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segal3

If you could go anywhere next (early) summer...where?

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Was thinking about Lembeh Straits, but parents don't think that's such a good idea given the current condition of general unrest in Indonesia...so Indonesia and Philippines are out (no big deal, maybe another time)...

 

So, if you could go anywhere in the world...where would you go for a week to two on either land-based or liveaboard diving? Did PNG (Kimbe) last summer, doing T&C this December, and possibly Maldives in December 2005.

 

I'm in California btw...just to give an idea of travelling and whatnot...

 

Would really love a place with a plethora of macro subjects...I enjoy the wide-angle opportunities too, just not quite as much :-)

 

Thanks for any help.

 

~Matt Segal

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Parents are parents, I know, but what "current condition of general unrest in Indonesia" are you - or they - talking about?

 

Indonesia just completed two nationwide general elections this year, one for the legislature last April and a two-round presidential election held in July and September. Both elections were fair, peaceful, with a very good turn-out, and Indonesia now has a promising new president. I live in Indonesia, and spent most of this past summer working for the Carter Center as a long-term election observer here, travelling all over the archipelago - including places like Halmahera in Northern Maluku which were the scene of tragic large-scale violence 4-5 years ago. I never felt threatened or unsafe in the slightest. California makes me much more nervous than anyplace here.

 

Yes, there was an JI bomb attack on the Australian embassy in Jakarta during September. There are still at least a few JI operatives who have not been captured, and there is no guarantee that there will not be another incident. But the risk of a terrorist incident cannot be excluded anywhere in the world.

 

In any case, the Lembeh Straits dive ops are not likely to be very high on anyone's list. And there's no need to go through Jakarta to get to Lembeh. You can fly to Manado via Bali, or even fly direct from Singapore. If your parents were ok with your going to Kimbe in PNG last year - and there's no way to get to Kimbe without going through Port Moresby, which IS a truly scary place - then I can't imagine why they would be worried about Indonesia.

 

I'd keep working on them a bit longer. And you might add a live-aboard trip to Komodo or Raja Empat to the list of Indonesian options worth considering.

 

Frogfish

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In their words (based on the current U.S. State Department "warning" for Indonesia), they "absolutely refuse to consider any logical argument" regarding going to the area...they won't hear of it and shout about the threat of terrorism, despite many reports to the contrary by both divers (including one that works for Raytheon, a defense contractor).

 

How can one convince their parents of something their parents don't want to hear a word about? I've yet to find a solution (this applies to more than just this issue)...

 

~Matt Segal

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Sorry I can not resist: Leave your parents at home... and tell them you got to florida ;-)

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So far, this is what has been suggested:

 

Solomon Islands

Papua New Guinea (different location...instead of Kimbe Bay, possibly Milne Bay or Kavieng Bay)

Palau, Micronesia

Fiji

Yap, Micronesia

Bonaire

US Virgin Islands

French Polynesia

Tahiti

 

I suppose I can't go wrong with any of those?

 

~Matt Segal

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Hi Matt, tough choices!

 

When I was younger I had similar problems of wanting to travel to far off places, often locations that my parents (non-divers) didn't really know much about and were understandably hesitant.

 

One way I found to get around the problem was to go on a group trip - most regularly with other underwater photographers from the British Society of Underwater Photographers. So long as I was with a group they were much more relaxed. The massive benefit of this was that just by travelling with these experienced campaigners I was automatically going to some of the best locations (learned from their years of travel). Furthermore, I knew I was diving with some of the best photographers around and just by watching them in the water my photoraphy improved incredibly rapidly.

 

The first such trip I went on was with BBC cameraman Peter Scoones to the Red Sea in 1998, while he was filming for the coral reef episode of the Blue Planet. I was 23. That week probably changed my future UW photography more than any other.

 

Alex

 

p.s. to answer your most recent question - for me the fun of diving and travel is to see a diversity of locations. And always trying to visit a new location is the best way to fulfill this brief. Alternatively I have always found that my best images come when i really know a location. And therefore going back to a place repeatedly is often more productive photographically.

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Wow what a great problem to have!

I would suggest going to the Galapagos. There is macro there in the central islands. Plus lots of turtles, eels, and of course sharks and whale sharks in the northern islands if you go in late June.

 

Good luck

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Hi Matt, tough choices!

One way I found to get around the problem was to go on a group trip - most regularly with other underwater photographers from the British Society of Underwater Photographers. So long as I was with a group they were much more relaxed.

 

The curious thing is that Reefseekers dive shop here in Beverly Hills ( www.reefseekers.com , very reputable place) is going to Lembeh Straits in late May/June as a big group trip...parents still opposed :lol:

 

The first such trip I went on was with BBC cameraman Peter Scoones to the Red Sea in 1998, while he was filming for the coral reef episode of the Blue Planet. I was 23. That week probably changed my future UW photography more than any other.

 

So very difficult to forsee/arrange those things however...in PNG I had the good and and bad...an ex-professional u/w photographer (nothing huge, but he knew a LOT about fish behaviour) who now worked in video that was able to just give me a lot of various tips and whatnot, but then also a DM who basically told me that even if I was with a buddy, I shouldn't be concentrating on taking pictures and that I shouldn't be exceeding 60min dives (this was on Nitrox, and I have excellent air consumption)...very much a limiting fellow.

 

Often times I'm in school (freshman year of college right now) when major trips of people from these boards go to various places...impossible to travel at the time...

 

p.s. to answer your most recent question - for me the fun of diving and travel is to see a diversity of locations. And always trying to visit a new location is the best way to fulfill this brief. Alternatively I have always found that my best images come when i really know a location. And therefore going back to a place repeatedly is often more productive photographically.

 

Well that presents a catch-22, no?

 

Galapagos is colddd from what I hear (?) :D...and I have cold here in SoCal...so I'm not sure that would be such a great summer trip...you might let me know otherwise however...

 

~Matt Segal

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Nice! And this was in PNG? You'd think they would be a bit more grown up there - it is hardly a beginners destination. You do occasionally get DMs in SE Asia straight out of Australian DM college - who are rather lacking in experience of the real world. The same DM is probably cringing now at his naivety.

 

Alex

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Matt, I have yet to hear anyone return from a Galapagos trip use the word cold.

 

They all seem to return excited about the best trip they ever had and talk about their plans for a return trip!

 

Now if you want to talk about cold, I could bring BC into the conversation!

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Yep, BC is damn cold (48 lovely degrees) which is why i don't dive here anymore unless i am getting paid...

 

So to fix that i am moving to Yap.

 

I would suggest doing a Yap/Palau trip. Very safe and pretty much US territories so your parents can't get mad.

 

Besides, the marine life is amazing!

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