What do you do when you are supposed to go diving but you have a bad cold? Remember all the fantastic places you have been diving before.
I finally took time to go through my logbook and select the dive sites I have enjoyed the most until I started to dive in 2008. So here are my best dive sites:
No particular order except for the two first, I must say these were my favorite ones!
Thailand Surin islands, Richelieu Rock: beautiful reef with swim throughs and schools of fish. As we were watching a small shrimp we turned around and had a surprise to see a whaleshark there! It came back various times to see us. One of the best dive I have done so far.
Indonesia, Raja Ampat, RSB: the only place where I have seen so many mantas on every dive: at least 10 to 15 coming to the cleaning station and staying the whole dive, passing 1 to 2 meters abve us. It was not too hard to convince everyone to come back diving at this perfect spot!
Photo credit: my buddy Claire Horgan
Watch a full video of Raja Ampat on: https://isaontracks.com/2016/04/28/diving-raja-ampat-my-3-weeks-at-barefoot-conservation/
Indonesia, Raja Ampat, Blue Magic: great mix of strong currents and pelagic fish! If you are lucky you can see the oceanic mantas. Saw a wobbegong shark hiding under a rock, schools of jack fish, trevallies. And on our way back to our island, orcas from the boat- see below!
Indonesia, Raja Ampat, Arborek island, Jetty to jetty: super healthy coral, crocodile fish, bamboo sharks, pygmee seahorses, sometimes a manta passing by! Not too bad for an island reef!
French Polynesia, Rangiroa island, Tiputa Pass: Lemon, Grey reef, White tips, Silver tips, Black tips, Tiger, and even Great hammerhead sharks! The wall of sharks is now at around 50 meters down. Also saw sailfishes, spotted eagle rays, dolphins, turtles, schools of barracudas, huge humphead wrasses. Good current in the pass makes it a nice drift dive.
More on Diving in Rangiroa on: https://isaontracks.com/2016/07/22/rangiroa-my-favorite-island-in-the-tuamotus/
French Polynesia, Fakarava island, Ohuru: in a single dive outside the North pass we saw about 10 dolphins, at least 50 grey reef, black tip and white tip sharks and these two manta rays towards the end of the dive.
More on Diving in Fakarava on: https://isaontracks.com/2016/07/11/so-what-its-like-to-dive-in-fakarava/
French Polynesia, Fakarava island, North pass: want to see sharks? We saw maybe about 200 in a single dive. And that’s the average number you will get in the North pass if you go at the right time! Nice drift above the canyons leading to Alibaba, where there are many schools of fish too. At the time it was the groupers spawning season (happens once a year in that particular spot) so they were everywhere, and the sharks waiting for them.
Timor Leste, Haru ina: fantastic coral there and especially huge hard coral folioses, that was more than 15 meters wide and how many years old, I let you guess!
More on volunteering with Blue Ventures in Timor Leste on: https://isaontracks.com/2016/06/05/already-10-days-in-timor-leste/
Maldives, HP reef: What I love in the Maldives is that every single dive is a decent one! Sharks, turtles, swimming moray eels, schools of fish everywhere. Enough current to make it interesting too.
Image credit: http://karusantravels.com/destinations/hp-reef-maldives/
Philippines, Irako wreck, Coron area: nice 150 meters long Japanese wreck that you can penetrate if you have the specialty, or a divemaster that just brings you in (even though they are not supposed to go)! Heard dynamite fishing when we were doing a first safety stop at around 20 meters down.
Philippines, Coron, Barracuda lake, Coron area: First the lake itself beautiful with its vertical rock formations. Even though we did not see much, it was interesting to dive in a place where you have the temperature going from 31 to 36 degrees Celsius as you go down.
Image credit: https://fr.pinterest.com/pin/221943087864446664/
Philippines,Royal garden, Balicasag, Panglao: easy dive on a gentle slope with many giant turtles.
Vanuatu, President Coolidge wreck, Espiritu Santo: a WWII wreck over 200 meters long. At the time, it was my first deep and wreck dive, all in one. Really great one as you can’t see how deep the wreck goes. It makes you feel so f#$%^&* small!
…to be continued!
And for you, which were your best dive sites? Let’s enrich the list!