Beth and Shaun Tierney, www.seafocus.com
There is no doubt that scuba diving is an addiction. Once experienced, it works it’s way into your subconscious. The anticipation starts long before you step onto a plane, the gnawing expectancy that involves going somewhere new, to awake at dawn and stare down at the sea, aware that beneath the surface is a whole new realm but never quite knowing exactly what is down there.

That’s the thing about diving, you just never do know. You can’t possibly predict that on Friday lunchtime you will be gazing up at a juvenile whaleshark, a fish that’s over three times your own body length. Or that, as dusk gathers on Tuesday, you’ll be eyeing a murderous pair of harlequin shrimp, amongst the smallest creatures in the sea, as they eat a starfish alive.

Diving memories remain as vivid as the day they happened: mental polaroids of awesome moments in time. Like nearly touching a deadly blue ringed octopus while pointing out a nudibranch, or lying flat on the sand eyeball to eyeball with a pregnant male seahorse, or instinctively holding out a hand to an octopus who cautiously, curiously extends a tentacle to probe fingers. Then maybe, just maybe having the chance to play with a pod of spinner dolphins.

As much as all that, diving remains an excuse to explore some of the planet’s least discovered places, far away from the normal tourist routes, where the only other people you see are those you came with. Diving gets in your blood, like an addictive drug. No sooner has one journey ended than another must be planned. 
This is edited copy from Footprint Handbooks. For comprehensive details (incl address, tel no, directions, opening times and prices) please refer to book or individual chapter PDF
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