Scuba diving is a sport unlike any other, offering us a chance to experience the magical underwater worlds that are unexplored by most. With the Earth’s oceans covering more than 70% of the planet, there really is no limit to the ocean habitats that can be discovered if we venture under the sea.
Of course, when it comes to such a thrilling bucket list activity, you will want to partake in a fun and safe way at a world-class dive site – for this, America is the perfect destination. Whether it’s your first time taking to the depths or if you’re already an avid ocean explorer, there’s something for everybody off of the US coasts.
The Florida Keys coast provides a unique experience for divers because it’s home to the only living coral barrier reef in the United States. Here, you can see hoards of marine animals such as blue-striped grunts, green moray eels, and various species of plants and coral.
Spanning a total length of around 221 miles, there’s more than enough to see in the Florida Reef to dazzle even the most frequent of divers. As the reef varies in depth, this is the ideal spot for experienced divers and those just dipping their toes into the sport.
While the reef is a sight not to be missed, it’s essential to dive responsibly if you choose to explore it – even the slightest human touch can devastate underwater ecosystems, so it’s best to tread carefully and maintain a safe distance when spotting wildlife. Of course, this is easier said than done when swimming amongst vibrant, tropical fish. Luckily, you can participate in a coral planting session if you want to be one with the sea life.
Kona is a popular spot for ocean exploration, although the deepest depths here are best experienced at nighttime. As darkness falls on the Hawaiian islands, the manta rays begin their evening hunt, making for an awe-inspiring spectacle for those booked onto one of the area’s popular manta ray night dives. As well as the rays, it’s common to see plankton and other small marine animals at this time – in the darkness, a diver’s equipment provides just enough light to attract and illuminate the microscopic creatures.
Of course, there’s always plenty to experience under the water, no matter the time of day. To get the most out of your trip to Kona, consider taking an afternoon swim prior to your evening dive to experience the diversity of the aquatic life and seabed throughout the day.
For the most fearless ocean enthusiasts, Morehead may just be the perfect town to enjoy a scuba diving excursion. Here, you can visit a wreck known as the Spar, resting 34 metres on the ocean floor. The location is a popular place to spot sand tiger sharks that drift towards the wreckage to feed. While the creatures look fierce, they’re known to be relatively placid and slow-moving – making this one of the safer options for those after a shark diving experience.
As well as the Spar ship in Morehead, there are plenty of other wreckages in the vicinity – in fact, the waters here are commonly known as the “graveyard of the Atlantic” due to the sheer number of ships resting at the bottom of the ocean that are just waiting to be explored.
Enjoy Your Trip Responsibly
Before taking the plunge into US waters, you’ll want to consider a couple of things. While it’s tempting to jump right in – and while spontaneity can be fun – it’s always important to familiarise yourself with the water around you before diving in. Do plenty of research and speak to a diving instructor before your diving adventure in order to get the most out of your experience and ensure a safe but enjoyable trip.
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