Sep 20

PV017: Diving in Zanzibar

by in Postcard Valet, PV-Podcast, Travel, Videos

There’s not much to say about the video that we didn’t already say in the video, but I’ll give it a try:

We spent a little more than a week on the island of Zanzibar, near a tiny village named Bwejuu.  We spent the majority of that time very near our lodge, but we did manage to get out of our hammocks long enough to do a 2-tank dive with the Rising Sun Dive Center.  Glad we did!  The diving staff that worked there were great and we saw or did something new on each of our dives!

Technical stuff:

In some ways, I wish we could reshoot elements of this video.  For instance, our underwater footage is overwhelming blue — so close to monochrome that my normal trick of color-correcting some red back into the imagery didn’t work at all.  In all fairness, I expected this would happen as soon as I learned we would be diving at a depth of almost 100 feet.  Water filters out the colors of light and red is the first to go.  Besides that, it was an overcast day, and the sunlight wasn’t that strong to begin with.  We could see just fine down there, but our point-and-shoot camera can only do so much…  (Too bad we can’t travel with diving lights, too!)

We also recorded our voice-overs outdoors, at the lodge.  The tropical scenery behind us is quite fitting, but the wind noise was something we couldn’t avoid.  Not to mention the birds.

Still, even with these minor problems, I think you’ll get a good sense of what our dives were like when you watch this video.


Rising Sun Dive Center
Breezes Beach Club and Spa
Our tour review of the Rising Sun Dive Center

The following is a transcript of the above video for Google’s benefit (ignore it, watch the video instead!)


Postcard Valet Travel Podcast
Episode 17 – Diving in Zanzibar

Off the coast of Tanzania, is the island of Zanzibar.  We decided to spend a week out here on the beach, relaxing and enjoying the green-blue ocean and the white sand beaches.

While on the island, Arlo and I went diving with Rising Sun Dive Center.  The dive center is located at the Breezes Resort.

The Breezes Resort is really nice.  They’ve got a pool, a nice restaurant, bars everywhere…

It is a very nice property and we were quite happy to have a chance to visit it.

A few hundred yards off the shore of Zanzibar lays a reef.  You can see the waves breaking out there even though it’s not really worth swimming out because the water’s very shallow up until you get to the reef.  Just beyond lays deeper water, and that’s where we did our dives.

Our first dive was incredible; it was our first drift dive.  And after descending to about 28 meters – fairly deep – the current just carried us along.  Once Oksana and I got used to it, we had a great time.

It was out first time diving in the Indian Ocean…

The Indian Ocean has a huge variety of life, and near Zanzibar, it seems like it’s more a micro world than a macro world.  The variety of coral was amazing.  Everywhere you looked, there was something different to see and it was the same with the fish — every one that you looked at seemed different than the one before.

There wasn’t a lot of large marine life down there for us to see, and it was a little bit difficult as we tried to get close to the small stuff, because the current was very strong.

The current even impressed our divemasters—

We didn’t find out until we actually finished our dive that it was quite an incredible drift dive.

When we came up and checked the GPS, they were amazed to find that we had gone over 3 kilometers underwater.  Not a problem.  The boat was there to pick us up because, when we were at our safety stop, they inflated a balloon to let them know where we were.

And that was something that was nice in this dive: We didn’t have to keep tabs on the boat; the boat kept tabs on us.

The highlight for the trip, personally for me, was seeing the dolphins.

Between dives, we got to see a pod of dolphins swimming by, and on the off-chance that they were going to get close enough, we slipped into the water with just our snorkeling equipment.

And we stayed in the water for about 10 minutes just looking at the dolphins and it was really neat to see them under water.

Our second dive was a little bit shallower and the coral was a little bit more colorful because of that.

I really wish it was a slightly sunnier day because I would have really liked to see all the colors of those corals.

On the second dive we saw more fish and more varieties of fish.  We saw a very colorful blue and yellow eel, a small moray that I got close to… Neil, one of our divemasters, was so excited to see a couple baby sharks sleeping under a ledge.  Apparently, they’re very rare in this area and when we came up and talked to the divemasters, they told us that this was quite the sight to see.

Another thing we saw in the water, frequently, were a huge variety of jellyfish.  There was one long thing which I took for some sort of egg sack, but they told us later that it was actually just a jellyfish that was floating by.

This was our first time diving in the Indian Ocean and both Oksana and I had a great time with Rising Sun Dive Center.

The divemasters were really fun and enthusiastic.  I think overall it was a really nice dive; I’ve enjoyed it quite a bit.

If you find yourself relaxing in Zanzibar, and you want something to do…

Even if you’re not staying at the Breezes Resort, give the Rising Sun Dive Center a shot. They’re good guys!

Postcard Valet: Episode 17
Diving in Zanzibar

Postcard Valet is a travel podcast by Arlo & Oksana Midgett

10 July 2011

All footage
© 2011 Arlo Midgett

Be sure to visit:

Rising Sun Dive Center

Breezes Beach Club and Spa

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Full disclosure: Rising Sun Dive Center offered us a 2-tank dive for the price of fuel only.

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