Underwater News


On my Big Animals trips, it's the locals who make the difference in our journey. Observing Cubanos' colorful, robust and up beat tempo overshadows the limitations I've observed imposed on their lives. They live in a city and countryside that is basically "frozen in time". There is a fifty-year "time warp".
San Crist?bal de la Habana or Havana, Cuba's capital city is only a short ninety miles from Florida. Having visited the island country four times, I have fallen in love with its beauty, culture, and now its scuba diving. Yes, I would rate Havana as a city comparable to Paris, Rome, Oslo, London and even Shanghai.
Travel to Cuba is now permissible for US citizens through cultural exchange programs sanctioned by the US Office of Foreign Assets Control, which in the first phase of my journey gave me the freedom to interact in the daily activities of the Cuban community, experiencing their architecture, history, art, culture, and the music of daily life in and around Havana.
In the second phase of the trip, I visited the Gardens of the Queen to witness first hand the efforts being taken to preserve and protect a marine ecosystem that is unique to the southern coast of Cuba. "Jardines de la Reina" was declared a Marine Park in 1996. By limiting t...

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Author : Amos Nachoum
Upload date : 2016-09-06

Killer Times with Killer Whales Join us on one of the most exciting of our Big Animal Expeditions in one of the world's most beautiful locations. During Norway's frigid winter, its majestic Arctic coastline and stunning fjords attract voluminous schools of herring, which in turn attract pods of Orcas. After determining the direction baitfish are being chased by resident Orcas, we will pursue these magnificent mammals until we can slip silently into the water for close up views and photographs of these magnificent mammals satiating their huge appetites.
The trip is greater enhanced by the pod's social behavior. Not unlike the humpback whales unique "bubbling" feeding technique, Orcas display an activity called "carouseling". Swimming under schools of herring, they exhale volumes of air bubbles to separate herring schools. Separated and carried helplessly towards the surface, smaller bait balls make easy pickings for hungry pods.
An activity witnessed by only a handful of snorkelers allows you the privilege to view the whale during its unique feeding behavior. Quietly, two of us at a time will slip into the water to observe the pod feeding. While we are snorkeling and free-diving, Orcas, curious by nature, will amaze us with very cl...

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Author : Amos Nachoum
Upload date : 2016-07-26

The trip is a bit long but my wife Agnese and me we got used.
And so, after 26 hours flying from Milan to Cebu, we have to drive three hours to reach the Sampaguita Resort in Moal Boal. We arrive at 8pm and after a tasty dinner and a couple of mojitos we go to the room for a good night's sleep. The next day, an employee comes to wake us up because... It's already time for lunch! When we get out from our bungalow we immediately appreciate the sunshine, the garden, the palm trees and the view of the sea.
We realize now that we will spend the holiday in very relaxing and enjoyable place. The resort is very simple and basic but the great thing is that after a couple of days you feel to be at home.
The bar's terrace restaurant is very cozy and is situated directly on the reef.
After lunch we bring our diving equipment to the diving center, and then we check and fit all our cameras in their housings: two housing for dslr cameras, one for a compact one, six strobes, four cameras, cables, batteries, arms, glasses...about seventy pounds of stuff! Of course we know that most of our dives will be dedicated to macro photography. Once everything is settled we go for a dive to test all our equipment.
We can do unlimited dives on local reefs, and every day we'll mak...

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Author : Davide Barzazzi
Upload date : 2016-07-15

Dharavandhoo is a small Maldivian fishermen's island, located in the Baa Atoll, about 120 kilometers north of Male. Since a small airport was built, you can reach it in twenty minutes flight from the capital. It is situated near the bay of Hanifaru, Unesco heritage site since 2009, where, from late May to November, the high concentration of plankton present in these waters gathers a large number of filter feeders, including the large manta rays. That's the reason why last summer we organized this trip, together with other underwater photography enthusiast's friends. We arrived in the guesthouse that will host us (Dharavandhoo is off the beaten tourist circuit, being a fishing village) on the morning of 26 July, welcomed by Virgilio and Jessica, who run the dive center and have a deep knowledge of the Baa atoll's seabeds and are ready, together with their staff, to lead us in the discovery of this corner of the Indian Ocean. We should rest because the night on the plane has grown us tired, but the desire to begin diving in these waters is so great that we decided to "open the ball" already in the afternoon. After preparing the photographic equipment and having eaten enough, we reach the large and comfortable dhoni waiting for us at the dock, not far from our guesthouse. The sky is blue and t...

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Author : Alberto Gallucci
Upload date : 2016-07-06

Sheikh Coast : a diving center UWP friendly In recent years, I have visited Sharm several times. It has always been my favorite destination since 1993.
Its proximity and abundance of underwater life have always made it, to my eyes, a place of incomparable quality/price ratio.
My approach to underwater photography has started in 2011 and since then I realized that, talking about logistics, my needs have progressively changed.
Comparing with friends sharing the same passion, the emerging common thought was that in Sharm you could hardly find the ideal conditions to meet the needs of the "annoying" category represented by underwater photographers.
The organization of the diving centers, the "traffic" of boats at the diving sites and the sites themselves, were not the best for photography. Then I learned from some friends that recently, at the Sheikh Coast Diving Center (inside the Domina Coral Bay of Sharm El Sheikh), is growing a pole increasingly attentive to the needs of fans of underwater photography, under the influence of Pierpaolo Peluso, the diving center responsible for sales and marketing, as well as guide and underwater photographer. Hence, after that in recent years my diving and photographic destinations have been especially Maldive...

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Author : Fabio Strazzi
Upload date : 2016-02-19


April 2015: Finally, after months of waiting, the time has come to make the TOP journey we were longing for.
We left Italy, via Madrid and Miami, and arrived in San Jos?. The next day, from the port of Punta Arenas, on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, we boarded the Okeanos Aggressor, a boat 36 meters long, capable of 10 cabins for 20 guests in addition to the crew. Exquisitely greeted by the captain, his deputy and the crew, after a welcome aperitif and a crew and boat introduction, we finally left towards the Isla Del Coco.
During the 36 hours sailing needed to cover the 300 nautical miles, we met the other guests. Surprisingly, on board there's a group of seven Italians including us, while the others come from various Countries, including the US, Canada, France, Switzerland, Mexico, and even Israel. Expectations about the holiday grew during the crossing, since one of our Italian fellow travelers is a regular visitor of Cocos (this will be his fourth cruise, the last in 2011), and showed us videos and photos of his previous trips.
Isla Del Coco, considered one of the best diving destinations in the world for encounters with hammerhead sharks and other pelagic fish such as manta rays, whale, gray, tiger and Galapagos sharks, i...

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Author : Raffaele Livornese
Upload date : 2016-01-27


Popular Dive Sites around Tioman Island Tiger Reef
As far as I'm concerned, this is the most beautiful dive site in Tioman without a doubt. This submerged underwater pinnacle, situated between Pulau Labas and Pulau Sepoi, begins at 12 m deep and slides down to deeper than 40 m, embracing small boulders & caves covered with colorful soft coral and underwater swim-through formations in between, which makes perfect for wide-angle photography. The rock formation is simply amazing because everything is covered in soft coral, hard corals, sea whips, crinoids, sea fans and barrel sponges. The coral life here is relatively well-preserved because this site is rarely dived. Strong currents often bring schools of yellow snappers, fusiliers, barracudas, jacks, turtles and sharks whilst colorful tropical reef fish such as angelfish, butterfly fish, emperor angelfish and parrot fish, etc.often wander carelessly through diversely shaped sea fans & barrel sponge corals at the deepest part. At 45-48m deep, there is also a weirdly shaped sponge coral area, looking like a kind of sculpture museum, which is the best theme park that I've ever visited. Bahara Rock / Bahara Light House
Locally knwon as Tokong Bahara, this is my second favorite dive site on ...

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Author : Isabella Lee
Upload date : 2016-01-15

Dispelling misconceptions revolving cave diving not being a viable and safe dive choice for the average recreational diver. Are there recreational cave diving sites available in Mexico? Christian Llewellyn discusses diving some of these cave systems from a resent trip to the Yucatan peninsula. I can still remember my first happy trip to Mexico and the joy of receiving my first temporary certification diving card. Finally I was ready to explore underwater and really push my boundaries. That was until my diving instructor asked me if "I Would like to go Cenote diving at the weekend?"" My initial thought was that cave diving was dangerous, and not really a great pursuit for a novice diver. However once I entered the gateways to the Yucatn's underworld I had no regrets with my choice. Underneath the Yucatn Penisula run three of the longest water systems in the world. Controlling the location of human settlement in this area for thousands of years. The Mayan people could only access this precious water through sacred entrances called "Cenotes" This was a path into the underworld, and was filled with their gods and spirits. They are formed through the Combination of subterranean cave ceilings collapsing and the gradual erosion of the limestone bed. Which has created a magical world with caverns...

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Author : Christian Llewellyn
Upload date : 2015-10-30


I'm on board: Sachika Safari boat. I want to see "big stuff" and this is the perfect place... Life is like that: being in the right place at the right time. And this is the right boat...
It 'just after dawn and we are going to have the first dive.
6:15 am. A cup of tea and I'm ready to set my photographic equipment. The dhoni crew have already set up and checked the thanks, the jacket and all the underwater equipment. They are waiting for us.
Usually I have to assemble the equipment and check everything by myself but here I’m relieved of any task concerning diving stuff.
What are we going to discover today? Tree, four dives a day, feeling amazed and thrilled at any time.
Sharks, this morning!
So many elegant gray sharks and the harmless white tips sharks! Giacomo Ganda, the dive leader is a marine byologist, expert in maldivian dives. He tells us that there will be a lot of underwater current in this place. We will use hooks to latch on the rocks. It goes without saying: no currents, no sharks.
We go down quickly and suddendly we see grey sharks hunting near the passe. They are quiet, not concerned with us. We stop near a rock waiting for them to come nearer. Standing still, we admire their amazing...

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Author : Mauro Mainardi
Upload date : 2014-11-24

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