5 Amazing Spots To Dive Around The World

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

greatbluehole

During my trip to Guatemala, a group of us started swapping life stories while at dinner in the small lake island of Flores, and when we came to the Australian guy in his late 20’s who looked like he could probably both crush me and steal my girlfriend — all in the same moment — he told us how he had just wrapped up a decade-long stint in the Australian Navy as a military diver, which apparently means getting to defuse a lot of empty suitcases floating in Sydney Harbour.

However, now that his service was complete, he was en route to Belize where he was to be a divemaster leading groups to the Great Blue Hole, one of the world’s most infamous diving locales, and one I had actually never heard of until then. I piped in excitedly to tell everyone how I was en route to the airport where I was to board a plane that would be showing The Descendants during the flight. The discussion soon turned back to our Australian friend.

So when Smithsonian.com recently rounded up five of some of the greatest diving spots around the world, I was excited to see that the unimaginatively named Great Blue Hole was on top leading the list. If you were wondering, the site is actually a 410-foot deep sinkhole in the middle of the Belize Barrier Reef system where visibility oftentimes exceeds 150 feet and where 80 degrees Fahrenheit is the normal low. Jacques Cousteau visited the site as well and named it one of the best diving spots in the world.

Other locations that made the list included the countless World War II-era wrecks nestled off the coast of Papua New Guinea; Australia’s Great Barrier Reef; the kelp forests in Monterey Bay, California; and the Red Sea where you can spot — if you have the time and the money — over 1,100 fish, 200 of which you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Whew, that was difficult, I got through that entire post without inserting the off-color Smurf joke I was thinking of leading off with. I must be getting tamer in my old age.

[The Great Blue Hole via wstera2/Flickr]

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