Bahamas: The Gingerbread Grounds

Tied off to the mooring line, I hit the deck and scanned the horizon. The ocean was dead flat, mirror-like. As far as the eye could see there was not a speck of land nor other boats—just sky, clouds and ocean. Even before submerging, this place seemed otherworldly. The name Gingerbread Grounds seemed to be a sinister attempt at appearing innocent as if some witch were luring us into the dark wilderness with a cottage made of cookie and decorated with colorful candy and icing. […]

Washington State’s San Juan Islands – An Emerald Paradise

With underwater camera in hand, I slowly descended with my 17-year old daughter, Tallen, beneath the cool emerald water off Orcas Island, the largest of Washington’s San Juan Island group. At 40-feet, we meandered over lavender and pink coralline algae coating numerous sandstone formations. A small Grunt Sculpin played hide-and-seek with my framer while a curious octopus held Tallen’s attention. Looking up, bull kelp stretched to the surface with sleek ribbons gently flowing in a drift. A garden of colorful anemones, nudibranchs, tunicates and clusters […]

Honduras: Guanaja

I confess, I don’t know what I was thinking at the Catalina Conservancy Divers benefit at this past June’s SCUBA Show. Being a relatively inexperienced diver (eight dives in the two years since becoming certified), I made a rash decision to bid on a trip to Guanaja, Honduras. Surprise, surprise, I won. So here I was, an avid non-diver, on my way to a remote island off the coast of Honduras, which is known only for its diving. What was I thinking?      Much […]

Socorro Adventure

San Benedicto Island was our first visit to the Revillagigedo Archipelago 250 miles south of Cabo San Lucas in the Pacific Ocean. Tallen, my teenage daughter, and I have journeyed here to interact with giant manta rays and swim with scalloped hammerhead sharks. We were aboard a long range live-aboard dive vessel and looked forward to nine days of diving. “Swimming with mantas has always been a dream of mine,” confesses Tallen, as she exits the boat into the 74° water. “I can’t wait !” […]

Sipadan, Mabul and Kapalai – Diving Gems of Malaysian Borneo

The cuttle fish was as big as my head. My first encounter ever. Chrome-like spade fish, as big as hub caps, hovered nearby. On the bottom, an alligator fish stared up at my every move. And this was only a fraction of what was seen on my first dive at Mabul. I was at the middle island of the three jewels of the Celebes Sea—part of the world’s most marine biologically diverse area of the world. I was going to see more animals here than […]

Belize – Land of Shallow Walls

Shallow walls? Sounds like an oxymoron in diving the Caribbean, right? Diving spectacular coral walls should, and usually does mean deep diving and accompanying techniques, gear and experience. But Belize is different. Coral walls are abundant and beautiful, as beautiful as any in the Caribbean, but start in as little as 10 feet of water. Current is light and the walls are vertical. A beginning diver with just a basic mastery of buoyancy control can experience wall diving here for the first time in a […]

Clearly Cozumel

Boasting over 35 known dive sites, 70’+ visibility year round, and a warm and friendly atmosphere, it is no wonder that Cozumel ranks among the most astounding dive destinations in the world. With spectacular reefs and walls teeming with life, drift diving beyond compare, and the creation of a new artificial reef program, Cozumel is a must for any diver, novice to experienced. Located off the Yucatán Peninsula in Mexico, Cozumel was hit hard by two hurricanes last year and the largest, Hurricane Wilma, sat […]

Little Cayman’s Big Walls

I avoid clichés whenever possible, mostly because they are simply hyperbole, but in this case it was true. This dive spot literally “took my breath away.” The dive master warned us. He told us once you descend the vertical chimney, turn and head out emerging on the wall, the view will overtake you. Watch your depth, he said as divers are frequently so overwhelmed with awe, they descend deeper than planned. And thus it was with me. The wall took my breath away. This was […]

Fish and Wreck Diving La Paz

I am a fish diver. Some divers like wrecks, some like to take photographs, and still others just cruise to see what they can find. But, me, I am definitely a fish diver. Dale knows that if I happen to disappear, it’s because I became engulfed in a school of fish. I love to be with them, to swim with them to immerse myself in the full experience of being a fish. I thought I had experienced what is was to be engulfed in a […]

Kona Village Resort

There are a number of great dive spots that come to mind when you think of the Hawaiian Islands. Maui offers Black Rock and the Five Caves, Lanai has Shark Fin, and Pyramid and Kauai boasts its Tunnels on the North Shore. But none is more easily accessible for Orange County residents than Kona Village’s marine preserve at Kahuwai Bay on the Big Island. For California-based divers, exotic South Seas diving has never been “closer,” thanks to Aloha Airlines’ flights to the Big Island of […]

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