Destination reports

Western Australia: Ningaloo Reef at Exmouth

Giant painted frogfish in its white phase at Gulliver. Photo by Pierre Constant.

On the coast of Western Australia, Exmouth is a little sleepy town on the Exmouth Gulf. Located at the threshold of the Indian Ocean, this is where you can find the renowned Ningaloo Reef, one of the longest and most virgin fringing reefs on the planet. A World Heritage Site since 2011, it hosts about 200 to 300 species of corals and 500 species of fish.

Australia's Great Barrier Reef

Nudibranch, Snake Pit, Great Barrier Reef. Photo by Brandi Mueller.

If there was a place that inspired me to become a diver and invoked my passion and love for the ocean, it was Australia’s Great Barrier Reef (GBR). As a kid, I could spend hours watching television specials of this blue, fish-filled world that was so different from the Wisconsin farm town I grew up in.

Florida's Palm Beaches

Goliath grouper at Palm Beaches. Photo by Walt Stearns.

When divers look to the horizon for destinations offering marine life of the large variety, they often look to such corners of the world like the Galapagos or Cocos Island, Isla Mujeres, Silver Banks, Tonga, Bahamas' Tiger Beach or Raja Ampat, to name a few.

Papua New Guinea: Witu Islands & Fathers Reefs

Diver peers through feather star arch at Killibob's Knob

When it comes to superlatives, diving and Papua New Guinea certainly go hand in hand. Sharing the world’s second largest island with Indonesian West Papua, the island nation is positioned at the easternmost extremity of the Pacific’s famed Coral Triangle—an undersea Eden boasting an unrivalled diversity of life.

Florida's Blue Heron Bridge

The Florida sun was warm and high overhead as I donned my fins and slipped below the surface with camera in hand. A juvenile spotted eagle ray lazily glided away over the sand to avoid the impending intrusion of noisy bubbles and camera flashes. As I finned towards the shadows, I stopped to investigate a small male rosy razorfish in full breeding colors flitting about frantically, as I intruded on his territory.

Andaman Islands: The Spell of Kalapani

School of silver sweetlips (Diagramma pictum), Johnny’s Gorge

Extending 329 kilometers from north to south, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands have 1,912km of coastline, about a quarter that of India. The continental shelf has a surface area estimated at 16,000km². The coral reef biodiversity here amounts to 5,440 species, 138 of which are endemic.

Yap: Micronesia's Best Kept Secret

Micronesia has so many great islands to dive that it’s hard to pick just one. Often, some of the lesser known islands, such as Yap, get passed over for their more popular neighbors such as Truk (Chuuk) or Palau. I had always heard great things about Yap’s diving though stories of mantas and sharks, so I headed there to find out if it was indeed one of Micronesia’s best kept secrets.

Underwater Nanaimo

I am often asked, “Where is the best place to photograph underwater critters in British Columbia?” Well, there is certainly no simple answer to this question and I usually end up replying something like this; “Unless there is a plankton bloom, bad weather or visibility is poor, there are no bad places to dive in BC, therefore you can see critters on every dive!”

The Philippines: Southern Cebu

Cebu Island is one of over seven thousand islands located in the Philippines. It may be best known as the place where the early 16th century Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan met his unfortunate end. There is a 20-meter tall monument at Punta Engaño on Cebu erected in honor of the native chieftan, Lapu Lapu, who in the 1521 Battle of Mactan, proved victorious over Spanish forces led by Magellan.