Currently Browsing: Diving

A Scuba Playground: Diving in Maui

By the time I arrived in Hawaii I was so desperate to be back in the water it was a feeling akin to homesickness. I hadn’t been diving in four months, which suddenly felt like four years. I couldn’t wait to strap on a tank and descend below the surface. On my previous trips to the islands I dived Oahu, Lana’i, and The Big Island, but Maui eluded me. This time, that would change. Pulling... read more

Beneath the Sea 2014

Within a week of arriving back in New York, I was already leaving its borders once again. But this time, I wasn’t going far — just popping across state lines into New Jersey for a weekend at Beneath the Sea, the biggest consumer dive show in the US. I’ve attended the show twice before, as a wide-eyed scuba enthusiast in 2011 and as a Women Diver’s Hall of Fame grant recipient in... read more

A Presidential Showdown: Isla de Coiba Part IV

Start Here: Part I, Part II and Part III of my dive trip to Isla de Coiba. I woke up on our fourth and final day in Coiba National Park feeling a mixture of sadness and excitement. These forced off-the-grid experiences are good for me, and I felt a twinge of heaviness at the thought of returning to the machines that run my life (as in, my Macbook and my iPhone). I mean, I had spent the last four days... read more

At Home in Eden: Isla de Coiba Part III

Start Here: Part I and Part II of my dive trip to Isla de Coiba. With limited electricity on Isla de Coiba, we soon returned to the rhythm of the land — dozing off no long after sunset and rising naturally before sunrise. On our third day in Coiba National Park, we made the short walk over to the abandoned pier to catch front row seats to the show. The sky showed off a brilliant array of hues while... read more

A Diving Dare: Isla de Coiba Part II

Though whale sharks and manta rays had eluded us, I would rate our first day in Coiba National Park with Scuba Coiba as a pretty solid awesome — we’d swum with a school of thousands of jacks, spotted four frogfish, frolicked on idyllic abandoned beaches, watched dozens of white tip reef sharks slink by, met a majestic turtle and a few shy seahorses, and then slept on an uninhabited tropical... read more

Diving Panama’s Prison Paradise: Introducing Isla de Coiba

I often equate diving to a form of aquatic yoga — relaxing, meditative, weightless. Isla de Coiba destroys that analogy. Diving there is no yoga — it’s a tough mudder. We’re talking low visibility, deep depths, thermoclines with 10°F  temperature drops, and currents so intense you have no choice but to cling to a rock until your fingers start to bleed. Tempted? Actually, you... read more

Into the Deep in Mancora

Diving in Peru? It might not be one of the first adventure you associate with the country (the Inca Trail just steals all the thunder, doesn’t it?) but we’d soon discover it was an unexpectedly impressive one. Originally we had attempted to dive in Lima, tempted by the offshore sea lion colonies. But the prices were ridiculously high and the conditions were poor, and in the end we were grateful... read more

Photo of the Week 131

This week brought me back to my happy place — the beach. After two months of past-paced, constant travel and an intense workload of blogging and freelance projects I’ve been teetering towards burnout. I can’t stop meeting deadlines and — let’s face it — I’ve got workaholic American blood in my veins so I wouldn’t want to. However, I can slow down my traveling... read more

Protecting Indonesia’s Sharks

Here’s how a chain reaction works — Alex goes to see Blackfish, a documentary about Orcas in captivity, and can’t stop thinking about it; Alex rents Free Willy, a movie about a little boy who releases an Orca from captivity back into the ocean; Alex remembers that she never posted about the shark release she photographed. And that’s how we got here today, folks. Did you know that... read more

The Complete Diving Guide to Gili Trawangan

In many ways, Koh Tao and Gili Trawangan are sister islands in Southeast Asia. Both are small tropical diving meccas, filled with backpackers in search of scuba certifications. I wrote a Guide to Diving in Koh Tao a few years ago, and judging by the number of aquatic-related questions I’ve received since first landing in Indonesia, the internet is in dire need of a Gili Trawangan version. The Gili... read more

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