Dive Destinations by Kristoffer Larsen
Planning yearly around-the-world sojourns that take him across the globe in search for the most amazing sites, rocking parties and most recently spectacular dives….Read on as Manila based, IT genius turned amateur underwater photographer, Kris Larsen shares his Top Ten favorite dive spots in the world.
1. Galapagos Islands – if you love big fishies then this is easily the best destination in the world for divers. It goes from super friendly curious sealions that gets really close to play with you or big sharks from the Galapagos reef to hammerhead sharks or schools and breaching Mantas. Waters can be a bit cold but definitely worth it. If you have the budget or time then it’s highly recommended to go on a live aboard and head out to Darwin and the Wolf Islands. Only problem for us is that it’s too far away but that’s also why the ecosystem out there is well protected from fishermen.
2. Sardine Run, South Africa – if you like action – this is the place to go – having all the big ones feeding on the schools of sardines at the same time is a rush. It’s a mayhem of birds bombarding in with speeds of over 100km/h from above down to 10 meters, loads of dolphins rounding out the sardine schools at high speeds and the big sharks coming up from below is truly adrenaline packed. I was even lucky enough to be there while around 500-800 humpbacks were migrating by and can come in very close to interact with us as well. And knowing you got the whales and the great whites and bull sharks lurking around makes it even a bit more fun. Most water interaction is far out at sea and typically at snorkeling depths so don’t expect long easy dives. This is a physically tough destination but definitely worth it. You spend 6-8 hours every day at sea in 2-3 meter waves and very cold waters in small dingys. You are never dry because you are jumping in and out of the water. It is not for everyone.
3. Grand Bahamas – for close interaction and under water photographers this is a fantastic destination. On top of it all you have that general Caribbean vacation life. It’s truly the perfect combo! Its crystal clear waters, more or less domesticated big Caribbean reef sharks and dolphins, it’s the best circumstance for great close up shots.
4. Palau – for a diver this is a perfect match, big stuff, super fun diving, beautiful lagoons and all within reach from a land based hotel. Whether it’s dropping down in the Blue Hole or drifting down the Ulong channel this is just amazing. But the two top dive spots in my opinion is the German channel which is a cleaning station for mantas on a white sand calms water channel and the Blue Corner which is an awesome drift dive where you really understand why someone invented the reef hook. And then to top it off on the last day you will go snorkeling with the harmless jellyfish in the lake.
5. Great Barrier Outer Reef – Osprey Reef , Australia – everyone knows about the Great Barrier and its coral wild life. The only right way to see this world wonder is by going on a live aboard so you get far enough out to reach the untouched reefs. Here you will see everything you could imagine about tropical diving. But the best moment is the shark feeding where you see a real feeding frenzy of sharks going crazy.
6. Manta night dives on Kona Hawaii – if you love BIG mantas and seeing them up close there is no better spot in the world. The night feeding of mantas is amazing, you drop down to 8-10 meters and hold up your torch to attract the plankton which the mantas eat and you have the big rays literally bumping into you for 45 minutes.
7. Tahiti – this place is mostly known for Bora Bora and for honeymooners but trust me the diving there deserves a spot at a top list of destinations. The waters around Tahiti has some of the most spectacular visibility in the world and then add the fact that they have been feeding sharks there until a few years ago. Big lemon sharks just hanging out with you for whole dives and are not afraid. It’s a unique experience!
8. Maldives – manta ray heaven and beautiful colors – diving here is some of the most beautiful dives I have ever done. Super healthy coral reefs, the clear blue waters and then running in to a school of mantas is really something else.
9. Morehead City, NC, USA – who would have thought you would find great diving off the East Coast of the US let alone as far north as North Carolina without having to jump in a dry suit? But wow, beautiful wrecks and loads of Sand Tiger Sharks – the ones with the nasty looking teeth you typically see in the big aquariums. They are so used to divers so they don’t care with you around them and there are loads of them. Diving on a WWII German Uboat less than 50 miles of the US coastline is also something historically amazing.
10. Tubbataha, Philippines – has to be on the list since it’s close to home… A beautiful destination and I was lucky enough to spend it on a fantastic trip with some of my best friends.
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We are two friends who were former magazine editors. Having moved onto other things, we both realized that the creative flow the publishing world used to offer us was missing from our lives. Armed with a common love of travel to the exotic and familiar, a penchant for the bohemian, an obsession with food and a lust for writing, we decided to collaborate our unique and fashionable journeys through life together in one passion project.
We are The Gypsetters.