How to Dive in the Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean covers a third of the surface of the Earth. It stretches from Asia and Australia in the west to the Americas in the east and from Russia and Alaska in the north to the Antarctic in the south. The Pacific region includes about 25,000 islands and is as varied and exciting as any diver could wish for.

Where to dive

Papua New Guinea is a haven for divers interested in weird and wonderful marine creatures. The Coral Sea off Australia includes the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system. The islands of Melanesia, such as Fiji, are renowned for their brightly pigmented soft coral.

The islands of French Polynesia are scattered over about 2.5 million sq. km (950,000 sq. miles), but their total landmass is only about 4,000 sq. km (1,550 sq. miles). The lagoons of French Polynesia are subject to the rise and fall of the ocean tides. The water rushes in and out of the atolls, attracting large numbers of sharks and other fish that feed in the currents. There are also giant clams and clownfish darting around the anemones.

The Hawaiian Islands have large populations of manta rays. Micronesia includes Palau, the Caroline Islands and the Marshall Islands. Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands has many famous wrecks that sunk after World War II in the first peacetime detonations of atomic bombs. Vanuatu has the famous wreck of the SS President Coolidge, a World War II troopship sunk at Espiritu Santo. The islands of New Caledonia have good diving, too. World War II has left an underwater legacy of wrecked ships and airplanes that have become undersea habitats for many animals. The lagoons of Chuuk (Truk), Palau, the Solomon Islands and the Philippines are punctuated with these human-made reefs that are fast becoming incorporated into the natural undersea topography. They all make great dive sites.

Near the equator, where the coasts of South America and North America meet, there are converging warm and cool sea currents. These help keep the climate of the islands of the Galapagos unusually equable. Because of the cool current coming from the south, the ocean here is cooler than you would expect. The sea around the Galapagos islands has as many varied and unusual examples of marine life as the islands have land animals. Divers can experience the thrill of swimming with equatorial penguins and marine iguanas.

Slightly farther north, the islands of Malpelo and Cocos enjoy cold upwellings that attract sharks normally only found in deep water to shallow depths. There, the sharks school, and divers can marvel at them. The islands are famous for vast numbers of hammerhead sharks, as well as huge populations of whitetip reef sharks and marble rays.

Filed Under: Sports & Fitness


About the Author: Cody Riffel is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo. She likes to write on variety of topics, whatever interests her. She also likes to share what she learns over the Internet and her day-to-day life.

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