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Trip Reports

Optical Ocean Sales dive travel trip reports. Read what it's like to try out diving around the world. Be sure to see our Travel Section to learn how to join us on the next adventure!

Forgotten Islands/Banda Sea Photo Expedition, November 4-15, 2018

After a few great days of diving at Tulamben on Bali, I joined up with the rest of the Optical Ocean Sales guests up in Ambon, Indonesia. The 12 of us joined the Damai 1 the next morning and settled into our comfortable cabins onboard. We were headed for Maumere on Flores Island - 1,000 nautical miles away, clear across the Banda Sea which lies lies between Raja Ampat in the north and Komodo National Park to the south. Over the next ten days, we would do 35 dives at some of the most remote sites anyone can imagine. Islands, walls, sea mounts, volcanos, reefs and muck - we would dive them all.

South Pacific Dreamin’ - Yap & Palau Trip Report

Dropping into the warm, crystal clear water we spotted at least 3 or 4 species of sharks all in good numbers. We were on a shark dive on the remote outer reef of the Micronesian island of Yap. Grey reef sharks of moderate size, lots of smaller black tip reef sharks and quite a few larger silvertips were nosing around us looking for their afternoon snack. Good for us it was a small “chumsicle” of frozen fish, which they eagerly attacked on the bottom. For the next 45 minutes we excitedly clicked away and enjoyed the show. While the sharks were definitely curious about us, they kept their distance. Certainly, a great dive.

After many hours of flights on through the night and day, fifteen of us had arrived early in the morning the day before to this small island paradise for the first stop in our 2018 OOS South Pacific Photo Expedition.

Komodo National Park lies near Bali, between East & West Nusa Tenggara islands in Indonesia. Our intrepid group of Optical Ocean Sales photographers managed to survive a cold wet season dive expedition there last February on the Damai 1 liveaboard boat and take an amazing array of photos.

We came, we saw, we took photos, and more and more photos of an amazing variety of small underwater critters at Lembeh Straits, Indonesia October, 2017 With 8,000’ deep drop-offs nearby, pumping huge amounts of plankton into the area, it harbors and fosters one of the highest bio-diversities of marine life found anywhere on the planet.

Optical Ocean's Margo Cavis has finished up her Red Sea Aggressor Trip Video! We spent a week on this great liveaboard on the southern route to St. John's Reef.
The last time I saw the Egyptian Pyramids was 18 years ago. A lot has changed, and a lot hasn’t, having already all ready lasted 5,000 years. One of the things that was new is the lack of tourists, mostly due to misplaced fear.

Raja Ampat in Indonesia, has always held a lot of fascination for me. Customers on their way there, or just back, were awestruck by the area. “Best in the diving in the world!” they’d say, but having dove for many years, I’ve heard that before…

Twenty-one underwater photographers boarded the Solmar V dive boat in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on June 23rd expecting to steam the next 25 hours to the Revigadagos Islands, aka "The Socorros", 250 miles offshore. Alas, "Amanda" had other ideas.

Having built up to a Category 4 Hurricane, Amanda was an early violent storm a few hundred miles south of Socorro Island and heading straight for the area we were to dive. Needless to say, the Captain told me that we had to make a big change and head north into the Sea of Cortez.

Trip Report - Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary - July 2014 - By David Todd

Recently I had a chance to dive on some of the healthiest coral reefs in the world off the coast of Galveston, Texas in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Gulf is not known for it’s pristine waters. With two-thirds of the US draining into it, it tends to be muddy, filled with oil and gas platforms and wouldn’t be most people’s first choice when searching for a dive destination. Those folks are missing out....

We went over to the Big Island for a week of “cillaxing” in February. Staying in a condo, we enjoyed several long drives around the island to visit the Volcano National Park, Hilo and the north end...

I managed to get out with Jack’s Diving Locker on one of their limited load trips one day. They did a great job with only 4 divers on a boat made for 8 or 10, for photographers it’s well worth the extra cost.

Fourteen brave folks came along on our first shop trip to Taveuni, Fiji this October. The long flights from LAX through Nadi to The Garden Island Resort went smoothly, and the friendly staff greeted us with warm welcomes and traditional songs. Our rooms were spacious, with fresh tropical flowers, and spa style bathrooms...

Rainbow Reef, in the Somosomo Straits between Taveuni and Viti Levu was a short 20 min run out, and had a great variety of dive sites, from top-of-the-reef hard corals, sandy slots, to short/deep walls and caves. Currents were up and down, and really took the experienced guides to figure out.

Fourteen underwater photographers joined Optical Ocean sales owner Jack Connick on an expedition to the Rock Islands of Palau in late November of 2013. After a long flight, they joined onboard the Palau Aggressor liveaboard on an extended, 10 day cruise.

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