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e12pilot

Help Me Out

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Hi All,

Looking to plan a trip in the beginning of March '08, would be flying out of Chicago.

 

Have been to: Bonaire, Florida Keys, Pac Northwest/California, Hawaii (all islands)

 

Budget would be between $5-$8k for the trip (including airfare, not including food) total for two people.

 

Interested in palagic and reef diving, but would be interested in anything that people have been really happy with. Bonaire was our favorite so far.

 

Thanks in advance!

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If you don't want to fly far i'd suggest Nautilus Explorer out of Baja California at that time.

 

Take an extra few days and drivem (more fun) or fly to Loreto to go whale watching too.

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Cozumel mid-june. You can snorkel with whale sharks and dive the legendary reef structure. It also has some pretty good night life.

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Pelagics + reefs = difficult to find.

 

Usually pelagics are not abundant on the reefs .

 

For pelagics i will choose Solmar V ex-Cabo San Lucas,Mexico . IMO the best place for close encounters with giant mantas also you will see sharks of several species and great chances of dolphins , wahoo , tunas , etc.

 

Isla del Coco on the Sea Hunter out of Costa Rica is even better for pelagics but can have strong currents , rain and the visibility is not as good .

 

Both places have very few corals .

 

For reefs and some pelagics you have more options : Fiji on the Nai'a , PNG on the Febrina or Golden Dawn , Solomon Islands on the Bilikiki .

 

Closer to home : Turks and Caicos or Belize on the Aggresor , Cayman Island , Bahamas and my favorite Jardines de la Reina - Cuba.

 

Happy choosing

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If your interested in a live-aboard I would suggest Solomon Islands/Bilikiki. Nice WA reefs, big fans, soft corals,

great macro opportunities. Lots of schools of jacks and barracuda. Plus you'll have ship wrecks, airplane wrecks, caves/cuts.

 

Were ever you decide have a good time.

 

Todd

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In addition to the above, I'd suggest French Polynesia. Moorea, Bora Bora and Rangiroa. The reefs are hard coral rather than the prettier soft, but lots and lots of life on them and about as many sharks as you could hope to have.

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