Grand Cayman

Grand Cayman

We flew into GCM on a Saturday just after noon. After spending a while getting a rental car and checking in at Cobalt Coast Resort, we finally sat down for a late lunch. But we were hardly halfway through the food when we realized that the dive shop at Eden Rock was closing sooner than we thought (at 5pm!). A mad scramble followed, and we made it to the shop barely in the nick of time. They were wrapping up for the day, but after some pleading were willing to let us hang on to the rental tanks overnight for a hefty deposit. We entered the water just as the last of the day divers emerged: no silversides :-(.

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Raja Ampat Central and North

Raja Ampat Central and North

After motoring all night, we’ve left Misool and are now in the Pyanemo (central) region of Raja Ampat, and this is our first dive in the area. You'd think no dive pioneer would name an unsightly reef after his own daughter, and indeed, this reef is home to some of the most beautiful hard corals we’ve yet seen. Small fishes darted in and out of the staghorns, and a school of spadefish lazed about a cleaning station, unperturbed by our approach.

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Raja Ampat South

Raja Ampat South

Ever since our first trip to The Similans onboard The Mariner, we’ve been itching to go on another sea adventure; and whenever we talked to other divers, Raja Ampat would inevitably come up as a favorite. An archipelago spanning over 1,500 islands and more than 40,000 km2, Raja Ampat (Four Kings) is considered one of the most biodiverse areas in the world: over 1,500 species of fish and 600 species of hard coral have been documented here, representing over 75% of all coral species known worldwide (!!). Its relative remoteness has also left its reefs relatively intact and pristine, and so our Raja Ampat dream was borne.

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Isle of Shoals

Isle of Shoals

The Isle of Shoals is a collection of more rocks than islands straddling the borders of Maine and New Hampshire. About six miles off the New England coast, it's home to a colony of harbor and grey seals and considered one of the best sites in the world for diving with seals and sea lions. So naturally and to our dismay, most of the summer local charters had booked up long before we had any inklings of this secret pinniped haunt so close to home. But with a bit of luck, we found Bob and Jeanne Foudriat, an absolutely lovely couple who just recently started running a boat charter (Cyntillation Aquatics) out of Newington, NH. And they had room. 

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Bonaire 2017 Part II

Bonaire 2017 Part II

The Lake itself was beautiful: a white sandy "lake" separating the double reef system, connected by coral bridges, and brimming with life. We saw tarpons, a Southern stingray, a big tiger grouper, but the highlight, at the top of the outer reef, was this black cloud that materialized out of nowhere. As it caught up with each of us, we each in turn realized that we were about to be subsumed by an incoming, house-sized bait ball of bogas being chased by horse-eye jacks.

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