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Western Samoa

   Samoa  Pacific
An interesting place, a couple of dives excellent, better than Raro, the others rather mediocre. Moana Divers in Apia, and Pacific Resort Divers in the south were both OK (that means the air was clean, everything worked, the boat was there when you surfaced, they seemed to know what they were doing, and they did not insist on guided diving). PRD set a ridiculous 20m depth limit but we ignored it.

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Stingray City

   Cayman islands  Caribbean Sea


  • Seaview reef [61 minutes, max. depth 56’]: We
    headed South from Seaview towards Sunset House and rode the slight current
    back, ending right at the ladder at Seaview. Highlights: Spotted Scorpionfish,
    Pygmy Filefish , Peacock Flounder.



  • Hepp’s Pipeline [52 minutes, max. depth 65’]: Looking back at the
    18 dives we did that week, this one was one of our favorites. Right away we
    saw a 5 foot green Moray tucking himself into an overhang. We crossed over a
    sandy plain, down over a mini-wall to a huge coral "mound". The
    coral here seemed very healthy compared to other areas we saw. The site is not
    dived very often because conditions are rarely favorable for the dive. In
    other words, we were very lucky! During the dive we saw the first and second
    Turtles of the trip. I snuck up on the second one while he was sharing a snack
    with a grey angelfish…very cool!




  • Stringray City [44 minutes, max. depth 13’]: Often called the
    greatest 10 foot dive in the world. That I think goes to Moses Reef, Eilat,
    Israel. Still good though! Dived with Don Foster’s since TI didn’t have
    enough divers to go out. The one tank trip was not included in our dives for
    the week, so it cost us $55 US each. We rode a van out to the North side,
    and then boarded Foster's very large catamaran style boat that wasn't
    specifically outfitted for diving (no tank holders). A short boat ride to
    the shallow, sandy site and soon we were surrounded by many friendly
    stingray. Everyone should do it at least once, I guess. Don Foster's staff
    was very friendly, but the time we spent with them was really too short to
    form any kind of opinion. It's certainly a much larger operation than
    Treasure Island.



Water Temperature on all dives was 83 degrees F. On all dives the coral
was fairly healthy with a wide variety of fish life inhabiting it.



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Shark Dive with Stuart Cove's

   Bahamas  Caribbean Sea
With advanced booking checking in was breeze, and was on the boat in 10 minutes upon arrival. The boat was great, 46ft lots of room and shade, topside sundeck, bathroom, freshwater showers, camera table, huge water cooler, everything you need.
The first dive was at Razorback reef, about a 15 minutes from the dock. During the dive briefing we were given the choice of following the divemaster or heading out on own. I followed the divemaster and it was very good dive, lots of life, saw a hammerhead, cool.
The 2nd am dive was 2 wrecks laying bow to stern, the first starting at about 35ft,the 2nd ending at around 60ft. Both of these ships are 180ft island tankers, this was a cool dive. This site is only about a minute from Stuart Cove's dock.
After lunch out to Sharkwall and Sharkarena, about 45 minutes or so, defnitively worth the ride. The dive is on a wall and coral gardens that surround Sharkarena the site of the 2nd dive. The sharks know a snack isn't too far away, with 6-10 following us around (and a couple grouper too). After a surface interval back down to the Sharkarena a natural sand spot surrounded by coral, the feeding begins. I was totally blown away by these 2 dives it was great lots of sharks in your face action, 6 days later I'm still processing it. If you want to see sharks and want to go with a great dive op chose Stuart Cove's. I can't think of anything negative about Stuart Cove's the entire staff was fantastic. I hired a private photographer from Stuart Cove's Fin Photo for the Shark encounter dives, Tori did a awesome job during the dives and gave me a disc with 61 great pictures, worth the extra money. I can't wait to go back


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Reefs, Key Largo

   United States  Caribbean Sea


  • Snapper Ledge: aptly named reef with more
    snappers, grunts, and Goatfish than I've ever seen in one place. Visibility
    was much better than other dive sites, with lots less sand and particulates in
    the water. There are lots of other species here too. I spent some of the dive
    watching a bunch of neon Gobies on a large brain coral cleaning a Parrotfish.



  • French Reef is a shallow, relatively high-relief reef with some swim-throughs
    under the coral. There were several medium size barracuda on this reef that
    were not shy at all. I found a black grouper being cleaned, and a southern
    stingray was disturbed by the divers and sailed over the reef. I attempted a
    picture of a pale blue parrotfish but the color captured by the camera just
    doesn't do justice to the beautiful, soft blue that I saw on the reef.



  • Racetrack: An unmoored dive spot consisting of a very pretty, shallow
    reef surrounded by a sandy "racetrack." There are lots of soft and
    hard coral with lot of varied species of fish. We found three little
    nudibranchs Tritonia hamnerorum on a sea fan! I looked at about a
    zillion other sea fans and didn't find any more.



  • Freighter Reef: a shallow, low reef...how many reefs are named after
    the wrecks of ships? There were fewer fish on this site, but lots of stuff to
    look at. I spotted a Parrotfish lying on the bottom and went over to
    investigate. The fish swam off as I approached and I saw why it was there;
    underneath were at least three cleaning shrimp in a corkscrew anemone. The
    Parrotfish was getting as close to the bottom as it could to get cleaned of
    parasites and detritus. Under the corkscrew anemone I spotted the red and
    white striped antennae of a pistol shrimp, but he wouldn't come out to get his
    picture taken.




  • Molasses Reef, "winch hole": This probably the most
    heavily dived reef off of Key Largo. There were a dozen boats scattered over
    the many moorings on this large site. I dropped in and stayed under the boat
    for most of the dive until, alas, my hour was up and it was time to return
    to the boat, climb the ladder and put away my gear, not a bad dive to finish
    up the trip.




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Wrecks, Key Largo

   United States  Caribbean Sea


  • Pickles: The wreck was carrying pickle barrels
    full of cement when she went down. The barrels have all rotted away, but the
    concrete "barrels" are still there. This place is "sea fan
    city;" they're everywhere. I spotted a school of eight Midnight
    Parrotfish, but couldn't get close enough for a picture. Lots of juvenile
    barracuda hovered over the reef watching for some fish to limp. If you wave
    your hand in the water, the Barries are curious enough to swim over to you for
    a closer look. Other divers reported finding a couple of nurse sharks under
    the ledges near the wreck and one big green moray.


  • Duane: a Coast Guard cutter that was put down as an artificial reef in
    the 80's. She's upright on the sand at 125 feet with the main deck at 100
    feet. We had great conditions, no current and good visibility. I was the first
    diver in the water, as I wanted to be first on the wreck with my camera. One
    of the dive masters went in with his, gasp, film camera! There were many, many
    big barracuda stationed above the wreck; a school of jacks breezed through,
    scattering the smaller fish. I looked down on the sand off the port side of
    the wreck and spied a six-foot bull shark cruising towards the stern. It was
    too far away for me to get close, but I could see the dive master had gone
    down to try and get a picture, but the shark wasn't having anything to do with
    him. I took some wide-angle shots of the wreck itself and some of the other
    divers in our group. With no current, I was able to do a blue water safety
    stop just below the boat. I thoroughly enjoyed this most excellent wreck dive.


  • Wreck of the Benwood: a WWII British freighter that collided with
    another boat running without lights and was run aground in shallow water where
    she sank. She was used as target practice by the Navy and is pretty busted up,
    but is still a very nice wreck with lots of fish, Nassau groupers, black
    groupers, schools of grunts, schools of Goatfish, a few angels, Parrotfish,
    juvenile fish of all kinds, et al. This must be a really nice dive in good
    visibility.


  • Spiegel Grove: The Spiegel Grove was sunk as a huge artificial reef
    and is very popular dive spot. The wreck is over 500 feet long and lies on its
    port side in one hundred thirty five feet of water to the sand. To complicate
    what is a deep dive, the current is usually strong here. The tanks supplied
    for this dive were overfilled to 3500 PSI. The dive boat used a "granny
    line" to the mooring line on the wreck and asked divers to go no deeper
    than 100 feet and to return to the mooring line after no more than twenty
    minutes on the wreck. We were moored amid ships and were able to see the
    anti-aircraft guns and look into the open hatches on the deck. A few large
    Jacks cruised the wreck and a school of Baitfish exploded past us, getting out
    of the way of some unseen predator.




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Rarotanga

   Cook islands  Pacific
Rarotonga is lovely, a great place to get over your jet lag if flying west to NZ or Oz. The diving is easy and pleasant. Think Malta with coral. There are four dive outfits on the island - Cook Island Divers caters for the young backpacker crowd; Pacific Resort is follow-my-leader diving; we dived with Rarotongan Dive Centre (RDC); and I forget the fourth one. RDC was fine and I recommend it. It's run by Huw & Sheryl John, and Steve Grant (Welsh, Kiwi & Kiwi respectively). RDC respected our qualifications and we dived unguided.
All the diving is from RIB’s or similar (we saw the other dive outfits' boats about). There are only about 3 launch points on the island, but they are fairly evenly spread around the island, and since it's only about 30km in circumference you can nearly always get in somewhere. There are plenty of fish, we saw one shark, the drop-offs are steep but not vertical and there is some coral bleaching. We did six dives and always had the site to ourselves.
Don't travel round the world just for the diving in Rarotonga, but do give it a whirl if you are in the area.


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Canyons

   Dominican Republic  Caribbean Sea


  • Canyons . This site ranges in depth from 35 to 80 feet with crevices
    hosting moray eels, spiny lobster and a variety of invertebrates. Atlantic
    Spadefish commonly cruise the water column above these coral canyons




  • Catalina Island. Catalina Island is a longish boat ride from the Bayahibe
    area, maybe 30 minutes but many people consider it one of the highlights of
    their week. There is a true wall on the north side of the island, dropping
    from 15 to 130 feet. The shallow reef flat is rich with pillar and boulder
    corals, while the drop-off is filter feeder heaven, with black coral, vase
    sponge and large elephant ears. On the south side is a shallow reef known as
    the Aquarium. Here, pillar corals rule, and schooling grunts hide in coral
    recesses.


  • Sea Pro Reef. A fascinating coral ridge at about 55 feet, absolutely
    chock-full of sea fans, tube sponges and Gorgonians. The ridge drops off seaward
    to nearly 130 feet, although the slope is gradual.



  • The Tower (Cabo Cabron). Depth: 130+ feet. The boat drops you into the
    churning channel between rock and mainland. Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins,
    which frequent this spot. A giant pinnacle formation emerges from 165 feet,
    encrusted with sponge and cascading coral where lobster and crab are often
    found. The best way to see it all: drop down to 90 feet and slowly swim up and
    around the peak.



On Land…



Hike Pico Duarte , the tallest peak in the Caribbean. Cross Lake
Enriquillo
, the Caribbean's largest salt water lake; try rafting on the
clear waters of the Yaque del Norte river; or get close up to a school of
Humpback whales cavorting in Samaná Bay .



Beaches. Discover the breaking fun waves of Playa Grande , or
frolic in the pristine waters of Sosúa Beach , the mild surf of Playa
Dorada
or the calm waters of Boca Chica . Indulge in the caress of Punta
Cana's
coconut-dotted beaches on the East Coast.

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Wrecks

   Dominican Republic  Caribbean Sea
The Dominican Republic is good value for your
money.
More than 45,000 hotel rooms are located throughout the length
and breadth of the island. The competition keeps hoteliers on their toes,
and the traveler benefits from great vacation prices. There are small beach inns
to small hotels atop hills colonial city hostels to adventure traveler hotels,
all-inclusive beach resorts to deluxe metropolitan hotels.




  • St. George. The St. George is a large freighter, about 200 feet in
    length, sunk in early 1999 as a dive attraction. Now she sits upright along a
    reef slope with her bow at 140 feet and her propellers in the sand at 100
    feet. The wheelhouse and stack remain very much intact.


  • Hickory. The Hickory was purposely sunk as a dive attraction in 1986
    and now sits perfectly upright on the sand seafloor at 65 feet. The 135-foot
    freighter got hammered by Hurricane George, but still hosts a massive amount
    of fish, particularly sergeant majors (obviously used to being hand-fed) and
    Blackbar Soldierfish. The sponge encrustation and marine life make this a
    must-do for underwater photographers.


  • El Limon. El Limon is a 120-foot tugboat sunk near the Hickory. Given
    their proximity and reasonably shallow depth, both ships can be easily visited
    on the same two-tank dive trip.


  • La Sirena Cave . This particular site can only be dived with Treasure
    Divers as they have an arrangement with the landowner, but it's an example of
    the numerous freshwater caves and caverns that are found throughout the DR.
    Here, an iron spiral staircase leads to a cavernous opening in the jungle
    canopy. Stunning water clarity washes a cave system decorated with perfectly
    intact stalactites and stalagmites. This dive is not done as a deep
    penetration and avoids long overhead obstructions, so it is safe for those
    without cave certification. But make no mistake; there is world-class cave
    diving in the Dominican Republic that is yet to be explored.


  • Tanya V. Purposely sunk as a dive attraction by the owner of the
    nearby Coral Costa Caribe Resort; the Tanya V is a 120-foot cargo ship sent to
    the bottom Oct. 22, 1999. Already the stern is home to large schools of grunts
    and Goatfish. She sits in 110 feet of water.



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Nova Scotia

   Canada

Nova Scotia has some awesome wreck
diving, gin clear but cold water and a tremendous value for your diving dollar
given the exchange rate. If you are thinking about a family holiday, a club
expedition or simply some awesome diving then check out our website:

website


and website


Related link: Dive
Nova Scotia - Canada



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Key West

   United States  Caribbean Sea

Unless the speed limits have been lifted it will take about 2 hours to drive
between Key West and Key Largo on US 1.


Obey the speed limits - the traffic cops have no sense of humor! If you do
get stopped - stay in the car, hands on the wheel, and wait for the patrolman to
come to you!



At Key Largo I used the Florida State operation that runs the John Pennekamp
Coral Reef State Park. They have first pick of sites inside the reserve (they
run it).



From Key Largo and south down US 1 (the highway) there seems to be a dive
operator at every lamppost, we dived with Amoray and they were good.


Most of the addresses in the Keys have a reference to 'Mile Marker' or 'mm'
on them, so you can work out how far apart they are on US


Dives to do…

The Duane



Purposely sunk Coastguard Cutter. Can have VERY strong surface currents, but
OK on the wreck. Meet Psycho, the 'pet' Barracuda.



Key West

several operators, can't remember offhand who we went with, but we were there at
New Year and it had been a little stormy, but there were a couple of half decent
reefs to dive. I understand that there are some other wrecks accessible from
here, but can't comment on them.


My opinion - do your diving round Key Largo and go down to Key West for the
fun & games on land.



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Maricaban Island Resort

   Philippines  Pacific

Marine Divers SAC - BSAC Special Branch 2292, runs regular trips to this
resort from Hong Kong.


The resort is on the other side of the channel to Puerto Galera ,
offering dives as good if not better with more chance of pelagics, and best of
all LESS DIVERS!!!. Diving is conducted the BSAC way!




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Bergen

   Norway  Atlantic

If any of you are coming over to Bergen, or thinking about it, then this

website may be of interest. I'd certainly recommend you take a look at the

"Information for visiting divers" section, and the weather section if
you

want an idea of our above water conditions. (And you can poke and laugh

during the winter)


The photo gallery is of course just for fun, and has been highly compressed

to be "56K" friendly for people who still have to use dial accounts.
This

section will continue to grow weekly. The movies are of course larger, but

only "optional"



Matt Duke

Bergen, Norway


diving in norway

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Rodney Bay

   Saint Lucia  Caribbean Sea

We were in Rodney Bay in May 2002 and the best diving is around the
southern tip of the island in the vicinity of Souffriere where diving is
located around the fantastic piton mountains. The main beach near Rodney Bay is Reduit
beach, which I am sure you can reach within a short walk of your hotel or digs,
or you may actually be located on the beach. The diving outfit we used was Anse
Chastanet's hotel dive operation, which has a booth on the beach at one of the
Reduit beach hotels (either the Papillon or the Rex, I can't quite remember).
You can book there or direct by ringing Anse Chastanet


website



Anse Chastanet will pick you up from your hotel, take you to a short
drive away at a slip where you board a fast boat to take you down to the center
several miles down the coast. There, you will be taken on a very short check out
dive of the usual variety (mask clearing, alternative air source breathing,
buoyancy check), then you have a two-tank dive, one in the morning, and one
after lunch, which is included in the deal. You are then taken back home via the
same means after the dive. The deal was approx. $75 including a great buffet
lunch, which was excellent value.


I was surprisingly impressed with the diving around Souffriere, good viz,
vertiginous walls and healthy corals and fauna. The diving outfit was
professional and the service and deal well presented/pitched.


Have fun in Rodney Bay, don't forget to patronize Spinnakers on the beach,
and the Lime bar and restaurant just off the beach. The Great House restaurant
further up at Pigeon point is first class, if you fancy a bit of 'posh nosh'.


I am sure I don't need to warn you about the 'Aloe Vera' brigade, which you
will find hanging around the shopping mall, trying to sooth your sunburn or
mosquito bites... for the obligatory fistful of dollars. Also, car hire is 'cr.p'.
We turned down 3 cars that were lethal death traps from a very reputable
company. Public transport is cheap and the share ride minibus stops just outside
the mini-mart on the main road. Use that instead! I also wholly recommend a day
sail to Martinique! Whoa, dolphins, manta rays, we saw the lot, and had a nice
French lunch at Josephine's in Marin harbor .




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Northern reefs and wrecks

   Barbados  Caribbean Sea

I have been to Barbados before and it really depends on where on the island
you want to dive. If you want to dive the North of the Island I can suggest
'Reefers & Wreckers'. The two guys who run that are called Mike and Philip.

If you want to dive the more popular South then there is a huge choice but I
have booked some diving with the BSAC dive shop there website the
guy is called John Moore. If you prefer a PADI dive shop then try
website and the guy to speak to there is Willie Hewitt

There is a BSAC club on the island and they have club dives every Sunday and
sometimes combine there dives with BADASS (Barbados American Divers
Association). The best person to contact regarding the BSAC Club is - Rob
Bateson (is click here to email  )

If your into you're wrecks then you must do…



  • Stavronikita

  • Carlisle Bay

  • Friars Craig

  • Pamir


And see - website

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Turtle Beach

   Trinidad and Tobago  Caribbean Sea

We were at Turtle Beach (Rex resort) and we went diving with the local
dive outfit on the spot at the hotel, as well as with Undersea Tobago ,
based at the Grafton Beach resort further down the coast.


Undersea Tobago picked us up from our hotel and we did a two-tank dive with
them. The Atlantic side can be very choppy and with some substantial swell even
at 25 meters, but well worth it, with masses of large fish (angels, rays, nurse
sharks, parrots, barracuda etc).


The Caribbean side, at Dutchman reef , is generally much more sedate,
but equally enjoyable, with beautiful fans and whip coral, and huge sponges.


The dive operators do not carry your gear or bottles for you. However, fair
is fair, the diving was well organized, and we had some very good scenic dives
further north.


You'll probably be sold 'the wreck'. My view is that, unless you want to log
it in your book, don't bother. It's the most boring 30 M/100’dive of a
relatively new wreck where you can swim through and that's about it.


The highlight of our holiday was to watch the huge leatherback turtles come
ashore at night to lay their eggs. Right in front of the bar, the rooms, it was
awesome. However, you are not very likely to see them except in May.


Tobago is not yet spoiled by mass tourism. Enjoy!




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Aquaba reefs

   Jordan  Red Sea

  • FIRST BAY: Situated next
    to the Marine Science Station, this a shallow fringing reef with very prolific
    coral and fish life, the reef starts at 2m/6’ and extends down to 30-40m and
    beyond. There is a small area of upwelling that attracts shoaling fish. Sea
    bass, shoals of fusiliers, schools of squid and octopus are common making this
    an excellent site for photographers. This is a more advanced dive
    site.


  • BLACK ROCK: This site provides very easy access and is ideal for
    snorkelers and anyone who is new to the area, as a coral garden starts just
    below the surface and extends outwards for approximately 30m when it drops away
    steeply. The reef is prolific with a wide range of fish and is regularly visited
    by turtles.


  • GORGONE ONE: This is a relatively shallow site, generally (10m) though
    is named after a large gorgonian fan coral which is at 16mtrs. This site has
    splendid examples of massive coral formations, including a 'lettuce coral' the
    size of a small house. There are lots of rock pinnacles smothered in fish life,
    with a large range of both hard and soft corals covered in Lionfish which gather in huge numbers to hunt for fry. This site is a photographer’s paradise and an
    ideal site for second dives.


  • EEL CANYON: This site is aptly named and provides a dramatic dive with
    lots of variation in invert life, it has the advantage of lots of large coral
    outcrops that offer a variation in depth and contour.


  • BLUE CORAL: Fingers of coral extending at right angles to the coast.
    Covered with a profusion of fish and coral life. You also will not have to look
    very hard to discover the abundance of small, gray morays. This site also has
    the rare fluorescent anemones, but be warned they look muddy brown if
    photographed with a strobe.


  • SAUDI BORDER: (The Drop Off) This site is so called because it is just
    that, you could swim into Saudi Arabia from here, but don't try it! The top of
    the reef starts at 5m/15’ with patch reef and the reef top itself extends
    approx. 30-40m/100-120’ seaward at a depth of 10-20m. At this point a wall of
    living coral drops down to 50m and beyond. There are small caverns at 30m and
    large plate corals abound. At around 40m a large Grouper is to be found hiding
    behind a rock pinnacle. Along the reef edge it is common to see turtles. The
    sand is home to some large rays and deep water shoaling fish, such as Jack and
    Tuna can be seen.


  • POWER STATION: Here the reef drops from the surface to 5M/15’ then
    slopes to 12M/36’ before dropping vertically to 200M/320’ in a sheer wall.
    Swimming along the edge of the wall offers spectacular views and large pelagic
    species make this their hunting ground. Soft corals abound as nutrient rich
    waters gently flow along the wall. This dive requires good buoyancy control and
    offers some spectacular coral outcrops with huge numbers of fish. The dive can
    be completed in shallow water between 12 and 5 M, where an abundance of varied
    hard corals each with its attendant species, keep divers entertained.


  • PARADISE: A gentle slope with patch corals leads to a pinnacle and cave
    at the edge of a wall in 30M/100’. Working back up to the south we encounter
    soft coral gardens at 10-15M/30-45’. Stingrays and eagle rays are common in
    this area.


  • OLIVERS CANYON: Swim out to 12M/36’ where the reef starts with a gully
    dropping down to 30M. The top of the reef is covered in table corals, where
    Scorpion, Stone and Crocodile fish abound.


Don’t Miss…


The ancient city of Petra about two hours North of Aqaba.



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The Wreck of the Cedar Pride

   Jordan  Red Sea

The Cedar Pride is a Lebanese freighter sunk in 1986 at the wishes of
Prince Abdulha, King Hussain's son as an attraction for divers. She lies 150m
offshore and is approx. 80m long by 20m wide. Lying on her port side across two
reefs in a depth of 12-27m. It is possible to pass under the hull of the ship,
which lays across two reefs. She has been rapidly colonized by soft corals and
is home to several large sea bass, Grouper can often be spotted and she is also
patrolled by a shoal of barracuda!


Between the wreck and the shore and just off the starboard bow lies a reef
called Osama's Reef This has nothing to do with Bin Laden! The reef
slopes downward from 10m to 24m with a drop off on one side. Here can be found a
profuse and wide range of corals and fish life, including larger pelagic species
that approach the reef to feed. This site can be combined with the wreck, but
there is rarely time to explore more than a fraction of the reef and so this
site is worthy of a visit of its own.




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Mahe island

   Seychelles  Indian Ocean
Anyone thinking of scuba diving in the Seychelles then be aware that as a holiday destination it is paradise but for coral diving it is an unmitigated disaster. All the coral is dead due to a sea temperature rise caused by El Nino in the late nineties. I mean ALL the coral. Some regeneration is starting but in percentage terms we are talking single figures of regeneration. The fish populations are less effected and you can find pockets of massive fish populations in spots like; Anse Soleil - unfortunately no dive boats go here but you can drive there and snorkel, and also at Port Launay, which is part of the Marine Park.
They marine life is colorful and varied:- Hawksbill turtles, green turtles, parrot fish, puffer fish, nudibranchia, octopus, moray eel, snake eel, manta ray, grouper, snapper, bigeye, angelfish, butterfly fish, clownfish, trumpetfish, porcupinefish, scorpionfish, lionfish (poisonous) plus whale shark, white tip reef sharks and dolphins. The wrecks are interesting; twin barges and Ennerdale - whilst the granite rocks make an impressive underwater backdrop.
When going to the Seychelles I recommend that you take your own dive gear (BCD, Octopus, dive computer, torches) because the dive centres are working on long replacement cycles (two years or so!).
Be choosy about your dive centre. I visited the five in the Beau Vallon Bay area and some are very small outfits. I cast no aspersions on any of them. The one I selected was Island Ventures (www.dive-seychelles.com) my decision being based on the maturity of the email responses to my pre-holiday enquiries.
Visibility in August varies between 4 to 15m depending on the sea state which is subject to the trade winds. Any white horses on the waves and assume visibility will be below 5m. Most dives are around 12 to 18m with a few going to 30m. Oh! there is a small decompression chamber at Victoria Hospital.

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Mafia Island

   Tanzania  Indian Ocean
Mafia Island and its reefs are renown as an excellent, World-class diving destination. Mafia has some of the richest reefs in the World, with an unparalleled variety of hard and soft corals and diversity of tropical fish. The Island lies close to the Rufiji Delta, just a short aircraft flight from Dar es Salaam, the Selous Game Reserve or Zanzibar. The island was a regular stop for two thousand years for Arab and Persian dhows plying the coastal waters from the Gulf to Madagascar and Mozambique. Chole Bay, Mafia's protected deep-water anchorage and the original harbour, is studded with islands, sandbanks and beaches. The clear, protected waters offer wonderful snorkelling, sailing and swimming. Outside the Bay unbroken reef runs the length of the island, from Tutia in the south to Ras Mkumbi at the northern tip.
Mafia Island is set in a Marine Park situated about 130 km south of Dar es-Salaam and about 25 km from the mainland. It is part of an archipelago formed of a number of very large islands and small uninhabited coral atolls . Due to its position alongside the barrier, the island is the meeting place of large oceanic fish and the the vast variety of fish common to the Indian Ocean coral reefs. There are over 400 species of fish in the park. The Park is a paradise for both expert scuba divers as well as those wishing to snorkel or sail in the native local boats from island to island.


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Pemba Island

   Tanzania  Indian Ocean
Pemba Island is located 40km north of Zanzibar and is about 70km long. The island is surrounded by beautiful beaches, islands, and pristine offshore coral reefs. The drop off into the Pemba channel is 600 meters deep, and it offers scores of world class diving sites where mantas, hammerhead sharks, groupers and dolphin abound. The island is famous for it's clove production and this is the mainstay of Pemba's economy. Tourism is still in its infancy but several areas are now being developed to take advantage of the amazing world class dive sites of the Pemba Channel.
If you are short of time and have to select the best sites then an itinerary which includes Manta Point, Mesali Island and the Emerald Reef at Panza Point should satisfy even the most experienced and demanding diver. Pemba is best suited to the experienced diver due to strong currents and great depths. There are some sites suited to the less experienced diver but conditions should always be checked first. Drift dives are the most common due to the currents and it is advisable to carry a surface marker buoy.
To get to Pemba there are flights from Zanzibar and Dar Es Salaam and a ferry service two days weekly between Zanzibar'sStone Town and Pemba.


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