squalo balena!

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i just returned from a terrific dive trip in Maldives with a bunch of italian divers and we found what we were searching for! the infamous maldivian whale shark – known in italian as squalo balena!!  the 7-day liveaboard dive trip was fantastic. i did 19 dives in 6 days (with 1 day of rest!)…and i’m still not dived-out. aside from the squalo balena i ran into a friendly pod of dolphins, a curious napolean wrasse, swam with a group of more than 10 huge manta rays in the deep open ocean, saw more eels than i could count, and beautiful coral recovering from the effects of el nino and the recent tsunami. all the photos are posted on my multiply website which you can view by clicking here: http://esguerra1.multiply.com/ and selecting an album. a shout out to my new diving buddies from Rome at www.lunasub.it it was great diving with all of you! remember to swim slowly and watch out for strong current (east-to-west)…but only SOMETIMES! ciao!

p.s. yes, i took the photo above. we searched for the whale shark for 1 day and finally someone spotted it and we all jumped into the ocean…i dove down and got a pic of this gentle giant approaching me head on. afterwards i let him swim under me and off into the deep blue!

p.p.s. if you click the LunaSub link above to my italian friends’ website, there is a short preview video on their homepage (in the right-hand column) which they filmed from our dive trip. it’ll give you just a taste of what we saw! enjoy!

gone to maldives…

gone diving in maldives. see you when i’m back on the 28th…with photos of course!

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phuket…let’s go!

just got back from phuket, thailand to check out one of the dive schools i’m planning on doing my divemaster and instructor development course with. the dive academy is named Sea Bees Diving (http://www.sea-bees.com/eng/index.htm) and is the only DIN-certified 5-star dive center in Thailand. the school is quite isolated on the south eastern coast of phuket at Chalong Bay. the quiet atmosphere is perfect for dive training and studying.  the palm garden resort is where i’ll be staying. it’s linked to the academy and has all the facilities for dive training/instruction. it even has a dedicated pool purposely built for scuba training complete with a 3m drop off. – i rented a yamaha scooter-motorbike for only $5 USD/day which ended up being apropos because it just so happened to be phuket bike week. patong beach was awash with hogs ‘n black leather creating a wonderful festive atmosphere. to top it off, it was also the thai new year “songkran” holiday festival – where the custom is wherever you go you are expected to get thoroughly soaked with ice cold water all day long. tourists are especially targetted – good clean fun and perfect for the sunny, tropical phuket climate. hopefully i’ll be back to finish my divemaster/instructor course. look out for me at sea bees!