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11 months ago

How to live underwater and not be a Bond villain!

Underwater villages are not just the stuff of Bond movies, in fact living under the ocean is not as far-fetched as you might think – and unlike planning a move to the moon; we’ve already tried it….

In 1962, the legendary pioneer of scuba diving Jacques Cousteau made his first attempt at an undersea ‘home’. Two ‘oceanauts’, as they were called, spent a week underwater in the waters off Marseilles. From this success he went on to create Conshelf 2, a mini undersea village 10 metres beneath the Red Sea off Sudan.

The station was 3 separate structures: a starfish-shaped house, a deeper cabin at 30 metres, and a 2-person diving saucer. This time 5 divers lived for up to 30 days. Creature comforts were of course limited, but imaging the view from the window!


Waters off Sudan are teeming with fish and a favourite for divers wanting to see the larger species: It’s possible to spot Whale Sharks, Hammerheads and Blue Whales; there are a staggering 400 species of coral in these waters and 1500 species of fish.

The development of the Continental Shelf Station 2 (Conshelf 2) is documented in the 1964 documentary film World Without Sun. The title reflects what is maybe the toughest thing for us humans: living for long periods without sunlight.

Cousteau went on to build a third undersea structure in the hope of perhaps one day better harvesting the sea’s rich supplies. Ultimately, it proved more efficient to use submarines and he moved on to champion conservation efforts.

What’s really amazing about Conshelf 2 is that you can still visit – it’s not possible to stay over, but it’s proof that living under the sea for longer periods is not just a fantasy. Diving to the site you’ll still see some of the coral crusted structures that the aquanauts used, including the garage for the submarine.

To get there and to the other incredible Sudanese dive sites you’ll need to stay on a liveaboard, where everything above the water is taken care of, leaving you the time to discover more and sail between the best dive sites.

There is a small selection of really well equipped boats serving these waters to choose from. Time spent aboard the Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Dolce Vita or Royal Evolution promises 4 and 5-star facilities as well as the pleasure of sharing the experience with other dive lovers.

So, at a time when all eyes are on space, should we think again about building an aqualand? Maybe just a hotel under the sea? Let us know in the comments if you’d book a room and try it for the weekend? No Bond villains please!

Share your scuba diving images on Instagram with #idiveplanet – we feature the finest.


Planet Dive's range of holidays covers many of the world's great dive destinations, Dive Maldives, Dive Malaysia Borneo, Dive Indonesia, Dive Philippines and Egypt’s Red Sea to name a few. Select your dream diving destination for a land based diving holiday or a self-guided tailormade Dive Tour. Access remote, pristine dive sites on a Liveaboard Diving Holiday . Find a Liveaboard from our selection of the very best dive live-aboards from Red Sea Liveaboards & Maldives Liveaboards to less well known liveaboard destinations such as the Galapagos liveaboard Islands, Indonesia dive holidays, Sudan, Cayman Islands and more.

11 months ago

How to live underwater and not be a Bond villain!

Underwater villages are not just the stuff of Bond movies, in fact living under the ocean is not as far-fetched as you might think – and unlike planning a move to the moon; we’ve already tried it….

In 1962, the legendary pioneer of scuba diving Jacques Cousteau made his first attempt at an undersea ‘home’. Two ‘oceanauts’, as they were called, spent a week underwater in the waters off Marseilles. From this success he went on to create Conshelf 2, a mini undersea village 10 metres beneath the Red Sea off Sudan.

The station was 3 separate structures: a starfish-shaped house, a deeper cabin at 30 metres, and a 2-person diving saucer. This time 5 divers lived for up to 30 days. Creature comforts were of course limited, but imaging the view from the window!


Waters off Sudan are teeming with fish and a favourite for divers wanting to see the larger species: It’s possible to spot Whale Sharks, Hammerheads and Blue Whales; there are a staggering 400 species of coral in these waters and 1500 species of fish.

The development of the Continental Shelf Station 2 (Conshelf 2) is documented in the 1964 documentary film World Without Sun. The title reflects what is maybe the toughest thing for us humans: living for long periods without sunlight.

Cousteau went on to build a third undersea structure in the hope of perhaps one day better harvesting the sea’s rich supplies. Ultimately, it proved more efficient to use submarines and he moved on to champion conservation efforts.

What’s really amazing about Conshelf 2 is that you can still visit – it’s not possible to stay over, but it’s proof that living under the sea for longer periods is not just a fantasy. Diving to the site you’ll still see some of the coral crusted structures that the aquanauts used, including the garage for the submarine.

To get there and to the other incredible Sudanese dive sites you’ll need to stay on a liveaboard, where everything above the water is taken care of, leaving you the time to discover more and sail between the best dive sites.

There is a small selection of really well equipped boats serving these waters to choose from. Time spent aboard the Andromeda, Cassiopeia, Dolce Vita or Royal Evolution promises 4 and 5-star facilities as well as the pleasure of sharing the experience with other dive lovers.

So, at a time when all eyes are on space, should we think again about building an aqualand? Maybe just a hotel under the sea? Let us know in the comments if you’d book a room and try it for the weekend? No Bond villains please!

Share your scuba diving images on Instagram with #idiveplanet – we feature the finest.


Planet Dive's range of holidays covers many of the world's great dive destinations, Dive Maldives, Dive Malaysia Borneo, Dive Indonesia, Dive Philippines and Egypt’s Red Sea to name a few. Select your dream diving destination for a land based diving holiday or a self-guided tailormade Dive Tour. Access remote, pristine dive sites on a Liveaboard Diving Holiday . Find a Liveaboard from our selection of the very best dive live-aboards from Red Sea Liveaboards & Maldives Liveaboards to less well known liveaboard destinations such as the Galapagos liveaboard Islands, Indonesia dive holidays, Sudan, Cayman Islands and more.

11 months ago

Scuba Diving with Komodo Dragons. Really?

Well, not exactly. It’s not the latest YouTube sensation where divers strap Komodo dragons to their cylinders… The Komodo National Park in Indonesia is known for much more than its dragons, and if you’re a scuba diver it has to be on your bucket list.

Diving the Komodo National Park

Above water the national park is a UNESCO designated World Heritage Site. The park consist of 29 islands, including the three larger ones (Rinca, Komodo, and Padar) and several smaller ones – all volcanic. The waters in the south islands are significantly cooler – what you have in the national park are clashing undersea currents and this brings a great diversity in temperature and species. Chances are you’ll be sailing east of Bali on a liveaboard through the Sape Straight searching out the nutrient-rich waters that help fuel the park’s marine life.

Dolphins, Sunfish and squadrons of Manta Ray (Manta birostris) can be seen in several sites across the park, yet there’s lots to be said of looking closer at the detail and smaller species: Clark’s anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii), mimic octopus (Thaumoctopus mimicus) and the small girdled glossosodoris nudibranch (Glossodoris cinta) are all to be seen.

Three Favoured Komodo Dive Sites

Batu Bolong

A pinnacle otherwise known as Hollow Rock, it sits in 75 metres of water with Komodo main island to the west. The north side of the pinnacle falls faster to the deep and has a great gully to dive. What’s special is the variety of reef fish – spend a little time here and you’ll see every aspect of reef life. In deeper waters you’ll spot whitetip reef sharks and reef visitors include hawksbill turtles.

Cannibal Rock

Another pinnacle, this time east of Komodo and just to the south of Rinca Island. Diving to the deeper sections you’ll spot huge anemones and Sea Apples (Pseudocolchirus Violaceus); closer to the surface look out for Stingrays who come here hunting and Black Snappers. Cannibal Rock is also a place to spot the Pygmy Seahorse – you’ll see these at home in the purple gregorian fans.

Manta Alley

The waters are cool here and an ideal place to find Manta Rays. The rays circle the three wide underwater channels (18 metres deep) you’ll also find them in the nearby shallows. And they are not the only larger fish to find…mangrove red snapper, black and white tip sharks, and barracuda also frequent these waters.

If it’s the predators that really float your boat, you should also spend some time ashore – it’s estimated there are 5,700 dragons on Komodo and they have a bit of a reputation

Planet Dive's range of holidays covers many of the world's great dive destinations, Dive Maldives, Dive Malaysia Borneo, Dive Indonesia, Dive Philippines and Egypt’s Red Sea to name a few. Select your dream diving destination for a land based diving holiday or a self-guided tailormade Dive Tour. Access remote, pristine dive sites on a Liveaboard Diving Holiday . Find a Liveaboard from our selection of the very best dive live-aboards from Red Sea Liveaboards & Maldives Liveaboards to less well known liveaboard destinations such as the Galapagos liveaboard Islands, Indonesia dive holidays, Sudan, Cayman Islands and more.

11 months ago

Express Dive: Will this innovation open Scuba for everyone?

It’s not often a product comes along that really changes the world of Scuba diving. Forever. Yes we are all secret gear junkies – and having the correct gear is essential – but what was the last item that fundamentally changed what we do? Or opened up our world to others?Well, the new Express Dive looks set introduce many more people to the world of Scuba diving. Why? Because it’s a micro tank that lets people who would usually just snorkel and dip below the surface dive for longer.

The refillable air storage device gives swimmers up to 2 minutes’ air. Key to its attraction is simplicity. As you can see from the pictures there’s very little to it.

Express Dive is the brainchild of Cathal Redmond from the university of Limerick with his design earning him a runners-up prize in the prestigious International James Dyson Award.

Now while it’s still a prototype, it’s definitely an innovation that we should be keeping an eye on. Not that you’d ever trade it for a full tank on a liveaboard holiday in Belize where you need as much time as possible to explore. But it might be something that’s kept on the boat if say you spotted a pod of dolphins and wanted to quickly get in without getting everything ready.

And this goes to the heart of why the Express Dive will change everything if it makes production: Scuba diving is complex; it takes preparation and time to suit up and check everything is ready to go. And this might just be what puts people off the sport.

There are so many snorkelers who love swimming in the sea just with fins and goggles. And it’s these people who could be tempted to join scuba clubs after enjoying a couple of minutes under the water.

What do you think? Will the Express Dive tempt more people into scuba, or the opposite and keep people snorkeling, just for longer?

Let us know – and look out for us revealing more about new gear and innovations that are shaping how we dive.

Planet Dive's range of holidays covers many of the world's great dive destinations, Dive Maldives, Dive Malaysia Borneo, Dive Indonesia, Dive Philippines and Egypt’s Red Sea to name a few. Select your dream diving destination for a land based diving holiday or a self-guided tailormade Dive Tour. Access remote, pristine dive sites on a Liveaboard Diving Holiday . Find a Liveaboard from our selection of the very best dive live-aboards from Red Sea Liveaboards & Maldives Liveaboards to less well known liveaboard destinations such as the Galapagos liveaboard Islands, Indonesia dive holidays, Sudan, Cayman Islands and more.

1 year ago

Increase In Bank Foreclosure Listings Attract Homebuyers

Homebuyers increased in number when Lists of Bank Foreclosure rushed forward in some parts around the country. Ms foreclosures, is just one example of such an area (Mississippi). Some factors such as low market costs, lessened interest charges and a federal tax credit is provided to first-time homebuyers valuing up to $8,000. The amount of people aggressively seeking out foreclosed homes levels to the number of speculators during the housing boom several years back. So if you are living in areas where foreclosure news is on the rise, you may expect to see more homebuyers checking out homes in your neighborhood. Buyers who just disappeared for years have increased in number to places with utmost foreclosure rates such as Phoenix in Arizona, South Florida, Las Vegas in Nevada, and Riverside and San Bernardino in South California. MS foreclosure rates also continue to increase. Multiple bids among buyers are becoming a common occurrence as they try to compete with each other in acquiring properties listed under Bank Foreclosures because prices of these homes have dropped 50 percent from their original value. Based on the latest data, foreclosed properties account to 40 percent to 80 percent of the bank's Foreclosure Listings. Most of the properties on the list are being sold at prices that only equals to the total amount spent on construction. Industry experts stated that homeowners who try to sell their properties might encounter difficulties due to the competition where in the increase number of foreclosed properties in the bank is traded in markets. This may result to further foreclosure news since these troubled homeowners will not be able to sell their properties to cover mortgage payments. The median value of homes up to now is affected by foreclosing properties accounted by the total sales of home for about 1/3 in May. According to the National Association of Realtors, there was a 16.8 percent drop in Median home price - down to $173,000 - in comparison to the previous year. Last year (2008), Florida and Miami became number one of all the states where home sale values decreased. The percentage dropped for almost 30 was based first quarter estimates. In the counties of San Bernardino and Riverside, selling prices of properties in Bank Foreclosure Listings were comparable to values back in the year 2000. While in South Florida and Las Vegas, prices of foreclosed homes were similar to that in 2003. Because unemployment rates keeps on increasing in addition to higher attuned mortgage rates, recovery is still quite not reachable in the housing market. These factors would definitely contribute to more foreclosure news in the future.



Foreclosure search
Ohio Foreclosures

1 year ago

What You Should Know About Online Foreclosure Listing Services

When a home mortgage has become past due, lenders like banks tend to repossess the house from the borrower. This is what's referred to as a foreclosure. Normally, when you borrow money to buy a physical property such as a house or car, you agree with the lender that you will make timely payments on a specified time period. Once you failed to do so, foreclosures can be initiated. You will be notified by the bank that your loan or mortgage is in default and your property will be apprehended by a certain time period. This will give you the chance to sell the property or pay the lender. In other cases, a property may immediately be seized by the lender and this is often referred to as €deed in lieu of foreclosure.€ Once your property has been reclaimed by the lender, it can be put up by the lender for sale at a reduced price. This is done so the lender can get back some of the money you owe them, so auctions or foreclosures may offer the house at below market value to make profit from it quickly. Finding Foreclosures If you are thinking about purchasing a home or investing in multiple properties, you will definitely love checking out a Canada foreclosure list. Almost all foreclosed properties are owned by banks that have taken property possession due to the inability of the previous owner to keep up with their mortgage. You can find listings of foreclosures near you from banks. This could be a little time consuming though. So, consider searching the Web for foreclosed properties. These days, more and more investors are searching for foreclosures through these listings. While there are free foreclosed property listings you can find on the Web, some investors are registering in some websites with exclusive foreclosed property database. Using some of these membership sites that offer foreclosed property listing services will give you access to cheap properties that are not yet open to the public. Benefits of Using Online Listings of Foreclosures With online foreclosed properties list services, you can (1) find properties up to 50 percent below market value; (2) purchase foreclosures before other investors find out about them; (3) bypass real estate agents; (4) get involved with every real estate deal as you directly negotiate with the home owners; and (5) find the best real estate deals that could be suited for creative financing deals like rent-to-own and lease options. If you do not have much knowledge about real estate investing, do a little research first and widen your knowledge as to how you can benefit much from online foreclosed property listing services. If it is just one property you are thinking of buying or you are just looking for a discounted home, you could likely find these paid online listings of foreclosures a little costly but still helpful as you can have great information at hand without wasting so much time. Online foreclosure listing services are highly recommended to real estate investors who are willing to do work for bigger paydays.



County Foreclosures
Alaska Foreclosures

1 year ago

Short Sales

If hard times have fallen upon you and making your mortgage payment has become difficult to impossible, you may be on the brink of the lending company foreclosing on your home if you are behind on your payment plan. While foreclosure may seem imminent, selling your home may be the quickest solution.

However, while selling your home may be the most obvious solution, it may also be the most difficult task to accomplish, especially if it needs to sell quickly. If the real estate market in your area is flooded with homes for sale and you owe more than your home’s market value, you have a real problem in getting it sold. Not only is there a lot of competition, you are having to ask more for your house so that you can try to cover the mortgage. If you are underwater, that is, you owe more than it is worth, then short selling may be your option for a quicker sale.

Short selling is when you sell your home for less than is owed on it, but it must be approved by the lending company and you must meet certain qualifications before the transaction can occur. The first criterion is what we have already mentioned – you must be underwater.

The next qualification for a short sale approval is that the seller must have a hardship or be in danger of a foreclosure. Many people today are facing hardships due to the slow economy which has existed for several years and has resulted in the loss of many jobs. Still, other people are experiencing hardships for other reasons, such as chronic illness.

Some contingencies also exist on the buyer’s side before a short sale can occur. As with any real estate sell, the buyer must qualify for the purchase of the property. Hopefully, the buyer has already been preapproved for a certain mortgage amount, but there are people who will waste your time and the realtor’s time looking at houses knowing that they do not have funds in place.

While not through a short sale, my wife and I are trying to sell our home and had what we thought were solid candidates. The husband and wife looked at our home three times with their realtor over a course of 4-5 weeks. On the third trip, they asked a contractor to come with them because the husband wanted to build a workshop in the backyard. The realtor said that she had shown them several homes and each time, they kept returning to ours as they tried to make their decision. Also, each of the times that they looked at our home, which is lived in, it was always an urgent request - meaning the same day. In the end, they did not have the funds to match their dreams and only wasted everyone’s time.

Finally, the lending company must approve of the price for the short sale. They are going to want to get as much as possible to minimize their losses. However, they also realize that they stand a better chance of eliminating or reducing the mortgage debt through the short sell than they do through a foreclosure, and sooner than if bankruptcy is filed. Usually, this price is going to be around the current market price, but it could be less. Currently, a house in my neighborhood is under a short sale contract for $100 thousand dollars less than the market price.



County Foreclosures
REO homes