South Pacific & Oceania

Afloat just after being launched at the Federal Shipbuilding Company yard, Kearny, New Jersey, 25 October 1941

Wreckage of USS Juneau a long-lost WWII cruiser located off Solomon Islands

The Research Vessel R/V Petrel’s autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) first identified the ship in its side scan sonar on March 17. Upon analysis of the sonar data, the Petrel crew deployed its remotely operated underwater vehicle (ROV) on March 18 to verify the wreckage through its video capabilities.

Fakarava: Diving in the Tuamotu Islands of French Polynesia

The islet Sables Roses in Fakarava Atoll. Photo by Pierre Constant.
The islet Sables Roses in Fakarava Atoll. Photo by Pierre Constant.

Fakarava is an atoll in the Tuamotu archipelago located about 440km northeast of Tahiti in French Polynesia. Pierre Constant takes us on a journey to the pristine lagoons of Tuamotu and describes what awaits adventurous divers in its underwater realm.

Photographing Giant Manta Rays at Night in Kona Hawaii

Female reef mantas mature in eight to ten years.

Diving with giant manta rays is always an exhilarating experience. Being in the water with these large intelligent animals is always humbling. They are also spectacular subjects for photography and video. Kona Hawaii in the United States is famous for night diving and snorkeling with the local mantas. This can produce stunning images, but it does take some special techniques.

Samoa: Polynesian Diving in Upolu

Tiny blenny hiding in reef, Samoa. Photo by Brandi Mueller.

Located in the Polynesian region of the South Pacific Ocean, the idyllic paradise of Samoa, which comprises the two main islands of Savai'i and Upolu and several smaller islands, is part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Brandi Mueller managed to venture to Upolu Island before the coronavirus pandemic forced countries to close borders and stay-at-home orders came into effect.

Aerial view of the USS Lexington on 14 October 1941

WW2 aircraft carrier USS Lexington wreck located

The USS Lexington was scuttled about 800 kilometres (500 miles) miles off the eastern coast of Australia in May 1942 after sustaining serious damage from Japanese aircraft. A series of secondary explosions after the Japanese attack sealed the ship's fate and one of her own escorting destroyers was ordered to finish off the crippled carrier.

French Polynesia’s Tuamotu Archipelago

Situated east of the more widely recognized Society Islands such as Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora, the Tuamotu Archipelago comprises around 80 islands and atolls stretching northwest to southeast across the South Pacific Ocean, creating the longest chain of atolls in the world.

Matthew Meier shares highlights from his adventure in Tuamotu, after visiting the archipelago on the only liveaboard operating in the area.

Australia: Victoria's Secret

“You can dive in Melbourne?” was the baffled response from a Queensland hotel concierge upon telling her I was heading to Victoria to dive. And this was from an Australian who WAS a diver! When overseas visitors think of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef immediately comes to mind. However, Australian diving is not just about coral. Along the continent’s southern coast is an undersea world far removed from the tropics.