Destinations

Diving in Oman

I went to Oman to look at coral reefs that are regenerating from damage caused by cyclone Gonu in June 2007. Divers are just beginning to learn of the Sultanate of Oman; it’s becoming yet another destination to consider. A country with a 1700km coastline extending from the border with the Republic of Yemen in the south to the Strait of Hormuz in the north.

St Helena: Diving in the Remote South Atlantic Oasis

Whale shark, St Helena. Photo by Scott Bennett.

Outside my window, the South Atlantic lay unbroken—an azure expanse of ocean below and sky above. Three hours after passing the Namibian coast, a lone patch of clouds appeared on the horizon. As we approached, I could just discern patches of green peering through. Atop a narrow ridge, a tiny strip of runway appeared, the sheer drops at each end plummeting to the sea.

Japan's Hachijō-jima

Wrought iron and Japanese butterflyfishes forming a loose shoal, Hachijō-jima, Japan. Photo by Richard Smith.

Japan’s diving scene used to be a well-kept secret, but more and more people have realised that Japan has much more to offer than just sushi and karaoke. The country spans a vast latitudinal range, from the tropical south where coral reefs dominate around Okinawa and the other Ryukyu Islands, into the almost subarctic north. As a result, its biological diversity is great, with many different habitats accommodating a wide array of species.

Diving in Bodrum, Turkey

Diver Francisca Jah on the bow of the TCG Pinar 1

As the novel coronavirus spread around the world, dive operators in all corners of the globe had to adjust to a new normal. One dive operator, Farfat Jah, made unique changes. Here, he takes an honest look at a destination forced upon him by the global pandemic.

River Rhône in France

—Diving in the French river Rhône with European catfish

—Diving in the French river Rhône with European catfish

The Rhône is a large French river, which is 545km long. It flows from the Alps, across Lake Geneva and joins the Mediterranean Sea. Cloudy in appearance, as if to preserve her secrets, it is difficult to have strong views about this type of river

Silver Bank: Swimming with Humpback Whales in the Dominican Republic

A young humpback whale calf practices breaching out of the water, Silver Bank, Dominican Republic. Photo by Matthew Meier.

Slipping softly into the water, I had a straight path to the mother and calf that were resting near the surface only a short distance away. We closed the gap as quietly as a group of excited first-time whale watchers could manage and were rewarded with an initial glimpse of humpback whales from under the water. The newborn stayed close to its mother and swam up and over her rostrum as we looked on.

My Favorite Unusual Critter Dive: Contributors' Picks

Photo by Matthew Meier: A tiny clown frogfish is a juvenile version of a warty frogfish, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia. Exposure: ISO 200, f/29, 1/125s. Camera gear: Nikon D810 camera, Nikon 105mm macro lens, Subal housing, two Sea&Sea YS-250 strobes and homemade snoots

We asked our contributors what their favorite unusual critter dive was and they answered with stories and photos of weird and wonderful creatures, big and small, giving first-hand accounts of their often bizarre behaviors under the waves.

Indonesia's Lembeh Strait: Relax & Enjoy Muck Diving & More

Harlequin shrimp on sponge, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia.

For underwater photographers, when we talk about Lembeh Strait in Indonesia, lots of macro subjects and small critters come to mind. “Muck diving,” which involves diving in muddy areas where lots of small animals can be found, is actually the main business of the localresorts and dive centres. But as you will find out in this article, there are lots of other things to see here too.

California's Channel Islands: Kelp Diving on the US West Coast

A bright orange Garibaldi fish and crimson-colored California sheephead with red gorgonian at Santa Barbara Island. Photo by Frankie Grant

Due to their unique position relative to the eastern Pacific current, or the California Current, the Channel Islands off California’s coast receive an ideal amount of nutrients and water circulation for optimum growth of California giant kelp. This colonial algae forms forests over the rocky reefs and walls surrounding the islands, and act as one of the world’s most productive marine ecosystems.

The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail

While Florida’s eastern coast certainly offers countless popular wreck dives, the Panhandle is an often-overlooked gem. The Florida Panhandle Shipwreck Trail provides an enjoyable mechanism for divers to experience the history and heritage the Gulf of Mexico has to offer within the realm of wreck diving.