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Friday, June 10, 2016

Sport Diver Awards 2016


Yes, It's that time of year again.

I'm sure many of you have already been sent an e.mail form Sport Diver for the 2016 awards.

As I'm sure most of you know, we have been lucky to win our respective titles for the last three years and also in doing so with our runners up award in 2012, we have been the most popular dive center in The Red Sea for the last four years. This was made possible only by our loyal divers who have kept voting for us. Thank you.

Due to the devastation caused by the downing of a Russian flight a week after we won the award for 2015, and as a result, the banning of all direct flights to Sharm from the UK, the numbers diving with us in Sharm has fallen to very low numbers compared with how many were diving with us before the ban of flights, however, we have kept open with a skeleton crew, and we still get a good few coming to us from other routes, such as Heathrow via Cairo and Gatwick via Istanbul. We also get many non British divers such as Spanish, American, Argentinian, Jordanian, Australian who has found us via Tripadvisor and want to visit Sharm while they are touring Egypt. We've gone easy on the free abuse as non Brits don't always get our sense of humor!!!! Again we need to thank those of you who have given us such good reviews on Tripadvisor for this to happen.

Now, many of you would have had the chance to try some other resorts and countries, and other dive centers. This is always a good thing for the individual diver to gain more experience and explore other destinations, however, although you may have not dived with us this year yet, but you feel we are still your favourite dive center, there's nothing stopping you voting for us again this year. If you've found a dive center within Europe, North Africa or Middle East, that you are more fond of, then of course we'll expect you to vote for them. If not, we would appreciate if you made the effort again and voted for Elite Diving Sharm. This will give us a massive boost after such a dour year, especially giving our loyal staff who have stuck with us, some well needed encouragement.

Click on the photo below to take you to the voting site.


We look forward to seeing you back diving with us in the not too distant future.

Cheers

Alun and Moyra.
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Thursday, March 24, 2016

Elite Instructors Earn PADI 50 Certifications Award



Congratulations to 'G', Sean, Alec, Karen and Hasan for achieving their PADI 50 Student certificates badges during 2015.

For G and Sean, it was an amazing start to their Instructing carers. They both Qualified as PADI instructors together at the end of February 2015, and started teaching at the start of March after their Instructor awards came through. In fact, they both reached 50 student certification's fairly quickly, helped by the volume of new diver's that came through elite during the year, the amount of previously trained Open Water students upgrading to Advanced and Rescue and also due to an unfortunate medical condition which developed for our lovely Karen, not allowing her in the water for several months.

No doubt with the amount of divers they had actually certified (Sean 92 and G 79) and the amount of courses booked in for the later part of the year, they would have both achieved their 100 Student Count Award which would have been an incredible achievement in their first year, but it wasn't to be due to the restrictions of traveling to Sharm direct from UK that developed for the last two months of the year, which traditionally is a very busy period for us.

                            
Karen, although not being able to work for six months of the year due to one reason or another, still certified 61 students in 2015 and a total of over 700 since she became a PADI Instructor. Congratulations Karen.

A new recruit to Elite in 2015 was Hasan. Hasan soon fitted in and became a valuable  member of our Instructor team. His English is a very high standard but has also conducted a few courses in Russian, not that we go looking for them!!!


Alec Jones, photographed above, inspecting a photo of himself taken by Nigel Wade and displayed at one of the Dive Show stages in Birmingham 2015, also got a fair few certifications registered even though he spent most of his working hours on the boat leading dives and managing the rest of the staff, and left Sharm to look for a career in the UK in Mid october, still managed to certify 66 divers in a variety of different courses, from Open water, Deep speciality to Dive Master courses.

It was a bitter blow to the diving and tourism industry in Sharm, when direct flights were withdrawn from UK to Sharm on 5th November 2015, along with many other European countries joining the exodus. 

Due to the flight suspension being delayed from month to month and now finally all UK direct flights suspended until October, it's given drive to many of our regular divers to find alternative routes to Sharm.

This weekend we see the first of a bunch of our regular diver's meeting at elite for their annual Easter trip. Some have come via Istanbul and others via Cairo.

Moyra and I have travelled both routes and prefer the Heathrow, Cairo, Sharm option with usually a quick turn around in Cairo. We check our luggage in at Heathrow and don't see it again until we reach Sharm. 
For holiday makers coming to Sharm, the British Insurers 'Westfield Insurance' insure the holiday even when flying into Sharm.

The airport has been given the green light as far as the security goes which leads us to believe the UK government has something else on their agenda that they want the Egyptian government to tackle.
We have heard sad news of the temporary closure of many old established dive centers. Centers such as Werna Lau, Sinai Divers with many of the smaller dive centers suffering the same fate.

We are still here to take divers diving and provide any courses they need.

We do ask that you contact us before booking flights hotel etc as we are trying to get people arriving on the same dates. This way, it allows us to take people diving together, without increasing the costs of your dive package, and it also gives everyone more company to enjoy while diving and socialising at Ras Stella when here.
             























Joye also worked as a freelance Instructor for the first time in Sharm Last year, after spells in Mexico, Honduras and Thailand and he racked up 43 diver certificates, just missing out on the PADI 50 certification recognition award. Due to the lack of work when the flights from UK were stopped. Joey headed back to UK and there he has met up with one of elite's divers where romance blossomed. Perhaps Joey's wandering days are over!!! Good luck Joey.









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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Our Youngest Open Water Student at Elite

This week, Sammy became our youngest ever student to complete the PADI Open Water course successfully.

After taking part in a Bubble maker (a junior discover SCUBA) on the Beach last summer, a programme that is designed to give youngsters too young to participate in an open water course, a taster of SCUBA, Sammy couldn't wait for his tenth birthday to start his Open Water course.

Sammy's tenth Birthday fell on 21st of January and on the 29th of Jan he completed all of the Junior Open water course. If it wasn't for G, his instructor taking part in a sea clean up programme with Sea Shepherd, Sammy would have completed sooner.

Sammy who hails form Birmingham, has lived in Sharm for the last six years but he's now moving back to UK with his mother and Step Dad Paul.

For the last two years, Sammy has been home taught by his mother Ali, who is a qualified teacher. Sammy has reached a standard higher than most children his age and we at Elite wish him and his parents all the very best with their move back to Blighty, and Sam's integration into mainstream education in the UK.
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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Stop Press! "Alec Taffro Jones Leaves Elite Diving".


The Collage of photos taken during Alec's two stints with Elite

The official leaving party was at Half Crown on Saturday where Alec was presented with a collage of photos of his time with elite from the early days back in 2006 when he did his rescue, dive master and instructor course and was taken on as Elite's first ever full time instructor (apart form Alun of course).

Alec had plans to join the Air force so left Elite and Sharm to pursue a career but the air force post never got off the ground so he took a sales job with Coka Cola to tide him over.

A few years went by and each year he contacted us at elite to see if he could come back. Alun said he would have loved to take him back again but advised him to follow another career path and perhaps come back into diving when he had security behind him. But his persistence paid off and back in 2010 when elite was looking at recruiting another full time instructor, Alec was given first refusal.

Alec jumped at the opportunity and headed back to Sharm for the unforeseeable future.

The last five years has been elite's biggest growth in diver numbers and it's no coincidence that Alec has been here during that time along with a personal gift form Alun and Moyra.

Alec did the right thing and informed us three months ago that he would be leaving, giving us ample time to adjust and recruit. He was even working in the office managing things up until the last minute.

It's going to be a big wrench for us, as Alec has become part of the family. In fact many people thought he was Alun and Moyra's son due to his close bond and Welsh accent.

Alec has some irons in the fire, but nothing concrete as yet. I'm sure you'll all get to hear about it when he does settle into something.

It's been a massive wrench saying our good byes. Many tears by some of our male and female staff.

The good news. anyone coming to the dive show in Birmingham will see Alec on our stand at the show from time to time. You can wish him all the best there.

Anyway, there's even money on that Alec will be back at elite at some point in the future, even if it's just for a visit!!!!!

Elite diving was so proud when Alec appeared on the front cover of diver magazine in May 2014. The editor called him "The Wolfman"

 Alec on his last day waiting for the boat permissions to be issued to get his divers moving.
 Alec grafting topless on his hands and knees, counting to see if there are enough weights on board for the new divers. Contain yourself girls, and not forgetting some of our boys!

 He can't tear himself away. He's flying back to UK the next day and he's still in the office bossing his staff around 'till the bitter end! Look at the clock on the wall 5.35 pm
Not enough weights. Someones going to get a earful down the phone!!!

Alec's last night at Ras Stella and he stayed until 9.30 p.m. YES, 9.30 p.m. The usual clowns were there, and a visit from Mickey and Mini, Tigger and a Minion!

We will miss you so so much Alec. Don't leave it too long. Best wishes form all the Elite crew.

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vote for your favourites in The Sports Diver Awards 2015


Sport Diver Awards 2015. Not much time left to vote.

Vote for your favourite suppliers, Instructor, Boat, Dive Centre etc 

Don't delay and miss the opportunity to vote for your favourites. You'll be disappointed if you do.

Although we'd like your vote obviously it's up to you who you vote for.

Click on the VOTE link below to take you to the voting site.

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Monday, May 4, 2015

Discounted PADI Courses


If you know of someone wanting to do their PADI Open Water Course, let them know of this offer. The more people that book together on the same course, the better the discount.

We recommend that every diver should have rescue skills. You never know when it can come in handy. Our rescue course must be one of the best deals on the market. Even better if two people enroll together. See details below.

PADI Open Water Course.
Special offer when pre-booking.
  • One person enrolling £180.
  • Two people enrolling £300.
  • Three people enrolling £440.
  • Four people enrolling £560.
  • Each student needs to buy a personal copy of the course manual available at resort @30 euro each or enroll on the online theory course.
  • When the course is completed, each successful students needs pay the PADI certification and registration fee @30 euro.
  • You will need to have a log book available to log your training dives and get them verified by your instructor. There are logbooks available at our dive center in resort. Different styles and different prices.
For more details contact: info@elite-diving.com
When making an inquiry please quote ref: 'OW Offer'
_________________________________________________________________________________

PADI Rescue Course.
Every diver should aim to be a minimum a rescue diver. You never know when it will come in handy.
  • PADI Rescue Course for one person £180
  • PADI Rescue Course for two people £300.
  • Each student needs to buy a course manual each or enroll on the online theory course.
  • When the course is completed, each successful students needs to pay the PADI certification and registration fee of 30 euro
For more details contact: info@elite-diving.com



When making an inquiry please quote ref: 'PRC Offer.'
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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Will of Sport Diver fame Dives with Elite.




Will Harrison the assistant editor for Sport Diver magazine, has recently visited Elite Diving for a Technical diving Refresher with our very own Mr Alun, and he is placing a report of his trip in the next Sport Diver issue.

Will had completed his Tech 50 course over three years ago and hasn't done any technical diving since. Wanting to do some more technical diving, he felt the need for a refresher to go over the skills and drills of technical diving. 


Technical diving is still in the realms of recreational diving so of course divers should practice skills specific to the type of diving they are undertaking.

The word technical diving, evokes thoughts of deep deep diving, staying down for hours decompressing, but actually it's not much more dive time than a multilevel dive for the 'tech rec' dives. Yes some technical divers like to push the limits go very deep with many many tanks just to break records, but those divers are the ones who get publicity. 

The Technical recreational diver goes to depths not covered by normal recreational diving so needs further training and understanding of how the body reacts to the greater pressure and gas, what extra equipment is needed to stay safe and how to work out decompression tables and follow them on the dive. Most of it can be done by computer software these day which Will discovered.

The main benefit is that a technically qualified diver can visit dive sites which are not available to the recreational diver and stay there for a prolonged time.

Will from Sports Diver has dived in Sharm on several occasions, but was amazed at what other spectacular dive sites are available to the technical diver in Sharm. He particularly enjoyed 'Whip Canyon' in Ras Mohamed and diving down to 50 meters inside Thomas canyon after just drifting well above it looking down at the depths in previous visits.

Read all about his visit in the June issue of Sports Diver Magazine on sale from 6th May 2015. We hope he gives Elite a good mention!!!!!!!




Alun demonstrating some of the skills covered on a technical course


Practicing DSMB deployment 

 Decompressing at 6 meters is a pleasure here in Sharm. Most of the Reefs we dive, go right up to the surface, so there's plenty to see and watch while you run down the clock on your way back up.

For information on Diving Deeper for longer through a technical diving courses or a technical  refresher, please contact info@elite-diving.com

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