Håkan Björklund

Aquatic Environment, Nature Conservation & Diving

I took my Open Water certificate in Hurghada, Egypt in november 2005, and I realised immediatly that I´m gonna continue diving. And even though Hurghada is in a quite bad shape, I loved the Red Sea.

2006 I went to Sharm el Sheikh at my first diving trip. I was hooked on diving and Red Sea. I realy like Sharm, the divesites are in good shape and in my opinion, both Ras Mohammed and Straits of Tiran are quite well preserved regarding to the amont of divers that visit here. And there are som nice wrecks too, especially the Thistegorme. 2007 I got my Advanced Open Water together with my daughter Sara at Hönö island outside Gothenburg. Some of the dives where quite ruff and cold, and it was a good experience to realise that I dont think and react clearly at big depth and in cold water. 2007 we made a dive in river Verkaån. Fantastic environment with hundreads of seatrout lined up at a depth of one meter, under the roots of trees on the shore. You can´t belive youré only 1 m under the surface, it´s a faboulus experience. Sara came along to Sharm, her first diving trip to tropical waters. Later in 2007 I made a few dives at Cano Island at Costa Rica. We saw som white tip reef sharks, octopus and heard humpbacks sing.

 2008 I went on my first liveaboard together with Sara at Sharm. Among other things we came right in to a school of hammerheads. A really amacing experiense to swim in a school of sharks, and I was hooked on sharks to. Later that trip we saw grey and whitetip reefsharks and threasures too.

2009 and 2010 it wasn´t much diving. I did a few dives home in Sweden with my son Oscar when he took his certificate. 2011 Oscar and I did some diving at home, and in november I went on a liveabord to Brothers Islands. Fantastic pristine divesites, there are corals at EVERY spot on the reefs. Just as it schould be. And some days the whether were quite ruff with 2-3 m high wawes, and wery strong currents. And I had som bad experiences with a "bad buddy" out there. I really learned a lot about diving and my self as a diver that week. At some Point I stopped feeling like a beginner, and instead feel like a experienced diver that week. But I love Brothers, it´s a faboulous place to dive if youre comfortable at open sea and in ruff weather. So offcourse I went back 2012, to "Simply the best" (Brothers and Deadalus) and had a fantastic week. One dive we had three Oceanic Whitetips circling arond us abot half an our. It felt majestic. But when we visited Elphinstone on the way back from these trips, I got a bit sad. It´s quite destroyed, and hard exploited from divers. The World famous Elphinstone didn´t meet my expectations at all (se my article from 2011).

Directly after Brothers in 2011 I came home to do my first "semi-proffessional" dive (freshwater mussel invetory at Lake Vombsjön). From 28 degrees in the water to 10 degrees, quite a big differense. Tree dives on one day was a freezing experiense. It´s a big difference to dive in tropical waters and home in Sweden.

2013 the time was in for South Africa and "Sardine run" at Port St Johns. I wasn´t properly prepared for that trip, and in a bad shape from working a bit to hard. So the first days were quite ruff for me. I´ve never been keen on snorceling and that was exactly what it was all about, at open se and high wawes. But I adapted tothat too, and had a faboulus week. Thousand of dolphins, al lot of Oceanic blacktips and duskies, and houndreds of humpbacks. But sadly we didn´t find any big "baitballs". The temperature was a bit to high, but it was fantastic. And a bit educational to. Diving and snorceling at open sea isn´t as easy as it is in coustal waters.

That summer I started diving with my new buddy  Anne. We did some diving at home, and in the autumn we went to Curacao. It was a wonderful week, but the reefs wasn´t impressing on us. Overexploided and partly destroyed reefs made us a bit dissapointed, but it was a nice holiday.

2014 we have made a few dives at home, and in july we went to Väderöarna north of Gothenburg. Quite faboulus diving up there, but it was a bit cold. Later we went on a liveaboard at the Musandam peninsula in Oman. Fabulous diving with nice "pristine" reefs. Fishing there is regulated and bigger fish are abundent, corals grows big and covers all hard surfaces. As it should. Sadly other participants wasn´t carefull with the reefs, kicking around as if it was a soccer-game. So I had to speak out one night. But they continued kicking around so we kept for our selfs.

2015 we went to Island, and dived at Silfra, the famous crack at Tingvalla "between too continents"and great geologic formations. The clear water was fabulous, with a magic blue light and visibility about 150-200 meters. But it was cold, about 2 degrees C.

Summer 2016 we went to Crikvenicha, Kroatia. The reefs was in realy nice shape, but the area is severely overfished så there wasn´t many big fish to see. But we saw some  big conger eels, nice corals, i nice wreck and much more. A nice week and never more divers than four, including the divemaster. A real hit for us, but offcourse not for the divecenter.