JAPAN IN MACRO LENS
I was supposed to fly to the Japanese Inon company for training in the spring of 2020. And I would have flown there, if it were not for a cracked test tube in a laboratory in Wuhan... As a result, even going to the forest was extremely complicated, so I could forget about travelling to Japan. But Ofuna did not forget about me, and as soon as the situation improved a bit, the topic came back like a boomerang.
ENCOUNTER WITH A THRESHER SHARK
The sun was setting as the blue and white trimaran unhurriedly approached the coast of the tiny Philippine island of Malapascua. The easterly wind carried a refreshing breeze that tangled our hair and offered solace after a hot day's journey. It is low tide today, the captain is mooring the boat a considerable distance from the shore, blades of sea grass are sticking up above the surface of the water. We continue on in the small boat sent to pick us up from the resort.
Four o'clock in the morning, just before crowing of cocks
The bell towers of churches shoot into the sky among rice fields. The Philippines is the only Catholic country in Asia outside East Timor, and the only one in the world (outside the Vatican) where divorce is prohibited by law. In San Pedro Cutud on Good Friday, the faithful crucify themselves in remembrance of the Lord's Passion. And on the same day, on the other side of the Philippines, on the tiny island of Siquijor, a healing festival takes place, during which animistic shamans gather and perform their rituals at the highest point of the mountain.
A divers' paradise
When I think of Mexico, my mind momentarily recalls images of lush tropical vegetation, the warmth of the sun's rays on my face, the wonderful remnants of Mayan culture, the positive, laid-back atmosphere. Even my taste buds have their own fond memories of the place. However, all this still fades when I recall images of Mexican cenotes...
First we can see a gravel, winding, inviting road. Then we go along vineyards, an orderly rhythm of bushes against a background of reddish earth, regular rows leading the eye higher and higher, towards a squat stone house. In front of the house there is a terrace with a wooden table, of the type that will take any number of guests, because it is always possible to add another chair...
My first thought when I submerged and looked towards the bottom was that Mallorca would probably appeal to whisky lovers. It looks similar to the Highlands region of Scotland, known for its production of the drink, only that it is underwater. Here you will find grassy valleys as well as interesting rock formations, stretching hundreds of metres like mountain ranges...
THE VILLAGE OF CZARNOGŁOWY
It's 1759. Residents of Zarnglaff village (Polish – Czarnogłowy) begin to acquire chalk deposits of limestone. As it turns out later, these deposits are very substantial. The villagers are getting better and better thanks to mining. This prosperity lasts for more than 200 years. Today, the village, which was mentioned for the first time in 1380 and which was an old fiefdom of the vao Flemming family, is peaceful and instead of a mine has a lake...
From Limassol to Protaras, part II
We were tired but very satisfied with the so far discovery of Aphrodite Island. However, there were still exciting explorations ahead. Near Larnaca, Zenobia was awaiting us, and in Protaras we wanted to dive in Green Bay. To top it off, we also desired to take a walk in fins at MUSAN, an underwater museum in Ayia Napa...
RAJA AMPAT, UNUSUAL UNDERWATER MEETINGS, part II
Raja Ampat can be divided into three main areas: Misool in the south, Dampier Strait in the center, and Wayag and Kawe Islands in the north. Ever since scientists began their research in this area in the 1980s and 1990s, it has become clear that the number of different species found here is unusual. Its location at the very far northern end of the Indonesian archipelago...
A giant shark adventure
Sumbawa is an Indonesian island located east of Lombok. Although still quite wild, in recent years it has been gaining popularity. It is hardly surprising. Like many other islands in Indonesia, it offers a beautiful and sandy coastline, waterfalls, as well as surfing and diving possibilities. What sets it apart from others is the easy access from nearby Bali or Lombok, but also the huge attraction of snorkelling or diving with whale sharks regardless of the season.
The last of Paradise, part I
Indonesia, an island country with an archipelago of 17,000 islands, of which one in three is uninhabited, is an increasingly popular destination for divers from all over the world. It is estimated that it is off the coast of the country symbolised by the "inverted Polish flag" that 15% of the coral reef in the world is located. A few years ago, being on a diving safari in PM Komodo, I found that there are some of the most beautiful reefs I had seen in my diving life…
VISITING MENJANGAN ISLAND
After breakfast in Indonesian style, we sail to Menjangan Island, which is part of Bali Barat National Park and belongs to the protected area. It was for this island, its unusual inhabitants and fantastic dives, that we visited the western part of Bali. The captain unmoores the and we leave the shore in no hurry. The further we move away from the island, the more beautiful view we leave behind.
IN MARSA ALAM YOU CAN SEE EVERYTHING... UNDERWATER
Diving attracts like a magnet. This time in November, we decided to return to the area of Egyptian Marsa Alam, which over the years has transformed from a small fishing village into one of the most popular regions, visited by both ordinary tourists and divers. After earlier visits to the northern part of Marsa Alam (closer to El Quseir) and its southern part (up to the border of Wadi el Gemal National Park) Marsa Alam, we decided to place our base closer to Elphistone Reef to make a one-day trip with sharks.
I like to dive in spots where not many people dived before me. What is really interesting is that such spots can be found in Europe, specifically in Italy. From coast to coast, Italy has the sea on both sides, as if the whole shoe, with its high upper and spur, plunged into a large puddle :)
This time we decided to throw on our exploratory grate the far or rather - in divers' language – deep south of Italy.
After two days of driving from Poland towards the heel, we reached the place. We were accommodated at a fancy holiday farm, just 500 m from the rocky sea shore...
Asian island of Europe
We are located in the western part of the Republic of Cyprus. According to legend, this is the birthplace of Aphrodite, which is why Cyprus is sometimes called the Island of Aphrodite. And although the name itself comes from Greek and means copper, it is not copper but the legend of the goddess that attracts millions of tourists every year.
You can find there the azure waters of the Mediterranean Sea, the sun shining for more than 300 days a year, the rich and interesting history dating back several thousand years BC, amazing views and natural circumstances, excellent cuisine and an incredible number of dive spots.
PINNIPEDS OF THE FARNE ISLANDS
a British grey seal
England, east coast, archipelago – the perfect place to observe grey seals. The Farne Islands are a group of 26 small British islands and rock formations lying in the North Sea off the east coast of northern England. The islands are located next to the charming town of Seahouses whose harbour is used for day cruises. It is this region that is recognized as one of the best places in Europe to observe the protected species of grey seal (Halichoerus grypus), also known as Atlantic seal or the horsehead seal.
It all depends
Being one of those lucky people who could visit the Orkney Islands, namely Scapa Flow, I can safely say that the very thought of what I experienced there gives me the creeps. A smile appears on my face, and my mind instantly goes into a state of nostalgia… Scapa Flow is considered one of the best places to dive in the world – and here, for your surprise, my answer is: IT DEPENDS. Read it till the end to find out why I think so and get some practical tips on the subject.
ALL-INCLUSIVE DIVING IN DEEP DIVE DUBAI
It will probably come as no surprise that Deep Dive Dubai has been listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's deepest diving pool. The numbers are indeed impressive. 60 metres deep, with 14 million litres of water (at a constant temperature of 30℃) filtered every six hours thanks to technology taken from NASA's underwater world – it is one of Dubai's newest tourist attractions. Where else but here? :)
BALI, part II
The next day after breakfast we set off for the dive, sailing in a speed boat from Sanur to the dive site took us about 45 minutes. As we leave the harbour, the captain suddenly shuts down the engines, the boat stops, silence ensues, only the slapping of the long ocean waves against the side of the ship can be heard. Putu, the captain's assistant, grabs a bamboo thanksgiving basket filled with flowers and rice, lights an incense, and starts speaking to the gods, asking them to protect him during the dive. Then he lays the basket on the surface of the water and the waves carry it away in their embrace...
Croatia is amazing. Just drive a bit of land, take a stop at the cove, climb a hill, take a rest in the most ordinary bar. This is enough to amaze you and make you promise yourself to come back here once again.
Personally, I like to discover new parts of the world. That's why, in the second year of the pandemic, when Croatia announced that it was letting in both the vaccinated and the unvaccinated, we opted for the largest island – KRK.
The black pearl of the Adriatic
Underwater canyons, uplifted rocks, grottos, caves, and wrecks – Montenegro proved to be a huge diving surprise. From the first day, I marveled at what was underwater and what was on land. Mountainous areas covered with lush greenery, the smell of oregano and lavender wafting in the air, authentic and friendly citizens, and good cuisine – these are just a few reasons why surface breaks in Montenegro take on a whole new dimension.
GOZO, I CHOOSE YOU!
Malta, Gozo and Comino are definitely among the most beautiful islands of the Mediterranean Sea, with a rich history that is evident anywhere you go, from Neolithic times to the present day. Above all, the history of the archipelago is visible in neolithic structures dating back to approx. 3500 years B.C. and, secondly, in saltpans used until today, which will never allow you to get bored when visiting the island.
ALL AROUND MALTA IN A WEEK
Lately, together with my diver friends, I had the pleasure of visiting Malta, one of the most attractive dive sites in Europe yet again.
This island, located in the Mediterranean, is the perfect place both for those who are looking for underwater thrills, as well as those who value onshore adventures more.
AQABA IN JORDAN
The kingdom of wrecks for all!
Less well-known than neighbouring Egypt – the world's diving mecca, Jordan has no more than thirty kilometres of coastline with a view of the Red Sea and the city of Aqaba, located on the southern edge of the country. Thanks to the strong will of the government and under the aegis of King Abdullah II, Jordan managed to increase its attractiveness for divers from all over the world. Aqaba will allow you to do some amazing dives, starting from the most famous place, the world's only underwater military museum!
BALI, part I
Before you dive
Three years ago, before the Covid-19 pandemic broke out all over the world for good, and we were forced to leave Bali on the last plane after a six-month stay in this extraordinary place, I asked a shaman, a healer from under a waterfall: Does he not fear the vision of closing Indonesia to tourists and living in isolation? The shaman replied in his calm voice, “Now is the time to rest and purify Bali of the energy that has upset the balance of this place...”
DAHAB'S "HEALTH RESORT"
Viewed a little differently
We can read many slogans that tell us about diving in Egypt’s Dahab, located on the Sinai Peninsula. They usually describe the dive spots there as magical, iconic or famous. As for the town itself, we learn from the Internet that it used to be a Bedouin village, but today it is a cosy resort or a small tourist town.
The volcanic island of Lanzarote is completely different from other Canary Islands. As you drive the length and breadth of this area of land, you will admire the landscape unspoilt by human hands. The absence of high voltage power lines, the lack of multi-coloured advertisements, the absence of tall buildings subconsciously calms our overstimulated brains.
But what is it like underwater? What does diving in this part of the Atlantic Ocean look like?
The Republic of animals, part II
Travelling over 100 nautical miles from Isabela Island, on the 5 December 2021 we arrived at one of the most famous dive sites in the Pacific Ocean. It was already beginning to dawn when two volcanic pillars appeared to my eyes, a remnant of the erosion that had taken place six months earlier – on 17 May 2021. The famous Darwin's Arch is an iconic site, famous around the world.
Mexico, and especially the Yucatan peninsula, reminds me (and not only me) of cave dives and cenotes. It is not surprising, because this region is a real paradise for this type of diving. There is no point in mentioning the names of the most popular dive sites visited by tens of thousands of divers coming here every year, because almost everyone who practises this sport knows them. However, just immersing yourself in these natural wells and penetrating miles of underground corridors is not all this region has to offer underwater explorers.
IN THE LAND OF DRAGONS
The Komodo National Park is a unique place in terms of fauna and flora that occur here. On the northern side, sea currents can be strong and very unpredictable, which means that large fish, turtles, tuna, sharks, eagle rays come here. On the south side we can also meet large animals, but above all we will dive among incredibly colourful corals, which delight with an intense, nearly fluorescent colour even at considerable depths without additional artificial light.
Treasure of the Strait of Bonifacio
Last year I went on a several-month trip in a van around the nooks and crannies of Europe. I had with me a mobile home, a dog that was almost a water dog and a camera. During an unusual trip, I managed to find some interesting diving sites. The Archipelago of Lavezzi turned to be a unique surprise. The whole area has 2 km2 and consists of 8 uninhabited islands located in the Strait of Bonifacio – a body of water between Sardinia and Corsica.
The republic of animals, part I
1000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland, 1600 km from Panama and 960 km from Cocos Island lie the Enchanted Islands. In the 16th century, a fleeing ship from Peru under the command of Diego de Rivadeneira was carried away by currents near the equator. The sailors could see the islands, but due to the strong current and wind, they could not approach any of them. This phenomenon made the islands seem to move away, as if they were "enchanted". Yes, these were the Galapagos Islands...
A delicate light penetrates the blind and falls with all its power through a rectangular window into the cabin number 5. I watch through my sleepy, slightly tilted eyelids, as the rays of the morning sun dance on my sheets. Yesterday night late we arrived at the Port of Ghalib in Mars Alam in the south-eastern part of Egypt, from where today after breakfast we set sail on a week-long dive safari on the Red Sea.
IS IT WORTH DIVING IN THE CARIBBEAN SEA?
From our perspective, the Dominican Republic seemed like a paradise with guaranteed weather, beautiful beaches with fine light sand and the stunningly blue and warm water of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean Sea on the other side of the island. The whole family was delighted with the pictures found on the Internet of fabulous coastal views of green forests and long beaches. But is it worth diving in the Dominican Republic?
An island of the dodo bird
The underwater world of Mauritius is very different from that known from Egypt. It is in vain to look for similar, colourful reefs here. In this respect, nothing will probably not beat the Red Sea. However, the abundance of life in different locations and the availability of wrecks at small depths surprised me very positively.
The Pearl of the Caribbean
By far the best place for diving in Cuba is the Jardines de la Reina archipelago, which consists of over 400 coral islands and is located in the Caribbean Sea south of the main island. The archipelago was named by Christopher Columbus in honour of Queen Isabel of Castile, and in the translation the name means Queen's Gardens. The archipelago has been declared a national park, and diving and fishing have their own strict rules.
PRELUDE TO THE GALAPAGOS
Ecuador, on both sides of the equator
The Galápagos Islands is a dream of every diver. It is an obligatory item if we consider the top diving destinations in the world. However, in order to reach these islands which are 1000 km away from the mainland, we have to reach the smallest Andean country in South America, which despite being tiny, can enchant even the most demanding tourist... Buenos dias Ecuador!
After many years of traveling to remote and exotic destinations, together with a friend of mine, we decided to head to the nearby Croatia for a couple of days, visiting the Murter island and Kornati National Park. For Europeans, Croatia is one of those countries with sea access where you don’t need to go by plane. Besides, remote exotic destinations won’t do for an extended weekend or even a week of vacation.
The Sea of Córtes...
The Gulf of California, also called The Sea of Cortés, has so much to offer to scuba divers that it will work up the appetite of many of you - especially underwater photographers! If we summarised all the attractions that await us here, I think that they would be: an amazing marine life, exoticism, one of the last strongholds missed by mass tourism, a secluded archipelago of islands, around which there are only two or three dive boats, magnificent walls covered with black coral forests...
EUR 1 million was spent. For what? To create a complex of sculptures and place them on the seabed in Cyprus. The entire project, which took over 3 years to officially open, is located close to the mainland near the city of Agia Napa.
Perfect Diver editors were invited by the Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus to the official opening and the first, inaugural dive. I would like to add that the organisation, logistics, atmosphere were very good, and the weather was even too good, because the temperatures fluctuated between 38 and 40 degrees...
BLUE SHARKS, BASQUE SHARKS
As I was travelling around Spain I did not expect that I would have such an exciting meeting with sharks. It turned out that all what it took was the right geographical location, one hot afternoon, water around 21 degrees Celsius and I had two hours in water with 9 sharks guaranteed. I usually dedicate my travels to diving with larger animals. It is very important for me to find places where people with passion run an intimate business. I try to choose companies that promote conscious diving tourism focused on environmental conservation and protection of endangered species.
There is a place on earth where ice meets fire, high mountain peaks climb majestically to the sky, and the water flowing from them in the form of mighty waterfalls crosses the lowlands with multi-coloured ribbons of rivers. This fairy-tale land where, according to the locals, elves and trolls live, and where the night sky can shine with a riot of colourful lights, is Iceland.
Bali is an island of gods and demons, a paradise for those eager for extraordinary adventures. It acts upon all your senses: with its rice terraces saturated with green, smiling people, fascinating music of the gamelan – traditional xylophones, the ponds in temple gardens covered with lotus flowers, traditional Balinese cuisine and perfect diving conditions.
Last fall, after a longer break, I returned to the Indonesian island of Bali. Unlike the last time, during this visit I focused more on diving than on sightseeing in this lovely place full of temples and smiling people.
We landed on El Hierro 40 minutes late. Not much, but when you know that the whole team is waiting for us at the dive base to go diving, it is a lot. And we still had to drive from the north of the island to its southern point, to La Restinga, known primarily for its incredibly attractive dive sites. The road was about 40 km long and the drive was going to take almost an hour. Why? We were about to find out...
DIVING SAFARI IN THE READ SEA "GOLDEN TRIANGLE"
Silently, with a cup of delicious morning coffee in my hand, I climb the wooden stairs to the sundeck, which offers a beautiful view of the red sea, low colourful buildings and a grand mosque in the harbour. I am accompanied by blissful silence broken occasionally by the sound of birds flying by and gentle waves hitting the side of the boat. This is my moment of solitude, in which I sink completely and feel indescribable gratitude, looking at the beautiful world around me...
Mexico is one of the few places on Earth where you can experience the feeling of flying. Free, independent, in the rays of sunlight. It is enough to just love diving. Simply.
The Yucatán Peninsula was a truly sleepy place until Jacques Cousteau visited it in 1960. On the Caribbean coast, on the quiet, shallow and white as sugar beaches, they fall in love, in the thickets of mangroves you can see flocks of exotic birds or feel the gaze of a cayman waiting for its victim, and cruise ships moor in ports - the same ones that a thousand years ago were used by the Maya...
WHAT IS WAVES&ICE?
Waves&Ice is a film project documenting an Icelandic expedition in which 6 exceptional women were involved. We all share a passion for extreme sports and water. Each of us loves to spend time in the water and capture our image of the world on a camera. The result of the two-week trip is a short documentary about women who met in Iceland and travel through the country together following their passions. The aim of the project is the emancipation of the female sex in the outdoor environment.
My diving adventure in Spain began a bit by accident. I have been visiting this country for many years, visiting various regions practically every year. I was delighted by Cantabria, Rioja, Andalusia and Catalonia. The Canary Islands also turned out to be interesting. Everywhere I have always experienced a great hospitality and openness of its fantastic inhabitants, and that is probably what amazed me the most in this country. I got to know the Spanish language a bit and I was captivated by its melody, it allowed me to make great acquaintances that I cultivate to this day. It makes that all memories are still alive and very emotional.
When I arrived in Austria a few years ago, it never crossed my mind that this could be an amazing place to dive.
Missing the ocean, I decided to give the lakes a chance.. and what I discovered blew my mind. With more than 300 freshwater lakes Austria offers plenty of opportunities for beginners and experienced divers. But one lake has always stood out for me – Attersee.
Once, in one of the books, I read an article about the Illes Medes reserve. The reserve was listed as one of the most beautiful diving sites in the world. A sentence uttered by the author stuck in my mind: “I have always wondered where all the fish from the Mediterranean Sea went, now I know. After my more than thirteen visits to this Mediterranean paradise for divers, I can confidently state that this sentence is 100% true. So many different fish cannot be found anywhere else in the Mediterranean Sea.
A few days earlier, before any signs on Earth and Heaven indicated that our trip to Egypt would take place, I had a dream. I dreamed of dolphins swimming in an emerald bay right next to the beach where I collected colourful bird feathers. Back then, I didn't know this dream was like a promise. A prophecy that was soon to come true...
A country like from a magazine, because if Paradise exists on earth, it is very possible that it is there in the Indian Ocean. The atolls are surrounded by blue water of various shades. They are built of smaller and larger islands extending over a distance of 800 km. Inside the atolls there are lagoons, and the shallow clear water has a temperature of 27-30 degrees. (...) The rings of the atolls are not closed, creating channels in which the underwater currents are very strong. It is here that you can meet clusters of sharks, eagle rays, tunas, mackerels and jackfish.
Colloquially known as Lanza, the island of Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands archipelago, welcomed us very nicely. It was sunny, warm, transparent under the water, tasty and interesting.
The Perfect Diver magazine was invited to dive by the Bonito Diving Lanzarote Diving Center. The Coronavirus changed travel plans for many people in the past year, but we managed to take advantage of the invitation.
Close your eyes and imagine the various shades of the blue stretching on the horizon, tropical sun rays stroking your skin, salty, gentle breeze in your hair and tiny islets like divine rock fragments scattered around crystal clear water. And below the surface, you can see an underwater Eden. The harmony of nature, where each inhabitant has a specific purpose and place. I have just transferred you to Raja Apmat.
In the Bahamas islands and islets there is so much that everyone can find one just for themselves. But the real home for many of the inhabitants of the archipelago remains the ocean.
On the rope stretched above the deck are hanging a few silvery barracudas. Not many, it was not a big fishing, I do not think they went far. "But sometimes we spend two or three weeks at sea," says the captain, who is seated resplendently on a chair at the wheelhouse. For twenty days and nights, a cutter becomes the home of his crew: a dozen meters long, six, maybe seven. Is it hard to imagine? No, if you live in the Bahamas...
The north-east part of the island has as many amazing places as the central or southern part of Sardinia.
Santa Teresa is a granite rock formation carved by wind and water. They form a unique sculpture, such as Capo di Orso or the Cape of the Bear.
In Santa Teresa there is the Orca Diving Center, where Alfredo welcomes us very warmly and explains that the bottles hanging on the hanger five an artistic effect, but the beautifully painted bottles are there just because they must dry somehow.
Out of the three Honduran islands in the Caribbean Sea – Roatan, Guanaja and Utila – divers particularly like the latter, the smallest and the most inconspicuous. Is there anything to do here on the surface as well?
It is hard to believe, but I think we just landed on a Caribbean island with no beach.
We set out on a diving boat at dawn, from the marina located at the diving center in the Okrung Gorne district, near Trogir. In this area there are thirty of the most interesting diving sites in Central Dalmatia. You can get there from the dive centre on 15 to 80-minute fast boat rides. The centre offers both full day and shorter dive trips, depending on your preferences.
We sail on the board of "Master", a comfortable Zodiac boat, to dive next to the wall of Tavolara.
Tedja Liscia is our first stop. The name comes from a very distinctive rock form with a huge boulder nearby. Under the water we see amazing rock formations and Mediterranean reef in all its glory. Groupers are swimming timidly around us. They are large, but very active. In the rock crevices, the moray subjects itself to cleaning treatments of shrimps. Those with a flashlight can look into the nooks and crannies and find the "cical" lobster. There are also a lot of octopuses that leave behind stone piles.
On the west coast of Sardinia, in the area of Alghero, there are limestone cliffs. They are rock formations majestically hidden in the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea, full of mysterious caves with the famous Neptune's Grotto. There are more than 350 steps that lead to the cave, and inside it can fit the whole orchestra, which has already taken place before. This cave is located in the Capo Caccia massif, which is separated from another interesting place, Punta Giglio, by the extensive Porto Conte Bay.
September is one of my favorite months to spend time in the Mediterranean. If you combine it with a hitherto unknown piece of Italy and the memory of the taste of their ice cream, hidden deep in the taste buds, it can turn out to be a wonderful adventure.
I have targeted Gargano. Rarely frequented for diving, but with a diversified shoreline.
The Internet worked at peak speed. I was looking for a variety of dive centers near Vieste. It turned out that there are not many of them, and this side of the Italian shoe is one of the less frequented in terms of diving.
The Dalmatian coast, which was created by the flooding of mountains parallel to the shoreline, is dotted with a system of longitudinal islands and peninsulas. They are small or large, rocky or covered with forests and aromatic herbs, uninhabited or with traces of ancient civilisations. More than a thousand Dalmatian islands surrounded by the turquoise Adriatic Sea enchant with natural beauty and old stone towns. A diving safari gives you the opportunity to penetrate the diving sites around the islands – both from the coast and the open sea. We started the expedition in the small port of Sukošan, located about 10 km from Zadar, in North Dalmatia, on Vranjak 1.
Expeditions to 2 poles - as the name suggests, they are divided into cruises organised in the Arctic and Antarctica regions. An indispensable element of these voyages is a fleet of 6 ships, each of which is adapted to the extremely harsh (sometimes even extreme) conditions in the polar regions. The M / V Hondius, M / V Ortelius and M / V Plancius are powerful icebreakers, ideally suited for polar expeditions. The wealth of amenities for our passengers is not the only advantage of the ships. A priceless advantage is also the care for the natural environment of the polar regions.
Like most European divers, until recently I directed my diving trips mainly to warm coral seas. This time we decided to try a slightly different cold water diving and chose Norway as our destination, specifically places around the former capital of Norway – Bergen.
A sunny morning greeted us with the chirping of birds and the noise of pots thrown around by Darek. He was the first to take the kitchen duty to prepare scrambled eggs. A piece of cake, only slightly complicated by the absence of a frying pan. Yet finally, feeling full and with a kind approach to the world, we were able to set off for the Vang port. It sounded severe, as it was in fact located on the other side of the island, but Google said it was only 51 km. Small potatoes. Peer was already waiting for us at the pier we were supposed to dive from, supposedly the best flounder spot in the whole island. Well, we had to try it out.
Imagine a place where the water is clean and the sand is white. A place so charming that it has been called the Caribbean of Europe.
Sardinia is a large island in the Mediterranean Sea, located halfway between Europe and Africa. Inhabited since 350,000 BC, as evidenced by archaeological finds (stone tools dating to the early Paleolithic). The ancient civilization of Nuor, which left traces of its presence in the form of stone buildings with various architectural structures, such as conical towers, houses and tombs of giants (TomboGigante), collectively known as Nuraghe, was strongly developed. In addition to this civilization, the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, and even Arabs and finally the Spaniards left traces of their presence on the island.
Are you looking for the perfect place to dive?
Cyprus is such a place. It is only a few hours of flight from most European capitals and we can already enjoy the blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea. You will have perfect visibility and the right water temperature, which in winter is not less than 16°C, and in summer it fluctuates around 30°C.
Cyprus, the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and the most populous. When planning, it is best to choose one of the two international airports in Paphos or Larnaca. I will focus on the airport in Larnaca and on the south-eastern part of the island, where the famous Zenobia wreck is located.
The Maltese archipelago lies in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, 93 km south of Italy, 288 km north of Africa, and includes three islands: Malta, Gozo and Comino, and many other islets. Historically, its central location between Europe, Africa and the Middle East has made the Archipelago a strategic commercial crossroad and naval base, resulting in a graveyard of more than 100 wrecks, from a 2,700-year-old Phoenician wreck, to battleships and WWII aircraft wrecks.
A long time ago I got a postcard from Thailand, a real one, handwritten and delivered by a postman. A postcard that travelled half the globe to reach me. It had all the hallmarks of a journey that a person often feels when he sets out to the end of the world. This postcard, despite being "tired", was the most beautiful card I have ever been given ... a monk in orange robes wandering through a rainforest with an elephant by his side. This card made me want to visit Thailand. I wanted to see a country that emanates peace and smile with my own eyes.
When we say Togian, probably not many people will know what we are talking about. When we say Sulawesi, most will probably know. When we answer Indonesia, almost everyone will know.
Yes, the Togian Islands are part of the Indonesian Central Sulawesi, the island of Sulawesi. However, tourism and diving have not yet settled here on a massive scale, thanks to which there is wonderful peace. I dived in Togian three times, made about 80 dives , and I have never met any other diver here than our group. But this idyll will definitely not last forever...
...today I am standing on a beach and my face is facing the rising sun, I feel warm sand under my feet and warm rays on my face. There is a smell of flowers, ocean and coffee in the air. It is a sign that the island also comes to life. I look around and see people who like it as well. I have come to the beach to watch the sunrise. Some meditate in a lotus position, others look ahead and enjoy the present moment, yet others have just got up because they have slept on the beach ... This is what the life on the island of Gili Trawangan looks like, on one of three small islets located on the Balinese Sea in Indonesia.
Rapa Nui, Isla de Pascua or simply Easter Island, we will talk about it in this article. Territorially, the island belongs to Chile. It is located on the Pacific, almost 4000 km from the coast of South America and over 2000 km from the nearest inhabited island. It is a place I have always dreamed of.
I do not personally know anyone who would not hear about the small but famous island full of amazing stone figures. These statues, called locally Moai, were carved centuries ago by the people of Rapa Nui, from whom the island took its original name.
FROM MARSA TO ST. JOHN'S
Or safari in the south of the Egyptian Red Sea
I had long wanted a diving safari in the Red Sea. My friends used to tell me how pleasant it is on a safari boat. At dawn you start scuba diving on beautiful reefs, where nosy napoleons greet you, and a barracuda circulates under the boat hoping that some snack will fall from the deck into the water. A hawksbill turtle swims majestically right in front of your nose, and a crocodile fish greets you as you hang around the pinnacles rising from the bottom like gothic columns.
Wadi Lahami in translation means "meat valley", because in the old days meat merchants came here. It is the furthest Egyptian village accessible to divers, a 3-hour bus ride from Marsa Alam airport and about 80 km from the border with Sudan. Wadi Lahami is one of the three Eco Camp complexes located near Marsa Alam, and on the way back we had the opportunity to see the other two. I already know that if I were ever to come back here, it would be only to Wadi Lahami, but why? I will start from the beginning...
I jumped into the water and my jaw dropped so that I almost lost the machine. Heck, I always have it when after a long dive season in Poland I hit some warmer waters. Well, you know, good visions in green starts from 4 meters, and here they were... a fucking! After a while the shock was over. I embraced a bit and began to sink in the direction of the clearly visible, 20 meters below the bottom. Something was wrong with him... Sure, it seemed that our ancestors did not differ so much from us in behavior, littering not badly. The whole bottom was strewn with the antique equivalent of PET bottles. Amphoras means.
If you have read an article about Portugal in the last issue, you know that Arlindo organized our stay and dives in the Atlantic Ocean. We spent many hours talking about diving sites. It turned out that Portugal has a lot to offer. Dives in the ocean, in caves and lakes and in flooded pits.
Coastal countries are better known for diving in the sea and ocean. Sometimes, however, those of us who are more into diving look for something less popular and might get interested in a smaller or larger hole with water.
In Portugal, of course, there are such attractions and diving inland becomes a kind of exclusivity.
Regardless of the time of day during which you will see any of the diving villages in Egypt, you will certainly hold your breath for a moment. Pieces of white canvas on the shores of azure sea emerging from behind the mountains, shimmering paths lit by thousands of lanterns or huge tracts of green mangrove forest in the vicinity of the desert. Diving Eco Camps are something unique and surprising... What is more, the whole idea of these places is based on the sustainable development of the environment and care for its natural resources.
The water in the Lembeh Strait seems to be gray, thanks to the sandy, dark bottom, which particularly appeals to unbelievable small creatures. It is for them that divers roam the whole world.
We immerse ourselves slowly, the sharp sun penetrates the smooth water surfice, forming long streaks of light that touch the sandy bottom. The water temperature exceeds the pleasant 28°C.
We swim behind the guide just above the bottom carefully propelling ourselves with the fins so as not to stir up the water on the bottom. Single anemones grow out of it like oases in a desert. The landscape is truly lunar, the emptiness as far as the eye can see. There are no sea currents and visibility exceeds 15 metres.
It is getting colder and colder. I feel it especially in my feet, where three beautiful cuts in neoprene dry suit have appeared. This is how ends up the desire to help a fellow human being accompanied by the excess of my own recklessness. Being accustomed to the strong E. Lite suits I did not think that it was not a good idea to kneel in a delicate neoprene dry suit on hard and sharp rocks forming the bottom of an Alpine lake. Even if I was asked for help by a grey-haired diver who had trouble putting on his fins.
The man picked up a transparent mask with a yellow tube lying on the deck and said: "This is amazing!" and then jumped into the water. I saw a splash and climbed onto the boat. There was only one person there. I asked the deck hand what had just happened. I heard "The captain jumped into the water! He said he had been swimming in these waters for almost 30 years, but he had not seen anything like that yet. "
There are many diving goals on my list. There are a few dream ones that I have not accomplished yet. I also have my favourite ones. But on this list there is only one place to which you can fly from Europe changing planes just once (and even directly with a charter flight), and which offers a wide variety of underwater experiences. We are talking about the Yucatán Peninsula.
The least obvious country in Africa. Unknown, intriguing, even dangerous? It is here that 11 official languages and 3 capitals exist and the landscape of the African bush is intertwined with white, openwork porches of Victorian houses. Sea lions lie on the rocks, penguins live on the most beautiful beaches of Cape Town, the "whites" have been living on the "black" soil for generations, Boers at the evening "braai" eat antelope meat and drink a local burgundy, and to experience one of the most exciting dives in our lives we need... tractors. Let us leave the stereotypes at home and fly to South Africa!
We flew to the Philippines for the first time six years ago. Exactly three months after the strongest cyclone in the Haiyan history hit the land. The number of casualties exceeded 6,300 people and thousands more were considered missing. We wanted to cancel our trip, we could not imagine how we could rest in a place affected by such a tragedy. We wrote an email to the dive centre on Malapascua asking to cancel our reservation. The centre reacted very quickly and wrote back in one sentence: "The best you can do for us is to come, thanks to you we will rebuild our lives faster."
Probably everyone has already heard something about Cuba, an island as hot as a volcano. Most people at least partly remember its turbulent history during the second half of the twentieth century. The whole world knows the names of the revolutionaries, Fidel Castro and Ernesto Che Guevara and everyone is familiar with names such as the Bay of Pigs or the military base in Guantanamo, but this small island offers much more.
The lake located on the outskirts of the Triglav National Park and surrounded by mountain peaks is undoubtedly one of Slovenia's landmarks. The water surface is 475 m above sea level and the area 145 hectares. It is 2.1 km long, 1.3 km wide with a maximum depth of 30.6 m. Thanks to active thermal springs supplying water to the northern part of the lake, the temperature here reaches 26 degrees Celsius, which makes it the warmest of the Alpine lakes.
Sesimbra was once a fishing town. To this day, you may eat here a well-prepared fish, you may walk on its narrow streets and admire the views. We were going to the port, where several diving centers operate. Arlindo from Portugal Dive planned our entire Perfect Diver escapade. We took advantage of his invitation.
We spent many hours talking about diving spots. It turned out that Portugal has a lot to offer. Dives in the ocean, in caves, lakes and in flooded excavations. In the following articles we will try to show you various types of possibilities.
I am in a place where I feel happiness all day long. At dawn, when I am woken up by roosters crowing and birds singing, at noon, when the air is saturated with the scent of incense, flowers and the ocean, in the evening when I admire the sunset in the company of people close to me...
Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan are three small Indonesian islands located south of the well-known island of Bali. Each of them is unique and has its own individual charm.
Indonesia has been present in my heart and dreams for several years, and since it has become a summer destination for my friends and acquaintances, I decided to gather a group of divers and start to conquer Bali. However, I should start from the beginning...
Bali is one of about 16 thousand islands belonging to Indonesia in the Sunda Islands archipelago. The area of Bali is 5.6 thousand km2, its length is 150 km and the width is 80 km. Arriving here, we land in the administrative capital of the island - Denpasar, from where a network od roads spreads over the entire island. We decided to stay in the eastern part, more precisely in the town of Cand Dasa. This side of the island is the most attractive diving destination.
Looking at the Sudanese land from the moon, one can clearly see the boundary of this state, the state that once boasted of being the largest country in Africa and is now divided into two separate units: Sudan and South Sudan. However, what for us - divers - makes the biggest difference between the two countries is the 853 km long coastline of ... Sudan. More than three times shorter than the neighbouring coastline of Egypt, it offers something that makes us have the impression of diving in a different water than the well known Red Sea: the lack of a single "diving" soul during an eight-day diving safari. Only us and maybe... fishermen.
The idea of diving in Antarctica has been in my head for a very long time. Looking for a way to get to the last bastion of wild nature, I was thinking about the mode of transport. My friend took me to a lecture by Aleksander Doba who talked about how he crossed the Atlantic by canoe!!! A seventy-four-year old man on his own, in a kayak, across the Atlantic? It made a big impression on me.
After the lecture one of my friends told me that we should sail to Antarctica, just like Shackleton. Being influenced by the speaker's story, I agreed without hesitation, not quite realising what I was signing up for.
We went to the title lake after diving in the Romanian caves of Tauz and Dobrestilor. It is an artificial lake, which was created as a result of the construction of a dam in the 70's. It is located in the area of Cluj Napoka (Cluj). We went there more out of curiosity - after information found a few years earlier on Romanian internet forums saying that there was a flooded church in the lake. This place is not a popular diving site, so few people dived in it. With approximate location and photos from the Internet, we started our search from the shore.
"Luna" diving is diving dependent on the phase of the moon (lat. luna - the moon) - so far none of us have ever tried it. The Strait of Messina separates the Ionian Sea from the Tyrrhenian Sea with a deep and narrow isthmus. Thanks to the strong sea currents in the strait, rich underwater life flourishes and there are plenty of shipwrecks. Hence originates the legend of Scylla and Charybd (Sicily and Calabria), the mythical monsters that devoured ships. The current is extremely strong, however, and as is the case with tides of the see, it depends closely on the moon phase. Proper logistics allows to establish short time windows when the current stops and diving is possible. Here we really advise you not to experiment and use the diving base, which has mastered this type of diving.
The most metaphysical and moving beauty of this world comes from nature. Plato said: "If there is anything worth living for, it is to see beauty." Although it is difficult to describe and define beauty, I always try to see it in every aspect of life, in all the places and people.
In the quest to see the most beautiful, most virgin and undiscovered diving areas, we arrived at Raja Ampat in West Papua. This region had long been on our bucket list, but only now we have succeeded in realizing our dream... as there is proper time and place for everything in our lives.
Water is an extraordinary element. It delights, frightens, surprises, brings a large dose of adrenaline, but also teaches humility.
I emerged from the water, breaking the blue water surface. Another amazing diving site, sometimes pierced by currents, schools of fish, multicoloured corals and sea anemones. Suddenly, I hear the voice of a guide calling us to the boat. I have no idea where this rush comes from. I have no idea... until the moment when I saw whirlpools approaching with incredible speed while still getting bigger. In a fraction of a second they can pull us down to a depth of 30-40 m and they certainly do not know pity...
We went to Cape Verde by recommendation of friends – “It is one of the best diving places in the world we have been to” – that is the opinion we heard from them. The Cape Verde islands belong to the Republic of Cape Verde (Cabo Verde in Portuguese). This island state was a Portuguese colony located in the central part of the Atlantic about 450 km west of the Africa coast on the same latitude as Senegal.
Croatia, to divers, is associated primarily with wrecks around the Istrian Peninsula and technical dives on Vis, the Kornati National Park or around the largest islands of Brac, Hvar and Pag. Few people remember a small island located 13 kilometres south of the Isle of Korcula. What is more, many do not even know about its existence.
The Lastovo archipelago, which covers a total of 46 islands and small rock islets with their beautiful coves and intimate beaches seems at first glance no different from other islands on the Adriatic.
Outside the window there was a raging, stormy sea and a howling wind that was moving powerful foamy waves. The whole view was completed by the blowing rain that was hitting the windows. A great show of the power of nature, especially attractive since I was sitting in a warm, cozy living room, while another piece of birchwood was burning in the fireplace and the lightning breaking the darkness of the night could be admired safely from behind a wall size window. Therefore, you might probably understand that although I did not complain too much about a week's stay in Ireland, I chose a different place when it came to plan another trip to look for seals...
A morning on Flores Island. The air temperature will soon rise to over forty degrees Celsius. The scuba tank burns your hands, and the thirty-degree water does not bring relief. In the air you can smell the jungle stretching on the other side of the lake but there is something else... This smell comes from other times, from another world. It is the scent of the mystery left here by the Maya, and we are about to break into their underground world to learn about these secrets.
This story began long, long ago – at a time when entire Gaul was covered by dense forests crossed only rarely by Roman roads. Aqueducts and amphitheatres were just beginning to be built and the glory of Rome was disturbed by only one small village. A small settlement in which the druid Panoramix mixed his secret potions, and Obelix with Asterix, in the breaks between sparrings with legionaries, stuffed themselves with roasted wild boars.
A Zen proverb says: "The paradise bird only lands on the hand that does not catch it." Be a good observer of the underwater world, watch carefully, enjoy what you see, learn and absorb as much as possible. Co-exist, but do not touch anything, and you will experience a lot more than you can imagine...
I am in a paradise in which not only do I recharge my batteries, but also two spare power banks. Fiji is the greenest, most remarkable and remote place I have ever been to.
The area around the Lembeh island has been known for many years to biologists and divers from all around the world, luring them with thousands of unusual species of animals living in the local waters. It is considered the world centre of macro diving, thus being the Mecca for photographers who want to capture the camouflage masters.
According to the researchers of the underwater fauna and flora, this area is characterized by the greatest biological diversity in the world and it was found that it is in the Lembeh Strait that extremely rare colonies of marine animals live.
When people ask me what is my favorite dive site, I find it so hard to give just the one answer. I live in Nusa Lembongan, a small island of the coast of Bali. Here the diving is amazing; every spot has its own beauty to offer and changes with every dive.
In the dry season we get cold currents (April through to October) and warm water currents the rest of the year. This also brings in different fish life!
Looking at Palau from a bird's eye view, you can see dozens of scattered green points on the background of the dark blue ocean. This group of volcanic islands lying between the Philippines and the island of Guam, belongs to the State of the Federated States of Micronesia in the archipelago of the Caroline Islands. There are no spectacular skyscrapers, cosmopolitan cities or highways here. This fabulous world situated at the crossroads of the Pacific Ocean and the Philippine Sea holds something much more valuable (not always appreciated in life) – values that it is hard to dream about in other parts of the world!
Once my friend said that if I do not set off upon a journey, an adventure will not come to me. Since that conversation a lot of time has passed and I have visited many beautiful places in the world. Each of them was absolutely unique and unrepeatable. However, there is a nook on the Earth which has particularly influenced me and the way I perceive the world. I call this place perfect, the Holy Grail, a work of art, a white whale... These are the Galápagos Islands, which belong to Ecuador.
A trip promised to be great. You know, Baikal. The oldest and the deepest (1.642 meters) lake on our planet. And its location: in the Buryatia Republic, in the heart of the Russian Siberia. For those who do not necessarily need to dive in warm waters - a real sensation, an Adventure with a capital "A".
A foretaste of what awaited for me I already had at the beginning of the journey. As opposed to the rest of the world, the Russians don't design their planes paying any special attention to ergonomics, so the three-engine TU-154 Aeroflot didn't have enough space in the cabin to store my Peli box with the photo equipment.
Reef, beautiful fish, all the colours of the rainbow – the most beautiful underwater views we can imagine! But how many times can you do the same thing? Every experienced diver is looking for more excitement. Some people choose ice diving, others dive in wrecks, others do technical and cave diving. Those who still want to be close to animals usually choose to dive with sharks. With some sharks one can dive in cages. With other species one can risk diving without equipment. The so-called shark diving has become in the diving business a symbol of the diving adrenaline. When you have already "covered" all species of sharks, you want more of such experiences. But with which animals?
It's time to admit I'm addicted...
My name is Peter. I am 53 years old. I am addicted to diving safaris. For fifteen years I have been on a roll – I have made over one hundred such trips to the Red Sea as a guide, instructor and tour leader. People know about my addiction. They ask - when to go, what route to take? They go into the subject of seasickness, examine what a day on a boat looks like, check whether there are vegetarian dishes and if it is safe in Egypt.
In the reserve, there are 10 charming diving sites, beautiful and unique. Diving takes place by the shore and regardless of the experience under the water, each diver will find something interesting. Depths reach 70+ m (technical dives require a more complex plan). Depending on the location we have a gently falling bottom or a steep slope. Under the water, we can find lush patches and pinnacles of coral reefs, shoals of various fish and larger specimens, such as turtles and manta rays.
Why Gran Canaria? Where did the idea for the Canary Islands come from? Well, the assumptions of the trip were such: not too far away, an exotic but affordable place.
We flew there at the end of October. You need to warm up yourself in the sun, swim in the sea and recharge the batteries before long winter in the northern parts of Europe. There were also non-divers with us, which is why the destination had to be attractive not only for divers but also for tourists.