Welcome to the Worlds Best

No matter where in the world the staff of Sport Diver travels, it seems that we always get some variant of The Burning Question: "What's the best place in the world to dive?" or "Where's your favorite spot?"

I usually answer, "Right here." It's generally true that the place I happen to be diving at any given time is my favorite at that moment; like many divers, I'm a carpe-diem sort of person. And that response has the additional merit of honoring the number-two rule of scuba diving: Stay on good terms with the local divemasters.

But the truth of the matter is that when most divers think back on their great scuba moments, it's not a single destination. It's a global panorama. It's storyboards and Blue Corner in Palau, spotlighted mantas in Hawaii, watching a craftsman make you a hammock in Cozumel, coming face-to-face with a manatee in Florida, getting Blue Hole vertigo in Belize, jumping off the bar-boat Willy T in the BVIs in a manner that earns you the free T-shirt ... . The list goes on and on, and the key to a full and happy dive life is making the list go on.

That is what this special World's

Best Diving and Resorts issue of Sport Diver is all about. It's dream fodder, but it's also something else: it connects you with the people, the places, the organizations and the operations that can help you take that next step and make those dreams come true.

We trust that you'll enjoy it. And we hope that it opens the door for you to so many new adventures that when someone asks you The Burning Question, you'll have to laugh, shrug, shake your head and answer, "I really can't decide."

Dive safe and dive happy.

—Tom Morrisey, Executive Editor

WHY WE DIVE A gentle giant of the deep, a manta, passes so g close that he is kissed by our bubbles. The encounter lasts for minutes, § perhaps just seconds. But the memory is something that we will cherish p for the rest of our years. It is why we travel. It is why we dive.

Insights from Our



My first underwater moment was not in the sea but Andover Lake in Kees-ville, New York. I was about 10 and trying to survive summer camp. My counselor gave me a green rubber mask and told me to look under the dock to see a giant spider. The spider crawling up and down the piling became a non-issue as I turned my attention to the pea-green water filled with fuzzy light and small fish staring back at me. Back home on the New Jersey shore, I badgered my parents for a blue squale mask and green fins shaped like lily pads. I spent the rest of that summer in the deep end of the pool and graduated from there to the Atlantic, swimming around with a camera in a bag that made pictures that almost resembled fish.


I got into scuba diving and then photography almost by accident. As a boy I had always been an enthusiastic skier, which was fairly natural for someone who lives in Switzerland. When

I skied at full speed down the slopes, the last thing I had in mind was diving, especially in the middle of winter. In 1978, I went to a summer picnic along one of the many rivers that flow through our valleys, and some of my friends urged me to try diving. They were not expert divers, and their equipment was fairly simple; they had an air tank, flippers, regulator and a short-sleeved wetsuit. I let myself be persuaded and dove into crystal-clear waters that were cold enough to take my breath away. The underwater world fascinated me immediately, and I was caught by a passion for scuba diving.


When I was a small kid, in the early 70s, I used to free dive in the Mediterranean Sea and dreamed about being able to breathe underwater. It took some time for my dream to come true, but it sure did, and I was able to spread my bubbles around the five continents, combining my passion for traveling, diving and photography. Now, many years and thousands of dives later, I try to breathe as little as possible to get closer to my subjects, and I dream about being able to hold my breath underwater for hours at a time.

edit o ri a l Ty Sawyer editor Tom Morrisey executive editor Tara Bradley managing editor Brooke Morton associate editor Martin Kuss online editor Sue Youngsteadt copy editor Erika Hueneke copy editor E-mail: [email protected]

a rt

Mark Poulalion art director Jennifer Collier associate art director contrib u ti n g ph o t o gr a pher s

Armando Alentado, Franco Banfi, Felipe Barrio, Tanya Burnett, Brandon Cole, Eric Cheng, Ethan Daniels, David Doubilet, Jack and Sue Drafahl, Steve Drogin, Eric Hanauer, Mauricio Handler Bill Harrigan, Burt Jones, Darrell Jones, Michael Lawrence, Sara Shoemaker-Lind, Carlos Minguell, Amos Nachoum, Bonnie Pelnar Tim Rock, Steve Simonsen, Peter Verhoog, Carlos Villoch, James Watt, Brenda Weaver, Michele Westmorland, Clay Wiseman pr o d uc ti on

Kelly Weekley ad traffic & production manager 407-571-4792; [email protected] Suzanne Oberholtzer advertising design director Monica Alberta, John Digsby, Wendy Crenner, Shannon Mendis production artists p u bli s hi n g

Carolyn Pascal-Guarino publisher 407-571-4694; [email protected]

David Benz associate publisher 850-934-3173; [email protected]

sale s

Bonnie Borkin Filippi territory manager 212-219-7475; [email protected]

Kerry Neujahr territory manager 407-571-4898; [email protected] Jeff Mondle territory manager 760-433-5141; jeff[email protected] Focus Media & Marketing detroit sales 313-670-0553; [email protected] Steve Thompson media centric inc. southern California 415-435-4678

pa di di vi n g soc iety

Theresa Gulledge padi diving society manager 949-858-7234, ext. 2322; [email protected] Megan Denny marketing consultant 949-858-7234, ext. 2356; [email protected]

tr avel & life s tyle gr ou p Dave Freygang group publisher Barbara Lanning executive assistant Laura Walker online director Elizabeth Cabrera marketing assistant Mike Tyler marketing copywriter Amanda Jackson online business coordinator Michelle Makmann multimedia producer José L. Salmon web designer w o rld p u bli cations ll c

Terry Snow president

Russ Cherami director of corporate sales

Martin S. Walker advertising consultant

Bruce Miller vp, consumer marketing

Dean Psarakis business director, consumer marketing

Leigh Bingham subscription director, consumer marketing

Peter Winn planning & development director, consumer marketing

Vicki Weston single copy sales director

Lisa Earlywine director of production operations

Jay Evans director of new media technologies

Mike Stea director of network & computer operations

Nancy Coalter controller

Dinah Peterson credit manager

Sheri Bass director of human resources

Heather Idema research director

Dean Turcol director of communications

All contents copyright 2006 World Publications LLC. No use may be made of materials contained herein without express written consent. For inquiries, please contact us at World Publications LLC, 460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789.

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Printed in the U.S.A.


888-333-7234, [email protected]

Sport Diver (ISSN 1077-985X) is published 11 times per year (J/F, March, April, May, June, July, Aug., Sept., Oct., N/D, Special) by World Publications LLC, 460 N. Orlando Ave., Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789. Basic rate $19.97 for one year. (Canadian residents please add $12 per year for postage; all other foreign residents please add $33 for postage, U.S. funds only). Periodicals postage paid at Winter Park, FL, and additional offices. Contents copyright 2006 by Worlc Publications LLC. For subscription information or questions, call (888) 333-7234. Contributions: Editorial comments, articles, photography or artwork should be addressed to Editor, PO Box 8500, Winter Park, FL 32790. The editorial staff can also be reached via the Internet by addressing electronic mail to [email protected]. Not responsible for solicited or unsolicited material. Advertisers: UPS and overnight delivery to 460 N. Orlando Ave, Suite 200, Winter Park, FL 32789. Information and media kits are available by calling (407) 628-4802. The contents of this publication, including diving techniques and use of diving equipment, reflect the individual experiences of the writers and are not necessarily the recommended practices of World Publications LLC and are not intended for the sole purpose of diving instruction. Individuals seeking to participate in activities described in this publication should be properly trained and/or certified for such by a qualified professional diving instructor. Diving or use of diving equipment by untrained individuals can lead to serious injury or death. Neither World Publications LLC, Sport Diver Magazine nor its contributors shall be liable for any mishap claimed to result from use of such material.

POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Sport Diver magazine, PO Box 420235, Palm Coast, FL 32142-0235. Printed in U.S.A.

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From the Editor 4

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Guide To Scuba Diving

Guide To Scuba Diving

Many people think that space is our final frontier and that is not entirely true. While it is more difficult to get to outer space, we probably know more about the various planetsand environments in space than wedo about what lies beneath the surface of our oceans.

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