Every week I read a new article online about the best diving destinations - lists from operators and scuba magazines, or from well-traveled divers with a wealth of knowledge to share. The problem is, these lists are subjective, based on personal encounters and preferences rather than some form of scientific formula. And what I enjoy most about diving (poking around in the depths of a wreck) may be a complete turn-off to someone else. Where one diver loves digging in the muck for the smallest critter to photograph, another prefers drifting in the blue, on the lookout for huge pelagics.
So how on earth does one go about compiling a 'Best of' list? And what is the point if we all have such varied interests?
Well, like it or not, we divers tend to be a bit geeky, and that includes making collections and lists of things. Here at Bluewater, we love a good 'Best of' list, and everyone on the team always has an opinion (and not always the same one) about what qualifies as the best. More importantly, a 'Best of' list serves as inspiration, providing ideas and suggestions on new experiences or destinations one might like to try.
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Generally speaking, three main factors are taken into account when choosing destinations for a 'Best of' list;
1. Does it offer an exceptional experience that can't be found elsewhere?
2. Does this experience occur at reliable intervals?
3. Is it accessible to the majority of divers?
If the answer is 'Yes' to all three, then there's a good chance it will be on the list.
Taking our 'Best Diving in the World' list as an example, we first identified the main diving experiences that most people enjoy, for example, wreck diving, muck diving, drift diving, and so on, and selected the most popular dives for each. We then thought about the type of diving, including destinations representing a range of underwater topography features, depths, exposures, etc., and also destinations suitable for a variety of skill levels. Of course, many sites couldn't be included, but I hope what we ended up with is a comprehensive and well-rounded list of fantastic destinations boasting the World's Best Scuba Diving Destinations.
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