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Using the Pandemic Wisely - Deep Blue Dive Center

Using the Pandemic Wisely

Deep Blue Dive Center

Aqaba, Jordan

Like all dive centers around the globe, Deep Blue Dive Center in Aqaba, Jordan, was hit hard by the pandemic. Jordan closed its doors to tourists and required all tourism-related businesses, including dive shops, to be shuttered as well for several months.

Once employees could return to work, they did so. Tourists were still not allowed in Jordan, but there were a few guests coming from Amman and other parts of the country. Because the staff were not very busy, they began to focus their efforts on dive cleanups and started the Deep Blue Cleanup Team.

They made a concerted effort to rid a nearby dive site of years and years of fishing line, cleaning the newly opened Underwater Military Museum of the single-use plastic and aluminum cans that blow in off the shore of the public beach, and their house reef. From December 15th – June 29th they cleaned 1230 kilos of debris. Anywhere from 2 to 5 volunteer divers joined the staff in these cleanups. The dive center did not charge any of the volunteers for dives and if they wanted to do a fun dive afterward, they did so offering a 20% discount.  

Every one of those kilos of debris were sorted, counted, and weighed according to PADI Project Aware and then the data was uploaded on the Project AWARE website. Deep Blue partnered with their next-door neighbor, H&S Watersports, in these cleanup campaigns. The staff of H&S did several shore cleanups and gathered loads of plastic bottles, cigarette butts, plastic bags, and other items. In addition, two volunteers at the dive shop did a Go Fund Me campaign to help pay staff salaries for cleanups. They successfully raised $2835, exceeding their goal of $2800. And Deep Blue management was able to find other creative ways of funding salaries for the cleanups as well. All of this helped keep staff on board during the challenge of the pandemic.

When business started picking up after Jordan’s reopening to tourists, the cleanup campaign was slowed, but the effect of the work they did was apparent. Mohammed Leddawi, the Operation Manager, and owner of Deep Blue also used the downtime to give the business a facelift, ensure that all equipment was in top shape, ensure Covid measures were put in place, and work on improving the dive boats through remodels and refurbishing. All of this to improve customer experiences.


Slowly the dive center is rising from the pandemic. The pandemic was tough, and still is, on tourism-related businesses, but Deep Blue staff kept up good spirits though continuing to work hard and showing their love and concern for healthy reefs through regular cleanups. 

Learn more about Deep Blue Dive Center at:



Awesome Kelp Diving Destinations

Awesome Kelp Forest Diving 

7 of the World's Best Destinations

Most prevalent on North America’s west coast, kelp forests create one-of-a-kind diving experiences. The forests grow close to the shore in cool conditions, providing food and shelter for a plethora of marine life. The dense forests are home to small, young fish that are hiding from predators and larger creatures such as seals, sea lions, sea otters, snowy egrets, blue herons, and even whales. The kelp can grow to a height of 130 feet, creating a unique, hazy ambiance for divers. But North America is not the only kelp forest dive destination...!


North America - California

The Golden State, while famous for its parks and landmarks, has an entire world to explore in its waters. Some of the most famous kelp forests are scattered throughout the Pacific shoreline, including destinations in San Diego, Catalina Island, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz.  

  • San Diego, California

One of San Diego’s most famous diving spots is the La Jolla Cove, which has a depth of 30 to 60 feet. The further north divers head, the rockier and thicker the terrain gets. Sea cucumbers, sea stars, tope sharks, and the seven-gill shark are often spotted. This site is an ecological reserve with healthy and diverse marine life. Snorkeling is also common at this site. 

  • Catalina Island, California

Known for its crystal-clear waters and vast marine life, Catalina Island’s underwater forest consists of giant bladder kelp. The kelp is rooted into the rocky ocean floor and is home to more than 150 types of fish like the California spiny lobster. This spot is ideal during the late summer to early fall when visibility ranges from 40 to 50 feet. 

  • Santa Barbara Channel Islands

The cold northern currents and warm southern currents mix in Santa Barbara’s waters, creating a diverse home to more than 1,000 species of marine life. The kelp forests are thick and dense, making it a struggle for boats passing through. For divers looking for an isolated diving experience, St. Nicholas is a great option. The island is the least popular amongst tourists, so the forests are left nearly untouched with sights of gorgonians, schooling fishes, tope sharks, and lobsters. 

  • Santa Cruz, California

Just off the shore of the beach town Santa Cruz is the iconic Monterey Bay. Not only is the bay home to colorful nudibranchs and sea lions, but it is known for its cold-water diving due to the Submarine Canyon that plummets to a depth of more than 10,500 feet. The drop starts close to the shoreline and brings in nutrient-rich water. Divers arrive at their destination either by boat or kayak before discovering the vast kelp beds, anemones, whales, and more. 

North America - Vancouver, Canada

  • Vancouver, Canada

Home to octopus, wolf eels, and anemones, Vancouver’s kelp forests should be on every diver’s bucket list. The forest is made up of bull kelp, which is a delicate golden-brown that drifts back and forth through the water. The plants grow up to 115 feet, and up to 10 inches a day as they mature. One of the most popular dive sites is the advanced Race Rocks, located along the southern end of Vancouver Island. This site often has extreme weather and has access to large marine life such as humpback whales and orcas. 

Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand 

Although kelp diving is most popular along the western coast of the U.S. and Canada, there are still some amazing sites south of the equator. The Poor Knights Islands in New Zealand have everything from gardens to volcanic walls to caves. The dense kelp forest thrives where the ocean floor begins to slope and is the perfect hiding place for the smallest of creatures. Poor Knights Island is known for the large groups of bull rays, long-tail rays, and short-tail rays. During the southern hemisphere’s summer, pods of orca whales pass through. 

Cape Town, South Africa

Not only is Cape Town, the capital of South Africa, a great pick for exploring wrecks and spotting diverse marine life, it also has stunning kelp forests. Kelp dives typically start in the A-Frame before entering other sites like Castle Rock. This site is known for sightings of pyjama sharks, shy sharks, butterfish, cape knife jaws, and steenbras. Summer is the best time to dive in Cape Town, and the Atlantic side reaches visibility of up to 65 feet, but with a chilling water temperature of 50° F. 


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