Most of my diving has been in tropical locations. I've only been diving for about five years, but I look forward to trying many new places in the years to come. Below is a summary of the areas I've been diving. Click on the links for a more complete trip report.
My wife Diana and I took a two week trip aboard the dive live-aboard Nai'a in October 2002. We had a great time and hope to return. Diana wrote a comprehensive trip report which I've embellished with some of my photos from the trip.
This is very easy tropical diving on beautiful reefs. I've been told that the reefs are not in as good shape as they used to be, but they are better than any I've seen anywhere else. The weather was great when I was there in late July. The diving is right off the shore, so there aren't any long boat rides. Most of the diving is between 25ft and 80ft.
Hawaii is our favorite place to go on vacation, although the diving is not quite as nice as Bonaire. Since we live on the west coast, getting to Hawaii is relatively easy - much easier than getting to the Caribbean. The food, accommodations, and other activities (snorkeling, biking, hiking, tennis, etc.) are all wonderful.
We've now made close to a dozen trips to Hawaii to go diving, all to the Kona coast. From everything I've heard, this is Hawaii's best diving. Almost all the coral is hard coral - most of which is the common lobe coral (Porites lobata) - but the terrain is very interesting - lots of easily accessible lava tubes, etc. The fish and other marine life are abundant, and as you can see from my photographs, there are plenty of interesting things to see. I particularly enjoy diving with the sea turtles and octopus, and the night dives with the manta rays (when they're around).
There are many excellent dive operators on Hawaii. Click here to find out about a few.
I only went for a single day in Key Largo, but I wasn't particularly impressed. The reef is a 20-30 minute boat road from the coast and is shallow with no interesting drop offs of other features. There are more corals than in Hawaii, but nothing like Bonaire. I don't think I'll go back any time soon.
San Juan Islands
The diving is very different than tropical diving. The water is in the low 40's, so a dry suit or very heavy wet suit is mandatory. I use a neoprene dry suit myself. The visibility is better than you might expect, at least 40 to 50 feet the times I've been. The marine life is much different than tropical reefs as you'd imagine - lots of orange and white anemones, star fish, crabs and a variety of fish life. I've also seen some very pretty jelly fish.