Destinations

Aircraft Wrecks of Gran Canaria

Divers on wreck of the Douglas C-47. Photo by Sabine Kerkau.

For over a year, I had been looking forward to a very special expedition that was planned for May 2014. But as you know, life does not always go the way you plan. The expedition was postponed, and once again, I had to find an alternative, at relatively short notice.

The Ogasawara Islands: Japan's Galapagos

Often referred to as the Oriental Galapagos, the Ogasawara Archipelago is located in the northwestern Pacific Ocean, about 1,000km south of Tokyo and is one of the most isolated and remote parts of Japan. The isolation of the archipelago, combined with the fact that the islands have never been connected to a continent, is said to have produced a “Galapagos effect” with flora and fauna that is unique to the islands.

Sharks of the Protea Banks in South Africa

Divers with bull shark, Protea Banks, South Africa. Photo by Don Silcock.

The Protea Banks enjoys a reputation as one of the best places in South Africa to dive with sharks, and depending on the time of year, you can see up to seven different varieties, including ragged-tooth sharks, oceanic blacktip sharks, bull sharks, tiger sharks and three varieties of hammerhead sharks—scalloped, smooth and great hammerhead sharks. Often, these varieties are in large, if not astonishing, numbers.

Ice Diving in the White Sea

Diver under hummocky ice in the White Sea.

Not many divers like to dive in cold water, especially under ice. A possible reason for this may be that they do not know about the new, modern, comfortable equipment for this kind of diving—equipment which can turn these extreme dives into a curious and fascinating vacation.

Canary Island’s Tenerife: Where the Highest Mountain Meets the Deepest Sea

Spain’s highest mountain lies off the continent of Africa and is surrounded by the deepest chasms of the Atlantic Ocean—what a unique place! And the islands where the mountain is located are just as special. We are talking about the Canary Islands, which lie in the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco.

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.

WWII Wreck of USS LST 349 at Ponza, Italy

The LST (also known as “landing ship, tank” or “tank landing ship”) was integral to the fighting forces during World War II, transporting tanks, cargo and troops directly to the battlefield. They were unique in that their flat keels allowed the ships to remain upright after beaching, without the need for docks or piers. Their twin propellers and rudders were specially protected from grounding.

The sinking of USS LST 349, which was heading to Naples from Anzio, Italy, occurred in February 1944. It happened during a severe storm, in which turbulent seas pushed the ship against the cliffs at Punta Papa on Ponza Island. Even though the people of Ponza made a great effort in the rescue operations, the death toll was heavy.

Australia: The Little Life on the Great Barrier Reef

There is nothing small about the Great Barrier Reef. It is not only the largest coral reef system on Earth, but probably the most well-known. You would be hard-pressed to find divers who do not have it on their dive wish lists. It is Earth’s largest living structure and reaches over 2,300km (1,400 miles) down the coast of Queensland, Australia.