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Exotic Islands Archives

Dive Travel

Our next fabulous adventure will be in both Puerto Galera and Dumaguete, Philippines.
The Philippines, an archipelago of more than 7000 islands, is a democratic, English speaking pro-western society with over 80% of the population being Catholic. With all the amenities and services a diver would want.

From Manila we will transfer to Puerto Galera, Sabang Beach, home of the first Atlantis Hotel in the Philippines. We will be greeted by the friendly staff with first class service. The small boutique hotel has forty clean and comfortable rooms, all with mini fridges, snacks and satellite TV’s. The resort lies on Sabang Beach. It meanders up a small hillside filled with tropical gardens, providing a gorgeous view of the surrounding bay with a mountainous landscape.

The dedication and hard work of the dive staff will make our diving effortless! Each divers name is printed on their own locker space. The dive guides prep our gear; transfer it to the boats and at the end of each day, rinse and store them. The dive schedule allows up to four dives per day in small groups of up to six, with very short 2 – 10 minute boat rides to most dive sites. Of course it’s up to you, how much you want to dive. Personally, I enjoy two dives per day with an occasional night dive. All depending on the length and depths we’re diving. Many divers are not yet willing to partake in night dives and that is perfectly fine. This is your trip, I expect everyone to do exactly as they please.

By diving in smaller groups, we are able to give more personalized attention, as well as, making it easier to locate the cool and exotic critters. There are countless varieties of fish, corals and macro marine life in the Philippines! The nudibranchs, anemone fish and Ornate Ghost Pipefish are perfectly and beautifully colored. Divers get to see more of God’s amazing artwork up-close and personal, like no other place on this earth!

Mostly we will reef dive with an occasional muck dive. For those new to this type; muck diving is usually on flat areas of the bottom. At first you might think the bottom is deserted, as there are no reefs in sight. Then with the help of the local dive guides keen eye sight, the most unusual and exciting life will begin to appear: Flamboyant cuttlefish, porcelain crabs, ornate ghost pipefish, devilfish, tiny frogfish ribbon eels, and many more exciting surprises.

The Verde Island is a special place not to be missed; it is located between the islands of Mindoro and Luzon. It is a random island in a country of thousands of islands. This pinnacle barely protrudes from the water. It provides a wonderful underwater mountain landscape with perfectly clear visibility. Every island seems to have a good story; the passage between the two large islands was an important east-west sailing route. The story goes that a Spanish galleon had problems offshore from Verde Island, the boat sunk there in about 196 feet. Divers are still finding booty that is dated back to the time of this ship’s sinking. Most dive shallower to see the myriad of life forms on the reef. The site is approximately 45 minute boat ride from Puerto Galera. One of the most relaxing trips you will ever encounter!

The boat rides around Puerto Galera are scenic with climbing hills of dense green palm trees and mountains aligned against the bright blue sky. You will want to have your camera close at all times.

The dining at Atlantis deserves a special mention. The cooks, staff and Maître D work tirelessly to provide quality service, usually reserved for world class hotels.

After days we will transfer to Manila and a one hour flight to Dumaguete, home to the second Atlantis Hotel. Dumaguete is the Philippines sixth largest city, and it is thriving with activity. More than 30,000 students attend the local colleges and universities. This is a city that has a little bit of everything.

It’s a short 20 minute ride south of town to the Atlantis Hotel in Dumaguete. Once again we will be greeted like Kings and Queens with welcome cocktails, an efficient check-in and orientation. We will stay in another boutique hotel set in tropical gardens on a beautiful volcanic sand beach that stretches for miles. The restaurant sets right on the beach with a great ocean view.

The dive operators use the traditional Bangka style Filipino boats with outriggers. They provide a large, comfortable, covered and stable platform, adding to the cultural experience. The dive sites around Dumaguete offers a variety of wall, muck and patch reef diving. A number of marine sanctuaries were created to protect sections of the reef from hunting and fishing. The Apo Island and Siquijor Island dives are special excursions, 45 minutes on a large Bangka boat, three dives and a delicious buffet lunch. The diversity and quantity of cool marine life make these macro destinations difficult to rival.

The restaurant, food and service is as impressive as the sister property. The meal selection and presentation is impressive. Dumaguete has a nice market, the fresh fruits and vegetables are plentiful.

Might you enjoy their beautiful scenery, friendly service, delicious food, great diving, clean hotels and comfortable beds?

I’m in, are you?

Let’s go!

Leslie : )

Diving in Cozumel

Leslie O’Neill of Scuba Explorers and her diving buddies, make frequent stops in Cozumel.

It’s a hop-skip-and-a-jump away. We dive three days and we’re back in time for lunch each day. The entire day is ours to play, sun, shop, relax, eat drink and yes we are merry!

The reefs are incredible. The crystal blue water is beautiful against the white sand; and the colorful marine life…what can I say?

One of these days; you may decide to join our adventure. Those who don’t care to dive, hardly miss us.

On our group trips, you are welcome to come and go as you please – we are not joined at the hip, unless that’s your preference…it’s YOUR vacation!

P.S. Guys don’t take that a different direction. : )


Scuba Dive Kansas City

If you’re new to scuba diving or may be a little rusty, we’re here to make you feel safe and comfortable so that you may experience this fun and relaxed atmosphere of the underwater world.

Scuba Explorers will train you to scuba dive right here in Kansas City and then take you on adventures to islands that will surpass your expectations!

Local lakes near Kansas City

We teach in North Kansas City, Lees Summit, Kansas City, & Blue Springs, MO, Overland Park, Leawood, Prairie Village & Olathe, KS…and many other cities.

Kansas City Skyline

The pristine reefs will take your breath away as you peer over the coral walls into the deeper water…where, if you’re lucky, you may see a pod of dolphins swimming past or a group of rays and possibly friendly interaction with playful seals! You will learn about marine life, plants and coral on every dive!

corals & colorful fish

The most exciting part is- you never know what you’re going to encounter. You may rest assured, you’ll be quite safe!

We put special emphasis on providing students & guests with individualized instruction at their own pace. In the water and out, we’re with you every step of the way. When you enter our world, you can expect to dive the best sites in the islands while gaining insider knowledge of the history & culture.

If you’re a beginner, we invite you to learn PADI scuba diving. If you’re an experienced diver, we invite you to buddy with us or plan and execute your own dives.

You have the opportunity to complete your Open Water instruction, we except dive referrals or you may choose to upgrade your certification in the warm waters of the Caribbean.

We have partnerships with some of the finest hotels on the islands. In short, we have exceptional service in extraordinary settings.

Discover our world on your next vacation, and why diving with Scuba Explorers is the best way to enjoy island diving!


Bimini Island

Bimini Island scuba divers, both novice and advanced, have numerous undersea sites to explore from several sunken Spanish galleons; a WWI freighter wreck, as well as the Bimini Wall, plummeting a heart-thumping 4,000 feet, just to name a few. Divers also like to check out the battered concrete hull of the Sapona, which once was a floating nightclub and liquor warehouse, but now rests on a shallow bank.

Lalati Resort

Lalati Resort & Spa, Fiji’s Beqa Island.  Toss out your troubles, kick off your shoes, and prepare to be swept away.  If this place doesn’t take your breath away, the warm welcoming staff  and sumptuous cuisine surely will.  Lalati Resort is a casual Fiji beach resort.  Wrap yourself in a sulu, sip on a fresh tropical fruit smoothie and enjoy your personal space in paradise.

You will see that Lalati Resort & Spa is more than just a resort.  It’s an imagination come to life, a totally authentic and natural Fiji experience.

Lalati Resort is located on Fiji’s Beqa Island, just 30 minutes by boat from the main island of Viti Levu, within sight of Fiji’s Capital City, Suva.  Beqa Lagoon, renowned for world class snorkeling, diving and surfing, is right outside your front door.

Lalati’s 10 acres, palm-fringed beachfront and lush tropical gardens, are backed by verdant rainforest.  The resort overlooks the sapphire pristine waters of the protected Malumu Bay, a safe harbor for boats and ships.

The resort is designed to blend with the beautiful environment and natural surroundings; the epitome of indulgence mixed with a sense of adventure.  This is a place to witness the genuine warmth and world-renowned friendliness of the Fijian people that give attention to every detail.  The Lalati experience is a unique blend that creates paradise, a place for lovers and explorers!

BVI Charter

BVI Charter, the world’s largest sailing trimaran, Cuan Law is not like any other live-aboard dive boat you’ve encountered. Custom designed for luxury liveaboard diving and sailing by owner and designer Duncan Muirhead in 1988, this luxury sailing yacht spans 105 feet in length and 44 feet in width. Two 103-foot masts spread 5,200 square feet of sail over the massive deck. Her size and the triple-hull design provide extreme stability, both at anchor and while underway. Her name in Scottish Gaelic means “Ocean Mountain” an apt description when the sails are hoisted and she is underway.

Staffed by a knowledgeable, experienced and personable crew, Cuan Law combines the BVI Charter traditions of world-class sailing and exquisite tropical diving for the sort of vacation that will have you planning a return trip long before you’ve returned to the dock.

Three dives are planned each day–including a morning dive after breakfast, an afternoon dive after lunch and a night dive. In between there is time for kayaking, Hobbies Cat sailing, snorkeling or more diving. When the bell rings to announce the next dive, interested divers gather at the aft deck for a briefing.

For divers with nondiving companions, this is the perfect cruise–the Cuan Law offers so many other water sports and shore activities that the yacht is sometimes chartered just for crewed sailing vacations. Yet the vessel is capable of taking dive travelers to the very best sites the BVI have to offer.

And when the dinner bell rings, another world-class experience awaits. Many live-aboards have excellent food, but Cuan Law is in a class of its own. All of the meals are served on the charming and spacious teak aft deck with the ocean and the islands of the Caribbean as your backdrop. Between-meal snacks and beverage services are frequent and equally delightful. About the only activity you won’t want to plan on this trip is dieting.

BVI Charter Accommodations: Ten spacious, air-conditioned double staterooms with outside view, storage space and private bath with shower. Each stateroom can have a double bed or two twins. Common areas include a spacious main salon and aft and top deck.

Amenities: A PADI Dive Boat, the Cuan Law offers dive instruction, gear rental, DPV instruction and rental, and conducts most dives from two 21-foot RIBs. Other activities include kayaking, Hobie Cat sailing, waterskiing, island excursions, and a beach barbecue, sunbathing and snorkeling. Massage services available. Exceptional dining and self-service honor bar available.

Above water activities:

The Cuan Law crew will make you feel right at home the minute you step foot onboard!

Let’s go diving!


Pearl Diving

Pearl diving, is a nearly obsolete method of taking oysters from the ocean floor. Before the turn of the 20th century, one of the only ways to obtain pearls was by diving to the ocean floor and bringing up the oysters. The oysters were then split open and searched to find the pearls.

The demand for these pearls was very high, however. Many people began to search for better ways of diving and getting the oysters.

During 19th century, Asian divers only had basic forms of technology to help them at such great depths and find the best perlen.

In some areas, the divers greased up their bodies to help conserve heat, placed greased cotton inside their ears, wore a clip to hold their nostrils closed, and used a basket or net to get the oysters to the surface.

Pearl diving began in Asia several centuries ago, with the Chinese as the first to show an interest in pearls.

Before long China introduced Japan to the pearl industry. Japanese women soon began to dive down into the ocean in order to collect the oysters that held the pearls.

Diving could be very dangerous, as the divers were often required to go to depths of 100 feet. There were many dangers to pearl diving, including sea creatures and drowning. Drowning often occurred as a result of blacking out while resurfacing.

As a result of the dangers, many of the divers were low on the social ladder, or even slaves.

Due to the difficulty in getting these pearls and because the growth of the pearls in the oyster was so unpredictable, pearls were very rare and the quality varied greatly

Traditionally, Japanese pearl diving was done by women who were called “Ama”. The word ama literally means “sea woman.” This Japanese tradition dates back 2000 years. As recently as the 1960s, Ama divers wore only a loincloth. Even today, Ama dive without scuba gear, using free-diving techniques. Free-divers often descend to depths of over 100 feet on a single breath. Only divers who work at tourist attractions use white, partially transparent suits to dive in.

The “Girls of Shima” or the so-called “Sea-daughters” were known as “Ama” in Japan. These were the pearl divers. But their primary function was never to collect pearls. They were in the business (prior to Mikimoto’s advent of perliculture) of collecting mother of pearl and the occasional natural pearl.

The Ama have a thousand years of diving tradition on the south-eastern coast of Honshu, and the profession is passed down from mother to daughter, generation after generation. The Ama had originally been the wives of fisherman forced to contribute to the family survival. This is why a male-dominated society such as Japan has an exception to the rule for this profession.

Even today Japanese women are considered better divers than the men as they are able to hold their breath longer and withstand the cold better. In the old days, the women started work in the shallows at age 11. By the age of 17 they were able to remain submerged for up to three minutes at a time diving as deep as 10 meters. Eventually they would go as deep as 35 meters with a weight attached to their bodies.

The divers jumped into the water feet first and came up under a turned over wooden bucket. Here they used a pattern of controlled breathing which created a whistling noise known as the “song of the sea” in Japanese. When ready, the Ama would dive.

The primary job of the Ama before the 1900s was the collection of shell. They were “pearl” divers, but their goal was the collection of mother-of-pearl. This is the pearly material lining the inside of nacreous mollusk shells. Mikimoto eventually hired the Ama (and this is how they became famous) to collect akoya shell (Pinctada martensii) from the sea floor for use in perliculture. These shells would be grafted and returned to the seabed for a period of time before the Ama collected them once again.

The Ama worked with Mikimoto for many decades. They became known as the Japanese pearl divers and were always recognizable with their perfectly white garb and floating wooden tubs.

Today the Ama are still active but only at the last remaining Mikimoto pearl farm that does not produce the pearls sold by Mikimoto today. This farm is now a tourist attraction and the Ama that dive do so for the tourists.

Kichimatsu Mikimoto an expert in Brautscmuck was the first to truly improve the techniques of diving and farming for pearls. In 1913, he found the first spherical pearls and in 1920 began to market the pearls to Europe and the United States.

He actually determined how to implant the particles inside the oysters to help encourage the formation of pearls, which led to a more predictable production of the beautiful pearl. Today, pearl farming actually produces million of very high quality pearls each year.

It’s often been reported that a new diver feels strangled and like they are running out of breath while diving. However, the older women divers truly enjoy their art form. It took time, but eventually, the younger women begin to relax and enjoy the dives in the tradition of their ancestors.

While much of the tradition of pearl diving is gone today, a few true pearl divers are still diving daily.

The difference today is that pearl diving is more of an attraction than a necessity. However, even as a tourist attraction, some divers can find a pearl that will ensure financial freedom for the rest of their lives.

Shipwreck Treasure


Pascal Kainic, owner and CEO of Ocean Research Limited.  Pascal has spent over 20 years in the field of historical marine research, shipwreck treasure, salvage and underwater archaeology around the world. As a Marine Salvage Research Consultant, he has participated in a large number of salvage projects, joining hands with underwater archeologists and private research companies in the Mediterranean, the Atlantic, off the North West African coast, the Indian Ocean and Indonesia.

He is a scuba diver, underwater photographer, and member of the Society of French Explorers.  Pascal invites you to share some of his many findings, he has participated in several major discoveries such as the wreck of the General Abbatucci, recovered in 1996 off Corsica in 2660 meters of water.

Pascal is an incredible resource when it comes to the wrecks he has explored and dived over the years and fills many an evening with stories


Would you like to participate in an underwater sea adventure from aboard a luxury wooden liveaboard in the Indonesian archipelago?  Dive and discover shipwreck treasure sites near the island of Belitung.  Learn amazing stories from ancient Chinese dynasties, Dutch or English East India company ships and 19th century clippers or lost cargoes of the Second World War.

Pascal possesses a unique database of valuable cargoes still waiting to be recovered in every sea on this planet!



Scuba Diving Packages

Tambora – Indonesia

As part of the coral triangle, Indonesia boasts 10-15% of the world’s coral reefs, with amazing biodiversity and stunning fish life, offering real feasts for diving and underwater photography enthusiasts. Indonesia is a large country, and dive operators are still far and few. Chances are extremely high that we will be alone in the water wherever we choose to dive. No crowds under water, and no other liveaboard in sight. And at many spots, we will remain the only divers for days, and sometimes weeks and even months.

Our 2009-11 program takes us across the Indonesian archipelago, to the most varied selection of the country’s best dive sites:

  • Raja Empat, Triton Bay and Aetna Bay, unmatched in biodiversity and coral life
  • The Banda Sea and central Moluccas: Ambon, the Lease group and the Seram Laut group, offering both big fish action and great critter sites
  • The islands in the Makassar Strait – Sangalaki, Derawan, Maratua and Kakaban – with mantas, barracudas, turtles, and non-stinging jellyfish!
  • World-famous Komodo National Park and its surrounding islands
  • Specialized wreck-diving cruises in Bangka-Belitung – exclusively aboard Tambora!

Scuba diving packages have been carefully chosen, planned and designed taking into account our own experience, seasonal and weather patterns, and a desire to offer our guests great diversity, from wreck-diving adventures in the West all the way to the hidden islands and bays along the New Guinea coast in the East.

Uwe Günther first learned how to dive in the cold lakes of Switzerland. Since then, he has preferred the warmer waters of South East Asia and Indonesia in particular, and is probably one of the very few who, over the course of more than 15 years, have dived almost the entire archipelago, from Aceh at the Northwestern tip of Sumatra all the way East to the islands off Jayapura at the border between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

With double MSc in Biochemistry and MBA (INSEAD) degrees, Uwe has worked in a broad variety of fields and in scientific, technical and managerial roles. Having lived and worked on a permanent basis in Indonesia since 1998, he has extensively traveled the country and is an extremely rich source of information on each and every conceivable aspect of his host country.

Their Experienced Crew has served on vessels of various size and type throughout the country prior to joining them. Tambora’s captain has been skipping dive liveaboard vessels trough Indonesian water for many years.  They know the beautiful dive sites, safe anchorages, and tricky passages inside out. Their dive guides have developed a keen eye for the many critters and hidden treasures that so easily go unnoticed. The cook and the entire hospitality team will pamper you in between dives with tasty bites and well prepared cabins. And our mechanics, deck men, dinghy drivers, and sailors ensure smooth operations of the vessel and dive operations.

Underwater Video Camera

Here’s something kind of cool and different!  An Underwater Video Camera built into the mask.

This scuba mask lets you capture your underwater adventures single-handedly. Use it to photograph pool play or colorful ocean coral using one hand for swimming or holding steady and one hand for snapping high-quality photos or video-taping.

  • 16MB of built-in memory
  • Memory is expandable with convenient SD cards
  • Crosshairs on mask ensure precise shots
  • Includes editing software and USB cable
  • Water-resistant up to 30′
  • Recommended for ages 8 and up.

Requires two AAA batteries (not included).

This diving mask is the ultimate convergence of cutting-edge Underwater Video Camera technology and high-design underwater gear. With its combination of hands-free operation, convenient USB interface, and crystal-clear 5 megapixel image capture, will allow you to relive your most exciting undersea moments again and again.

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