We chatted to Ian McKinnon, veteran diver who has logged more than 5000 dives, and owner of Scuba World on the Sunshine Coast. Here are his top Pacific Island destination, tips on how to prepare for a dive, and the differences between scuba diving and snorkelling.
What makes diving in the Pacific Islands unique?
The close proximity to Australia – you only have to go a short way to be diving on some of the world’s greatest dive sites.
What are your top three diving spots in the Pacific Islands?
Yasawa Islands, Fiji
SS President Coolidge, Santo, Vanuatu
What advice would you give to someone who is apprehensive about diving?
Find an experienced, friendly instructor who has loads of patience.
What ages/fitness levels is diving generally suited for?
Diving suits most ages, a person comfortable in the water can easily be taught. Reasonable fitness level required. (NOTE: For P&O Cruises Scuba tours the minimum age is 12 and the maximum age can range between 55 and 70 depending on the tour/destination).
Can you enjoy scuba diving in the South Pacific without going very deep?
Absolutely, some of the prettiest corals and marine fish are located in shallow reefs.
Where is some of the best shallow diving in the South Pacific?
Mele Reef in Port Vila, Vanuatu
Could you describe a few pros and cons of Scuba diving versus snorkelling?
Scuba diving requires a lot more training than snorkelling and more specialised equipment is required for scuba diving. Conversely, Scuba diving doesn’t require to return to the surface to take a breath, divers can remain underwater for an hour or more and divers can go deeper than snorkelers.
For information on how to prepare for a scuba dive visit PADI – the Professional Association of Diving Instructors – the leading body governing diving best practice.
Introductory Scuba – Not suitable for adults over 70
Certified Scuba dives – Not suitable for adults over 70
Ian McKinnon of Scuba World