page 1
page 2
page 3
page 4
page 5
page 6
page 7
page 8
page 9
page 10
page 11
page 12
page 13
page 14
page 15
page 16
page 17
page 18
page 19
page 20
page 21
page 22
page 23
page 24
page 25
page 26
page 27
page 28
page 29
page 30
page 31
page 32
page 33
page 34
page 35
page 36
page 37
page 38
page 39
page 40
page 41
page 42
page 43
page 44
page 45
page 46
page 47
page 48
page 49
page 50
page 51
page 52
page 53
page 54
page 55
page 56
page 57
page 58
page 59
page 60
page 61
page 62
page 63
page 64
page 65
page 66
page 67
page 68
page 69
page 70
page 71
page 72
page 73
page 74
page 75
page 76
page 77
page 78
page 79
page 80
page 81
page 82
page 83
page 84
page 85
page 86
page 87
page 88
page 89
page 90
page 91
page 92

DEEP IMPACT 44Isea& iIWINTER 2010 GRAND CAYMAN, CARIBBEAN For many, the Cayman Islands rank top among the Caribbean's dive spots - and there are more than 200 sites to choose from. The warm waters attract tropical fish, colourful sponges and hard corals, and visibility is good. Stingray City can be dived or snorkelled as it has shallow waters - perfect for floating alongside giant stingrays. The Snapper Hole is a fantastic shallow dive in the right weather, Northwest Point Drop- Off has black triggerfish and clouds of blue chromis, and Eagle Ray Pass on the North Wall has coral archways and crevices that are home to sponges, fans and spotted eagle rays. Cayman wrecks include the Ten Sails ( from 1794) and the four- masted schooner Cali ( in 1957), both in the East End of Grand Cayman. TOP TIPDive the West Wall for its snappers, angelfish and wonderful photo opportunities DEEP IMPACT scuba diving Plunging to ancient wrecks, wallowing with giant turtles and drifting alongside rare whale sharks. the world's great dive sites take you to new depths of discovery ByJoe Marsden

ARI ATOLL, MALDIVES, INDIAN OCEAN More than 40 kilometres ( 25 miles) long, the Ari Atoll is the second largest in the Maldives and has intriguing submerged pinnacles and channels that are home to manta rays, giant frogfish, turtles, hammerheads ( at Hammerhead Point), and grey reef sharks, fusiliers and batfish ( at Fish Head). But it is the rare whale shark - the largest living marine creature - that most divers seek. It is a treat to see these gentle giants in their natural habitat, and the Maldives are unique in the Indian Ocean as they host a year- round population. Thankfully, this endangered species is now protected, and divinghere offers a fantastic opportunity to learn more about initiativesto protect them. TOP TIPHead to Maaya Thila to spot the elusive guitar shark WINTER 2010I sea& iI45 topfive ELPHINSTONE, RED SEA Around nine kilometres ( six miles) from the shore in the southern Red Sea you'll discover Elphinstone: a 300 metre ( 1,000- foot) Mecca for divers. The current tends to be strong, making it a magnet for marine life, with visibility around 20 metres ( 65 feet). Expect to see sharks, including oceanic white tips with their loyal pilot fish darting alongside. You can also spot hammerheads, barracuda, emperor and zebra angelfish, snappers, soft corals, giant morays, grouper and Suez fusiliers. The east side of Elphinstone has a great drop- off covered with a rainbow of corals, and the west, less steep, has caves and overhangs, eels, and sometimes turtles. n TOP TIPTo maximise sunlight on the reef, take morning dives on the east side and afternoon dives on the west SS YONGALA, GREAT BARRIER REEF MARINE PARK, AUSTRALIA Among this legendary reef's myriad sites, one wreck not to miss is the SS Yongala. This steel and timber steamship sank during a 1911 cyclone outside Townsville, Queensland, drowning all its passengers. Undiscovered for more than half a century, at 110m ( 361') it is one of the largest, most intact historic shipwrecks and although now protected ( meaning you can't dive inside) you can still see the rudder, masts, engine, steam rooms, portholes and nameplate. Encrusted with bright soft and hard corals, the wreck is loved by hydroids, sea fans, barracuda, sharks, giant gropers, sea snakes, turtles and rays. TOP TIPDive June to September for the possibility of spotting whales BUCK ISLAND REEF NATIONAL MONUMENT, VIRGIN ISLANDS, CARIBBEAN Deep in the Virgin Islands, off the northeast coast of Saint Croix, an uninhabited, 60- million- year- old tropical island is surrounded by a coral reef so beautiful it has been a protected area since 1948. Buck Island Reef National Monument's vast reef is home to more than 250 fish species, corals ( at Cane Bay), sponges, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks, lemon sharks, juvenile black- tip reef sharks, white- tip reef sharks, and hawksbill, green and leatherback sea turtles. There are also shipwrecks, such as the Northwind, Rosaomaria, Suffolk Maid and the HMS Rhone off Salt Island ( sunk in 1867), along with a wall plunging more than 900 metres ( 3,000 feet). TOP TIPFollow the underwater marked trail and read informative plaques about the local marine flora and fauna Photography: Darren Jew, Tourism Queensland; Don McDougall; Visitmaldives. com; Chicurel Arnaud/ Hemis