Dennis Graver, the reputed Scuba diving instructor who has authored three editions of Scuba Diving (Human Kinetics), finally shares his favorite dive sites in a fourth edition. Like his previous editions which have sold more than 100,000 copies, Graver covers everything from equipment to dive science in full-color detail—and includes the latest information on new scuba technology, mixed gas diving and rebreathers. But after popular demand and persuading, he also includes the sites throughout the world that he most enjoys diving.
Graver admits traveling to exotic dive destinations is one of the most enjoyable aspects of scuba diving. “Many dive sites require specialty training and area orientations to maximize safety and minimize the risk of injury or death,” he warns. “Do not attempt to dive in unfamiliar conditions without first obtaining the training, equipment, and supervised experience required.”
Graver’s top dive sites include areas around the United States and throughout the world.
California – “Dense kelp beds that form surface canopies make diving in California an unforgettable experience,” he says. “An expedition on a live-aboard dive boat to one or more of California’s offshore islands during the summer months is an extremely worthwhile scuba experience.”
Washington – Puget Sound is much more protected than the coastal waters and contains many shipwrecks and artificial reefs, which are havens for many life-forms. The water is cold, and thus Graver recommends dry suits, but the visibility is 15 to 20 feet most of the time.
Florida – Graver thinks all scuba divers should have a dive excursion to Florida, with the coasts’ abundant shipwrecks, the Keys’ coral reef and colorful fish, crystal clear springs and rivers, and caverns and caves. “Cavern and cave diving are popular, but training for these specialties is mandatory,” he warns.
New England – The cold waters of the New England area offer wrecks, reefs, kelp, and creatures to captivate divers’ attention. Lobsters with claws and other interesting life-forms are great attractions.
Great Lakes – These great bodies of freshwater boast the most well-preserved shipwrecks in the United States. “Many of these wrecks are in deep water, so you must have specialty training to explore them,” underscores Graver. “But, if you like wreck diving, this is one of the places to include on your must-see list.”
Hawaii – Hawaii offers exciting diving that includes good visibility, spectacular underwater formations, beautiful reef fish, large turtles, and giant marine mammals. Hawaii is a popular diving destination that any diver should visit if given the opportunity.
Caribbean – “The Caribbean is one of the world’s most popular places to dive, and for good reason,” says Graver. “The area includes reefs, wrecks, drop-offs, and life-forms that are unique and breathtaking.” Visibility is usually excellent and many dive resorts in the area offer trips to exotic locations.
South Pacific – In addition to the beauty on the land, the views beneath the water make trips to the South Pacific highly desirable for scuba divers. Graver says the islands offer some of the most beautiful diving to be found anywhere on Earth. Divers can see fantastic soft corals, sea fans, and incredible fish—and the visibility is outstanding. Many of the island waters feature wrecks and war artifacts.
Middle East – Graver claims the Red Sea is unparalleled for scuba diving. “The shear walls, the abundant and colorful life-forms, and the crystal clear waters make this one of the most desirable of all diving destinations,” he says. “If you can afford a trip on a live-aboard charter boat to offshore islands, you will be treated to unforgettable sights.”
Dive trips and charters increase diving abilities and experience by applying what a diver has learned in lessons and books like Scuba Diving.
For more information see Scuba Diving.