Awakening the Dragon: Southeast Asia: Getting There

Southeast Asia BALI MALAYSIA SANGALAKI THAILAND LEMBEH STRAIT (Sulawesi) Best Time to Visit The lightest rainfall is received in June and July, with the dry season occurring April through September. Rainy season is April through June and September through December, but diving is available year-round. March through November are dry months. Rainy season is December…


Awakening the Dragon: Diving Across Malaysia

At the end of the dive we got into a magnificent school of barracudas. Hundreds of them, big fat ones about three feet long, darkened the sky. There must have been a dozen divers underneath, hugging the bottom while the barracuda school enveloped us. The fish were hanging just off the bottom from about 15…


Awakening the Dragon: Images of Lembeh Straits

Images of Lembeh Straits

Your first views of the waters of Lembeh Straits from the high, winding road from Manadu airport are surprising. Your preconceived images of how a great dive destination should look quickly fly out the window. There are no huge vistas of cobalt ocean stretching to the horizon or sweeping scenes of reef-filled, turquoise-hued waters. Instead,…


Awakening the Dragon: A Mad Profusion of Life-Bali’s Deer Island

A Mad Profusion of Life

This must be soft coral heaven, I thought, as I drifted down a wall covered with iridescent animals. Their colors shimmered in the bright sun, and the spaces around them were filled with brightly painted crinoids and a host of other reef-dwelling invertebrates. Hovering in the warm, clear water, and dazzled by the profusion of…


Awakening the Dragon: Siamese Seas – Burma Bank and Thailand

Tourists visiting Thailand for the first time invariably arrive with baggage—some of it physical, much of it mental. Foreign vacationers may disembark with any number of preconceived images of Thailand. Some, no doubt, picture the neon lights and back alleys of Bangkok. Others may expect to be greeted by the cast of The King and…


Awakening the Dragon: Time Travel in Sangalaki

It felt like the proverbial Chinese fire drill. Drifting with the surface current while snorkeling, I glanced back at the boat as the guides on board pointed the way to go. Kicking rapidly in the direction indicated, I scanned just below the surface for any sign of a Manta: the white of its wings or…


Awakening the Dragon

  The mysteries of Southeast Asia are the stuff of legend; ancient, sensual cultures, exotic foods and incredible natural beauty, with mountainous rain forests filled with unusual, brightly-colored animal life of every description. The warm, nutrient-rich ocean waters of the region, fringed by both white and black sand beaches and intricate coral reefs, are home…


A Diver Discovers the 7 Levels of Shark Awareness From Fear to Familiarity; One Divers Journey

By Paul J. Tzimoulis A Diver Discovers the 7 Levels of Shark Awareness From Fear to Familiarity; One Divers Journey By Paul J. Tzimoulis Level one: The very first time I dipped a fin into the ocean, I was seriously concerned about sharks. Come to think of it, I was terrified. Having learned scuba diving…


Memorable Encounters with Sea Creatures

By Eric Hanauer What does it take to get a dive guide excited? Working on live-aboard boats, these people encounter big animals time after time; encounters we consider once in a lifetime thrills. Do they become jaded or are they as excited as we are in retelling sea stories? I asked Rafael Cervantes, a veteran…


Take a Peek at the Reef’s Condo Critters

By Tammy Peluso From the surface it’s easy to see the big picture; the structure of the reef, the procession of neon-colored fish, the magnificent gardens of coral. When you freedive, you get to peek inside the inner sanctum where fish and critters sleep and hide. Within the reef’s rocky maze of nooks, crannies and…