When I look back at 2016, I can hardly believe what I achieved in one year: 14 different dive destinations in 12 months! I started my year in the Florida Keys followed by the exploration of the springs of Northern Florida. When I came back to Scotland, I extensively dived the sea lochs of the Highlands and finally dived in St Abbs, east coast of Scotland, before moving back to France. Only one week after I returned, I was already in the south of France, diving for the first time in Toulon and Hyères. I went back diving there twice. My summer was also filled with exciting blog trips to Italy, Malta and the Canary Islands. During the autumn I took the opportunity to dive in Belgium and in the Netherlands with my Belgian friends. I ended the year with an express road trip to Rome and Capo d’Acqua in Italy. Among all the sites I dived, I wanted to share with you the ones I found to be the most unique, exciting or quirky!
1 – Molasses Reef, Florida Keys, USA
Key Largo was my only tropical diving of the year. The area called Molasses Reef in the John Pennekamp National Park is a coral wonderland. Although dive sites are shallow, there was so much action with sharks, stingrays, barracudas, gruntfish and lobsters. Read the full story on “My American scuba diving dream in the Florida Keys“.
2 – Devil’s Den, North Florida, USA
When I first saw the picture online, I knew I had to go there. It took me 7h of driving from Miami to reach the Devil’s Den, but the call for diving the spring water of a prehistorical cave was too strong. Besides, I had the luck to dive at noon when a magic ray of sun penetrates the cave! Read the full story on “Spring diving adventures in the north of Florida”
3 – St Abbs, Scotland, UK
My last dive in Scotland was incredible for many reasons. First I tried to dive there many times the year before, it was cancelled for weather reasons or because the boat was full: I started to desperate. During my last month a lucky encounter finally took me there and we went on the most perfect day you can dream in Scotland: Pure blue sky, bright sunshine and amazing visibility. All the conditions were gathered to enjoy this jewel of the Scottish diving scene. Read the full story on “My lucky last-minute dive trip to St Abbs, Scotland”
4 – Portofino, Liguria, Italy
Having the opportunity to explore one of the most beautiful regions of Italy, Portofino and Cinque Terre, while discovering beneath the surface, one of the oldest marine protected areas in Europe, was a highlight of my year. A visit to the underwater landmark “The Christ of the Abyss” should be on any scuba diver’s bucket-list. Read the full story on “Scuba diving and dolce farniente in Portofino, Italy“.
5 – UM El Faroud, Malta
From a dramatic incident in Valletta harbour, the UM El Faroud, a massive oil tanker from Lybia, became the biggest shipwreck you can dive in the crystal-clear waters of Malta. Surrounded by the breath-taking landscape of the Blue Grotto, it must be on your wreck diving trail for a sunny holiday in Malta. Read the full story on “Malta: wreck diving paradise in South Europe“.
6 – The Blue Hole, Gozo
Blue Holes are world famous dive sites. After diving the Dahab Blue Hole in Egypt and the Great Blue Hole in Belize, I couldn’t miss checking if the Gozo Blue Hole was as exciting as the others. It wasn’t as deep or as big, but the sights you have to reach the edge of the blue hole and once you’re diving it, is unforgettable. Read the full story on “Mission Blue Hole: a perfect day trip to Gozo“.
7 – The Cathedral, Gozo
The Cathedral was a total surprise as I never heard about it before. Located on the north coast of Gozo, right next to the incredible salt pans, this massive underwater cave has an incredible acoustic and mesmerizing blue light coming from the sea. If you get your dive guide singing for you, this is a mind-blowing experience! Read the full story on “Mission Blue Hole: a perfect day trip to Gozo“.
8 – The Wall, Tenerife
I wasn’t really sure about what to expect from a scuba diving point of view in the Canary Islands, but since I was invited to the Island of the Eternal Spring to extend my summer in Europe, I couldn’t say no. It only took one dive to catch my breath away: stingrays, eagle rays and bull rays were all around us at the Wall, on the south coast of Tenerife! Read the full story on “Scuba diving with Eagle rays in Tenerife, Spain“.
9 – The Rubis, Cavalaire, France
As part of my move back to France, I started in the summer to dive on a regular basis the different dive sites located between Toulon and Cavalaire, in the French Riviera. At -40m, this WWII French submarine wreck is in perfect condition and full of marine life. Watch my video “Le Rubis, submarine wreck diving in Cavalaire, France“.
10 -Capo d’Acqua Lake, Abruzzo, Italy
My last dive of the year but not the least! Diving by day and by night the submerged medieval village of Capo d’Acqua, Abruzzo, in the Apennine Mountains, in Italy was pure magic! Read the full story on “See Rome and Dive Capo d’Acqua“.
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