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who's been where?

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
It can take a long time to get an up-to-date response or contact with relevant users.


Just visiting...
Aug 26, 2001
thought it would be a good idea to list the places you've been diving/freediving/spearfishing. this way, people could go directly to the source to find out things like where to go, where to stay, what to do, what to bring, how expensive, and just simply if it's the ideal place for them or not.

here's my list:

man'o war cay, bahamas
mostly lobstering when i was a wee lad of 18yrs
knights key, marathon, florida
annual 2james keys kraze event location! :D
key largo, florida
where i learned to spearfish and continue to do so about every 3rd month
fort lauderdale, florida(ex-native)
hit or miss on the spearfishing. totally dependant on viz.
miami, florida
awesome spearfishing in some places, but still dependant on viz
islands outside key biscayne, florida
excellent day trip w/ the right people. hardly a soul out there
grand cayman
stayed at the sunset house. great freediving area(no spearfishing!). dove off divetech's mini wall (25ft down to 65ft) then the main wall (80ft to 6000). absolutely incredible viz(100+ft); excellent for photography. cool place to interact w/ large fish and turtles!
barbados(was very young :confused: )
touched the top of a freighter(50ft) when i was 12 :D; parents wouldn't let me snorkel for the rest of the trip. :(

hope this helps. :cool:

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Palau :eek:

Bali :)

Nice, France :D

Ibiza (If you don't go for the diving then go for the girls!:eek: )

Palau is, without any doubt, the best place in my world.

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Puerto Rico
Hawaii (Oahu, Kauai)
Southern Cal (Santa Cruz, Catalina)
FL Keys
Lake Michigan
Greece (Samos, Icarias, Patmos)
I love the idea of this thread but how about a comment or two about each place? For instance, thinking about a carribean trip and would like to know which Anderson preferred, the Bahamas or Grand Cayman.

My adventures:

Florida natural springs and sinkholes (close to 100 of them). Most are absolutely beautiful, crystal clear water and different caverns, tunnels and shapes in each of them. My favorite place to freedive to date.

Lake Annette, Alberta Canada. Viz of about 20' or so the day I was there. Depths to 55'. Sucker fish on the bottom. Cold but in a beautiful setting.

Knights Key, Marathon, FL. Viz of about 60' on my days there. Got to swim with sharks and baracudas (new to me).

Roatan, Honduras. Viz of about 75' when I was there. Wall was just offshore, so made for good diving without the need for a boat. Note to myself: don't forget the weight belt next time.


P.S. Forgot: Lake Travis, Austin, TX. This is the damned Colorado River. Very picturesque. Depths over 130'. Not the greatest viz but still a fun dive (especially when you hit the thermocline at 50').
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Good idea for a new thread! Okay, here we go on the whirl-wind tour of my wanderlust past......

Lake Erie and various Ohio quarries.......wooohoooo!

The Exumas via Cat Ppalu -a Blackbeards live-aboard
Outstanding for diving, freediving, lobstering, and spearing -if
you don't mind using a sling- and great accomodations. Not
to be confused with their boats out of miami.

Grand Cayman - Slaved away as a dive bum working for a place called Parrots Landing which is no longer in operation. Still have a friend there who now works with a very small/personal operation- Red Baron Divers.

St. Martin, St. Kitts, Nevis, Statia, Saba - Spent three months wandering between these islands on live-aboards. Okay, but probably last on my current list of tropical locals I would revisit. Best diving was on Saba, but the island's a little ....... well, weird.

Egypt - Spent two months wandering between Cairo, Sharm El Shekh, and Luxor. Would love to go back. Best diving I've done. While in Sharm did both day boats and a week long live-aboard.

Florida Keys - Mostly work related, near Looe Key and did get to Key Largo with Anderson and Aquiles.

Florida- Just a few dives with a friend of mine in the Lauderdale area. Other dives here and there on the west coast near Sarasota, again mostly work as opposed to pleasure.

Guess that covers it. I'd be happy to provide more reviews as the DB travel consultant if someone would like to pay for the trips!:D But I suppose their would be no shortage of people willing to fill such a position.

I'd be happy to provide any info I can to anyone traveling to any of these areas. Until then, later!

Places i've been diving.

Helsinki Finland ( Baltic sea).
This place sucks for diving. Baltic sea is one of the most polluted waters in this world. Therefore there is not much to see there, not that you could see anything because of the bad visibility.

VadsØ, VardØ norway(north atlantic/ Barents Sea ).
Compared to baltic sea this area was great. Nice spear fishing.

Sharm el Sheikh egypt ( Red sea).
This place is the best place i have ever been. Beatyfull diving just offshore, with lots of colourfull corals. love it.

Hurghada Egypt ( Red sea).
A great place, with lots of beautyfull corals. Not very good shore diving. I much prefer Sharm.

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S.A from Cape Town to Mozambique ; great scuba diving although a little adventurous for some tastes .Spearingwise absolute tops:p Sodwana Bay probably best all round .Freediving (training) a bit tough due to currents and sharks .

Dahab to Sharm, Egypt ; great diving : walls + good coral .Pollution and unhigienic conditions big no-no .Spearing prohibited , few pelagics anycase .Great freedive training ,

Sardegna , Italy ; Clear water , not much to see .Good spearing beyond 30m. depth. Great for freediving ; '98 World Champs here.

Cyclades , Greece ; ditto .

Koh Tao , Thailand ;Ideal Scuba training , for the experienced diver the east coast rather boring . Spearing prohibited , nothing to aim a spear at anyway . Freediving : too shallow .
Damn, I been diving very much at home country since my country is so scattered.

SINGAPORE - Raffles Marina, cleaning yacht hull. Visibility less than arm reach. Great for technical dive training where you want to simulate clusterphobia :D :D. No speargun allowed unless licensed like fire arm , or else you go to jail. What to shoot....maybe ur nextdoor neighbour boater foot dangling in the water. 600 miles east of Jakarta.

MALAYSIA - Tioaman island on South China Sea. Me was very young .......a small shark and a moray eel look like monster then. Skin around only. 750 miles east of Jakarta.

INDONESIA : From West to East

Anambas at Natuna Group of Island - 800 miles east from Jakarta.
Dive the 300 feet deep abandoned rig, tons of Trevallies, 150 feet Viz. First time swin in Barracuda school like those great photos everybody doin. Some coral reef at the group of island, been poisoned badly. Good waterfall on hills, swim there too.

Ujung Kulon National Park - This is one of the WWF heritage where the rare single horn Rhino hang around. The Peucang Island is where you can eat dinner and look at deer walking around, big lizzards and thousands of monkeys. The monkey is very naughty they steal anything you don't keep properly. Very nice place. This area cover Panaitan Island which is good enough for blue water hunting and a Gland for surfer. Have not been there 4 a year but was there like at least 40 trips. Some of the national park area is in the Indian Ocean side. Now the place not as good as before the crisis, illegal bombing and netting is a problem. 140 miles east by boat from Jakarta.

Pelabuhan Ratu - This is a opposite of Jakarta which is by the Indian Ocean. The famous 7th Wave is known by surfer worldwide, me can not surf......except on internet. Been here like 20 times, 15 on Tuna fishing trip and 5 on diving. Only good fishing when at the right time. Can find Marlin and Sailfish here. Not as good as 20 years ago...they say.......man look like my country is in deep shit !!! This is a place if you want to jump in among feeding tuna ( 30-50kgs ) ...me want to try but have not, my apnea too lousy for this 1000+ meters water. 4 hours by car 1 hr by boat from Jakarta. If direct by sea will be 250 miles of stupid U turn over Java island.

Tinjil Island - 60 miles west of Pelabuhan Ratu, same Indian Ocean side or 170 miles by boat from Jakarta. This is where the national fishing record for Black Marlin was taken, only 190kg but not bad. 4 hours by car and 1 hr by boat. Been there once only, don't know the area at all.

Sangiang Island - Nothing great but very cheap dive. 2 hours by car and 1 hours by 7 knots slow boat. Quite a number of Red Trout and lobsters.........if u R lucky.

Banten Bay - 60 miles east by boat from Jakarta. Home of the famous WW2 wrecks, Jap , US, and Aussie. Strong currents, bad visibility mostly, fish so-so....but awesome ship sizes.

Thousand Island - 40 miles nort of Jakarta. Hundreds of islands on the Java sea. Water now sucks, fish sucks too. A few small wrecks and hundreds of offshore active oil rigs...but can not go to rigs:waterwork ...they chased me offf.......after I did some 40 dives:cool: . My weekend getaway......PARTY ZONE !!!!

BALI - 600 miles east of Jakarta. Been quite all over but love Nusa Penida most cause can spearfish legaly. A popular tourist joint and dive destination.

MANAD0 - 1,200 miles NE of Jakarta. World famous wall but can not shoot cause it is national park. Been on LOB all the way north of Manado to Sangie group of island, cold water that trip, great viz but damn the Tuna is only visibible at 170 feet. Jack Causteau love this place.

AMBON - 1400 miles NE of Jakarta. Been there before the religion clash. Only 3 or so dives. Didn't see much. Great Viz. Used to be a world class photo competition ground and Darwin to Ambon yacht race venue. Now I think we can find thousands of skeletons underwater......scarry.....:waterwork . Jack Causteau love this place.

IRIAN JAYA - 2000+ miles East of Jakarta, next door to Papua New Guinea or only some 400 miles nort of Australia. This is the most eastern part of Indonesia. Get the Pacific Ocean on its east side. Been around there two trips. Great viz but many area been bombed. Those good ones are lobster heaven. Been quite all over but not diving specific. Only log like 20 dives. Memorable place where u can see guys wearing a special "dick" cover made of some tree roots for underwear. Cannibalism still practiced in some part.......YEP that was long time ago. One of the world biggest copper mine Freeport Mc????? is here polutting the area. This big island area is where one son of a US millionaire ( Rockefeller or somebody ) lost his life in pursue of the famous Asmat war antiques/tools in the 70's. Asmat is a powerful cannibalistic war tribe. The indigenious people here is the same like those of the Australian aborigenee. U can even find kangaroo there.

In a hydro powerstation water damn. I don't know the depth but at 140 feet I still have not reach bottom. It was dark and green and water is sugar like hazy, low visibility..cold. Worst of all I can smell rotten algea kind of smell even with a regulator on. Yucckkk !!!
Mendocino, California, USA: Cold even in the summer, but cliffy shores of vocanic rock make very interesting diving close to shore. kelp, abalone, caves.

La Herradura, Andalucia, Spain: cliffy shores make for very interesting diving close to shore. Lots of caves, speafishing legal on east side, and a reserve on the west side of the town.

Akumal, Quinta Roo, Mexico: Coral formations right up to the shore. Clear water, great, convienent accomadations. Fresh water cenote diving nearby. Spearfishing not allowed.

Culebra, Puerto Rico, US (sort of): Warm clear water, coral formations, spearfishing is allowed. Lots of nearby deserted islets. Great for camping.

Isla Pedro Gonzales, Las Perlas, Panama: Poor vis when I was there in January, but supposidly better in summer. Lots of fish. Spearfishing legal. http://www.ecpi.com/~btweikel/hweb/panama/panama1.htm
Greece, (Lefkas),
Good viz, not much to see if shore diving, but good for training anyhow.

England Exeter-Exmouth, .... I would like to think that I have been diving at the worst part of that area.... since sandy bottom offers very little interesting to see, and after 1km of swimming from the shore my depth guege showed -9m... uh, well.. now I have been diving quite some time.. no better exept a shark in Sidmouth.. that was cool and some spider crabs and starfish..
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spearfishing locations

I'M new to this sport and to this forum. I recently moved to the Florida Keys,got a small boat and now started to spearfish:). I have speared in the nearshore waters around Sugarloaf Key on both the Gulf and Atlantic sides. There are alot of small patch reefs on both sides, coral heads from 7 feet of water down to 50 feet. I get mostly grey snapper, Hog snapper, Red Grouper,and Black Grouper from these shallow spots. Oh and the lobster! The Adalphous Bush is also a nice dive that is close to my home. At about 110 feet with a 60 foot profile it makes for some nice habitat. I saw Goliath Grouper, Snook, Greys, Cubera,Hogs,and a few Permit. The day I was there you could see the Grouper on the deck from the surface, 80-90 foot vis. Anyway, I hope to dive more and get back to you with the report.
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I forgot to mention earlier that I have dove in the British Virgin Islands. There is a DC-10 that went down, it is a fun dive in about 40 feet of water. The fusalage is whole, but both wings are torn off due to the accident that brought it down. You can swim thru it and see the captains seat and alot of the navigational equipment. Because of the wings being gone it almost looks like a bus. The R.M.S. Rhone is also an excellent dive there! I took a small charter out at dusk dove it at about 5 PM, just the right amount of light. The vis that day(in April) was about 80 feet. Sarting at the deep end of about 80 feet you work thru and up the wreck to the prop in about 25 feet of water. Imediatly after that dive the sun set we waited about a half an hour then dove it again. The night I was there was almost a full moon you could swim around without your light and stilll se at least 30 feet. This wreck is a good penetration wreck. Part of the old hull in the deep water is still intact. Lots of 10 lbs. lobster inside. The next Day my wife and I snorkled the same wreck. I guess the most interesting part was seeing it from so many different perspectives.
Oil rigs off Mississippi and louisiana...some decent live bottom and wrecks here too but the botttom murk usually hides them. Diving(free) is highly dependant upon current and river stage but unbelievable hunting.

Florida panhandle, both Gulf and springs...mostly wrecks in the gulf and you know about the springs. Dont pass up the jetties in Panama City...Manta rays, huge groupers, bull reds, feeding mackeral and bonitas, just leave the gun in the car as it is a state park...

Big Pine Key, Fl. Lived there for 6 months while working at Seacamp. Great diving...3 mi. from Looe Key, which when not crowded to Disney proportions is beautiful...plenty of areas to hunt.

Any bridge along the Keys highway...one stop shopping! Just lookout for the bulls and that wopped hammerhead on the Bahia Honda bridge! Never know what you will see here.

Green Turtle Cay, Bahamas- pre hunting, youngster days!(14 yrs) First barracuda encounter!!!!
Diving PC,Fl Jetties


We vacation a bit in the Seagrove Beach area and I've freedove(really snorkeled, didn't know what freediving was until recently) the jetties at St. Andrews quite a bit. On the channel side I've seen some nice gag, even a small goliath grouper once. I've been told even more goliath are on the south end of the jetties. Have you heard, seen this? Also, in your post you mentioned manta rays. Have you seen these in the channel at these jetties?

Great thread idea!

Barbados - Great Shore diving when the swells permit. Dove off of Bathsheba, and Tent Bay. This is on the Eastern/Atlantic Coast. Plenty of large fish with pelagics often venturing near shore. Tons of lobster. The most difficult part of the diving here is the access. Nothing like swimming out through 12' sets at Soup Bowls! Getting back in can be truly dangerous. Come back in the channel between Soup Bowls and High Rock...aim for the mushroom rock. Wear a skin of some sort the first few times out...it is very easy to get "placed" on the reef by a nice wave. Option #2 head south around the point and get in at the lagoon and head out through the reef pass. Spend some time at the reef pass though.
Aruba- Great shore/kayak diving near California lighthouse on the leeward coast. An old dutch freighter("Antilla?") lies about 1/2 mi off the beach in 70', but the relief comes to the surface. It is a 440' scuttled freighter lying in 3 pieces. Very clear...a good # of pelagics and reef fish. Very cool overhead environment diving. Bring a dive light.
Martinique & St. Maarten- Very cool islands to be on. great culture, and wonderful people. My diving was limited, but some really good, shallow reefs (30').
St. John & St. Thomas- Typical Carib shore diving. My favorite shore dives were in an area that is very rarely dove and held tons of fish/lobster. Deep diving up against 60' cliffs. Without giving away the spot...it is near Magen's Bay...go find it. Some shore access...but be careful coming down the cliffs. Enter there but only if it is calm, otherwise it is a long swim to an exit point. Watch the current as well.
Caymans- Probably some of the best deep shore diving in the Carib. Plenty of walls starting very close to shore. Leave the guns at home.
Bahamas-Abacos -Talk to Troy at Treasure Cay Divers. Very knowledgeable Spearo. This is hawaiian sling territory. GREAT diving, unlike a lot of the bahamas these reefs are alive and healthy. Be wary of the reef sharks, if they come for your fish...let them have it. Otherwise you WILL get bit. Ask any of the local spearos....just because you rarely hear about attacks in this area, doesn't mean they don't happen. I saw plenty of scars.

Central America:
Cozumel, Mexico -Great diving, but pretty commercial, and you are guaranteed many divers at the popular spots, still...Palancar Reef is a must see. 90' drift dives...a great chance to freak out the cruise ship scuba crew. Cool arches and formations. There are plenty of lesser known reefs in this area as well as a wreck or two. Talk to the locals.
Costa Rica
Guanacaste region-Awesome surf/dive trip! Shore diving can yield 100lb fish...Lobster are plentiful. The Pargos are HUGE! There are a number of Bull sharks in this area so be careful. Playa Langosta/tamarindo are good jumping off points. Lots of rock reef offshore just south of town. Also check the small bays just north of Playa Grande. Several pangas can take you from Tamarindo...but I would drive 30 mins North to Playas del Coco. Talk to Capt. Wilbert Perez( Tel: (506)-670-0840, Cel: 395-4135, or 382-8405)He's great and has several pangas that are in good shape. Tons of nearshore reefs and drop-offs. Do a half day of diving then head in to Witches Rock or Ollies and get a few waves in. PM me for more info...this is one of my favorite trips.

Middle East:
UAE Clear 94F water, and really good shore diving on man on the many jetties of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Shoot 20lb+ grouper 5' from shore in the shadows of skyscrapers...bizarre but great. Offshore holds many reefs and small isles to dive on. Check out some UAE spearfishing photos in the Gallery on the Riffe webpage.
Oman -The healthiest reefs I have ever seen. No humans within 100miles, and nearshore reefs as far as the eye can see. Absolutely virgin diving. The border crossing can be an affair though. Check out Muscat while you are in Oman.

Bali- Probably my favorite place on earth! Iya has probably covered this better than I could ever hope. Take your gear to Balangan/Dreamland for a day on the beach with some shallow reef shore diving and relaxing on a gorgeous beach.

Maui, HI -Dove near Wailea. Some pretty good shore diving. Entry exit can be interesting as there are few beaches. Lots of turtles etc. and a 12' tiger decided to make an appearance one day. Not too much fun when you can't get out of the water! Also give Molokini a shot. You won't be alone, but it is a great dive the inside only gets to 200', but the backside of the crater drops off to ~3000'. Big pelagics...Big Sharks...Great freedive but it was tough to keep the heart rate down. Also did some shore diving near Hana...one of the prettiest places on earth.

I have dove a lot in SE USA but I will leave that writing to the various locals of these spots...

North Carolina -Probably some of the most underated diving around. Perfect for freediving. Scores of wrecks and reefs/ledges stretching 50 miles offshore. At 30 miles off of Wrightsville Beach you are only in 100' of water. 2 miles off of the beach you are in 45'...so you have 28-30 miles of water that is perfect for freediving. We have some of the best shorediving from Rhode Island south to Florida. Several different seasons bring an unlimited variety of fish and conditions to this area. I could go on and on, but I am absolutely sick of typing, so if you want more info PM me. And if anyone is ever in the area let me know and we will get out on the water.

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Jetties at St. Andrews


The channel varies from about 20' at the north end of the jetties to about 35-40' at the south end. These depthe are where sand bottom meets the rocks. In the middle of the channel, which is not diveable because of shipping lanes, I think depth is 50-60'.

But at the right tide and good visibility, there is a LOT of marine life just covering the jetties. Schools of Atlantic Spadefish, Loookdowns, mullet, lots of mackeral, butterflyfish, grouper, damsels, flounder; I've seen Hogfish, Batfish, even an octopus once in a while. Also Scorpionfish, needlefish, burrfish, tang, Blue Angels, crab, and the jetties themselves are covered in blennies.
With the right conditions this is a great dive!! We'll have to work this spot in on one of the springs trips this summer.

Did you make it to Madison this weekend?

NO i didn't make it to Madison because of all the rain !!
I might try to make it next weekend, not sure!!

BladeRunner OUT
Grand Cayman and Cozumel... I wasn't a freediver, though. I was Joe Snorkel-Renter. This prompted me to research freediving though.

INCREDIBLE vis in Grand Cayman, dove the ever popular "cheese-burger reef" and a small wreck

If the vis in Grand Cayman was Incredible, the vis in Cozumel was Stupendous! Lots of little fishies and the like. I swam down to 35fsw here.

University of New Orleans Pool - 12 ft deep. Nice tile job. Can't concentrate with all the swim team girls around.

mmmmm-swim team girls....:p
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