Free Association about all the dive sites I’ve been to. Dedicated to all my dive buddies past and present.
Sicily – 1st dives, with my dad! Rocky underwater landscapes.
Corsica – wrecks, large gropers, naked people in the resort.
Mauritius – lovely smiles, lovely reefs, a daring dive guide grabbing a super-venomous stonefish.
Stadtbad Hanau/Germany – equipment test in a pool, German upper-middle class citizens staring at us strange divers.
Hurgada/Egypt – such nice reefs, colorful fish, amazing sweet pastries afterwards.
El Quesir/Egypt – hard corals like in a dream, diarrhea like in a nightmare.
Weisensee/Austria – underwater tree Mikado, cold cold cold!
San Diego – kelp, and more kelp, and a mini underwater grand canyon. And the fluorescent tide! First efforts at photography!
California Channel Islands – cold water with huge schools of sardines. More kelp.
Carbo San Lucas – lots of pufferfish, then a typhoon and reading Robert Musil in a hotel room without electricity.
Cuba – sponges, sea fans and damselfish, singing the socialist international at new year’s.
Hawaii – what an unreal visibility, and so much endemism, Tinker’s butterflyfish! Racoon butterflyfish feeding on damselfish eggs. And mantas at night! Black water diving: the closest you can come to nirvana without having been in Seattle in the 80s.
Great Barrier Reef & Coral Sea – brilliant bommies in the middle of blue nowhere, anthiases, patrolling barracudas, huge snappers tagging along on night dives. Magnificent hard coral diversity.
Okinawa/Japan – rich, rich fish fauna, sea snakes, steep drop-offs, get your car keyed while you dive if you’re a foreigner.
Yonaguni/Japan – ruins probably not ruins, but epic currents and equally epic viz. Hammerheads in the distance, hidden little shrines in the cliffs on land.
Izu Peninsula/Japan – people standing in line to enter the ocean, pretty soft coral trees.
Palau – The prettiest place I’ve ever been to. Large pelagics, currents rolling over reef sharks, Jap wrecks galore. A lake in the jungle with almost more jellyfish than water.
Yap – Beetle nuts before the dive. Then mantas checking out divers, divers checking out mantas. The bait during the shark dive falling on my lap, sharks smart enough to tell the difference between me and a fish head.
Mactan/Philippines – Unreal walls with double-man-sized sea fans, macro life smorgasbord, absolutely exceptionally pretty women on land.
Moalboal/Philippines – First tech dives ever. A whale shark! A whale shark while I’m there with a macro lens.
Bohol/Philippines –Sponges, corals, pygmy seahorses. Ultrafantastic macro a few steps off the beach. Even the monkeys are macro in Bohol.
Malapascua/Philippines – Vienna, San Diego, Sydney and Malapascua: home for me. Gobies galore, minute shrimps, nudibranchs, flasher wrasses, dragonets, mandarin fish … oh, yes, and thresher sharks!
San Remigio/Philippines – a bit murky, but what mangroves! A pygmy seahorse.
Padre Burgos/Philippines – another Pinoy marine macro paradise. A one kilometer long anthias cloud. Superb fish biodiversity. And the mimic octopus!!!
Tulamben/Bali – Beach wreck dive. Sand divers in the dark volcanic sand. Herds of massive bumphead parrotfish.
Gilimanuk/Bali – 3 meters deep, no corals, but an absolutely unusual fish fauna. Species I have never seen before or after.
Oahu – Great exploration of a majestic island with Captain Russell. Hawaiian monk seals!
Sydney – A shark hangout at Maroubra. Weedy seadragons and barbies in Kurnell. 25$ parking fee to see 3 species of frogfish at Clifton Gardens.
Jervis Bay/Australia – More weedy seadragons. Kangaroos and bilbies on the way to the night dive.
Nelson Bay/Australia – “Save yourself a ticket to Indonesia and drive to Nelson Bay” says Big Al. And he’s right. Pygmy wobbegong sharks.
Southwest Rocks/Australia – crowded like the London subway. But with sharks instead of commuters.
Port Philipp Bay/Australia – weedy seadragon, stargazer, bull ray, cowfish. A temperate water macro fest.
South Australia – leafy seadragon, most social diving community, ever. Majestic rocky arid coastline.