Flambouyant is the word
Onboard liveaboard Thea
Ambon to Raja Ampat
Back to Dewi Nusantara (this is becoming an expensive habit) but it really is that good. Critter diving in Ambon to start then up to Raja Ampat to see the reef life and wow, how good is that. Some new critters including the Epolette Shark, Bamboo Shark, Malebe and hairy shrimp.
Scillies 2012 Back on Moonshadow. Jo (Joleine) now has 2 kids and has lost none of her magic touch in finding a wreck, dropping a shot exactly where she says she will and all on slack at the biggest spring tide of the year.
Great conditions mean we can get out to the Eagle on Bishops rock as well as enjoying the other inshore wrecks and, of course, the seals (including one who came to say hello on the Cita !
Me- no camera but Joe had his with wide angle and its me as model.
Cathy discovers treasure hunting and we do mad dash on helicopter to see Derrick on our last day.
Komodo - On Dewi. Superb and everything we hoped for. If you are a diver and you get the chance - get to Komodo. Macro, pelagics, landscapes and dragons...... love it. For this I did a video slideshow..... I hope you enjoy this.
Egypt 2012 Grand Sea Serpent in the Southern Red Sea - A fun trip sans camera but with the catapult. International British/Swiss incident follows !! Hilarious trip. Cathy getting her video tuned up.
Raja Ampat off the North West tip of West Papua. A four leg trip via KL, Bali and Makkasar to Sorong to embark. We arrived in a tropical storm but enjoyed some beautiful weather to enjoy both above and below water. The boat Dewi Nusantara (AKA Paradise Dancer) is just the best vessel, crew, diving experience we have ever had.
Despite us both having colds on board this was just an amazing trip.
The sheer abundance and variety of fish life, corals and critters just left you wistfully chuckling to youself (or maybe thats just me). Shhhh don't tell anyone but all the fish are down here !!
You are diving pretty much on the equator for the northern part of the trip. Water temp a balmy 27 to 29 degrees. Don't expect crystal clear viz there is just so much life in the water it stays a bit milky but in no way spoils anything.
I have never done so much wide angle photography and in doing so have tried to capture a sense of what it is like to dive here. We loved it and will be heading back..... asap.
Philippines 2011 - My first trip to the Philippines and have seen enough to know I would like to go back. A country of biig contrasts. Very poor, very lush, beautiful scenery, loads to see underwater. Marine sanctuarys show how it should be, but outside of those the impact of even low-key fishing can be seen. Mcaro life extraordinary with giant nudibranchs, beautiful blue octopus, lovely frog fish and delicate pigmy seahorses.
Maldives 2010 - A trip to explore the Southern Atolls. Not many people/divers/boats down here - but loads of sharks.... In fact on pretty much every dive. We stayed on a small Liveaboard called Sheena who specialise in this part of the Maldives. Mainly channel diving and potential for some biiiiiig currents. But where there are currents.......
Great fun and likely to go back .... next time spring tide and mid monsoon for even faster water !!!!
Scillies 2010 - A welcome return to the Scillies. Back on Moonshadow this time with Joe and Oxygene. Karin takes charge of dog walking and growing babies. Some excellent diving, viz and wildlife. The seals were very lively - must be the time of year. Highlight - last dive on the Italia finding and photographing fab nudibranch (Flabellina pedata - I reckon) Been looking for one of those for a while.
The Collosus now has an inovative "tour" arranged around the wreckage with buoys as markers and a laminated book to explain what it is you are seeing - like the copper "pin" in the pic to the right.
Lundy 2010 - Set off the North Devon coast and right in the path of the prevailing SW winds blowing in from the Atlantic Lundy can have some lively weather. But in the lee of the island is flat calm and we get to play with the seals!! Great fun - fab trip.
Bali Mar 2010 - When you have wanted to go somewhere for so long you are bound to be dissapointed -But not Bali. It bettered our expectations - what a fab place. Critter spotting heaven.
Nakari Camp - Red Sea - Wonderful hospitality and freedom to dive make Nakari a great place to go. There is relatively little development so it still feels remote. We had great weather and took the 7 mtr ribs way offshore to visit some rearely dived sites. Dolphins, stargazer and pipefish were the highlights.
Grand Sea Serpent Jul 09 - Daedelus, Rocky, Zargabad, St Johns and Fury Shoals. Water temp 31 degrees - Tiger sharks on Elphinstone. Great conditions, crew and company.
Borneo/Sipadan Feb 09 - If you want to visit just one place in your life that will blow you away, try Borneo. Mountains, Rivers, Rainforest, unique wildlife and truly world class diving. Charming, people with great food and climate. Yep - we loved it.
Kota Kinabalu City,
Orang Utans, monkeys, Rainforest & rivers
Above water Mabul & Sipadan
Underwater (The best)
Grand Sea Serpent - Calm in the storm.
Scillies 2008. Once again we are drawn back to the Scillies. This time a little earlier in the year. Less kelp and a bit cooler but still greeeeat. We stayed in new accommodation in Hughtown that worked really well for divers and non divers.
Maldives - Northern Atols x 2. A return trip to the northern Maldivian atols. This time in the opposite Monsoon season. Spectacular diving, great viz, full-on Manta encounters and swimming with a large pod/shoal/school?? of sharks. Lots of cleaning stations and a bit of deep throat!! Monsoon really is a top boat and the Maldives a truly great dive destination.
Maldives - Northern Atols On board Monsoon, a new Egyptian built liveaboard serving the northern Lhaviyani, Baa, Raa & Noonu Atols. Old friends Joe, Karin and Chris. Fantastic diving with one amazing Manta, Eagle Ray and 50+ shark dive. We were speechless. Yoga on the top deck at dawn, barefoot walks on deserted islands, dolphins at sunset and no other divers!
Caledonia - New Caledonia
is a sizeable island situated midway between Australia and Fiji.
The island is french, very french. Our travels took
us to three outlying islands. The first, Amedee, was a day trip
from the main Island. The other two islands, The Isle of Pines
and Ouvea were a short plane ride. Both were remote but the diving
superb. Not a destination for anyone who doesn't like fish to
eat and the accommodation can be very basic. A real adventure
and a new South Pacific experience.
If you are interested follow this
link for the land photos.
- Sept 06 Three days in Shagra then a week on Hurricane.
A wonderful trip taking in The Brothers Islands, Daedelus and
Elphinstone. Some windy weather, high seas and fun. Great to
meet Joe and Karin on Hurricane. First time out with the the
new camera setup (Nikon D200, Sea and Sea Housing and ports and
12-24mm and 70-180mm lenses.) No more excuses - this camera setup
is amazing although i have much to learn yet to get the best
from it. Oh dear I will just have to keep on diving until I get
it right :-)
Isles - July 05. Back again on Moodshadow with Jo the skipper
and 10 friends. Viz not so hot this year but luuverrly weather.
A nice blend of scenic and wreck dives. Still lots more to do
here - booking again for 2006.
Sea (Marsa Shagra) - May 2005. A return visit to our friends
at Marsa Shagra. Elphinstone delivered with 8 Hammerheads on
our first dive there and Hammerhead and bottle nose Dolphins
on the last dive (sorry no Dolphin shots). Great variety and
life on the house reefs that kept us occupied and very happy
for the week - the Red Sea really does have something of everything.
Lembeh Straits, Sulawesi - Sept/Oct 2004. We stayed at the Kungkungan
Bay Resort (KBR) on the shore of the Lembeh Straits. A
terrific Hotel/Resort with individual huts/cottages on stilts
built from local timber. So much to say about the place, great
food, lovely people, spectacular scenery & a truly faultless
dive operation. The diving was out of this world. All of the
weird, wonderful, amazing and simply beautiful creatures all
in a 2 mile stretch of water on the equator. Who could ask
Scilly Isles - July 2004. What a find! Beautiful
scenery above and below water. Abundant wrecks, great marine
life and Seals!!
I was a guest of St Albans Sub Aqua Club - thanks guys. An object lesson in how
fantastic diving can be in and around the UK.
Barrier reef & Osprey Reef - Dec 2003 aboard the Undersea Explorer
. A fantastic trip heading NE from Port Douglas (north of Cairns) and exploring
reef systems, drop offs as well as being a part of the research on board the
vessel. An absolute "must" for anyone wanting to expand
their knowledge and experience of sea and reef life
Sea Oct 2003 - A week at Marsa Shagra - Some new finds including Red
Sea Walkman, Stargazer, Red Sea Chromodoris plus excitement at Elphinstone.
Sea May 2003 - First week at Marsa Shagra and a 2nd week on Suzanna 1
cruising the Brothers, Daedelus and Elphinstone.
2001 - The first trip to the Caribean. And a life changing
If you have any good links to dive
sites (on the web) let me know and I will stick them on here. Likewise
if you want to put on some news, trips etc - let me know. In fact
any ideas/problems, just send them through.It is taking a while
to put this all together but I will try to keep it going.Hope to
see y'all soon and we won't have to just look at photo's.Steve
PS. Thanks to Cathy for
finding the Frog Fish (does two count as a shoal?) and Jon for finding
the Seahorses (Is that a herd I wonder?).