February 2022

Zenobia crane


Quick catch up on finning techniques

There are several finning techniques used for propulsion, some of which are more suited to particular configurations. 

There are also techniques for positional maneuvering, such as rotation on the spot which is handy while conducting a physical task underwater or a photo opportunity for fast moving wildlife, which may not involve significant locational change. For instance, when you have overshot a reef in moderate current you are probably going to have to do a flutter kick to get you back to your target destination but this would be very difficult for most if you are employing a frog kick. If you were to employ a flutter kick for a decompression stage of a tec dive, you would be going round in circles and using precious gas.

Use of the most appropriate finning style for the circumstances can increase propulsive efficiency, reduce fatigue, improve precision of maneuvering and control of the diver’s position in the water, and thereby increase the task effectiveness of the diver and reduce the impact on the environment. Diving equipment which is bulky usually increases drag, and reduction of drag can significantly reduce the effort of finning. This can be done to some extent by streamlining diving equipment, and by swimming along the axis of least drag, which requires correct diver trim. Efficient production of thrust also reduces the effort required, but there are also situations where efficiency must be traded off against practical necessity related to the environment or task in hand, such as the ability to maneuver effectively and resistance to damage of the equipment.

Good buoyancy control and trim combined with appropriate finning techniques and situational awareness can minimise the environmental impact of recreational diving.

Of course we all learn about buoyancy, trim and fin techniques through our dive courses and experience but once a relatively inexperienced diver has nailed a kick, it is incredibly habit forming and some divers would be very reluctant to change fin kick habits once formed. The key is to try different fin kicks from the very beginning whether it’s to take a photo in a static position, to get on the correct side of viewing a turtle or to reduce sediment clouds as you swim over them.

Always trying new techniques to improve the quality of your dive time and underwater environment is definitely worth the effort.


Trumpet Fish on Sea Bottom

Get unconfused in identifying the TRUMPET and CORNET FISH

When I first started diving in Cyprus, I did not have a clue about the difference between Trumpet and Cornet Fish and I noticed they were generally misnamed by other divers and dive professionals. The Trumpet Fish is generally an invasive species along the coast of Cyprus but I have spotted this fantastic fish as far north as Orkney Islands off Scotland. There is an abundance of the long snake like Cornet Fish in Cyprus but the Trumpet Fish is rarer and harder to spot due to its brilliant camouflage abilities.


Trumpet Fish are long bodied almost tubular fish that have upturned mouths somewhat resembling a trumpet-like instrument, which is from where this fish gets its name.  These fish belonging to the seahorse family and are fascinating creatures to the passing scuba diver as they will hover almost motionless, resembling a stick or a strand of seaweed, making them difficult to spot immediately. Scuba divers can easily identify the Trumpet Fish by its distinctive shape and elongated body despite the variety of colours in which it comes in.


However, there is often confusion between identification of a Trumpet Fish and the Cornet Fish which are very similar looking at first glance but are usually longer than Trumpets, can grow till 6.6 ft (2m) in length, and are much thinner and more elongated. Cornet Fish are also distinguished by a very long snout, distinct dorsal and anal fins, and a forked caudal fin or tail fin.


Trumpet Fish are found primarily in the Western Atlantic, Mediterranean and the Caribbean, often in coral reefs or weedy lagoons where they can easily blend in with their surroundings. These fish are carnivores and their diet is almost exclusively small fish which they sneak up on and strike with a sudden powerful suction that pulls the prey rapidly into their mouth. The hunting style of the Trumpet Fish has been described best as the ‘lurk-and-lunge’ action, where the fish can remain almost motionless hovering in the water, then inch closer to its intended prey, before lunging at it with its vacuum-like mouth.

Best known as masters of camouflage, Trumpet Fish are usually found in varying shades of mottled reddish brown, yellow or green, but can also easily change their colour. They often swim vertically with their snouts down, which helps them to blend in with surrounding sea fans, pipe sponges and sea whips, thereby hiding from predators and also making it difficult for the passing diver to spot; however once spotted, these delightful creatures are always fun to observe.

On sighting, the Trumpet Fish will generally remain still to maintain camouflage, but when closely approached, will move away or may change colour for protection.

Get unconfused in identifying the TRUMPET and CORNET FISH Read More »

Hanging out at the Zenobia

New horizons DIVERS FIRST

With the Winter period coming to an end and the disruption of COVID also settling down, it’s deeply saddening to see the events in eastern Europe. Although having been an ex-para myself, I cannot imagine the devastation to the families, citizens and servicemen/women involved. I am hoping it all de-escalates as quickly and safely as possible and new horizons appear for all.


DIVERS FIRST opened up in September 2021 and we have been busy getting top quality stock in for our customers to use. Because it has been a bit chilly, customers have been mostly trying it out in Ginger swimming pool in Latsia where it is heated and feels like diving in a bath. This has been really useful for regulars who are new to scuba to get their confidence in the water and then progress to the open sea when it warms up a bit. I am particularly excited to see how our customers get on with our wing and jacket BCD’S in the open water.


The DIVERS FIRST wagon has been modified slightly so when we have to go over rough tracks to get to dive spots our customers are not shaken or stirred before the dive. Before Christmas, we applied to take divers to the Musan Underwater Museum which gives Cyprus Dive Centres an extra string to their bow so it is good news for all.

Clean and air conditioned transport

DIVERS FIRST truck to get you there and back again.

The support from locals and overseas divers has been overwhelming and a pleasure to give them a quality experience.


In the next couple of months, we are looking to get more equipment for our technical customers to add to our twinset, Long hose’s and decompression cylinders as well as wings and harnesses. Also, we are investing in resuscitation dolls to improve the First response resuscitation experience on courses.

So all’s well at DIVERS FIRST and working hard to give you the best diving experience here in Cyprus. Looking forward to diving with you in the coming season.

New horizons DIVERS FIRST Read More »