Scuba Diving/Snorkelling

What’s it like diving with sharks? Fulidhoo Island, Maldives


Grey reef shark. Courtesy: Natasha Leisi

In my last post, I introduced Fulidhoo Island in the Indian Ocean nation of the Maldives. One of my readers, Len (, asked me what it feels like to be in the water with sharks. I love this simple, direct question. Thinking about it though, the answer is rather complex. In this post, I’ll share my feelings about diving with sharks (coming from someone who doesn’t do this often) and introduce you to the underwater world around Fulidhoo Island.   Continue reading

Categories: Maldives, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling | Tags: , , , , | 49 Comments

Snorkeling with Sea Lions at Los Islotes, Baja California Sur, Mexico

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My family snorkeling with sea lions at Los Islotes, Baja California Sur—Ruben Sandoval/David Oguey

Two of the best days of my life involved snorkeling with a colony of friendly sea lions. The first, many years ago, was in the Galapagos. The second, a few weeks ago, was at Los Islotes, a small cluster of tiny islands just north of Isla Espíritu Santo in Mexico’s Baja California Sur. The only way I can describe sharing the water with these amazing marine mammals is pure joy. I was completely mesmerized as they surrounded us with their graceful acrobatics. I’m thrilled to be including photos of this intensely uplifting experience (courtesy of fellow guests and ROW Sea Kayak Adventures). Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Mexico, Places, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling, Wildlife Viewing | Tags: , , , , , , | 14 Comments

Top Moments from La Paz to Loreto—Baja California Sur, Mexico


Paddle boarding at Playa Balandra, Baja California Sur, Mexico—M.Sharp

I just got back from a family vacation in Baja California Sur, Mexico. We were only gone for two weeks but our experiences were so grand it felt like we were away for much longer. I checked off one of my top bucket list wishes—swimming with whale sharks. I danced an underwater ballet with friendly sea lions. I discovered the most beautiful beach on earth. I kayaked through impossibly turquoise water and camped on secluded, desert-backed beaches. I was seduced by the laid-back, friendly cities of La Paz and Loreto (see map at end). I’m sorting through hundreds of photos and have plans for at least four posts dedicated to special places and amazing nature activities. For now, I want to share a few of my favourite moments. Continue reading

Categories: Kayaking, Mexico, Places, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling, Wildlife Viewing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 20 Comments

Wreck Diving in Coron Bay, Philippines

Anemonefish (Clownfish) on the Morazan deck.

Anemonefish (Clownfish) on the Morazan deck.

“Up” I indicated with my finger pointing to the hatch. I think the dive master could read the anxiety in my eyes. We had just passed through two dark cargo holds inside the 200 m long Okikawa Maru. I had felt an eerie thrill floating through the passageways of the WWII Japanese freighter, but now I wanted out. My panic eased as I swam through the hatch and was greeted by sunlight and a deck covered with spectacular corals and anemones (though I still look a little stressed in the photo above). Continue reading

Categories: Activities, Philippines, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

Little Cayman Island: Better Photos from the Deep

My diving buddies, Little Cayman—Caroline Helbig

My diving buddies, Little Cayman—Caroline Helbig

The images on my first Little Cayman Island post (and the one on the left) are from my inaugural attempt at underwater photography. Tom, a fellow diver and serious photographer was kind enough to lend me his back-up camera for a few dives. I had fun playing around with it and managed to salvage a handful of photos out of the hundreds I shot—only my mother was impressed! I’m not so much embarrassed about the photos in my first post as I am disappointed that they don’t do justice to the awesome diving in Little Cayman.  As if on cue, I just received some great photos from LouAnn and Jay—a lovely couple and avid divers who have been to Little Cayman many times. Check out their wonderful photos taken at Bloody Bay Marine Park. Aren’t the eagle rays amazing! I will never get tired of seeing these graceful creatures. Keep reading, you’ll see them, and I promise no more silly family shots. Continue reading

Categories: Caribbean, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Diving Down the Chimney at Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Wall

Little Cayman's Bloody Bay Marine Park—Caroline Helbig

Little Cayman’s Bloody Bay Marine Park—Caroline Helbig

He’s leading the pack, right on the tailfins of the dive master. I know he’s excited about this dive, but you’d think he might at least turn back and give his old mom the OK sign before heading down the chimney. Isn’t that what we’d agreed upon up top? But this is far more exhilarating than any amusement park ride and my 17 year old son is charged with endorphins. Guess I’m following my dive “buddy” down the chimney on Little Cayman Island’s Bloody Bay Wall. Ho ho ho, wish me luck and see you at 8o feet where the chimney empties onto the sheer wall that plummets to the abyss. Continue reading

Categories: Caribbean, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

Bonaire: Shore Diving Made Easy

Bonaire's reefs are just a few fin kicks from shore—Caroline Helbig

Bonaire’s reefs are just a few fin kicks from shore—Caroline Helbig

Bonaire is a small island in the southern Caribbean’s Dutch-owned ABC chain that includes Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao. Its neighbors have superior beaches, shopping and casinos. But, Bonaire rules in the diving department, particularly in its easily accessible shore diving. Combine this with reliable dive operators, great topside attractions, and a wonderfully relaxed vibe—you’ve got a top-notch diving destination.

Our family was new to unguided shore diving, and a tad apprehensive. We’re converts now. It was fun and easy, and we saw loads of totally cool critters. Continue reading

Categories: Caribbean, Scuba Diving/Snorkelling | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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