World’s Greatest Diving Spots

My story this week for Travel+Leisure — ‘World’s Greatest Diving Spots’ — covers pristine coral reefs, kelp forests, and sunken battle ships from Mexico to the Marshall Islands.

I polled 10 veteran divers like Dan Orr, the CEO of Divers Alert Network, to pick their favorite dive spots around the planet. Orr’s choice, Fathom Five National Marine Park, is a preserve on Lake Huron four hours north of Toronto, where icy waters keep sunken ships for decades with little disturbance.

For some divers, like Ken Knezick, president of a Houston-based travel company specializing in dive trips, the most spectacular diving environments are also some of the most remote. Knezick’s favorite underwater destination, Wakatobi Marine National Park in Indonesia, used to require three full days of travel to reach, back when he started visiting in the late 1990s — a journey that culminated with a 22-hour boat ride to reach the preserve. ‘Despite that arduous journey, it proved to be one of my best-ever diving experiences,’ Knezick says, citing Wakatobi’s prolific reef system with some of the healthiest and most diverse coral remaining in any ocean.

A final note: A few of the dive locations in this story are also featured in the new book, “Fifty Places to Dive Before You Die” by Chris Santella. Check it out at www.hnabooks.com.

See my full story and a list of the ‘World’s Greatest Diving Spots’ at ‘http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/worlds-greatest-diving-spots

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Stephen Regenold is Founder and Editor-In-Chief of GearJunkie, which he launched as a nationally-syndicated newspaper column in 2002. As a journalist and writer, Regenold has covered the outdoors industry for nearly two decades, including as a correspondent for the New York Times. A father of four small kids, Regenold and his wife live in Minneapolis.

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