diving and snorkelling activity is focused on the reefs and shallow coral formulations which boast abundant underwater see life and brilliant colours.  

   
 Another amazing scuba experience that Mexico has to offer is the Cenotes where you can cave dive with excellent visibility in non-salty water. It’s been described as the ‘closest to flying in water’ and looks like such an adventure. I actually visited Mexico a number of years ago but unfortunately missed the oppurunity to dive but Mexico is my boyfriend and my favourite holiday destination so it’s only a matter of time!    

 

2) Australia – Great Barrier Reef. 

Perhaps a slightly more obvious choice, but all the same its one of those places that any diving enthusiast MUST visit. The Great Barrier Reef in Queensland is the worlds largest and healthiest coral reef system. I find it fascinating that it’s the only living structure on earth that can be seen from outer space. It’s no wonder divers from all over the world visit this location.  

   
3) Egypt – The Red Sea. 

As I’ve previously mentioned, my boyfriend and I visitited Egypt last year and experienced the sea life by snorkelling in a few locations in The Red Sea. Since this was such a memorable experience, and The Red Sea is said to be THE best place in the world we would LOVE to go back to do a proper dive. 

This is the only one on the list I can give a first hand account of. The water is warm with very little wave action and amazing visibility. Over 1000 species of invertebrates and over 200 species of soft and hard coral form the Eco-system which include 1100 species of fish. Whilst swimming through the waters you notice shoals of all different size, shapes and colours.  

   
4) Malaysia. 

There are so many scuba diving spots in Malaysia that look and sound amazing that it’s hard to choose just one or two. Malaysia offers crystal clear, pristine waters overlooked by islands with pure white, undiscovered beaches. Aside from this being a luxury holiday destination, it’s also said to be one of the best places to dive. This is due to the stunning biodiversity and exotic marine life, some of which is rarely seen elsewhere in the world. There are many different types of dives on offer including deep, drift, wreck, cave and walk dives.  

 
The international finals of Miss Scuba are held in the beautiful and exotic country of Malaysia. Lucky girls from across the globe will gather here to compete for the coveted Miss Scuba International crown!  

 
If you’ve visited any of these locations or can recommend any other spectacular diving sites, let me know in the comments! 

Hels xxx

Miss Scuba UK

As I’ve previously mentioned, I am currently a finalist for Miss Scuba UK. The concept of MSUK is one that fascinates me, it brings together two disciplines – beauty pageants and scuba diving to celebrate modern day women and raise awareness of marine conservation. This is what drew me into entering and I’m so glad I did. 

  
I’ve always had a love for the ocean. I have fond memories of jumping from boats into the cool water, and being mystified by dolphins and turtles swimming around us. Every year, my boyfriend and I swim out as far as we can when we’re on holiday. Last year, we took a mini cruise out into the Red Sea and were taken to the finest spots for snorkelling. It was amazing to discover a whole new world under the sea! 

  
 I’ve entered pageants since I was about 14 years old, but MSUK is completely different to anything I’ve done before. It’s educational and inspiring and I’ve already learnt so much about marine conservation that I didn’t previously know. I admit that I knew very little about marine conservation before getting involved in this, which is what inspires me to bring it to other people attention and teach my new found knowledge. It really is interesting whether you have previous knowledge of scuba diving and marine life or not. 
The oceans are the world largest ecosystems – therefore a large life support system. They affect the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat… Not to mention their beauty and inspiration. A fellow finalist (Emily Kishere) posted an image which really took me interest. It demonstrates how long certain pieces of rubbish take to break down – 80-100years for a can!? It’s not uncommon to see an array of these items on beaches. It takes just a few seconds to throw your rubbish into a safe place and protect marine life. The images below show the devastation caused by pieces of rubbish that are dropped without a second thought. 

  

      
The chosen charity for MSUK is Deptherapy which provides specially adapted scuba diving programmed for seriously injured armed service people. This to me, shows the power of the water as rehabilitation can be achieved through the medium of scuba diving. 

I’ve been doing all sorts in preparation for the final. As well as cluing myself up on all things scuba and marine life – I’ve been training in the pool to get my swimming on point, as well as working out in the gym and eating well for the pageant side of the competition. I took a visit into a local nursery to create displays for the walls and fun activities to teach the children from a young age. I’m looking forward to a try-dive with another finalist (Laura Handy) and hopefully some other bits with the other girls. I currently have a raffle going with amazing prizes such as a selection of Nudey Tea goodies, Forever Aloe Vera products, vouchers and more. All proceeds go to Deptherapy! If you’d like to get involved please comment or tweet me @heliemac1

Check-in is on Thursday 27th, with the finals on Friday 28th. FIVE lucky girls will be chosen to head over to Cyprus and Eygpt for a fun holiday and scuba diving! The ultimate winner will be chosen from here, to travel to Malaysia for the coveted Miss Scuba International pageant. 

Wish me luck! I hope you learnt something new reading this and maybe you’d consider entering Miss Scuba UK next year? 

Hels xxx