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

We can't say HONDURAS is unknown to scuba divers. Roatan is known and so is Utila, both of them dive locations that do attract scuba divers, mostly from the US, and do provide plenty of dive centers and all the dive logistics, keen divers do expect.
And then there are the CAYOS COCHINOS, a group of small islands just between the mainland of Honduras and Roatan. Cochinos Cays are a group of two small islands (15°58'18.99"N86°28'31.34"W) (Cayo Menor and Cayo Grande) and 13 more small coral cays situated 30 kilometres (19mi) northeast of La Ceiba on the northern shores of Honduras.
The Cayos are part of the Bay Islands (Islas de la Bahía ), some people still like to call them Hog Islands, referring to the famous pirate Henry Morgan who ( this it what the legends tells ) "planted" hogs on these cays so he and his pirate fellows would have meat on their return trips. Around 100 people (Garifuna people) are living on those islands, and yes, scuba-diving is possible! "The Cayos Cochinos reefs are the least disturbed ecosystem in the Bay Islands. The waters around this collection of coral cays are a marine biologist's dream: protected by the government, off-limits to commercial divers and fishermen, and busy with creatures that ...

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Author : Rico Besserdich
Upload date : 2016-05-27


This is the sixth part of our special articles about Thecnical Diving. Read also [Part 1] [Part 2] [Part 3] [Part 4] [Part 5] After our last course the wrecks of a.o. Malta and Croatia have been our playground, building experience and confidence until the dives worked like clockwork, letting us fully enjoy the beauty of the places we dived. Wreck's like the Um el Faroud, HMS Hellespont, HMS St Angelo, SS Vis and SS Kalliopi...if you don't know these and ever get the chance, go dive. Every single one of them is worth multiple dives. If you need information on excellent diving centres that make your diving great, just contact us.
But...an increase in bottom time in the range we were diving and ? to be honest ? the longing of the deeper wrecks eventually made us decide to go the final mile. We spend many an evening discussing with whom we would like to take the Tech-2 class and ? more important ? were we would like to dive.
Decision was made and...
Finally you have to grab all your diving gear together for a final check and see if it fits the bag and meets the luggage restrictions.
Malta, here we come...6 course days ahead and some additional days for fun diving ? hopefully in the Tech-2 range (75m) - the beautiful Maltese wr...

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Author : Richard Anspach
Upload date : 2016-05-05

The island of Marettimo is part of the Egadi archipelago, located at the western end of Sicily, in front of Trapani. The archipelago consist also of Favignana (the largest and better known island), Levanzo and the smaller islands of Formica and Maraone. The whole territory is a protected marine area. We are talking of the largest protected marine area in the Mediterranean! Marettimo is the furthest from Sicily, the most westerly one, right in the middle of the Sicily's channel, with more protected territory: the wildest! It is an island of the past times, where nature reigns unspoiled. Remained off the pace of modern life, it is isolated, remote and enchanted. There's a small town on the East side and then end of the concrete. There are no roads outside the village nor cars, but only a mule track passable by the jeep of the Punta Libeccio lighthouse's keeper, on the Southwest side of the island. Trails sometimes arduous traverse a good part of the island and allow us to explore the interior and the mountain... Yes, but on feet or by mule maybe! That's the way it discloses: "A Mountain above the sea". The top of Pizzo Falcone reaches 686 m. There's a lot of greenery, especially in the spring: it is the classic Mediterranean scrub, with all its perfumes. It is rich ...

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Author : Fabio Tedone
Upload date : 2016-04-11

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


It has been more than thirty years since I started photographing the Mediterranean. It was 1983 and the Strait of Messina, the sea on whose shores I always lived, gave me the opportunity to learn about the biodiversity of the Mare Nostrum in a special way and thorough. Seized upon this great opportunity with the right awareness, I photographed and photographed enough to become, through time, quite expert in marine biology and ethology.
And, among all the forms of life I photographed, one still keeps me involved more in the shooting and careful observation.
) They are small fishes accustomed to live at great depths, hardly accessible to divers.
Nevertheless, in the Strait of Messina environmental conditions and ecosystems powered by the currents enable them to live also at modest depths, where it is easy to observe them while diving! I am talking about the spiny trumpet fish, or longspine snipefish (Macrorhamphosus scolopax), belonging to the family of macroramphosinae. Small and curious, with an elongated snout ahead, a little like seahorses, ending with a small mouth opening, they feed on small prey and often swim upside down. With a pink complexion on the back, fading on the sides tending to gray, they have a first dorsal fin with a p...

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Author : Francesco Turano
Upload date : 2015-12-15


If you don't know by now, Anilao in the Philippines is one of the best places on the planet for underwater macro photography.
Just two and a half hours drive south of Manila, with over 400 dive resorts to choose from, it boils down to ease of access, dive guides and your budget.
This past April, we selected the Anilao Photo Hotel to host our Underwater Photo Workshop. Owned and operated by renowned Tim Ho, an advocate for point and shoot?no strobe underwater photography and boy if you haven't seen what he can do with an Olympus TG2, go have a look on Facebook Underwater Art! That little camera is enough to make most macro shooters turn in their SLR's. Of course learning how to get the maximum out of your camera is what Tim professes. Anilao is about the underwater photography. Eat, sleep and dive, upload?download, and get up and go do it again. Most of the dive guides at Anilao Photo Hotel have all won awards for their photography in the Anilao Photo contests. The Anilao Photo Hotel is a simple hotel offering 6 rooms with air conditioning and 6 without, serving typical Philippine fare. It is not fancy, but they do have a great layout, comfortable rooms, dedicated camera rinse tanks, an excellent dive platf...

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Author : Suzan Meldonian
Upload date : 2015-06-19

Diving in Cabilao
A SMALL ISLAND FOR SMALL CREATURES Today, we visit a really tiny island: Cabilao. Cabilao is located at the west side of Bohol (Visayas, Philippines). 3.500 Inhabitants live there in 5 villages. The entire Island measures about 7,5 km2. And a beautiful reef surrounds it: A paradise for our tiniest creatures, a marvel in the ocean.
The entire island is a nature reserve and around the Island, there are two fish protection areas. Diving is most beautiful at north side. But there are other nice places, too. A special show at the house reef
Let's dive "Cambaquiz"! Located just in front of the Cabilao Beach Club, "Cambaquiz" is a split dive spot. Depending on the current you can dive one or the other. "Cambaquiz 1" is in the south of the corner, "Cambaquiz 2" in the north. There we go now.
Of course, in Cabilao you have mounted the macro gear. So it's not a surprise that the first creature we saw was a turtle. But no worries, the small creatures are waiting. The first dive was an easy dive but nevertheless we saw a lot: porcelain crab, a tiny juvenile scorpion fish, shrimps, blennies, spider crabs and much more. It was such a nice dive, that we decided to attach a night dive at the same spot.
We were diving only for a few minutes, when we spo...

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Author : Henry Jager
Upload date : 2015-03-31


The term "tropical" diving generally conjures images of crystal clear, warm water flowing over beautiful, lush coral reefs teeming with colorful fish. "Muck" diving is a different experience altogether! Basically, it means rummaging around in sandy, muddy, murky areas among discarded bottles, old tires, pizza boxes?. all manner of garbage, in search of the oceans tiniest, most weird and wonderful creatures. Many areas are particularly known for this type of diving. The term "muck diving" is descriptive of a particular environment. The oceans substrate is covered with fine sand and silt, currents are mild and visibility can be poor.
Patches of sand, sea grass, volcanic areas, and oddly enough, areas with a lot of rubbish can be great for muck diving. Many of the oceans strangest residents make their homes in these places, utilizing them to their best advantage. What a treat it is to see, for example, a coconut octopus scurrying around gathering pieces of cardboard which he uses for protection. Muck diving can afford one the opportunity to see and photograph some of the ocean's most unique and amazing critters. Most subjects will be well camouflaged or entirely hidden in the sand, but with the knowledge and well-tranied eyes of a good dive guide, the weird and wonderful w...

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Author : Beth Watson
Upload date : 2014-11-14

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