The worst has happened. You have become gravely ill in a country that doesn’t speak your language. A scenario like this can be deadly unless forethought to buy travel insurance was involved in the trip planning. There is nothing more frightening than being injured or sick in a foreign country. The feeling gets much worse when you realize that your insurance from home does you no good abroad. It is not uncommon for a vacationer to sit idle in wait in a hospital, getting little to no help, while the insurance aspect is looked at. And as we all know,…

In1962, the US government imposed a financial embargo on Cuba, preventing US citizens from traveling to this Caribbean island. Now Ocean Doctor, a nonprofit organization founded by Dr. David E. Guggenheim, has been granted a license to bring US citizens to Cuba to participate in educational programs that includes scuba diving. This unique educational journey examines the relationship of Cuban citizens with their natural environment, including burgeoning socioeconomic and cultural issues brought about by Cuba’s growing ecotourism industry. The exchange also represents an opportunity to explore with our Cuban colleagues important environmental issues that impact the marine waters that both…

Crazy things can happen when you don’t give the ocean the respect it deserves. Imagine how minuscule it seems to pick up a shell that you see on the bottom of the sea, only to realize that the shell that has the ability to kill you. Or consider the beautiful Manta Ray. Not only will you scare away the graceful and elegant Manta Ray, but you can also cause damage and death to the animal. Just a slight touch of a human hand can disturb the mucus coating that is on their skin, causing bacteria infiltration and infection. Harm is…

Great White Sharks are stealthy hunters and the secret is in their skin. Shark skin is covered by tiny flat V-shaped scales, called dermal denticles, that are more like teeth than fish scales. These denticles decrease drag and turbulence, allowing the shark to swim faster and more quietly. Olympian swimsuit designers have taken a page from the shark’s playbook and created a fabric that mimics the exact proportion of the shark’s denticles, hugely improving a swimmer’s speed.   

One of the first books I ever fell in love with was a story about two boys who travelled to one of the wildest and most remote places on earth, the faraway island of Komodo in Indonesia. Its pages spoke to me of real-life dragons; as a child, I could not imagine anything more exciting than meeting these fantastical creatures for myself. The book was written forty years ago, so when I finally travelled there this month, I expected that the island’s reality might differ somewhat from the untouched paradise it described. I imagined that like so many other places…

Imagine a Great White Shark speedily swimming towards you, his large, powerful tail and fifteen-foot-long body propelling him forward at an impressive speed. He comes to a sudden stop in front of you, and then ferociously tears at a mangled piece of fish meat inches from your nose. You know that you are completely safe, but the adrenaline has your heart in your throat. Welcome to the mesmerizing world of Guadalupe Island. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Isla Guadalupe, as it is known by the locals, is only a mere 150 miles off the Baja Peninsula and 250 miles southwest…

Where can you see mesmerizing exotic animals and marine life that are seen nowhere else on the planet? Where the evolution of species has actually been documented? And where it has all been protected by a national park and marine preserve for generations to come to cherish?

Yap Island is a diver’s paradise. This is the beautiful world of manta rays. In this precious area rich in planktonic organisms, pristine water and protection, the mantas rays are able to flourish giving the opportunity to see these lovely creatures display their mesmerizing aquatic flying. But that isn’t the only underwater viewing pleasure that Yap offers.  

What is your opinion? Should sharks be killed if they are impeding into popular public beach areas, therefore negatively influencing the tourist population? That is a subject that was decided upon by the state government of Western Australia in mid-December. In a radical means of attempting to diminish negative shark activity, The Western Australian Fisheries Department has instigated a “mitigation strategy” that is hoping to diminish the likelihood of a shark attack in public swimming areas. According to the new law any shark that is three meters or more in length that is seen within two specific swimming areas will…

Imagine an underwater world where thousands of fish enhanced by every color of the rainbow swim alone or in schools along the coral reefs which are enhanced with a luminosity of color. The Rainbow Reef, world renowned for its spectacular array of beauty, is rich in sea life and its wonderful diversity of sea life. Blessed with the tidal swirls of the Somosomo Strait in Fiji, the Rainbow Reef is located within an ever-changing flow of nutrients brought in by the currents. This swirling flow of food is spectacular for the soft coral that happily thrives in Rainbow Reef, opening…