From our regular columnists

Jewels of Tanzania: African Safari & Pemba Island Diving

October 13, 2011 - 23:23
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The story is found: 
on page 20

Kilimanjaro, Ngorongoro Crater, the Serengeti... boasting a wealth of natural beauty that reads like a lexicon of African icons, Tanzania is a wildlife enthusiast’s dream destination. However, this rich bounty isn’t limited to just the land, as the warm waters fringing its coast are home to some of the most spectacular reefs in all of East Africa.

While perusing the exhibitor list at last year’s DEMA show, the exotic name of “Swahili Divers” virtually leapt up to grab my attention. Sauntering over for a look, I met owners Farhat and Francisca Jah.

Fabulous Fiji

October 13, 2011 - 23:21
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on page 19

Scott Bennett writes: I’d like to introduce you to some of our friends, enthused our guide Manasa, a.k.a Papa, as he held aloft a well-worn loose-leaf binder. The photographs within produced nervous laughter and a couple of anxious glances amongst a few of the divers. Then again, with names like Scarface, Hook and Big Mama, these were no ordinary friends. They were sharks, and we would soon be making their acquaintance.

Two flights and 15 hours after leaving my home in Toronto, I arrived at Nadi’s international airport on the island of Vitu Levu. Stumbling bleary-eyed into the arrival hall, I was greeted by an energetic group of local musicians performing traditional Fijian music.

Thetis Island

October 13, 2011 - 23:21
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on page 61

Tallen, my youngest daughter and part-time dive buddy entered the cool emerald coloured water with me as the current slowed to a stop to change direction (slack). Full of anticipation, Tallen and I descended down the southwest side of Virago Rock within Porlier Pass, a .65 km (.4 mile) wide channel between the islands of Valdez and Galiano.

The rocky reef below wore a blanket of light pink coralline algae, dotted with tiny white and orange anemones. Before long the area opened up, revealing our prize—the wreckage of the 32-meter (105-foot) steamer tug, Point Grey, built in 1911.

Rea Sea: Southern Egypt to Sudan

October 13, 2011 - 23:21
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on page 24

There is something special about it, the Red Sea, that I have not found anywhere else on the planet.

Despite its relative proximity to Europe and the ever increasing convenience and affordability of cheap direct flights, once you head out of the resort areas, you can still wander off and turn around the next corner, or anchor behind the next reef and see no other people or boats in the horizon—n

Hawaii

October 13, 2011 - 23:18
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on page 87

Like most divers who live in the northern parts of the world, I enjoy the occasional getaway to warmer climates, especially during November. To satisfy my tropical needs, I selected Maui, Molokai and Lanai of the Hawaiian Island Archipelago for my escape. Within six hours of leaving the Seattle area, Continental Airlines had me on the garden isle of Maui.

Polynesian settlement of Hawaii occurred over 1000 years ago after crossing 4000 miles (6437km) of open ocean from the South Pacific. Captain Cook arrived in 1778 and was later killed on a return journey.

New Zealand

October 13, 2011 - 23:18
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on page 75

The Maori warrior cautiously moved towards us. His face was painted and body adorned in traditional combatant attire. He yelled words I did not understand and pounded the ground with his spear-like weapon to challenge us. More warriors appeared out of the darkness behind him, each taking defensive positions with wide eyes and tongues out to intimidate. Like the other visitors around me, I froze with excitement, waiting for their next move.

Our guide spoke their language and understood their ways as he coached the leader we selected on what to say and do.

Skookumchuck - Challenging the Rapids

September 13, 2009 - 23:33
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on page 97

Viewing a torrent of flowing liquid turmoil while safe and dry on shore is enough to make anybody hesitate about signing up for a dive charter in the Skookumchuck Narrows. This is also the place where rushing tidal currents commonly reach impressive speeds of 14-16 knots (30 km/hr)!

The word Skookumchuck comes from the Chinook language with the word skookum meaning “strong” or “powerful”, and the word chuck meaning “water”.

British Columbia’s Reefs of Steel

July 13, 2009 - 23:33
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on page 57

I could hear a low rumble as detonated explosives echoed down long empty corridors and through multiple decks of steel. Three hundred and sixty-six feet of ship began to groan and creek while water rushed in to claim its above water existence.

It is the winter of 2009, and I have joined a few friends to make my annual inspection and photo documentation of the ship’s wondrous conversion into a thriving living reef. My husband and fellow wreck explorer, Wayne Grant, and technical dive instructor trainer, Ron Akeson, have joined me.

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