Dy­namic Dives

Live­aboard ves­sels can take you to re­mote div­ing lo­cales that most day boats don’t reach. Take ad­van­tage at these world- class sites.

Sport Diver - - Liveaboards -

Am­ber­jack Reef Ex­uma Cays, Ba­hamas

Amid the reefs of the Ex­u­mas, this sandy patch is where a dozen or more Caribbean reef sharks are com­monly seen, as are Nas­sau grouper, queen trig­ger­fish and schools of, yes, am­ber­jack.

Nippo Maru Truk La­goon

One of the deeper and more pop­u­lar Truk La­goon wrecks, the 352-foot Nippo Maru freighter, start­ing at a depth of 79 feet, stands out for the in­tact tank on the top deck and also for its freight. Nick­named “the mil­lion­dol­lar wreck,” Nippo Maru is most known for what’s in­side: Its five holds are still heavy with can­non bar­rels, mines, ma­chine guns and more. Plus, the bridge, with its compass and tele­graphs,

has sur­vived seven decades rel­a­tively un­scathed. Shadow Reef Raja Am­pat, In­done­sia

This seamount off the is­land of Misool is where two manta ray species — reef man­tas and oceanic man­tas — come to feed. Not only are sight­ings nearly guar­an­teed, but it’s also com­mon to see trains where six or more swim in a line. And divers can even en­counter in­ter­ac­tions be­tween the two manta species, which is es­pe­cially rare given that these two species co­ex­ist in very few spots world­wide. Even bet­ter? Preg­nant fe­males are com­mon, as Raja Am­pat is home to sev­eral breed­ing sites.

Ger­man Chan­nel Palau

Oceanic manta rays and school­ing whitetip reef

sharks, as well as jacks, trevally, bar­racuda and snap­per by the thou­sands, are the reasons to drop in on this drift dive, pow­ered by the in­com­ing and out­go­ing tides.

Finca de Pepe Cuba

Found in the Gar­dens of the Queen ma­rine park on the south side of Cuba, this site’s pop­u­la­tions of black grouper, Nas­sau grouper and go­liath grouper — some as big as 250 pounds — are thriv­ing. Caribbean reef sharks, in­di­ca­tors of healthy reefs, are also found in high num­bers.

Ad Di­maniyat Is­lands Oman

The lush reefs of these nine is­lands off Oman’s north coast abound in soft and hard corals, cre­at­ing a habi­tat for 280 fish species — 10 per­cent of which are en­demic, in­clud­ing the Oman anemone­fish. This ma­rine park also pro­tects much larger life, in­clud­ing whale sharks, leopard sharks and the oc­ca­sional hump­back whale.

El­phin­stone Reef Red Sea

This drift dive along a sheer wall is known for en­coun­ters with ham­mer­head sharks. Plus, October through De­cem­ber, it’s also one of the few places where divers can re­li­ably see oceanic whitetips.

Big Dos Ami­gos Co­cos Is­land, Costa Rica

This black-co­ral-cov­ered seamount, a chal­leng­ing dive thanks to cur­rents and its 90-foot depth, of­fers choice view­ing when schools of ham­mer­head sharks, mob­ula rays, manta rays and ea­gle rays fly by.

Great White Shark Dive Guadalupe Is­land, Mex­ico

Yes, there are cages pro­tect­ing hookah-air­sup­plied divers, but that doesn’t limit the adren­a­line rush — whether it’s a 13-footer swim­ming inches below your feet or a ju­ve­nile, less fa­mil­iar with the di­ve­boat rig, smack­ing its nose against the cage bars in an at­tempt to un­der­stand its sur­round­ings.

USS Lib­erty Bali, In­done­sia

Rare is the op­por­tu­nity to shore-dive a 411-foot U.S. Army cargo ship. Find ex­actly this off the Bali vil­lage of Tu­lam­ben, start­ing at a depth of 15 feet. Downed in 1942, the Lib­erty’s now cov­ered in gar­dens of growth that serves as a breed­ing ground for macro life, in­clud­ing go­b­ies and nudi­branchs.

A li­on­fish hunts at El­phin­stone Reef. Op­po­site, from top: Corals adorn the Lib­erty; a great white shark off Guadalupe Is­land.

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