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Lofoten Islands, Norway

Author: Imants Jansons

Diving at Lofoten Islands above the Arctic Circle is a true challenge to those who have used to much warmer waters. It's freezing cold there, yet, using a dry-on-the-inside wetsuit - not such a huge issue at all. You can dive among rock formations and into cave labyrinths, while sea anemones of diverse colors and shapes form fantastic tapestries on their walls. A chance to encounter killer whales is another reason that places Lofoten Islands among the world's top diving destinations. From October to May, the largest members of the dolphin family go to feed on herring there. Sometimes it seems that huge, black and white animals will bump straight into you, and then - on the very last moment, they suddenly move aside. An unforgettable experience!

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Lodging at Nusfjord is beyond any comparison. An old fishermen village with a historic cod-liver oil factory in the centre is a part of an ethnographic open-air museum now, and houses a scuba diving centre as well. Intact nature of the area gives lots of opportunities for outdoor activities - hiking, fishing and just relaxing. But around midsummer, people go to see the midnight sun there.

Shortly about scuba diving training:
Anyone can learn scuba diving, as no special physical preparedness is needed. There is nothing extreme about it, unless you venture to dive into caves or other risky underwater areas.
Several schools in Latvia offer scuba diving training and issue internationally recognized certifications. The most widespread is PADI training system, which allows diving anyplace in the world, wherever you see PADI sign.
The 1st level initial Open Waters Diver certification provides that you can dive to a maximum depth of 18m.
The 2nd level Advanced Open Waters Diver certification allows extending ones maximum depth to 40m. A total of 5 dives must be completed for this purpose - 2 core dives comprise a deep and underwater navigation. And then you can choose 3 adventure dives - dive into a current, identify fishes, dive with a scooter, etc.
There is a possibility to pass training and obtain a certification abroad too, at the same time getting the first glimpse of exotic underwater world there. Another option is to pass the first level in Latvia, and then continue elsewhere in the world - where visibility is better and water warmer.
To be able to dive in very cold water using dry suit, you have to complete a Dry Suit Specialty training course as well.

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Keywords: scuba diving, Lofoten Islands, Norway

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