Ben: I have fallen in love with the water, it’s changed my life. I’ve been diving for over 15 years, going underwater I guess is just like entering a dream. It’s an experience that puts us into a world that we were never meant to be in, and we can stay under and breathe under water with the fish and be part of a world that’s like being in a dream.
Pete: Ben Walker is a man on a mission. He’s had a lifelong love affair with the ocean and is now determined to share his passion.
If you thought the only way to experience the serenity of staying beneath the waves was through a dive course… then listen up because Ben’s got another way… and it’s a whole lot of fun!
Whattya get when you cross scuba diving with snorkelling? Snuba of course! And it’s proving very popular in faraway exotic locations like Hawaii or the Caribbean. And now it’s here. And one of the best ways you’re ever going to get to see the Port Noarlunga reef, so without any further ado, let’s go snubaring! Haha!
Yes, that’s right – Snuba! It’s the perfect way to experience the thrill of scuba diving but without all the fuss.
Ben is the first certified Snuba Operator in Australia .. he discovered it whilst working for a cruise company overseas and knew it would be the perfect way for novices to see the accessible reef of his home town, Port Noarlunga.
Ben: This is the Snuba raft mate, this is going to float up on the surface, it holds your air tanks up here, you don’t need to wear a big heavy tank on your back, and then via these 6 metre airlines you can breathe underwater up to 6 metres.
Much like a scuba diver you need to breathe through a mouthpiece (also known as a regulator). So, as you would imagine Ben needs to cover off some safety points before you take the plunge.
Ben: Alright Pete, so let’s have a look at some equipment, first thing we’re going to do is look at some masks, alright I want you to try this one on here mate, to start with don’t worry about the strap, just hang below, put it up to your face, suck in continuously through your nose and if it’s making a good seal it will stay on. Now if you stop sucking in it will fall off, perfect that fits you really well, we can try this one if you’d like too. Yeah alright but I think you’ll find the yellow one is a better fit for you.
Remember it’s an aquatic reserve so that means we don’t want to touch anything, we don’t want to take anything home with us, we have a little saying it’s leave only our bubbles, and take our memories.
Pete: Ah, good advice.
So what’s below the surface at Port Noarlunga? Well For starters there’s an underwater trail consisting of 12 plaques along an 800 metre stretch – each explains the various aspects of the temperate reef ecosystem, including info on marine plants and animals you might spot along the way.
Ben: Here we see tonnes of fish. Most people from Adelaide have no idea that there are that many fish to see out here at Port Noarlunga.
Keep your eyes peeled for Sweep, Old Wives, Whiting, and Strongies, and that’s just on an average day …some snuba divers have been lucky enough to see stingrays, dolphins and even seals.
It really is like swimming in a giant aquarium! …and, now, thanks to Ben, this marine wonderland is more accessible than ever!
Ben: Ultimately it’s aimed at children 8 years old and up, so I’m getting kids with their mum and dad, I’m even getting scuba divers that are coming out that want to take their children that aren’t old enough yet to learn how to scuba dive. I’m getting older people that have always wanted to Scuba Dive but never had the courage to scuba dive, or wanted to do the course. So it’s aimed at a large amount of people.
This has been created for a fun, easy, experience. You don’t need to have any training, no prior qualifications, or courses. I even take out people that have never snorkelled, ever in their life.
I’ve gotta tell you folks – I LOVED Snuba ! I took to it like…well… like a fish to water!
Even Certified Scuba Divers enjoy Snuba ! … I found it so liberating to be able to swim underwater without a tank on my back.
My 2 hour tour with Ben went in a flash, it was so much fun that I’m definitely coming back to do it again and I’ll be bringing my daughter Charlotte!
So..Keep an eye out this summer for Ben’s tent on the beach at Port Noarlunga. He’s open for business on weekends and every day of the Christmas school holidays.
Everyone lives such busy lives these days. They have families, they have jobs, they don’t have the opportunity to get out and really just free their mind and experience new things like we did when we were a child, and the underwater world does, no matter if you’re 8, 30, or 80 years old it gives you an opportunity to just let your mind go and experience something amazing that will change your life, it does change people’s lives.