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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”
A fifty-minute flight southeast from the bustle, cruise ships and tourist-centric Nassau, lies the sleepy island of San Salvador. Twelve miles long and five miles wide, she is the tip of an underwater mountain rising from 5,000 metres below (15,000 feet) surrounded by picture-postcard, crystal-clear, blue seas.
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.