My most memorable moment underwater was in the remote island of Socorro, often referred to as the Galapagos of Mexico. Famed for incredibly close encounters with the world’s largest oceanic mantas, I’ll never forget the first time we met eye to eye - quite literally - completely of the animals’ own accord. They seem to genuinely enjoy interacting with the humans that make the effort to visit this special place. Later the same day I encountered my first tiger shark and the week was wrapped up with a school of hammerheads!
12 days from £3,795
Manta Queen, Mozambique
My diving highlight has been diving with the Manta Queen herself - Dr Andrea Marshall, in both The Red Sea and Mozambique. Andrea named a reef manta after me after it gave me a high five in Tofo. I assisted her in taking tissue samples, conducting satellite tagging, and logging IDs from individual belly ‘fingerprints’ which we then added to her Citizen Science database. I will continue to do this whenever I see mantas across the world!
10 days from £2,345
Blue Hole Diving, Bahamas
When I visited The Bahamas we dived a blue hole on Andros. It was a surreal experience as we ventured deeper into the darkness. Reaching our maximum depth I turned to see the other divers silhouetted against beautiful turquoise water. Fish swam in and out of cracks in the rocks and our bubbles floated toward the surface, making light ripple off the tops of overhangs. It was perfectly silent and I have never felt more relaxed beneath the waves.
9 days from £1,825
Image by Small Hope Diving
Diving with Mantas, Indonesia
It’s the first two days of July 2018 and my logbook entries include Manta Point and Buyuk, along with comments ‘awesome’ and ‘mola mola’. I was diving around Nusa Lembongan and Penida and it was, well, utterly fantastic! Whilst other diving groups came and went, the mantas seemed to prefer ours, putting on a magnificent display around the cleaning station for over an hour. Arriving from all angles, the highlights for me were the fly-by when one swam above my head, just out of reach, and an all-black manta which followed us to our safety stop, gracefully swimming by and looping back until reluctantly, we had to get back on the boat. Lady luck indeed!
BIG in Bali
11 days from £1,345
Image by Jane Morgan
Coral Spawing, Curaçao
It was 10:30pm as we prepared our gear on the roadside in a quaint fishing village. Torches in one hand, collection nets in the other, we entered the water. Descending to two metres, we were greeted with an explosion of life: coral colonies releasing egg-sperm bundles. Tarpons circled above, gulping at the free high-protein meal, whilst we battled the surge to collect our samples. This was coral spawning!
9 days from £1,475
Critter Hunting, Bali
My wife and I were on a break to Bali. We’d had a tip-off about a pygmy seahorse, so we set off to try to find it ourselves, without the help of a guide. Four dives later, we finally found our treasure, a beautiful yellow Denise’s pygmy seahorse. In addition to the excitement of finding such a tiny critter, I also got lucky with the camera, snapping one of my best ever photos. That photo is on our wall at home, providing a constant reminder of a special dive.
16 days from £2,095
Diving the Sankisan Maru, Truk Lagoon
We drop straight to 48 metres and find the prop and rudder in the sand. We saunter over to the main wreck and squeeze into an area seldom visited. It is very dark but we see daylight. A cargo of medicinal bottles, ammunition and gas masks await, but I prefer the cases of intact Japanese fruit stones. It humanises war. We multi-level up the mast, which is bursting in colour. We end the dive. My client is welling up as the sun sets on our Truk Odyssey.
Truk – Wreck Extravaganza
12 days from £2,795
Contact the Dive team to discuss you next dive adventure.