Scott Bennett

Mozambique: Zavora & Tofo

February 05, 2012 - 21:32
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on page 33

Mention Africa to most divers and the Red Sea or South Africa usually springs to mind. To many travellers, let alone divers, Mozambique is not exactly high on most people’s bucket list. Less than 20 years ago, the very idea of visiting the country would have been regarded as a madman’s folly.

After the cessation of hostilities in 1994, the country was bequeathed with the unenviable tag as the world’s poorest by the United Nations. Since that time, it has made remarkable strides towards recovery and is rapidly gaining renown as the rising star of the African diving scene.

Utila - Jewel of Honduras

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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on page 27

“If you’ve been to South East Asia, don’t bother with the Caribbean” is a phrase I’ve encountered many times over the last decade. Having done virtually all of my diving in Asia-Pacific, the region’s legendary diversity tends to leave one a tad spoilt. When you’ve dived exclusively in the world’s biodiversity hotspot, it’s all-too-easy to assume that other areas will suffer by comparison.

Getting there proved somewhat easier than anticipated. I discovered a non-stop service to Roatan from my home in Toronto on Sunwing, a charter airline that just started flights this past winter.

Gozo Island

October 13, 2011 - 23:36
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“Somehow, I can’t imagine lawnmowers being a high selling item here,” was one of my first thoughts while traversing the Maltese countryside. Dry and stark, the rocky landscape couldn’t be more different than the soft green of Denmark we had left behind a mere four hours earlier.

To be honest, Malta as a holiday destination, let alone a diving one, had never even crossed my mind. However, when X-RAY MAG’s very own Peter and Gunild Symes announced a weeklong dive trip and asked me along, I was immediately intrigued.

Ambon

October 13, 2011 - 23:34
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“Have a great time, but keep your head down!” This was the response I received from a diving friend after announcing I was planning a visit to Ambon. At least he knew where it was; my announcement to friends in Toronto drew blank stares. When I mentioned the Spice Islands, a dawn of recognition crept into their eyes. It was a place they’d vaguely heard of but had no idea whatsoever as to their location.


Bali: The Island of Gods

October 13, 2011 - 23:23
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Bali. It’s a name synonymous with a tropical island paradise, conjuring up images of emerald rice terraces, an exotic, vibrant culture and friendly people. This jewel of the Indonesian Archipelago is also a magnet for scuba divers, drawn by a bevy of attractions ranging from to tiny jewel-like nudibranchs to enormous mola molas. Once you’ve been, you’re hooked!

Twenty hours and several stopovers after leaving snowy Toronto, I finally arrived in Bali on a sultry tropical evening. The heavy rains that delayed our departure in Singapore had given way to a vibrant sunset, and I was feeling cautiously optimistic about the weather.

Jewels of Tanzania: African Safari & Pemba Island Diving

October 13, 2011 - 23:23
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on page 20

Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti... boasting a wealth of natural beauty that reads like a lexicon of African icons, Tanzania is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream destination. However, this rich bounty isn’t limited to just the land, as the warm waters fringing its coast are home to some of the most spectacular reefs in all of East Africa.

While perusing the exhibitor list at last year’s DEMA show, the exotic name of “Swahili Divers” virtually leapt up to grab my attention. Sauntering over for a look, I met owners Farhat and Francisca Jah.

Fabulous Fiji

October 13, 2011 - 23:21
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Scott Bennett writes: I’d like to introduce you to some of our friends, enthused our guide Manasa, a.k.a Papa, as he held aloft a well-worn loose-leaf binder. The photographs within produced nervous laughter and a couple of anxious glances amongst a few of the divers. Then again, with names like Scarface, Hook and Big Mama, these were no ordinary friends. They were sharks, and we would soon be making their acquaintance.

Two flights and 15 hours after leaving my home in Toronto, I arrived at Nadi’s international airport on the island of Vitu Levu. Stumbling bleary-eyed into the arrival hall, I was greeted by an energetic group of local musicians performing traditional Fijian music.

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