British Ambassador launches new boat
The Kuwait Mantas Diving Club, which has been active in Kuwait since 1977 proudly held a naming ceremony on the 5th October 2018, for the club’s new custom built boat, the Mantas 4. His Excellency the UK Ambassador to Kuwait, Mr Michael Davenport MBE, very kindly officiated the ceremony culminating with the cutting of the ribbon bringing Mantas 4 into commission. His Excellency and his wife then took a trip across the bay near Souq Sharq, from where the spectacular seafront skyline of Kuwait could be appreciated in full.
The Kuwait Mantas Diving Club is a part of the British Sub- Aqua Club, whose patron is the Duke of Cambridge, and is run entirely by volunteers, on a non-profit basis. It recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, and has trained countless divers who have gone on to pursue a love of the undersea world thanks to their introduction to the sport in the welcoming warm waters of Kuwait.
The boat has been constructed by Qabazard Marine, whose director, Hamid Qabazard, collaborated closely with the club to produce a custom boat suited to local conditions, capable of carrying 12 divers and a coxswain at 55 km/hr to any of the 10 coral reef dive sites in Kuwaiti waters.
The Chairman of the club, Mr Neil Moroney, thanking the Ambassador for his support, said, 'Divers from all over the world are members of the Mantas, and they all enjoy the chance to develop their skills with us. I am sure that our new boat, and His Excellency's support today, will ensure that the club will continue to contribute to cultural life in Kuwait for many years to come.'
Remora - Ray finned fish
Seems we are not the only ones looking for sharks
Arabian Gulf sea snake
This summer has not yet matched last year's sightings of huge Eagle Rays. The big stuff has been limited to regular sightings of Cowtail Rays, albeit breaching the surface with an impressive thud.
However, we have been having regular sightings on the surface and on the sea bed of the Arabian Gulf sea snake.
A metre long, bulky, and highly poisonous, it’s got a few of us a bit excited.
The first stage of building
Engines being fitted
Number of dives logged by members and guests of the club
2017 to 2018 - Total 303 - Member's median number of dives 7.5
2016 to 2017 - Total 367 - Member's median number of dives 14
2015 to 2016 - Total 513 - Member's median number of dives 10
2014 to 2015 - Total 715 - Member's median number of dives 8.5
2013 to 2014 - Total 969 - Member's median number of dives 19
2012 to 2013 - Total 628 - Member's median number of dives 7
2011 to 2012 - Total 416
2010 to 2011 - Total 319
2009 to 2010 - Total 455
Dahab June 2018
John Sharp reports
Ells bells and bobby’s whistles – I dived the Blue Hole with Aquanautics (formerly i-dive ) Dahab, Sinai, Egypt. Mantas past and present recommended i-dive dive centre, Dahab, for diving in the Dahab area and I have to say that I can now add this centre to my list of operators that I trust and would dive with again. Their set up for shore diving is an efficient and well-oiled machine. Mohammed does the gas and centre stuff. Ahmed was commander in chief for the week and Simone proved herself to be a capable Divemaster. I did not get the chance to meet Hans, who has moved to Italy or Kathi, the new centre manager, who was out of the country, both of whom respectively ran and run the centre.
The first day was run of the mill stuff – I had just been on a liveaboard and had four days diving in Sharm el Sheikh – for the Red Sea. Hard and soft corals of all shades of the spectrum, fish, fish and more fish, octopi, squid, blue spotted ray. Cornet fish and a long nose hawkfish seen at 36m on Um Sid but no sharks as seen in Sharm – silver tipped reef shark and hammerhead to wit.
The highlight was diving El Bells on the second day, which consisted of diving down a narrow canyon and through an arch at around 32metres and then following the wall and ascending to around seven metres at the multi-coloured coral entrance to the Blue Hole, that infamous dive site! Taking care to avoid the free-divers, we followed the right hand side of the wall to the exit.
Following this was the Canyon. A gash in the Earth’s crust that provides another memorable dive. Sorry, no photos from me. My memory suffices for me, such as it is!
A third day’s diving ended with another classic dive – the Islands. Corals galore with appropriate fish.
All of the above were shore dives – a new experience for me. A word of caution. I thought that I knew better but the heat and the Egyptian Sun are unforgiving and especially in June. I can only conclude that a bout of Montezuma’s revenge was caused by not drinking enough water and thinking that I was ok. This caused the boat dive to be aborted as far as I was concerned. Don’t let that happen to you should you venture this way.
All in all, I wholeheartedly concur with the recommendations made to me by fellow Mantas and, I will be back! Many thanks to Ahmed, Mohammed and Simone. See you next time!
Warmer water but windy weather
The seas have been a little choppy throughout the month but it hasn’t stopped us diving.
Seats on the boat have been filling up on both Friday and Saturday, as divers take advantage of the warmer water.
A group of Sports Diver trainees have been spending the recent weeks working through their exercises and learning new skills.
Rays, huge groupers, cuttlefish and a never ending flow of jelly fish seem to be the highlights of the month.
Kuwait Mantas Diving Club gets a shout out from Jazeera Airways
July - Aug 2017
The Thirsty Camel
Curry, quiz, and a raffle
As the club splashes out on a new boat, it has needed to secure some more funds to help cover the cost. Thankfully we were invited to the Thirsty Camel to promote Scuba diving and to hold a curry and quiz night.
The aim was to raise some money to help put a new dive boat into build. The evening was a resounding success and with help of some amazing raffle prizes, the club raised just over KWD 3000.
The club says a huge thank you to all those involved prior to and on the night. It was a testament to why the club is what it is today. The generosity of our sponsors was overwhelming, with nearly 200 prices to raffle.
Unfortunately there are no photographs of the proceedings to share. For security resaons, the venue has a ban on cameras and telephones.
Please support them
Wonderful first dive
Our latest trainee Mohamed had a few words to say about his first day diving from the boat with Kuwait Mantas.
Dear divers gang 😊😊😊😊 Thank you so much for those dives yesterday. It was a wonderful day with unforgettable experience. Diving for the first time with a highly experienced diver and a wonderful dive manager was indeed a memorable experience. Also being in the company of such fantastic people and passionate divers added to the experience and gave me courage to complete my first dive. I hope to see you all again on next dives. Thank you all so much. Regards Mohamed
Of course we are delighted Mohamed had such a wonderful experience and this is why the club exists, to allow people to dive in a safe and enjoyable environment. A big thanks again to Brian and Tim for volunteering your time with training and everybody involved with getting the boat out on the water each day..
Flat water, great visibility, and exciting sea life
The water has been a not so refreshing 34 degrees Celcius but it's been worth it. Great turtle sightings at all three of our main diving locations, and divers have experienced some amazing dives with hungry and friendly cowtail rays.
Familiar faces will return from their summer break in a little while, and, as at any time, we will welcome any newcomers who might be tempted by a dive or two in the waters of Kuwait.
by Nancy Papathanasopoulou, Manager, Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project
Kuwait hosts two species of nesting turtles on its offshore islands Qaru and UmmAl-Maradim. Green turtles and hawksbill turtles nest on Qaru, hawksbills on Umm Al-Maradim and their offspring emerge from the nests to reach northern Arabian Gulf waters and ensure the circle of life of a very important animal continues as uninterruptedly as possible. The Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project(KTCP), researching their biological processes and assessing their populations and their habitat, is there for another season, hoping to contribute to their conservation and raise awareness to their value for nature. "Kuwait is blessed with these two precious nesting endangered turtle species and we must try to protect them at all costs, thus contributing further to our country's healthy ecosystems and biodiversity", said Sheikha Intisar Al-Salem All-Sabah, co-sponsor of KTCP and Chairwoman of the Al Nowair initiative.
Why is it important to protect sea turtles? Why are nations worldwide creating strict texts of conventions and legislations in a common effort beyond borders to ensure their survival? The answers are not difficult. Many decades of scientific research and constant monitoring sea turtle populations worldwide have proven that Sea turtles are necessary for the survival of coral reefs worldwide. Without coral reefs, the degradation of all sorts of life in the oceans would be imminent and all forms of life in the ocean would become threatened or extinct. Fisheries worldwide would be gravely affected. Sea turtles are responsible for the migrations of several hundred species of organisms, which attach themselves on the animal and hitch a ride. Without this means of transport, propagation and ecological processes of these organisms would stop, and this would have an impact on the ocean's health and prosperity.
Sea turtles have existed for over a hundred million years, are an animal species that has survived all dramatic changes on earth and has an important role to fulfill, like all major species on the planet. Sea turtles have seen and lived with the dinosaurs. They have been great survivors of what eliminated the dinosaurs. Why have them vanish now, when preserving them seems to be a doable task? It would be a great blow to biodiversity on earth. As with every animal species, protecting it during its whole cycle of life is essential. For turtles, feeding, mating and nesting grounds should be protected from degradation and elimination, and migratory routes should be studied in order to achieve some level of protection there as well.
"My mother and I have been supporting this effort since 2013, convinced that it is a worthy cause and an added value to our beloved country's amazing yet largely unknown natural capital", said Sheikha Fatima Al-Sabah, co-sponsor of KTCP. The Kuwait Turtle Conservation Project, launched in June 2008, is today a common effort of Non-governmental organization Biodiversity East, The Kuwaiti Coast Guard and Sheikhas Intisar and Fatima Al-Sabah. Apart from the study of sea turtle populations in Kuwait as well as the state of the marine and coastal areas they appear in, a major campaign of environmental information and education to concerned groups of stakeholders regarding sea turtles in Kuwait will be attempted with as many means as possible.