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sinkweight

fat flotilla
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Alright...horrible title.

And in fact, this isn't a story, but hopefully it might initiate some.

The point of my thread, and I'll do my best to keep this short, is that I'm just now starting to venture boldly into the next tax bracket here in the states.

I've started make enough money for a trip somewhere outside of my beloved-yet-mind-racking country. As I've only been to a secluded private island in the Bahamas when I was eight, I consider myself never to have actually been out of the states as a self-sufficient individual. I'd like to make my first flight out of the nest a nice one.

That's where the worldly people I love hearing from at DeeperBlue come in.

I'm looking for a place to dive that might not exist, but I'll give you some of my descriptions I'm looking for, and maybe somebody can suggest a place that best suits my expectations:

1. Someplace warm/hot with comfortable water temps for skin-diving.

2. At least one person in-town who can squeak by as an english-speaker.

3. I'd like a place that seems prehistoric, preferably with lots of eroded earth and stone.

4. Little to no life. I don't mind critters on land, I'd like to just be alone in the water without being distracted or cautious of possible dangers. I deal with jellyfish/sharks or snakes/snapping turtles here in Texas.

5. American-friendly (or at least feigns tolerance towards Americans). From what my friends in other countries tell me, I'm running out of options.

6. Definitely must be quiet for meditation.

7. Not tourist-y. I'd rather shack up in a dung hut than stay at a hotel. Toilets are nice, though.

8. Clear water a must. I'm not that picky about salt/freshwater.


Erik's trip to Danau Mananjau sounded almost like a dead ringer, however I was hoping such a place existed a little more around the Mediterannean, or middle eastern areas. I'd like to visit Greece for a little while after I go to this dream-spot.

I know, I know...

I probably sound like one of those jackasses who asks the waiter to pick him out something on the menu that has fish in it, but tastes more like chicken.

I'd love to hear from the well-traveled and often-submerged for some ideas on where I can put a tack on the old atlas, and start saving for a trip later this year. Spring is almost here, and my longfins are starting to make dolphin sounds from the back of my closet.:t

I'll appreciate any input.

Don't ever change...well, except maybe your underwear.
 
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Wishbone

Paragraph aquanaut
Jan 13, 2002
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Hmmm... Sounds to me like you want to go to Turkey... Or the Northern Africa coast line..
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
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Jan 19, 2001
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hi Sinkweight

i get the feeling you want to be off the beaten track...

The Seychelles islands could fit that description.. or the Comores or Madagascar.

The African Indian Ocean islands are fantastic to visit, quiet and have controlled tourism quotas. The Mediterrean is beautiful but it's hectic in the summer, too many crowds and boats. Adrian could give you a better insight.

Madagascar has a lot of offer on land and in the water.. check it out. Its a long way from where you are, but would be well worth a two week vacation.

I have a friend who went diving in Sudan recently, and she said it was an amazing trip, best fish/coral life she has ever seen.
 

Alison

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How about the Sharm el Sheikh area of the Red Sea? (I'll stress nearer the airport than Nama bay) We used to stop over there quite often, many of the hotels have pontoons that bridge the coral shelf so you can get in the water safely and the diving is second to none (that Ive seen), the beaches are shallow and are really suitable for children or non swimmers and plenty of pretty fish to keep them amused. The chances of seeing a shark are incredibly small but you well may see turtles; the reef is of the wall type dropping down 20 - 30m then sloping off to the blue depths, if you get bored with the walls there are loads of boat trips to be had to other sites.
Definatley an easy holiday destination :)
 

Wishbone

Paragraph aquanaut
Jan 13, 2002
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Ali and IS, I think the Red Sea and the Madagascar do not comply with his requirement No. 4... I think the same about the Comores.

However Turkey is complies to all of those - there still are areas which are little to not infested by tourists. Right before or after the peak season it's the best, cause it's not too hot, it's cheaper and the toursts are absolutely gone.... Besides - lots of old rocks and stones. Mind you, they do care a lot about their heritage since Schliman plundered Troy. As for Requirement No. 2, I am sure there are several members of DeeperBlue in Turkey who can help you Sinkweight or even take you diving. You might even take a freediving course with Yasemin Dalkilic, or if you're already master at this - just visit her... :)

As I said - stay off the big resorts, and go the month before or after the season... The water is still warm enough...

I would've recommended you my own country, but the only problems are the vis and the depth - you have to swim for for a mile before getting to -30 m depths.

Cheers!

IB
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
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Jan 19, 2001
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Wishbone said:
Ali and IS, I think the Red Sea and the Madagascar do not comply with his requirement No. 4... I think the same about the Comores.


IB

4. Little to no life. I don't mind critters on land, I'd like to just be alone in the water without being distracted or cautious of possible dangers. I deal with jellyfish/sharks or snakes/snapping turtles here in Texas.

nothing dangerous about madagascar.. there are whale sharks and other large fish but no great whites and no reports of dangerous sharks.
the comores is very interesting. our hotel group built a resort there some years back and the dive reports were fantastic.
they had some political unrest a while back but that's all over now.
tourism is opening up again.

Interestingly enough, the comores have fisherman who specifically hunt the elusive coelecanth, they get a good price for it, paid by scientific researchers.
 

Wishbone

Paragraph aquanaut
Jan 13, 2002
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IS,

"Fauna : the lemurs (click on the concerned page) ; the other mammals such as 21 species of tenrec,
28 species of bats, little carnivorous (mongoose, the reddish fosa - foosh -, rodents including a giant jumping rat) ; birds : just 250 species, of which 106 are endemic (more productive habitats include the humid forest of the North, the spiny forest of the South & the eastern rainforest : coua sp., vanga sp., the vasa parrot, the Madagascar malachite kingfisher, the crested drongo, the Madagascar fody - food - and a variety of owls, doves, cuckoos & wild ducks) ; reptiles & amphibians : the most visible are the chameleons, which have come to represent the country nearly as well as the lemurs. Most of the world chameleons are found in Madagascar, with 2 endemic genera, the large Chameleo & the smaller Brookesia. Gecko sp., the superbly camouflaged leaf-tailed gecko, iguanas sp., the Nile crocodile ; plus 60 species of inoffensive snakes (the most frequently observed is the Madagascar boa) ; tortoises & marine turtles. For frogophiles, Madagascar is a paradise with 150 species of frogs & toads (148 of these are found only in Madagascar) ; invertebrates : very interesting with mantids, butterflies, moths, millipedes, leeches, dragonflies, beetles, spiders & mosquitoes. The only dangerous animals in Madagascar are crocodiles, sharks & scorpions (especially in drier areas - Active at night & inflict painful & potentially dangerous sting. Those camping in the bush should careful to check their boots, shoes, tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, clothing & ground)."
(http://www.ifrance.com/Pensee-chretienne/Textes/English Section.htm)

and also:

http://www.expedia.co.uk/daily/wg/P42104.asp?CCheck=1&

"There is a good sandy beach at Ramena, but sharks may be a problem...."
"Vatomandry, further south, is a very popular beach resort even though the sharks prevent swimming."

However I found you a place there:

"Mahajanga: A provincial capital, Mahajanga stands at the mouth of Madagascar’s largest river, the Betsiboka. The road to the capital is open between July and October. Boats depart for Nossi Bé and several other islands. The beach here is said to be free of sharks."...

However, noone came back to tell whether what "is said" is actually true.. :) :)

Hey, I'm just teasing you guys... I don't have a clue what kind of sharks they have in Madagascar. I just found that on the net... :)

In Turkey, however, the only dangerous aquatic animals besides the urchins you may encounter, they say are those lurking in the infamous Turkish baths. As the antient proverb wisely teaches: "If someone spills hazelnuts, do not bend over to help him!" :D

Cheers!
 

island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
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Jan 19, 2001
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yeah isn't it amazing?/!! so much life.

i saw a documentary on madagascar on tv... was most impressed... i wanted to go there just so i could bound around like those lemurs!!!

as for those Turkish baths... one of my girlfriends went for one in Turkey and said she got scrubbed til pink with an old sock... hahahahhaa would imagine she didn't bend over... :ban
 

Wishbone

Paragraph aquanaut
Jan 13, 2002
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Hmmm...

I always tend to be a bit suspicious when I'm around carnivorous bats and giant jumping rats. Not to mention, I don't even know what tenrec is and these have 21 species of it! :D
Other than that I don't mind the lemurs other than the times when I'm half in the bag when I fall for those big hazel eyes...

Duh!
 
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sinkweight

fat flotilla
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Aug 16, 2004
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HEY!

Great ideas, everybody! Keep'em comin'.

I'm gonna check out some of these places this week. You know, do my homework and what not.

I wouldn't have thought of Madagascar at all, but it does sound interesting. I would love to see some lemurs, bats, and giant jumping rats, oh my! (sounds like the madagascar version of Wizard of Oz). As far as Temrecs go, Wishbone, they're pretty much a type of hedgehog. The coelencanth does fit the prehistoric clause no.3, heh-heh.

I'd love to own a lemur that brings me drinks and snacks out to the beach...

"NO, Mandrake! Don't hop with the BEER! Don't hop with the....NO! Mandrake! DORITOS, not SUN CHIPS, Mandrake!........Mandrake! Did you get the BOTTLE OPENER?!!"

Turkey sounds like a nice place to go. I've seen pictures of it from when my sister visited there while she lived in Greece for a year, studying underwater archeology (and she doesn't do a thing with her degree!:yack ).

She got to do Greece the right way...and happened to marry a good ol boy from Texas who happened to had a Greek philanthropist great aunt who owned her own island, yacht, limos, and small plane...not a bad alternative to the buses and ferries, eh? Too bad I don't have the same type of luck...except for the "marrying a good ol boy" part.

The North African coast sounds nice, for I've seen old, old photos from WWII when my uncle was stationed there with the American and British forces. He flew B-24's out of North Africa, so I've got some good low-level aerial photos. Probably has changed quite a bit, but like I said I've got some homework to do.

O.K. folks for your loverly input, I've attached three pictures.

1. Island Sands yearbook photo
2. A tenrec, for Wishbone.
3. A photo of Mandrake, the unsatisfactory lemur butler.

A thanks again to everyone, but don't your dare stop with suggestions:naughty
 

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Stephan Whelan

Papa Smurf
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You know - i've got the perfect place for you...The 30m SETT Tank here down in sunny Portsmouth here in the UK.

OK - so you don't believe me but just watch this stunning attempt and shoe-horning answers:
1. Someplace warm/hot with comfortable water temps for skin-diving.
35 Celcius / 94 Fahrenheit water temp. Try and beat that!
2. At least one person in-town who can squeak by as an english-speaker.
It's the UK - so most people speak English!
3. I'd like a place that seems prehistoric, preferably with lots of eroded earth and stone.
Well...the facility is 50 years old and has a nice military, metalic feel to it. You'd be right at home there...if you want dirt and earth then we can direct you to the big milenium tower being built across the water from the facility. Lots of earth there.
4. Little to no life. I don't mind critters on land, I'd like to just be alone in the water without being distracted or cautious of possible dangers. I deal with jellyfish/sharks or snakes/snapping turtles here in Texas.
Absolutely no life in the tank at all. 30m and 25,000 Gallons of pure bath temp water. Deepest Bear and plastic ducks don't count as life do they?
5. American-friendly (or at least feigns tolerance towards Americans). From what my friends in other countries tell me, I'm running out of options.
It's on the middle of a military base. If our armed forces can work together to bomb other countries we'll let you into a big military base under our "special relationship" clause
6. Definitely must be quiet for meditation.
The facility is 10 stories high so plenty of rooms to get peace and quiet in break times, whilst in the tank you've only got to hear the other diver, all of whom are interested in diving not chatting. I can't vouch for your accomodation
7. Not tourist-y. I'd rather shack up in a dung hut than stay at a hotel. Toilets are nice, though.
Super! Accomodation from the basic room with or without toilet up to luxury accomodation - suits all budgets. Two of the students from this weekend decided to sleep in a camper van!
8. Clear water a must. I'm not that picky about salt/freshwater.
The water in continuously filtered and so long as you don't get too close to your buddy who has a habit of peeing in swimming pools you'll be fine!

What more can you ask for!!

:)
 

DeepThought

Freediving Sloth
Sep 8, 2002
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sinkweight said:
4. Little to no life. I don't mind critters on land, I'd like to just be alone in the water without being distracted or cautious of possible dangers. I deal with jellyfish/sharks or snakes/snapping turtles here in Texas.
What's your problem with life? In most "holyday" places that has life you just need to make sure you don't touch corals or poisonous fish which usually just can't/won't run away, nothing really comes at ya...
 

sinkweight

fat flotilla
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Portsmouth Pusher-man

HA HA HA!

Stephen, you're starting to sound like Del-boy.

Portsmouth is definitely on my list of things to do. Hell, I might do a European tour. Hiking with my Dessaults might slow me down a bit, though as much as I've heard it rains, I might swim parts of the way.

The water in continuously filtered and so long as you don't get too close to your buddy who has a habit of peeing in swimming pools you'll be fine!




That's why I wear two nose clips when I swim in public areas...use your imagination...if you dare.


As for DeepThought's concerns:

What's your problem with life? In most "holyday" places that has life you just need to make sure you don't touch corals or poisonous fish which usually just can't/won't run away, nothing really comes at ya...

No, problems at all...it's more of a meditation thing. I'm absolutely infatuated with desolate and lifeless scenarios, as much as I am with thriving underwater meccas of life.

There's a deep, clear river I swim in down south in Texas, and has desert surroundings with little life in the river until the summer rolls around. It feels like your the only non-plant life on the planet...until a race of evolved monkeys on horseback snare you and throw you in a cage for Dr. Zaius' observation.

Ok. I know I'm low on pills, alright?

anyoo, it's a good thing monkeys don't swim...damned dirty apes.
http://www.movieprop.com/tvandmovie/PlanetoftheApes/taylor.jpg
 

Adrian

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One of my favorite places whicha has many of the features you ask for is the island of Virgin gorda in the British Virgin Islands. Here's some info: http://www.guavaberryspringbay.com/guest.htm I spent several summers there and had some of the best times in my life.
 

cdavis

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Jan 21, 2003
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When I read your list, I thought of Dahab, Egypt. Do a search for it or use google. There is quite a bit of info available. Air fare is a gulp, but diving is astonishly cheap.

Connor
 
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island_sands

Erection Supervisor ;)
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Stephan! rofl rofl

sinkweight.. those photos are priceless... so which one is you in the yearbook?? c'mon spill the beans!
 

sinkweight

fat flotilla
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sinkweight.. those photos are priceless... so which one is you in the yearbook?? c'mon spill the beans!
The lowest one on the left, except now I'm a man...after some cuttin' and pasting...and I'm not talking Photoshop, either.

Nice try, I-Sands...you've seen my profile picture. It's sad to think that the Mares suit makes me look slimmer.

*crying in pillow*

--------

That poor school photographer kept on having to take Island's pictures over and over again, because she'd keep on giving the hand sign for "smile" every time he said "...big smile this time.."

--------

any more ideas to throw the dart at?
 

Wishbone

Paragraph aquanaut
Jan 13, 2002
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Man, I just saw the profile photo...

The ministry oh health should issue warnings against that stuff! I almost choked! But now we all know the reason why you feel uncomfortable around sharks!

As for the other photos, you guys almost convinced me about Madagascar! Mandrake is the man!
But on a second thought, Island Sands, I'd always prefer to get scrubbed with an old sock in a Turkish bath, than to be scrubbed by Mandrake in a Madagascarian (sounds like an Armenian name) with a tenrec! Appocalyptic image!
 
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gwpcasey

Well-Known Member
Jan 20, 2005
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Well, seeing as you've been looking for ideas and everyone's throwing it all in there, including the Turkish bath, I thought I'd do a bit of promo for my home island of Curacao.

There's a real variety here and there are definitely quite a few spots that were devastated by the tail-end of a hurricane a few years back and are now very desolate - dead coral etc. So that should satisfy your morbid fascination with all things ruined. In spite of its best efforts there are still very few tourists in Curacao (compared to, say, Aruba, which is only 30 miles to the west and has the same climate etc) but most of the population can speak reasonably good English. They don't like any foreigners really, but have no reason to dislike Yanks anymore than they dislike the rest of us, so that should be fine.

It's not that cheap though. Was that one of your requirements? There's a guy called Waterside here who stays at nice apartments on the sea-front that seem to be priced okay so that could be nice for you.

Anyway, Curacao's a quick flight away from Miami on AA, it's always hot, there are shelves all over the place and, to be honest, very little life in most places (pretty fish - yes, snakes, sharks, turtles etc - no) and none in other places. You'll also like the vegetation, by the way: cactus, sand, rock, iguanas. That's it.

Okay, there you go. It's a public holiday and I've been working the whole morning, about to head out for a quick surf at the pseudo surf spot here. I'll bring my fins too though, as there are occasionally sharks there and I've been looking for one to befriend. :)

Good luck finding your first spot.

Gordon.
 
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Pocoshower

happy when diving
Nov 9, 2004
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Try Baja California Sur, but have to wait until summer for warm water. Octuber is amaizing.

I think you will like to dive with MT and Aharon Solomons.

Some times you find some yellifish during warm water season, but not a big deal.

The place is very far away from tourist, no boats at all while your divind and the coastal geology is terrific.

Take a look at FREEDIVERS

Salud
 
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