With the majority of us spending so much time on dry land, we often forget that 71% of the Earth’s surface is water covered. The seas and oceans hold 96.5% of the planet’s water and yet, unless taking a dip on holiday, many of us rarely indulge in any ocean-only adventures. Around the world there are countless opportunities to experience the power, the beauty and the inhabitants of the world’s seas and oceans.
Snorkelling, Silver Bank, Dominican Republic
Although you cannot see it, 90 kilometres north of the Dominican Republic is a submerged bank in the Atlantic Ocean. Silver Bank, as it is known, is one of the few breeding and calving locations of the North Atlantic Humpback Whale in the entire world. Silver Bank is part of the Sanctuary for the Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic.
Female humpbacks are larger than males, growing up to around 16 meters in length and new born calves measure around 6 meters. What makes Silver Bank so special is that visitors can swim with the whales. Snorkelling with the gentle giants is fully permitted and regulated. The whales are often playful, putting on a water surface show and sharing the water peacefully with their guests.
Diving, Great Blue Hole, Belize
The 407 feet deep sinkhole is a UNESCO World Heritage site a part of the Belize Barrier Reef system. The world-famous hole is one of the best scuba diving locations in the world, with the crystal-clear waters home to the likes of parrotfish and Caribbean reef sharks.
Further into the depths, at around 130 feet, the waters darken and an array of limestone formations and other-worldly stalactites come out of the wall. Hammerhead sharks, rays and barracudas call this layer of the Blue Hole home. Some visitors find exploring the prehistoric cavern eerier, particularly due to the silence experienced at this depth. However, inexperienced divers can enjoy the beauty of the hole by snorkelling along the surface.
Superyacht Charter, Ocean Emerald, Thailand
If diving and water sports are not for you, why not take to the seas and oceans of Southeast Asia in luxury style? Located in Thailand is the bedazzling Ocean Emerald, a contemporary floating magnum opus created by architect Norman Foster, the man behind London’s Gherkin and the Millau Viaduct in France.
The 41-meter superyacht can be set on a visitor’s bespoke charter, able to take in delights such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. The vessel can sleep up to 12 guests and comes with a nine-strong crew, from sailors to chefs. With superior living and the latest technology, it is an unrivalled oceanic opportunity.
Kiteboarding, British Virgin Islands
The British Virgin Islands are an often-forgotten archipelago just to the east of Puerto Rico. Although small, they are the best place to enjoy the extreme water sport of kiteboarding. The island’s winter months boast strong winds and warm temperatures, making it an ideal location to indulge in the hybrid sport that shows you how powerful the ocean can be.
A merger of windsurfing, paragliding and wakeboarding, kiteboarding is the ultimate aerial and water sport. BVI Kite Jam is an annual kiteboarding event held in the British Virgin Islands and is open for amateurs, professionals and spectators.
Swim, Gansbaai, South Africa
On the bucket list of many is cage diving with great white sharks. With a mouth holding over 300 razor sharp teeth and growing up to 7 meters in length, getting up close and personal with the most feared animal in the sea is an unbelievable experience.
What makes South Africa special is that they were the first country to protect the great white shark, back in 1991. This means that not only are divers safe, but the sharks are too. Visitors can expect to lowered into the ocean off the Gansbaai coast as tasty treats are set into the water around you to lure the great whites in.