Live-aboard Scuba Adventure: The Heli Ski Canada Equivalent of the Underwater World, Part 1
If you are a keen powder skier or heliskier like me, you are probably equally as adventurous in the summer time. For me, one of the summer sports I love is scuba diving. But like my skiing passion, I decided a long time ago that life is too short to waste, so I wanted to indulge in scuba diving only in the best spots around the world – the heli-skiing Canada equivalent of no less than the deepest, fluffiest powder under bluebird skies. In diving terms, it’s the clearest, bluest, warmest water, with the most abundant fish and corals, plus the chance to see big, audacious creatures like sharks, manta rays, or large turtles.
I have been diving for a few years now, with about 45 dives under my belt, most from supremely beautiful places around the world such as Thailand, Australia, Zanzibar, and the Caribbean to name a few. Then a couple of years ago, I headed out to Sharm El Sheikh to dive the Red Sea.
At the time, I’d never seen any ‘over-dived’ spots (the adventure skiers equivalent of ‘bad lift queues’). But it was on that Red Sea trip that I realised scuba diving shares many of the concepts of skiing in terms of seeking a pristine experience. I had enrolled on a boat dive trip and was shocked to discover on our arrival at our first dive site what it meant to experience the equivalent of long lift queues and skied-out slopes. Apart from our boat crowding about 50 divers on it, there were at least 10 other boats at the site all diving the same relatively small area. The Red Sea sites were spectacular to say the least, but it was a horrendous shock to see them as crowded as they were. No matter how good the diving potential was – it is clear that certain wildlife was scared away and parts of the reef had been trashed by the impact, quite literally, of thousands of divers.
At that point I made the decision (which I made in skiing long ago), that should I want to continue diving I would always seek out the most pristine diving I could. In order to do this (like with powder heli-skiing or heli boarding), I decided I needed to engage in destination diving via going on multi day ‘liveaboard’ dive experiences that enable you to get away from the most accessible, and therefore visited, dive sites. Just like Total Heliski tours, these trips are spent on purpose-built dive/accommodation boats, which venture to remote locations. By virtue of the experience and setup, these trips self-select more serious divers, and take them out to the most pristine, rare, and more difficult to access locations for diving around the world. As in the world of heli-skiing, there is a whole network of liveaboard diving being offered in the best setups around the world. And I intend to dive many of them in my lifetime.
So, this next blog is about my second liveaboard dive experience I recently went on in my homeland – Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and the Coral Sea. Read part 2 here and check out the awesome photos here. You can also view the video of shark feeding here.