Archive for 'Diving In Cyprus – Dragons Blog'

Turtle Watch Dhekelia, Cyprus

Posted on10. Feb, 2014 by .


Turtle Watch in Cyprus – Dragon Diver, Phoebe Barley (Dr Phoebe Carter) writes article Turtle watch

Dhekelia TurtleWatch, Cyprus SBA


Following many years of trying to resource a volunteer programme for the UKOTs, UKOTCF continues to facilitate volunteer assignments on an ad hoc basis. In this case, UKOTCF was able to link the SBAs with Dr Phoebe Carter who has proved an exceptional resource for them.

Dhekelia, in the Eastern Sovereign Base in Cyprus, has been running a turtle conservation programme since 1997. Both green turtles, Chelonia mydas and loggerhead turtles, Caretta caretta nest on the beaches in Cyprus and have been legally protected here since 1971.

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DIN or Yoke Regulator – What’s your preference?

Posted on05. Feb, 2014 by .


The difference between a DIN regulator first stage and a yoke regulator first stage is the manner in which the regulator attaches to the tank. A DIN regulator screws into a tank valve, and a yoke regulator fits over the top of tank a valve and clamps onto it with a tightening screw. The DIN system is by far superior, but a diver may find it preferable to use a yoke regulator depending upon his style of diving and tanks.

Quick Check: Am I Using a DIN or a Yoke Regulator?:

The easiest way to determine which kind of regulator you have is to look for an o-ring in the regulator. If there is an o-ring in the part of the regulator that attaches to the tank, you have a DIN regulator. If there is no o-ring visible on the regulator, but your tank has an o-ring, then you have a yoke regulator.Regulator

What Is a Yoke Regulator?:

A yoke regulator, also known as an A-Clamp regulator, has an oblong metal brace that completely encircles the tank valve when in place. The regulator first stage is located at one end of the brace, and a large screw, called the yoke screw, is located at the opposite end. To attach a yoke-style first stage to a tank, a diver fits the metal brace over the tank valve, and then tightens the yoke screw to clamp the first stage firmly in place.

What Is a DIN Regulator?:Regulator

A DIN (which stands for Deutsche Industrie Norm) regulator first stage has a threaded post that screws into the inside of the tank valve.  A DIN regulator’s first stage fits into one side of the tank valve, and no additional metal or braces run behind the tank valve.

Yoke and DIN Regulators Require Different Tank Valves:

Yoke regulators use a more-or-less flat tank valve that has an o-ring pressed into a small grove on the flat side of the valve.

DIN regulators use a tank valve with a large, threaded opening that allows the threaded post of a DIN regulator to be screwed inside the tank valve.

Yoke and DIN Regulators Differ in the Location of the O-Ring:

A regulator first stage seals to a scuba tank valve by means of an o-ring. DIN and yoke regulators have the o-ring in different locations. Tank valves designed for use with yoke regulators have the o-ring in the tank valve. DIN regulators have the o-ring incorporated into the regulator instead of the tank valve.

The location of the o-ring in the DIN system is superior. O-rings have been known to extrude from around a yoke regulator attachment while it is in place and pressurized. This causes a major leak. In contrast, the o-ring for the DIN system is located at the end of the post that threads into the tank valve. The o-ring is “captured” behind the post, and there is no way for it to extrude.  In diver jargon, an o-ring that can not extrude is called a captured o-ring.

Yoke and DIN Valves Are Found on Different Kinds of Tanks:

Yoke valves are common throughout North America and recreational tourist destinations. They are standard on most Aluminum 80 cubic foot tanks (Al 80).

DIN valves can handle higher pressures than yoke valves, and are used on high pressure tanks. They are also found on Al 80’s in Europe and some other parts of the world.

Different Kinds of DIN Regulators:

To make matters more confusing, there are two different kinds of DIN regulators and DIN valves: 200 bar and 300 bar (bar is the metric unit of pressure). 300 bar valves are deeper and require a regulator with a longer post with more threads. The difference lies in the amount of pressure the tank valve is rated to withstand. There is not much difference as far as the regulator is concerned because the first few threads of the post do all the work. A 300 bar DIN regulator can be easily used on a 200 bar tank valve, but a 200 bar regulator will not seal properly to a 300 bar tank valve. It doesn’t make much sense to buy a 200 bar DIN regulator.

Which is Better, Yoke or DIN?:

DIN is the superior system by far.  The o-ring is captured behind the regulator post, eliminating the chance that it may extrude and create a dangerous situation. Because the o-ring is in the regulator, a diver with his own regulator brings his own o-ring to the dive, and can be certain not to be stuck with worn out, damaged o-rings sometimes found on rental yoke-valve tanks. DIN regulators can be designed to withstand higher pressures than yoke regulators. It is possible to knock a yoke regulator off the tank if the tank is dropped or struck (not an ideal situation). This is nearly impossible to do with a DIN regulator. DIN regulators are also more streamlined than yoke regulators, and generally weigh less.

Which Regulator Style Should I Buy, Yoke or DIN?:

A diver needs to consider where he will be diving, what tanks he is likely to be using, and what sort of diving he intends to do. Al 80’s with yoke valves are the standard in North America and in most recreational warm-water diving locations. Many divers only plan to do this sort of diving. They should go with a yoke regulator.

If a diver plans to engage in technical diving or use high pressure tanks, DIN is the preferable configuration.

Your Choice Is Not Final

DIN regulators can be converted to the yoke system and yoke regulators can be converted to the DIN system with the appropriate service kit. This is a quick conversion, and is easy for a knowledgeable service technician.

In addition, adaptors are available to use DIN regulators on yoke tanks and vis-versa. The only problem is that the yoke adaptor for a DIN regulator is a little bulky and may cause the regulator first stage to stick out and bump a diver’s head. Divers who are planing on diving primarily with yoke tanks may want to get a yoke-style regulator for this reason.

The Best of Both Worlds

For divers who want the option to do everything, the best choice would be to buy a 300 Bar DIN regulator and a DIN to Yoke adaptor. This will cover any valve situation.

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Scubapro Spectra Dive Mask Review

Posted on05. Feb, 2014 by .


SCUBAPRO Spectra Dive Mask ReviewSpectra--ClrRed

My Review

Spectra is a low volume mask that fits most faces and offers very easy clearing and a comfortable fit. Spectra is a dual lens mask with “no-tint” extra-clear tempered glass lenses that ensure both safety and durability. The large head strap is very comfortable and is easy to adjust both underwater and on the surface. The nose pocket features EZ Equalize technology to make ear-equalization as easy as possible.

Spectra comes in several colours, including metal and duo-tone versions with a clear or a black skirt. There is also a version with mirror lenses.

Available Sizes and Colours:

The Spectra is available two sizes: a regular size or a smaller size adapted for children’s and women’s smaller faces called Spectra Mini

Colours: With clear skirt: Blue, Silver/Blue, Red, White. With black skirt: Black/Silver, Black/Bronze

Where can you purchase this gear?

Dragon Divers 5 Star Dive Resort

Recommended Retail Price (RRP):

Spectra: €60

About the Manufacturer

A global leader in innovative scuba diving equipment, SCUBAPRO products deliver a lifetime of reliable performance for the recreational and professional diver alike. SCUBAPRO offers a full product range of scuba diving equipment.

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Do you Suffer from Swimmers Ear???

Posted on05. Feb, 2014 by .


Do you frequently suffer from swimmers ear infections? Yes then click here to read an article from DAN (Divers Alert Network).  This could prevent you from getting swimmer ear when you least want it, during time off when you will be diving a lot or worse on a diving holiday to Egypt!


Do you not hold any Diving Insurance?  DAN is an insurance specifically for divers.  They have insurance plans for all budgets and also have family plans and mixed professional & Sports diver policies.  Click on the DAN Symbol above for more information.

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Dragon Divers Press Release 3rd Feb 2014

Posted on03. Feb, 2014 by .


First Dragon Divers Press Release for 2014

The First Dragon Divers Press Release of the year informing you of the changes we have made around the dive centre since last season.  Click here to see the article.

Dragon Divers Press Release

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Green Bay In Storm!!

Posted on12. Dec, 2013 by .

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Green Bay, Protaras as you have probably never seen it.  Since taking this video, the conditions have got worse!!

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Diving School Cyprus – Continuing Education

Diving School Cyprus – Continuing Education

Posted on07. Oct, 2013 by .


Most divers I encounter at my dive centre are at the Advanced Open Water Level and have been there for some time.  When asked why they have not gone any further with their dive training, I have been told a number of things but the main answer was “I don’t need to go any further!” These divers were not informed or educated correctly after completing their Advanced Open Water Course!  Although most of the divers that dive with my centre, are holiday divers they believe that they don’t need to extend their skills and knowledge their dive guides are all professional divers and will do anything for them.  To an extent that statement is correct as we aim for 100% customer satisfaction and we will try and cater for all their needs, but when it comes to diving safely it’s not always that simple.

I am a PADI instructor.  I am PADI, not for any elitist attitude as some will say, but the diving school I started my training through was PADI.  I don’t teach for any other agencies, it is just something that I have never needed to do, and because of that I am not going to pretend to know the inner workings of these other agencies, but it can be very upsetting when you sometimes hear other agency professionals, and professionals within PADI, talking in a negative way.  It’s not something I like, but almost every diver has heard the term ‘Put Another Dollar In’.  This comes back to PADI’s success at marketing these small courses, and other people not agreeing.  Seems to be working so far however.  But because of this negative talk circulating around student divers, you may find a lot not inclined to pay for another course.  Have PADI got it right?  Considering PADI is recognised World Wide, the short courses that PADI offer are ideal for travelling divers that do not want to spend their whole holiday/vacation doing a diving course and can therefor increase their knowledge and skills in bite sized chunks, I would say yes!  Of course this will cost money, what doesn’t, but compared to other hobbies, say Golf, for instance, diving is cheaper.  A 45 minute Golf Lesson in Cyprus costs €54, that works out at €72 per hour.  The average diving speciality course consists of 4 dives and if we employed the same rate as the golf the course not including certification would cost you……. €576 because you would have the instructor for 8 hours.  The most expensive speciality course is around €250 and this includes certification, air and equipment hire.  That means you get your diving instructor for less than €23 per hour!

So continuing your diving education is not relatively expensive.  Okay so what do need to improve our dive skills and knowledge?

If you imagine a target, a series of concentric circles expanding from a centre point.   This is what PADI instructors may refer to as the ‘Target of Awareness’.

At the centre circle or “Bulls Eye” you have divers who have just completed their Open Water course.  Their first experiences of breathing underwater, and all of the magic and nerves that these moments can create.  They are focused on themselves and becoming more comfortable in the water, learning to apply everything they have learnt in their course.  Some divers want to spend some time at this level to gain confidence and improve their basic skills, and if they are going to dive without a professional guide, my advice would be to do just that.  Most divers however want to move straight on to increase their basic skills allowing them to dive to deeper depths.

This step will take them out of the centre circle into the second circle.  This is when instructors can start to task load students, giving them skills to complete underwater such as navigation, peak buoyancy, search and recovery of objects.  Not only does this course teach divers skills that, while not immediately necessary in a lot of situations, are extremely useful, but the Advanced Open Water course helps to improve confidence in the water through the use of these skills.  I’m sure a diver with more of an understanding of underwater navigation is going to be more comfortable grabbing a buddy and going to explore a shore diving site.

Take another step further away from the centre and you reach the rescue diver course.  Divers are now comfortable in the water, and they have been task loaded.  This level now expands their awareness beyond themselves and to other divers.  Learning how to read situations to prevent dive emergencies from happening, or if they happen, how to control the situation and make a successful recovery.  When you break it down and look at the levels, this is the first point at which divers really stop and start to have this expanded view of the diving world.  I loved my rescue course, I learnt so much from my instructor.  Teaching in warm waters means there are some things that are going to make doing rescue courses a little bit more comfortable, but I am still just as demanding on my students to get things perfect, while making sure they are that satisfied kind of tired at the end of the day.  Rescue is hard and fun, just as long as you are ready for it.

The final step, just under professional divers, on the ‘Target of Awareness’ is what PADI titles a Master SCUBA diver.  This in my opinion, is where every recreational diver should aim to become.  A Master SCUBA Diver is a rescue diver, with experience and comfort in the water, and a diver who has completed at least 5 different distinctive specialty courses.  PADI recognizes the experience and knowledge that these divers have with the Master SCUBA Diver rating.  They recognize the work that these divers have put into their diving careers, and acknowledge that they are able to step back and observe the big picture, enjoy being in the water, but be ready to respond to anything and everything.

Yes it does cost money to reach the heights of Master Scuba Diver, but can you tell me a sport or Hobby that costs you nothing to do?  Some diver training agencies have training schedules that force you to carry out dives that you don’t really want to do or have no interest.  PADI specialties give you the option to carry out dives that your are most interested in and they separate the diving into 2 categories, Recreation diving (no stop diving) and Technical diving (Decompression diving).  This allows divers to follow the path of their personal goals.  Some divers, me included, do not want to hang around on a shot line decompressing for 10 – 20 minutes.  I enjoy planning my dives so that I can see what I want to see without long decompression stops.  Is it safer to carry out no stop diving in relation to decompression diving….. No.  Providing decompression dives are planned correctly ensuring you have enough air to complete any necessary stops it can be just as safe as no stop diving.


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Diving School Cyprus

Diving School Cyprus

Posted on07. Oct, 2013 by .


Although most divers refer to us as Dive Centre’s we are amongst other things a Diving School as we teach people how to dive.  Most divers we teach are adults and no one likes to go to schools so we became Dive Centre’s.  Children however, don’t mind going to Dive School!!  Jack Alexander, 12 years old from the Ayia Nik area has just completed his Scuba Training to become a PADI Junior Open Water Diver.  He mastered all the skills needed to complete the course, (eventually) and scored an impressive 80% on his theory exam.

After the initial confined water training in Green Bay, Protaras, Cyprus, Jack completed 4 Open Water Dives to test the skills he has learnt with the final dive at Konnos Point, Cape Creko he showed he had mastered the art of buoyancy by hovering for over a minute at 18m.  Jack also showed he had no fear of the depth by removing and replacing his mask at his qualifying depth of 18m.  Unfortunately PADI standards does not allow me to take a camera with me to document his training as his basic buoyancy skills throughout the fun and exploration part of the dive was at a high standard, better than some of the divers I see day in day out at the local dive sites.  Photo’s and video will be taken when Jack dives with us again as I can now take a camera with me now that he is a qualified diver, Well Done Jack and we all look forward to diving in Cyprus with you in the near future.

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Youngest Dragon To Achieve Junior Open Water Status!!

Posted on13. Aug, 2013 by .



Isabella Smith has earn’t the qualification of PADI Junior Open Water Diver just 2 months after her tenth Birthday.  Isabella, like most children, love being underwater, but to make it safe, all the normal skills and drills have to be mastered.  For children, this can be quite a challenge, not just for the child but also the instructor.  A calm and patient attitude need to be present at all time even if you are screaming at them in your mind.  Patience from the instructor promotes confidence in children, and even though young Isabella could talk the hind legs off a donkey, she concentrated on the skills at hand when needed.  Learning new skills can be quite daunting too but once mastered kids want to show them off all the time.  This can become quite annoying but I would never stop a child from practising a mask removal and replacement, or “Out Of Air” drills.  Adults are happy to complete the drill once whilst children want to do it over and over again.

The main reason we receive requests to teach children this young to be a Junior Open Water Diver is because one or both parents are divers.  Providing the children can keep their concentration on you the instructor, I would advise that parents are included in the training where possible, even if it is just for the final qualification dive.  Isabella and I were joined by her parents, Stuart and Lucy and once all the skills were complete and we were on the fun part of the dive, Stuart was invited to buddy his daughter without having to operate her BCD, hold on to her or carry out any other procedures we normally do when taking children out on “Discover Scuba Diving Experiences”.  A proud moment for any parent!!  Well Done Isabella!!

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