Posts Tagged ‘Micronesia’

The World’s Best Destinations for Wreck Diving

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

Why do the Top 100 Readers Choice Awards, now in their 23rd year, still matter to divers? Because these are your picks, based on thousands of votes from the most experienced dive travelers on the planet. Why do they matter to us? Because every month you hear from our editors on what we think matters in the world of dive travel. For the January/February issue of Scuba Diving we get to listen to you, and we’re taking notes.

Here, we proudly present the No. 1 ranking destinations in the Best Wreck Diving category of the awards. The full list of winning destinations is below.

Pacific and Indian Oceans

1) CHUUCK

Many places boast a few shipwrecks as gee-whiz alternatives to biological reefs, but there’s only one Chuuk, also known as Truk. More than 50 Japanese ships, planes, subs and all manner of machinery, weaponry and fascinating (and sobering) wartime history are on display, the result of America’s deadly aerial barrage on the Japanese fleet in February 1944. This warm, calm lagoon in Micronesia holds a World War II mari- time museum without equal. The 433-foot-long Fujikawa Maru is superb, both for military and marine-life attractions — Zero fighter planes in the hold, deck guns draped in soft corals — and is shallow enough for novices. Tec divers descend 175 feet onto the phenomenal San Francisco to see tanks, trucks and bombs. Shinkoku offers bright invertebrates and school- ing fish; inside, a soldier’s bones rest in sick bay. Chuuk is also a mass grave, a testament to the tragedy of war. — Brandon Cole

Go Now: visittruk.com

2) Red Sea

3) Palau

4) Thailand

5) Hawaii

North America

1) NORTH CAROLINA

Diving North Carolina’s wrecks doesn’t force you to choose between swimming the top deck alongside sand tiger sharks or penetrating. At a handful of sites, including the USS Indra and the tanker Atlas, drop inside tight quarters to navigate alongside these big fish. — Brooke Morton

Go Now: visitnc.com

2) Florida and Florida Springs

3) Washington

4) California

5) Great Lakes

Caribbean and Atlantic

1) BAHAMAS

You might expect that a nation of 700 islands would boast a massive collection of downed ships — and it does. Your favorite might change to whichever one you dived last, be it the shallow and marine-life-rich SS Sapona cargo steamer off Bimini or Edward Williams off New Providence, where you’ll likely come face to face with Caribbean reef sharks and goliath grouper. — Brooke Morton

Go Now: bahamas.com

2) Cayman Islands

3) Bay Islands

4) Curacao

5) Bonaire

Blue Water Series: The Dive Behind the Photo – Part 2

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Giant Pacific Manta and Diver by David Valencia

“Giant Pacific Mantas are graceful in every turn. It’s no wonder divers fly all over the world to see these gentle giants. However, mantas are listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red List of Threatened Species. In certain parts of the world, these mantas are becoming increasingly rare as they face persistent fishing pressure.

In Mexico’s Socorro Islands, located some 250 miles SE of Cabo San Lucas, interactions with mantas are magnificent. It’s not just the sighting of mantas that can make dives with them special, but also the type of interaction. To the delight of divers, mantas enjoy bubbles on their bellies and they will soak up the bubbles as long as there are divers. It’s an amazing sight to see and it also provides divers with a unique insight into their behavior. During this dive while we were playing with the mantas, my dive buddy, Adil, happened to be filming as a black manta slowly squeezed between us. The large manta (approx. 5 meters/16 feet from wingtip to wingtip) was gliding over me to get to my bubbles. As the manta soaked up the bubbles, I could look into its eye and see it processing our interaction. This occurred non-stop for the entirety of our dive.”

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David Valencia recounts his incredible encounter with the giant Pacific manta in the remote waters of Socorro. But mantas are also found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world, making diving with this majestic creature more accessible than you may think. For divers who dream of sharing their scuba bubbles with a manta ray, diving the right place at the right time of year will certainly help increase the chances of making this dream a reality.

Why not plan some club trips to any of the following destinations where your guests might get their own manta memory to take home…

  • Isla San Benedicto, MexicoFirmly located in liveaboard territory where David Valencia snapped this remarkable photo, Isla San Benedicto is one of four of the Socorro Islands off the west coast of Mexico in the eastern Pacific Ocean. These volcanic islands, particularly San Benedicto, are world-renowned for the up-close and personal encounters divers experience with the giant Pacific manta ray. November to early January and most of April and May are ideal times to come face-to-face with these gentle giants.
  • Indonesia – With close to 18,000 islands, the world’s largest archipelago offers a number of dive sites to swim with manta rays (not to mention more than 600 coral and 3000 fish species). Here are a few you may want to explore: Manta Bay, located just off Nusa Penida, Bali features a number of cleaning stations; Manta Alley or Makassar Point in Komodo National Park where it’s not unusual to see 20 or more; and Manta Sandy in northern Raja Ampat.
  • Manta Reef, Mozambique This is the area’s showcase dive site, famous for a couple of manta cleaning stations. It’s a gentle drift dive that begins with a descent into 26 metres/85 feet of water in the middle of a small amphitheater teeming with life. The first cleaning station is reached in a shallower sandy area at 21 metres/70 feet. Here, mantas circle overhead to be cleaned by goldies, cleaner wrasse and butterflyfish. In good visibility it’s possible to watch upwards of ten mantas circling overhead.
  • Garden Eel Cove, Kona, Hawaii, USAThe Big Island of Hawaii offers a unique experience to get up close and personal with mantas as they feed in the plankton-rich waters. Home to mantas year-round, you can plan your trip to Kona any time of year. But for an unrivaled manta interaction, plan your dive for nighttime when dive lights attract plankton, bringing mantas right to you for a personal encounter you won’t soon forget.
  • Lady Elliot Island, Great Barrier Reef, AustraliaMantas frequent the waters off this tiny island at the southernmost tip of the Great Barrier Reef. Only 45 hectares (110 acres), this island sanctuary boats a single eco resort, an airstrip, a PADI Dive Center, and over 1,200 species of marine life. Lady Elliott Island is known for its abundance of manta rays, turtles, array of spectacular marine life and unspoiled coral reef. While mantas congregate here throughout the year, you may want to plan your trip during the fall and winter months when they are most common.
  • Mi’il Channel, Yap, MicronesiaThe island of Yap is about the closest it comes to a guarantee for manta encounters. Mantas are regulars in the Mi’il Channel and, in fact, visit this renowned cleaning station with such frequency that individuals are known by name. Manta dives are popular at Mi’il Channel when the trade winds blow from November to May, as well as the summer months.
  • Baa Atoll, Maldives Mantas can be found throughout the 1,192 Maldives islands but Baa Atoll offers exceptional opportunities. Especially during the southwest monsoon season from May to July, mantas frequent the area to feed and visit cleaning stations. Divers often experience encounters with dozens of mantas on a single dive. Up to 240 individuals with distinct markings have been recorded here in a single day.

Whether or not your customers have the opportunity to get in the water with a majestic manta, they can always be inspired by David Valencia’s stunning photo, “Giant Pacific Manta and Diver” with a limited-edition “Blue Water Series” PADI certification card. Learn more.0701 Replacement Card Blog Post Graphic

The post Blue Water Series: The Dive Behind the Photo – Part 2 appeared first on PADIProsEurope.

6 Interesting Facts About Jellyfish Lake in Palau

Monday, August 24th, 2015

If you know anything about Palau in Micronesia then you probably have some idea of the lake full of jellyfish. If not, then it’s likely you will soon have it on your travel to-do list! As are most places in Micronesia, Palau is absolutely beautiful. It also has a very […]