Dive Site of the Month- Alpha Funguo Wreck

Once again, a dive site for the month has been chosen – MFV Alpha Funguo Wreck! It is a fishing trawler that was initially sunk on 21st February 2002 and measures 45m in length. This incredible dive site hosted our first Whale shark this year.

It is incredibly popular thanks to its rich diversity. Garden Eels, Gobies and shrimps surround the base of our wreck, sneaking their heads in and out of the sand. Barracuda, Sweetlips, Fusilier, Batfish, Snappers, and Trevallies accumulate in large schools at the top of our wreck and camouflaged well against our wreck, you can find; scorpion fish, leaf fish, and frogfish. Other residents include the Giant Moray Eel, Giant Thorny Stingray, Lionfish, and whale sharks.

A dive site worth seeing on a visit to Kenya! Check out the video below to witness it’s a beauty!

Ocean and Beach Sustainability

We’ve teamed up with the Marine Education Centre to bring you this great guide about how you can help protect our marine environments when you visit the beach. Discover loads of helpful tips and important rules to follow when at the beach to ensure that you don’t damage or harm any of the wonderful marine life that live there.

Please download and share with your friends and family, so we can all help make the world a better place.

Download Guide

Top tips on finding Marine Life

Every diver has a bucket-list of creatures they would love to see. Diving the Crab has pulled together some top tips to help you make the most out of your diving experiences and have the best chance of spotting your bucket-list creatures.

Do your homework

    Get to know a species characteristics such as their size and colour.
    Find out their preferred habitat; do they prefer corals, sand or to hover mid-water?
    Do they use camouflage as a technique to ambush prey or to hide from other predators?
    Have they developed a symbiotic relationship with other species such as the groupers and moray eels? In other words, if you see one species then have a look around for the other.

Control your buoyancy and Dive slowly

    The slower you dive, the better the chances of finding anything. It is also ideal to complete a Peak Performance Buoyancy course to be able to hover in various positions. Getting low and hovering upside down can be very useful when checking inside small cracks and crevices.

Get to know the dive sites or ask a local

    There is no harm in asking. Simply head to a local dive shop and get a briefing of the dive sites beforehand. Find out where the ‘secret’ locations are situated, how long it will take to get to them and check whether you have to look in a specific area.

Scuba Diving is just like a treasure hunt. Work with the clues and you shall find what you’re looking for.

Pre-pay for eLearning Lite with Diving the Crab

When completing an eLearning Lite course with us, it needs to be pre-paid. We offer a less expensive choice than PADI.com.

If you buy the Open Water Diver eLearning Touch separately from PADI.com then you will end up paying a lot more than buying the eLearning Lite directly from Diving the Crab.

So what is eLearning Lite?

ELearning known as electronic learning, is simply studying online. In other words, you can complete your dive theory at home, at your own pace, before arriving at the dive centre to complete the rest. It comes with many benefits!

eLearning Lite is compatible with Apple iOS, Android, Microsoft Windows and OSX operating systems. It’s available in many different languages, you get to keep it for a lifetime and your learning materials automatically update to the latest version. eLearning Lite does not include the course videos, which you will have to watch here at the Dive Centre.

You can buy just the theory part from us and pay the remainder of your course on-location here.

We will send you a link for the payment of your chosen option – course or theory. Once you have made the payment and we received the confirmation, we will register you with PADI and you will be sent a code with the instructions to download your digital learning material.

Top Christmas tips for You!

A New Year is just around the corner! On behalf of the Marine Educational Centre and Diving the Crab, we would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, with a few tips on how you can become more sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Christmas tip no.1:
Choose an upcycled gift over purchasing something new – or better yet, make one yourself!
Big or small, there are so many great ideas out there; check out the images below for inspiration!

Christmas tip number two:
Put together a sustainable gift pack to start the new year – and a new decade, in style!
Everyday items such as bags, bottles, cups, toothbrushes, and more which all have a limited life span can be made from products which have a reduced environmental impact when discarded, or which can be recycled easily after use.
What designs will you choose?

Tip three for a sustainable Christmas:
Choose your menu carefully!
How was your seafood caught?
How was your meat produced?
How were your vegetables grown?
Check your local sustainable seafood guidelines, choose free-range animal products, and look for organically grown crops this season!

Christmas tip four:
Look out for packaging!
This could be single-use non-recyclable packaging on your purchases, packaging on your deliveries, or even the packaging you choose regarding how you wrap your gift!
Choose biodegradable packaging options this festive season!

Tip five for this Christmas:
Choose a gift for the conservation of wildlife or the environment!
Plant a tree, adopt an endangered animal, buy a product made from ocean trash – there are so many options out there!

Christmas tip six:
Choose your gifts of toiletries, cosmetics and other beauty products with the environment in mind!
Look at the label to see what they contain and choose those with biodegradable packaging options!

Our final Christmas tip for this season:
Choose an experience over an item!
Give the gift of being in nature! Make lifetime memories!
But remember to consider how you travel to and from these places; choose the options with the lower carbon footprint!

Dive site of the month: Kisima Mungu

Kisima Mungu is rich with hundreds of miles of colourful corals both soft and hard. Its beautiful coral heads of considerable size, house all kinds of marine life. One, in particular, is known as the cleaning station. Glass and Damselfish surround our cleaning station in extensively large schools, giving divers an exhilarating feeling as they pass through. Adjacent to the cleaning station are a couple of Stone Fish concealed well in the sand, followed by Lionfish and Scorpionfish which tend to park themselves on top of the Leaf Fish.

Slightly out of sight but still visible, is our newest resident the White Tip Reef Shark. It sits around 20m and typically found resting inside its cave.

Kisima is a beautiful lengthy reef with endless amounts of sprightly Sting Rays, ravenous Turtles and several far-reaching schools of fish. Rare species such as the Indian Walkman and Weedy Scorpionfish have been sighted but it takes the eyes of a hawk to find them.

Discover Scuba Diving Christmas Vouchers

Have you ever dreamt of scuba diving? Or do you know of family or friends who wish to explore and experience the sheer beauty of the underwater realm?

With Christmas just around the corner, now is the time to get a hold of one of our ‘Discover Scuba Diving’ Christmas vouchers. With the opportunity to pre-pay online, these vouchers make the perfect gift.

Just as the name reveals, the Discover Scuba Diving course is your chance to explore new environments. To discover the absolute beauty of our corals and fish, and to share this opportunity with your friends and families.

It is a quick introductory course which allows you to gain confidence in the pool first, before heading out to the blue. It only requires a minimum age of 10 years and you will be under the direct supervision of one of our professional Instructors at all times. It includes 2 dives with a maximum depth of 12m.

Our reefs begin at an average depth of 8m and contain large amounts of wide-spread coral, which flourish amongst the depths of our ocean. They provide divers with an abundance of marine life such as Turtles, which are very common amongst our waters. Other species include Octopus, Leaf Fish, Lion Fish, Dolphins, Moray Eels, etc… For the lucky ones-Whalesharks!

This voucher is valid for a whole year. Simply pop us an email, complete the payments and your gift will be sent.

The protection and monitoring of shallow-water ecosystems off Diani Beach Kenya: PART 2

As you discovered from part 1 of this blog; the shallow lagoons in Diani contain both coral reef and seagrass ecosystems, supporting a diverse array of marine life, and providing a number of vital services such as carbon sequestration.

Our partners at the Marine Education Centre have teamed up with two research organisations and together we are supporting four post-graduate students who are collecting data between Mwachema river and Chale Island.

The two partnering organisations are Coastal Oceans Research and Development – Indian Ocean (CORDIO) and Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI). The CORDIO project is via a second partnership with Allen Coral Atlas (ACA) who are conducting ground-truthing surveys globally, to map the world’s coral reefs. The project itself has been set up in partnership with the National Geographic Society, Wildlife Conservation Society, and a number of universities and NGOs all over the world.

The fieldwork conducted as part of the CORDIO/ACA project here in Diani involves taking hundreds of photos throughout the study area while towing a GPS. The photo is then analysed using CoralNet software to identify the animals, plants and benthos that make up the ecosystem represented in the image. Lastly, the photos are matched with satellite imagery to ‘teach’ the satellite software to recognise what it is ‘seeing’. The overall aim of the project is to use satellite imagery alone to accurately map these shallow-water habitats; it will recognise sand, rock, rubble, coral, seagrass, algae and other life. Once the software can accurately process the satellite images, scientists should be able to track changes in coral reefs worldwide. The maps can then be used to inform conservation policies to preserve and protect these vital ecosystems.

The KMFRI team are conducting surveys to determine the distribution, composition and abundance of seagrass and algal species and their associates in the lagoon. They are both photographing the benthic life and taking samples to accurately identify which species of seagrass and algae occur in a given habitat. Abundance is measured via shoot density and percentage cover within the photographic quadrats, while evidence of reproduction is measured via presence of flowers or fruit on the plants. The team also checks for presence of grazing by sea turtles, predation by sea urchins, or degradation by human practises. Overall, this baseline study of the health of seagrass and algae in the lagoon of our National Reserve will allow us to develop future studies and possible conservation efforts in the area.

Ghost Net Removal at Diani Beach

Ghost gear consists of fishing nets, lines and traps either intentionally or accidentally abandoned in our oceans. When ghost gear gets stuck on corals, it can smother them, break them and expose them to diseases. Corals can become so tangled that they cannot be reached by sunlight. Marine species are also likely to become entangled slowing them down, affecting their behaviour, including their migration, mating and even feeding.

Removal of ghost nets from our oceans requires commitment and teamwork. Earlier last week, a team of 4 divers managed to carefully remove 2 ghost nets from Diani’s reef, disentangling and releasing a few marine animals. One of the nets was completely abandoned and collapsed over the reef at 5-7m depth. It took the divers 2 days to remove the net from the reef. Fortunately for us, no marine animals were entangled but our beautiful corals were left damaged and broken.

The second net was sprawled from 5m to 15m depth over a distance of at least 30m. Unfortunately for us, this net was set. Word got out and soon the fisherman reported back that they needed assistance with removing their net. It had been left for too long and with the constant changing of tides, the base was completely caught up in the corals. During the disentangling process, we encountered a few crustaceans. Exhausted from their battle for freedom, the slipper lobster, crabs and even sea urchins were carefully set free. Also, plenty of hermit crabs were released before carrying the net ashore.

Marine fishing in Kenya is mostly small-scale, its carried out by fishermen who primarily head out to catch enough to feed their families – also known as Subsistence fishing. They employ labour-intensive fishing technology using canoes and simple fishing gears that include spears, set-nets, beach seines, gillnets, hand lines and traps. It supports extensive rural employment and in most coastal communities it is the main source of income as well source of protein for their families.

We only hope that fishermen in the future, unable to carefully remove their nets, or spot a ghost net will call on us to assist. It is our hope that our local fishing communities will continue to work with us in taking care of our beautiful marine habitats. Working together with our conservation partners and fishing communities we can work together in banishing ghost nets in Diani and protect our oceans. Also, in the near future, we hope to work closely with the Marine Education Centre in their bid to spread awareness among the small scale fishers along Diani in developing more sustainable fishing gear and practices!

Chale Island Day Trips

Diving the Crab offers a variety of diving and non-diving excursions. Situated only 13km from our base at Nomads, is Chale Island – a beautiful private island teeming with life. Although it is a private island, we are privileged to have one of our dive centres situated right by the water, with our very own fleet of boats. Therefore, day trips to and from Chale Island can be organised through us with all excursions departing from our bases in Diani.

We organize 2 dives in the morning and all other activities are dependent on the tides. You have the choice of diving, snorkelling, mangrove tour and a complimentary guided walk through the sacred Kaya Forest. Included in the tour is a tasty buffet for lunch, which is provided on the island itself.

Coral Reefs

Chale Island is known for its beautiful unspoilt shallow reefs that gently slope down to around 30m. Its reefs offer unique contrasting landscapes as well as an abundance of marine life – making it ideal for both snorkelers and divers.

Sacred Kaya Forest

Chale Island contains a mixture of indigenous and tropical flora and provides you with the opportunity to witness some of the tallest trees in Africa. Along the coastline itself is an incredible Mangrove forest. Spread out across the island, you can find a wide variety of primate life, birds and insects. We call it a ‘magical fusion of nature.’
For more information regarding our snorkel and diving excursions, please feel free to contact us via diving@divingthecrab.com.