Features by our regulars

Indonesia's North Sulawesi

March 18, 2017 - 12:29
The story is found: 
on page 14

The current felt like the wind on a breezy day, and it was blowing me past the coral-covered sheer wall that disappeared over 60m (200ft) below me. Looking directly down, I noticed the color blue fading into slightly darker shades and finally into darkness, at the edge of how far I could see.

To my right was a gorgeous wall of color. Pink and purple soft corals extended fully, reaching out into the current to feed on plankton passing by and numerous giant purple barrel sponges extending away from the wall. Looking to my left into the open water was more blue and thousands of fish.

New Zealand: Poor Knights & Bay of Islands

February 28, 2017 - 16:14
The story is found: 
on page 17

Ever since the release of the Lord of the Rings, New Zealand has been synonymous with Middle-earth—a South Pacific wonderland of forests, mountains, volcanoes and geysers featured in the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogies. Although revered for its topside beauty, New Zealand remains somewhat obscure as a diving destination.

Situated off the Tutukaka Coast, a three-hour drive north of Auckland, the islands have long been on my radar. Featured in documentaries, including BBC’s original Planet Earth series, they have captivated me from the get-go.

Treasures of Tasmania

February 22, 2017 - 15:02
The story is found: 
on page 35

There is an island at the bottom of the Earth playfully referred to as the end of the world, or the edge of the world, and if I did not know better, I could picture this to be true. Standing at the edge of some of the steepest cliffs in Australia on the Tasman Peninsula of southeastern Tasmania, I looked out over the steep, jagged coastline and the steel blue Southern Ocean.

The previous day, I was at the other end of these cliffs and 10m underwater, getting my first glimpse of weedy seadragons, a unique and strangely beautiful marine organism endemic to southern Australia.

Diving Lofoten in Norway

February 12, 2017 - 19:15
The story is found: 
on page 30

Lofoten in northern Norway is renowned for spectacular scenery and stunning natural beauty—and it doesn’t stop at the surface! Clear water, huge kelp forests with lots of marine life, great wreck diving and anemone-covered walls which rival any tropical coral reef… What more could you ask for?

Lofoten is one of those annoying places where you can get in the water pretty much anywhere and still have a good dive. This makes it more important than ever to have good, local support, because good isn’t good enough up here—you want to get to the really amazing and spectacular dive spots!

Maldives: The Central Atolls

January 16, 2017 - 15:46
The story is found: 
on page 16

I was not planning to go on the night dive. It was the first night of the trip and I was a little tired, I already had my camera batteries charging and was all settled in with a book for the night after a fabulous first day of diving with turtles, sharks and tons of fish. But Fernando, our dive guide, told me I had to go.

The dive site was Alimatha Pier at Vaavu Atoll. We did our giant strides into the black water and were immediately greeted with a ripping current. They said to bring reef hooks if you had them (which I did not), so after getting to the bottom, I found a rock to hold on to.

The Wild Side of Hawaii

December 08, 2016 - 16:00
The story is found: 
on page 20

The idea of Hawaii conjures up images of blue water, white sand, palm trees and soft breezes. One pictures a calm, easy-going, relaxing sort of place where one can recover from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But if one looks hard enough, there is adventure to be found beyond the sun-soaked beaches and mai tai cocktails, and so I went in search of them on both ends of the island chain that make up the Hawaiian archipelago.

The main Hawaiian Islands, which make up this US state, consist of eight islands stretching from the easternmost island of Hawaii, to the westernmost island of Ni’ihau, with Maui, Kahoolawe, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu and Kauai in-between (east to west).

Critters of the Muck

September 21, 2016 - 14:14
The story is found: 
on page 19

You just have to do it to understand it. Until you have experienced it, the name itself does not stir the emotions as much as the other types of diving. Once you have experienced the treasure hunt for yourself, you will be hooked. Marketing specialists would agree that it is probably misnamed and they have even tried to rename it, but nothing has stuck the same way as the coined term “muck diving.”

So, what is muck diving? The term can be used to describe several types of diving but usually involves diving in areas you wouldn’t initially think about diving in.

Lesser Antilles: Dominica

August 24, 2016 - 15:23
The story is found: 
on page 26

“Not the Dominican Republic, Dominica,” I corrected my friends for the umpteenth time regarding my upcoming trip. Then again, it was easy to understand how the gaffe had come about. While the former is home to sprawling resorts and package tourism, the latter is a tropical gem in the Lesser Antilles which is a far cry from its similarly-named Caribbean cousin.

Make no bones about it—there is no quick and easy way to get there. Despite being in the same hemisphere as my home in Toronto, getting to Dominica proved to be a full-day expedition. Arriving at the airport at 5:30 a.m.

Giant Australian Cuttlefish

August 23, 2016 - 11:24
The story is found: 
on page 62

The giant Australian cuttlefish (Sepia apama) is the largest cuttlefish in the world, reaching up to half a metre in total length and weighing in at around 11kg. Solitary animals, they are found all along the coastline of the southern half of Australia—from Central Queensland on the eastern coast, right around the bottom of the continent and up to Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia.

Incredibly photogenic creatures, they have a fascinating ability to rapidly change their colour and skin texture, an ability which they use to great effect as camouflage when they are hunting or being hunted, to communicate with other cuttlefish and as part of the amazing displays they use to imp

Indonesia's Komodo Island

July 19, 2016 - 12:37
The story is found: 
on page 10

It was one of those diving vacations where the weather was perfect, the seas were calm, the sun was shining, and the waters were warmer than expected, with good visibility and plenty of life. The boat was beautiful, the crew was fantastic, the food was amazing, the coffee hot and the beer cold. And the diving location was like no other. Let me take you to Komodo.

(I will warn you in advance: This story is about one of “those” trips. It might make you green with envy, but it will definitely make you wish you were there, and will probably have you planning your next dive trip to take place in this magical spot.)

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