The Tale Of The Big Fish

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The Tale Of The Big Fish

If your ready to expand your diving experience – here we go…

There is a milestone in almost every diver’s life: The seventeenth lake looks like very much like the good ol’ lake next door. Truth is its kind of cold in here. And why the hell am I staring at a dirt covered car wreck, just because somebody has pushed it into the water?

Even the corals during the last diving vacation didn’t thrill as much as they used to do. Sure, they are beautiful, but they’ve been sensational once ago. Hey, there was a moray eel back there, but hold on, there will be another one sooner or later.

You get my point?

This is when the big fish are becoming the issue. Give me sharks and mantas, whale sharks and dolphins (ok, no fish). Give me a shot of adrenaline!

Let’s get to the core right away: In my personal opinion these animals are worth every effort, every dime, every mile. It can’t get much better than a manta gliding by in a diver’s life. Maybe snorkelling next to a whale shark comes close. Most of us won’t find any of these encounters anywhere close, but there are airplanes and carefully planned travelling is not necessarily expensive. Here is how we do it:

Preparation helps…

To get a feel for the destination we usually check „The diving network“ Divingnetwork.net. Don’t take everything too serious there, but it is a good start! For accommodation purposes Trip advisor is a good source Tripadvisor.com. There are some lunatics around, too, but just disregard them. There is a new travel community around, also available in german as reisecommunity, which we like al lot, Planet Vacation Club Planetvc.com. Check out the WIRLL’s, it is a smart idea!

I prefer to book the flights myself – it usually takes a while but it gets you better deals. There is nothing wrong with travel agencies – they always did a very good job. Just make sure to pick a diving specialist. They’ve usually been to the places they sell and they will help you to avoid traps. A while ago a friend of mine missed the departure of his diving boat, because he underestimated how long it takes in Mexico City to change planes. Needless to say that this was a very expensive mistake. My recommendation: It is safer to book diving boats through agencies, but feel free to arrange everything else yourself.

Check the best time for your trip – a year ago

Many critters will only show up during a couple of months. Make sure you get your booking in time. Being there during the wrong season can be disappointing, trust me. But don’t trust the weather forecasts too much. The monsoon for example obviously is not as predictable anymore. Rainy months can be dry and the „safe“ months rainy. It is a good idea to call and inquire.

Where to?

To get you started – we liked:

Mozambique – for example the Tofo area. Mozambique is still pretty basic, with big, empty beaches but this is going to change. You’ll find friendly chaos, manta rays and whale sharks – not a bad combination! The simple accommodations are not too pricey yet, but luxury is an option, too. Connection usually through Johannesburg.

The northern part of Bali is quite a thrill, too. Meet some dugongs! There are a lot of villas or apartments available, which might be a better option than regular hotels.

We also like Mexico a lot! The Caribbean coast is more crowded. Try Baja California. The Islas Revilladas are among the world’s most exciting dive sites – giant manta rays,

Hammerheads, whales, dolphins – you name it. Only diving boats go there, though, and the trips are kind of expensive. But worth it. And don’t forget La Paz – they feature diving among seals, an unforgettable experience.

And don’t miss the Maldives – the best atoll for diving in my opinion is Ari. The Maldives recently became pretty expensive, since they are in steady demand. But there is a wide range of islands from basic to luxury class.

And if you don’t mind going even further: Palau and Yap are legendary diving areas – they offer everything you’ll ever dream of. Don’t expect perfection there – the islands itself are average – it’s all about the diving.

Honourably mentioning: Australia, Galapagos, Cocos and Panama – haven’t been there yet ;-)

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